On This Day

What Happened in May 1886

Historical Events

  • May 1 US general strike for 8-hour working day begins
  • May 3 M A Maclean elected 1st mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia
  • May 4 Haymarket riot in Chicago; bomb kills 7 policemen
  • May 5 The Bay View Tragedy occurs, as militia fires upon a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin killing seven.
  • May 8 Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta sells the first Coca-Cola (contained cocaine)
  • May 14 12th Kentucky Derby: Paul Duffy aboard Ben Ali wins in 2:36.50

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 15 British sailor David Beatty is promoted to midshipman

British Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty
British Admiral of the Fleet
David Beatty
  • May 19 Camille Saint-Saëns' 3rd Symphony in C premieres
  • May 21 14th Preakness: S Fisher aboard Bard wins in 2:45

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 29 American chemist John Pemberton begins to advertise Coca-Cola

Pharmacist John Pemberton
Pharmacist
John Pemberton

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 Gottfried Benn, German poet and essayist, born in Mansfelf, Germany (d. 1956)
  • May 3 Marcel Dupré, French organist and composer, born in Rouen, France (d. 1971)
  • May 5 Manuel Borguno, Spanish composer and pedagogue, born in Rubí (d. 1973)
  • May 8 Jef van Hoof, Flemish composer, born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1959)
  • May 9 Francis Biddle, 58th United States Attorney General (1941-45), born in Paris (d. 1968)
  • May 10 Karl Barth, Basel Switzerland, theologian/author (Action in Waiting)
  • May 10 Olaf Stapleton, British religious sci-fi writer (Star Maker)
  • May 10 Felix Manalo, Founder and 1st Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo (d. 1963)
  • May 12 Albert Saverys, Flemish painter (d. 1964)
  • May 12 Hermann Grabner, Austrian composer (Die Richterin), born in Graz, Austria (d. 1969)
  • May 12 Piotr F Scharoff, Russian-Italian actor and director (Chechov), born (d. 1969)
  • May 13 Joseph Achron, Latvia/US violinist/composer (Golem suite)
  • May 17 Alfonso XIII, King of Spain (1886-1931), born in Madrid, Kingdom of Spain (d. 1941)
  • May 18 Ole Windingstad, Norwegian composer (The Tide), born in Sandefjord, Norway (d. 1959)
  • May 24 Paul Paray, French conductor and composer, born in Le Tréport, France (d. 1979)
  • May 25 Philip Murray, 1st president of the United Steelworkers and longest-serving president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, born in Blantyre, Scotland (d. 1952)
  • May 25 Rash Behari Bose, Indian revolutionary leader against the British Raj in India, born in Bengal, India (d. 1945)
  • May 26 Al Jolson [Asa Yoelson], American-Lithuanian jazz singer and silent actor (Mamie, Swanee), born in Seredžius, Kovno Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1950)
  • May 28 Nikolai Sokoloff, Russian-American conductor (Seattle Symphony), born in Kiev, Ukraine (d. 1965)
  • May 28 Santo Trafficante, Sr., Sicilian-American mobster, born in Cianciana, Sicily, Italy (d. 1954)
  • May 30 Randolph Bourne, American writer (Education and Living), born in Bloomfield, New Jersey (d. 1918)

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Conrad Busken Huet, writer (Country of Rubens)
  • May 1 Heinrich Franz Daniel Stiehl, composer, dies at 56
  • May 3 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, American citizen credited with importing tennis to the US from Bermuda (1874), dies of illness at 34
  • May 5 Joseph Albert, German photographer (Albertotype), dies at 61

Person of interestJohn Deere

May 17 John Deere, American blacksmith and manufacturer (founded Deere & Company) dies at 82

Deere & Company Founder John Deere
Deere & Company Founder
John Deere

Person of interestLeopold von Ranke

May 23 Leopold von Ranke, German historian who founded the modern concept of source-based history, dies at 90