What Happened in May 1878

Historical Events

  • May 2 US stops minting 20 cent coin
  • May 4 Phonograph shown for 1st time at Grand Opera House
  • May 8 1st unassisted triple play in organized baseball, by Paul Hines

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 8 David Edward Hughes' paper on the idea for a microphone is read before the Royal Society of London by Thomas Henry Huxley

  • May 14 Vaseline is granted a patent (U.S. Patent 127,568)
  • May 19 Blanche Kelso Bruce appointed register of treasury by President Garfield
  • May 21 4th Kentucky Derby: Jimmy Carter aboard Day Star wins in 2:37.25
  • May 23 Attorney John Henry Smyth named US minister to Liberia
  • May 24 CA Parker (Harvard) wins 1st American bike race at Beacon Park in Boston
  • May 25 W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's comic opera "H.M.S. Pinafore" premieres in London, their first international success
  • May 27 6th Preakness: C Holloway aboard Duke of Magenta wins in 2:41.75
  • May 27 Australians Cricket 41 & 12-1 defeat MCC 33 & 19
  • May 31 German battleship SMS Grosser Kurf├╝rst sinks, 284 killed
  • May 31 US Congress accepts decrease in dollar circulation

Famous Birthdays

  • May 10 Gustav Stresemann, German chancellor (1923, Nobel 1926)
  • May 11 Jan Machiel Reyskens, oldest male resident of the Netherlands, (d. 1990 aged 111)
  • May 13 Muriel Robb, British tennis player (Wimbledon 1902), born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England (d. 1907)
  • May 14 James L. Wilkinson, American baseball executive (d. 1964)
  • May 15 Francisco Pujol, composer
  • May 16 Taylor Holmes, American actor (Sleeping Beauty, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1959)
  • May 19 Adam von Ahn Carse, composer
  • May 21 Glenn Hammond Curtiss, American inventor (hydroplane)
  • May 21 Louis de Visser, Dutch politician (CPN)
  • May 24 Lillian Moller Gilbreth, American psychologist and industrial engineer (CIOS Gold Medal-1954), born in Oakland, California (d. 1972)

Person of interestBill Robinson

May 25 Bill Robinson "Bojangles", American actor and tap dancer (Stormy Weather, The Little Colonel), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1949)

Tap Dancer and Actor Bill Robinson
Tap Dancer and Actor
Bill Robinson
  • May 28 Paul Pelliot, French sinologist (d. 1945)
  • May 30 Mike Donlin, American baseball player (d. 1933)

Famous Deaths

  • May 12 Catherine Beecher, American educator (championed higher education for women), dies at 77
  • May 14 Ookubo Toshimichi, Japanese statesman, samurai, and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration (b. 1830)
  • May 22 Franz von Holstein, composer, dies at 52
  • May 27 Carlo Marsili, composer, dies at 49

Person of interestJohn Russell

May 28 John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, British Prime Minister (Whig: 1846-52 and 1865-66), dies at 85

British Prime Minister John Russell
British Prime Minister
John Russell