On This Day

What Happened in May 1857

Historical Events

  • May 1 William Walker, conqueror of Nicaragua, surrenders to US Navy

Battle of InterestThe Indian Mutiny

May 10 Indian Mutiny against rule by the British East India Company begins with the revolt of the Sepoy soldiers in Meerut
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Mutineers are executed by the Bengal Horse Artillery, in a painting by Orlando Noire
Mutineers are executed by the Bengal Horse Artillery, in a painting by Orlando Noire
  • May 19 Americans William Francis Channing and Moses G Farmer patent the electric fire alarm

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 26 US slave Dred Scott and family freed by owner Henry Taylor Blow, only 3 months after US courts ruled against them in Dred Scott v. Sandford

US Slave Dred Scott
US Slave
Dred Scott

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 Frederic Cliffe, English composer, born in Bradford, Yorkshire (d. 1931)
  • May 3 George Gore, American baseball player, born in Saccarappa, Maine (d. 1933)
  • May 5 Lee Richmond, American baseball pitcher (first ever MLB perfect game 1880), born in Sheffield, Ohio (d. 1929)
  • May 7 William A. MacCorkle, American politician, 90th Governor of West Virginia, born in Lexington, Virginia (d. 1930)
  • May 8 Frederik "Frits" Tartaud, Dutch actor and husband of Dutch actress Alida Klein, born in the Netherlands (d. 1946)
  • May 10 Hendrik Zwaardemaker, Dutch physiologist (olfactometer)
  • May 13 Ronald Ross, British pathologist (Nobel Prize 1902), born in Almora, North-Western Provinces, British India (d. 1932)
  • May 15 Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (d. 1911)
  • May 16 Juan Morel Campos, composer
  • May 19 John Jacob Abel, American Pharmacologist (endocrine glands), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 31 Pius XI [Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti], Italian 259th Pope (1922-39), born in Desio, Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire (d. 1939)

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Alfred de Musset, French poet (Lesson caprices Marianne), dies at 46
  • May 11 Eugène François Vidocq, French criminal & police detective, dies at 81
  • May 23 Augustin Louis Cauchy, French mathematician and physicist, dies at 67