On This Day

What Happened in May 1872

Historical Events


Electoral defeatPresidential Convention

May 10 Victoria Woodhull becomes 1st woman nominated for US presidency by Equal Rights Party at Apollo Hall, NYC

Civil Rights Activist Victoria Woodhull
Civil Rights Activist
Victoria Woodhull
  • May 16 Metropolitan Gas Company lamps lit for 1st time
  • May 17 Bohemian Club incorporated in San Francisco
  • May 22 Amnesty Act restores civil rights to Southerners (except for 500)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Sidónio Pais, Portuguese politician (4th President of Portugal, 66th Prime Minister of Portugal), born in Caminha, Portugal (d. 1918)
  • May 2 G. G. van der Hoeven, Dutch editor-in-chief (NRC newspaper), born in Brielle, Netherlands (d. 1955)
  • May 6 Willem de Sitter, Dutch scientist and cosmologist (developed theoretical models of the universe based on Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity), born in Sneek, Netherlands (d. 1934)
  • May 10 Marcel Mauss, French sociologist (d. 1950)
  • May 14 Elia Dalla Costa, Italian cardinals (d. 1961)

Person of interestBertrand Russell

May 18 Bertrand Russell, English mathematician and philosopher (Nobel 1950), born in Trellech, England (d. 1970)

Philosopher Bertrand Russell
Philosopher
Bertrand Russell
  • May 21 Henry Warren, inventor (Telechon electric clock), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 28 Marian Smoluchowski, Polish physicist (pioneer of statistical physics), born in Vorder-Brühl, Austria-Hungary (d. 1917)
  • May 31 Charles Greeley Abbot, American astronomer (Solar Constant), born in Wilton, New Hampshire (d. 1973)
  • May 31 W. Heath Robinson, English illustrator and cartoonist (Don Quixote), born in Islington, England (d. 1944)

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Amalia, princess of Weimar/wife of prince Hendrik the Navigator, dies
  • May 15 Thomas Hastings, American composer, dies at 87
  • May 17 Eduard Sobolewski, Polish-American violinist and composer, dies at 63
  • May 19 Johan van Dale, schoolmaster (New Dutch Language Wordbook), dies at 44
  • May 24 Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, German painter and designer who figured importantly in the German Nazarene movement, dies at 78
  • May 29 John Gill Shorter, American politician (17th Governor of Alabama), dies at 54