On This Day

What Happened in May 1869

Historical Events

  • May 1 Folies Bergère opens in Paris
  • May 2 The Folies Trévise (later cabaret hall Folies Bergère) opens as an opera house in Paris, France
  • May 4 Cincinnati Red Stockings play their 1st official baseball game, a win against the Great Western Base Ball Club, 45-9
  • May 4 The Naval Battle of Hakodate takes place in Japan.

The Golden Spike

May 10 Golden Spike driven, completing the 1st US Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah and connecting the Central Pacific Railroad with the Union Pacific

  • May 18 Robert Tanner Freeman is 1st African American to graduate from Harvard Dental School
  • May 18 Surrender and dissolution of the Ezo Republic to Japan
  • May 26 Boston University is chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 (Frederick) Tyrone Power Sr., British-American stage and screen actor (The Big Trial; The Test of Donald Norton), born in London, England (d. 1931)
  • May 5 Hans Pfitzner, German composer (Palestrina), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1949)
  • May 6 Joseph Cuvelier, Belgian historian and general archivist, born in Bilzen, Belgium (d. 1947)
  • May 11 Francisco Lacerda, Portuguese composer, conductor, and musicologist, born in Ribeira Seca, Portugal (d. 1934)
  • May 18 Ruprecht, crown prince of Bavaria and WWI Commander of the 6th army, last heir to the Bavarian throne, born in Munich (d. 1955)
  • May 19 Jules Poncelet, Belgian minister of State
  • May 19 Henry Horatio Dixon, Irish Biologist who originated the cohesion-tension theory of water and mineral movement in plants, born in Dublin, Ireland
  • May 20 Joshua Pim, Irish tennis player (Wimbledon 1893-94), born in Bray, Wicklow (d. 1942)

Famous Deaths

  • May 10 Wilhelm Bernhard Molique, German composer and violonist, dies at 66
  • May 29 Philippe Vandermaelen, Flemish cartographer/publisher, dies at 73