On This Day

What Happened in May 1859

Historical Events

  • May 4 The Cornwall Railway opens across the Royal Albert Bridge linking the counties of Devon and Cornwall in England.
  • May 17 Australian Rules Football first 'laws of the game' published
  • May 31 Philadelphia A's organize to play "town ball" became baseball 20 years later

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Bohuslav Jeremiáš, Czech composer, born in Řestoky, Czechia (d. 1918)
  • May 1 Willem Johannes Leyds, Dutch-South Africa lawyer and diplomat (State Secretary of the South African Republic), born in Magelang, Dutch East Indies (d. 1940)
  • May 2 Eugène d'Harcourt, French composer, born in Paris (d. 1918)
  • May 2 Jerome K. Jerome, English writer (The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow), born in Walsall, Staffordshire, England (d. 1927)
  • May 3 Andy Adams, American writer (Log of a Cowboy), born in Indiana (d. 1935)
  • May 6 Luis María Drago, Argentine statesman and author of Drago Doctrine, born in Buenos Aires (d. 1921)
  • May 6 Willem Kloos, Dutch poet (Act of Simple Justice), born in Amsterdam (d. 1938)
  • May 8 Johan Jensen, Danish mathematician (d. 1925)
  • May 13 August Enna, Danish composer (The Witch), (d. 1939)
  • May 15 Pierre Curie, French physicist (Nobel 1903) and husband of Marie Curie, born in Paris, France (d. 1906)

Person of interestArthur Conan Doyle

May 22 Arthur Conan Doyle, British author who brought Sherlock Holmes to life twice, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1930)

  • May 30 Pierre Janet, French psychologist and neurologist (contributed to the modern concept of mental and emotional disorders involving anxiety, phobias, and other abnormal behaviour), born in Paris (d. 1947)

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Eliza Courtney, English illegitimate daughter of Charles Grey and Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, dies at 67
  • May 4 Joseph Diez Gergonne, French mathematician, dies at 87
  • May 5 Peter G L Dirichlet, German mathematician, dies at 53
  • May 6 Friedrich Heinrich Alexander, explorer/scientist, dies
  • May 10 John Archduke of Austria, dies
  • May 22 Ferdinand II, [Re Bomba], Dutch King of Sicily, dies at 49