On This Day

What Happened in May 1870

Historical Events

  • May 5 The British and Foreign Society for Improving the Embossed Literature of the Blind adopts Braille as best format for blind people
  • May 10 Jem Mace & defends his heavyweight crown against Irish champ Joe Coburn, it lasts 1 hr & 17 minutes, & neither is struck by a punch
  • May 12 Manitoba becomes a province of Canada
  • May 20 Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament abolishes capital punishment in The Netherlands
  • May 24 Memoria of Jackson Kemper, 1st Missionary Bishop in US
  • May 25 Irish Fenians raid Eccles Hill, Quebec
  • May 31 Congress passes 1st Enforcement Act (rights of blacks)
  • May 31 E J DeSemdt patents asphalt pavement

Famous Birthdays

  • May 3 Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the U.K., born in Frogmore House, Windsor, England (d. 1948)
  • May 4 Alexandre Benois, Russian artist, born in St Petersburg, Russia (d. 1960)

Person of interestAmadeo Giannini

May 6 Amadeo Giannini, American banker and entrepreneur (founded Bank of America), born in San Jose, California (d. 1949)

Banker and Entrepreneur Amadeo Giannini
Banker and Entrepreneur
Amadeo Giannini
  • May 6 John T. McCutcheon, American cartoonist (Pulitzer Prize-1931), born in South Raub, Tippecanoe County, Indiana (d. 1949)
  • May 9 Harry Vardon, Jersey golfer (6-time British Open champion, US Open 1900), born in Grouville, Jersey (d. 1937)
  • May 14 Zygmunt Denis Antoni Stojowski, composer
  • May 19 Albert Fish, American serial killer (d. 1936)
  • May 19 Nishida Kitarō, Japanese philosopher (Kyoto School), born in Unoke, Japan (d. 1945)
  • May 24 Benjamin N. Cardozo, American lawyer and jurist, born in NYC, New York (d. 1938)
  • May 24 Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa and proponent of Commonwealth & League of Nations, born in Bovenplaats, Cape Colony (d. 1950)
  • May 27 Lionel Palairet, British cricketer (elegant England bat in the Golden Age), born in Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire, England (d. 1933)

Famous Deaths

  • May 6 James Young Simpson, Scottish obstetrician who popularized chloroform for medicinal use, dies at 58
  • May 14 Ramon Vilanova y Barrera, composer, dies at 69
  • May 30 Gustave Vogt, French composer, dies at 89