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

MurderAssassination Attempt

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

German Statesman Otto von Bismarck
German Statesman
Otto von Bismarck

InventionHistoric Invention

May 16 Charles E. Hires invents "Hires Root Beer"

Pharmacist and Root Beer Brewer Charles E. Hires
Pharmacist and Root Beer Brewer
Charles E. Hires
  • May 16 US Congress authorizes the nickel 5 cent piece (replaces silver half-dime)
  • May 18 French government of De Putte resigns
  • May 21 1st-class debut of G. F. Grace aged 15 years 159 days
  • 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 (d. 1938)
  • May 9 Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Leader of Indian Independence Movement (d. 1915)
  • May 10 Léon Bakst, Russian painter and scene and costume designer, born in Grodno, Belarus (d. 1924)
  • May 13 Ottokar Eugen Novacek, composer
  • 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, writer (Tough Workers)
  • May 31 Vladimir Ivanovich Rebikov, composer

Famous Deaths

  • May 13 Nikolai Brashman, Russian mathematician (b. 1796)
  • May 17 Adolf Bernhard Marx, 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