On This Day

What Happened in May 1866

Historical Events

  • May 1 American Equal Rights Association forms
  • May 2 Peruvian defenders fight off Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao
  • May 4 Woodward's Gardens opens to the public in San Francisco

Assassination Attempt

May 7 German premier Otto von Bismarck seriously wounded in assassination attempt

  • May 16 US Congress authorizes the nickel 5 cent piece (replaces silver half-dime)
  • May 18 Netherlands government of Isaäc Dignus Fransen De Putte resigns
  • May 21 1st-class debut of cricketer Fred Grace aged 15 years 159 days at the Magdalen Ground, Oxford
  • May 24 Berkeley, California named (for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne)
  • May 28 Dutch government of Zuylen van Nijevelt/Heemskerk forms
  • May 30 Opera "Die Verkaufte Braut" premieres (Prague)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 5 Thomas B. Thrige, Danish industrialist, born in Odense, Denmark (d. 1938)
  • May 9 Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Indian social reformer and leader of Indian Independence Movement, born in Kotluk, Dist. Ratnagiri, Bombay Presidency, British India (d. 1915)
  • May 10 Léon Bakst, Russian painter and scene and costume designer, born in Grodno, Belarus (d. 1924)
  • May 13 Ottokar Eugen Novacek, Hungarian composer and violinist of Czech descent, born in t Weißkirchen, Austrian Empire (d. 1900)
  • May 16 Ernest Watson Burgess, US sociologist (ecological school)
  • May 17 Erik Satie, French composer (Gymnopédies), born in Honfleur, Normandy (d. 1925)
  • May 23 Gustav Aschaffenburg, German psychiatrist/criminalologist
  • May 24 Armando Frid, Argentina, live until July 28 1990 (124 years)
  • May 26 John Eigenhuis, Dutch writer (Tough Workers), born in Aalsmeer, Netherlands (d. 1944)
  • May 31 Vladimir Rebikov, Russian pianist and composer, born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia (d. 1920)

Famous Deaths

  • May 13 Nikolai Brashman, Russian mathematician, dies at 69
  • May 17 Adolf Bernhard Marx, German composer, dies at 70
  • May 29 Winfield Scott, American army general (Union) and presidential candidate, dies at 79
  • May 29 Henry Darwin Rogers, American Geologist (theory of mountain building, first geological mapping of Pennsylvania), dies at 57