What Happened in May 1854

Historical Events

  • May 1 Amsterdam begins transferring drinking water out of the dunes
  • May 5 British Commodore James Plumridge attacks Finnish settlements in Gulf of Bothnia, killing civilans and destroying British-owned goods.

Historic Event

May 21 Frederic Mistral, Joseph Roumanille, and five other Provencal poets found Félibrige, a literary and cultural association

  • May 24 Escaped slave Anthony Burns is arrested by US Deputy marshals in Boston under the Fugitive Slave Act
  • May 27 Marine Telegraph from Fort Point to San Francisco completed

Historic Event

May 29 Paddington Station, London's terminus for the Great Western Railway opens, with a design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel [1]

  • May 30 Kansas-Nebraska Act repeals Missouri Compromise creating the territories of Kansas and Nebraska

Famous Birthdays

  • May 5 Antonio Smareglia, Italian composer, born in Pula, Austria-Hungary (d. 1929)
  • May 11 Jack Blackham, Australian cricket wicketkeeper (35 Tests, 4 x 50s, 61 dismissals; Victoria CA), born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 1932)
  • May 11 Ottmar Mergenthaler, German-American inventor who invented the linotype machine that revolutionized printing, born in Hachtel, Kingdom of Württemberg (d. 1899)
  • May 13 Louis H. Chrispijn, Dutch actor and director (Krates, Lost & Found, Silvia Silombra), born in Amsterdam, Netherland (d. 1926)
  • May 13 Paul Klengel, German pianist, violinist, composer and educator, born in Leipzig (d. 1935)
  • May 18 Bernard Zweers, Dutch composer (Gisbertus of Aemstel; To My Fatherland), born in Amsterdam (d. 1924)
  • May 24 John Riley Banister, American law officer and cowboy, born in Banister Hollow, Camden County, Missouri (d. 1918)
  • May 24 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, admiral (WWI), born in Graz, Austrian Empire (d. 1921)
  • May 27 Georges Eekhoud, Belgian writer (Jeune Belgium), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1927)

Famous Deaths

  • May 3 William Beale, composer, dies at 70
  • May 31 Vatroslav Lisinski [Ignatius Fuchs], Croatian composer (Love and Malice), dies of tuberculosis at 34