On This Day

What Happened in May 1883

Historical Events

  • May 1 Amsterdam World's Fair opens
  • May 1 First National League baseball game in Philadelphia since 1876, Providence Greys beat Philadelphia Quakers, 4-3
  • May 1 Bob Rogers is acknowledged as the first American pro sports trainer when he is hired by the NY Athletic Club
  • May 4 John Gordon Cashmans publishes 1st edition "Vicksburg Evening Post" (Mississippi)
  • May 10 First appendectomy performed in North America by Abraham Groves in Canada
  • May 15 Italy signs military treaty with Austria-Hungary & Germany
  • May 17 Buffalo Bill's 1st Wild West show opens in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • May 19 William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody opened Buffalo Bill's Wild West show in Omaha, Nebraska
  • May 22 Cubs' Billy Sunday's 1st at bat, begins 14 consecutive strikes out
  • May 23 9th Kentucky Derby: William Donohue aboard Leonatus wins in 2:43

Notable FireworksBrooklyn Bridge Opens

May 24 Brooklyn Bridge opened by President Arthur and NY Governor Cleveland

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Lithograph depicting fireworks on the opening night of the Brooklyn Bridge
Lithograph depicting fireworks on the opening night of the Brooklyn Bridge
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  • May 26 11th Preakness: G Barbee aboard Jacobus wins in 2:42.5
  • May 27 Tsar Alexander III crowned in Moscow
  • May 30 Stampede caused by a rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge was going to collapse kills 12
  • May 31 French fleet under Pierre begins siege of Tamatave, Madagascar

Famous Birthdays

  • May 5 Charles "Chief" Bender, American MLB pitcher and only American Indian in baseball's Hall of Fame (Philadelphia Athletics), born in Crow Wing County, Minnesota (d. 1954)
  • May 5 Léopold Samuel, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1975)
  • May 5 Petar Konjović, Serbian composer, born in Čurug, Serbia (d. 1970)
  • May 5 Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell, British general, born in Colchester, Essex, England (d. 1950)
  • May 6 José Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher and author (The Revolt of the Masses), born in Madrid, Spain (d. 1955)
  • May 7 Gino Roncaglia, Italian composer, born in Modena, Italy (d. 1968)
  • May 7 Martin Albertz, German theologist (Jesus Christ's Church) and resistance fighter against the Nazi regime, born in Halle (Saale), Germany (d. 1956)
  • May 13 Henk JFM Sneevliet, leader RSAP/editor Spartacus (Dutch-Indies)
  • May 13 Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek doctor, inventor of the Pap smear (d. 1962)
  • May 14 Jan Olieslagers, Belgian aviation pioneer (Antwerp Devil)
  • May 14 Julian Eltinge, American vaudeville star, female impersonator, born in Newtownville, Massachusetts (d. d. 1941)
  • May 15 Stanley Marchant, English composer, born in London (d. 1949)
  • May 18 Walter Gropius, architect (Bauhaus school of design), born in Berlin, Germany
  • May 19 Henricus WJM Keuls, Dutch lawyer/poet (Dancing Lamp)
  • May 20 Paul Arntzenius, Dutch painter, graphic artist and etcher, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1965)
  • May 20 Faisal I of Iraq, King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria (1920–1933) & King of Iraq (1921–1933), born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (d. 1933)

Person of interestDouglas Fairbanks

May 23 Douglas Fairbanks, American actor (The Mark of Zorro, 3 Musketeers, Robin Hood), born in Denver, Colorado (d. 1939)

  • May 25 Elsa Maxwell, American writer (Jack Paar Show), born in Keokuk, Iowa (d. 1963)
  • May 26 Mamie Smith, American vaudeville singer, dancer and actress (Crazy Blues), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1946)
  • May 28 George Dyson, English musician and composer, born in Halifax, Yorkshire (d. 1964)
  • May 28 Luigi Perrachio, Italian composer, born in Turin, Italy (d. 1966)
  • May 28 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Indian independence activist and writer (The Indian War of Independence), born in Bhagur, India (d. 1966)
  • May 28 Clough Williams-Ellis, British architect known chiefly as the creator of the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales, born in Gayton, Northamptonshire, England (d. 1978)
  • May 29 William Beatton Moonie, Scottish composer (The Weird of Colbar; Echoes of Perthshire), born in Stobo, Pebbleshire (d. 1961)
  • May 30 Riccardo Zandonai, Italian composer, born in Borgo Sacco, Rovereto, Austria-Hungary (d. 1944)
  • May 31 Lauri Kristian Relander, 2nd President of Finland (1925-31), born in Kurkijoki, Finland (d. 1942)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

May 7 US Senator Albert B. Fall (21) weds Emma Garland Morgan in Clarksville, Texas

US Senator Albert B. Fall
US Senator
Albert B. Fall

Famous Deaths

  • May 17 Lydia Estes Pinklham, patent-medicine manufacturer, dies
  • May 20 William Chambers, Scottish author and publisher (Basis of Communication & Coding), dies at 83
  • May 23 Cyprian Norwid, Polish painter, poet and playwright (Wanda), dies at 61
  • May 24 Abdel Kadir, Algerian leader (b. 1808)
  • May 26 Abdelkader El Djezairi, Algerian leader, scholar and national hero (b.1808)
  • May 26 Edward Sabine, Irish astronomer (b. 1788)
  • May 28 August Freyer, Polish musician and composer, dies at 79
  • May 29 Albrecht of Prussia, mistress of John van Rossum, dies at 73
  • May 29 Princess Marianne of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau and daughter of King Willem I, dies at 73