On This Day

What Happened in May 1849

Historical Events

  • May 3 The May Uprising in Dresden begins - the last of the German revolutions of 1848
  • May 10 Astor Place Riot: Backers of American actor and working class hero Edwin Forrest attempt to disrupt British actor William McReady's performance at Astor Place Opera House in NYC; Military troops supporting police shoot at the crowd, killing between 22 and 31 [1]
  • May 15 Philadelphia Turngemeinde founded
  • May 17 Fire destroy Centrum in St Louis, Missouri

Historic Invention

May 22 Abraham Lincoln receives a patent (only US President to do so) for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions

  • May 28 Princess Marianne of the Netherlands and Albrecht of Prussia separate
  • May 29 Lincoln says "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
  • May 31 Last edition of Orange sheet "Journal de La Haye"

Famous Birthdays

  • May 3 Jacob Riis, Danish-American social reformer and "muck raking" reporter (NY Tribune, NY Evening Sun), born in Ribe, Denmark (d. 1914)
  • May 3 Bernhard von Bülow, Chancellor of Germany, born in Klein-Flottbeck, Germany (d. 1929)
  • May 3 Bertha Benz [Cacilie Bertha Ringer], German inventor, automotive pioneer and wife of fellow automotive inventor Karl Benz, born in Pfrozheim, German Confederation (d. 1944)
  • May 5 Hambletonian, greatest standardbred horse, born in Chester, New York
  • May 6 Wyatt Eaton, Canadian-American artist, born in Philipsburg, Quebec (d. 1896)
  • May 22 Louis Perrier, Swiss politician and member of the Swiss Federal Council, born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland (d. 1913)
  • May 25 "Blind" Tom Wiggins, African-American pianist and composer, born in Harris County, Georgia (d. 1908) [1] [2]

Famous Weddings

Louis Pasteur

May 29 Bacteriologist Louis Pasteur (26) weds secretary Marie Laurent (23) in Strasbourg, France

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 David H Chasse, baron/gen (fought Napoleon at Waterloo), dies at 84
  • May 10 Katsushika Hokusai, Japanese painter, dies at 89
  • May 11 Otto Nicolai, German composer & conductor, dies at 38 of a stroke
  • May 11 Juliette Récamier, French socialite, dies at 71
  • May 25 Andreas Victor Michiels, Dutch military governor of West-Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, dies in battle at 52
  • May 25 Benjamin d'Urban, British general and colonial administrator (b. 1777)
  • May 28 Anne Brontë, English novelist (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), dies at 29
  • May 31 Leonard du Bus de Gisignies, Governor-general of Neth-Indies, dies at 69