On This Day

What Happened in May 1890

Historical Events

  • May 2 Territory of Oklahoma created
  • May 12 Louisiana legalizes prize fighting
  • May 12 First official County Cricket Championship match begins; Yorkshire beats Gloucestershire by 8 wickets at Bristol; James Cranston scores first century (101) in the competition
  • May 13 18th Preakness: W Martin aboard Montague wins in 2:36.75

Historic Event

May 13 Lord Salisbury offers Helgoland to Germany in exchange for Zanzibar, Uganda & Equatoria

  • May 14 16th Kentucky Derby: Isaac Murphy aboard Riley wins in 2:45

Historic Event

May 14 British sailor David Beatty is promoted to sub-lieutenant

Theater Premiere

May 17 Clyde Fitch's play "Beau Brummel" premieres in NYC

  • May 17 Comic Cuts, 1st weekly comic paper, published in London
  • May 17 Pietro Mascagni's opera "Rustic Chivalry" premieres in Rome at the Teatro Costanzi

Historic Event

May 24 Leo von Caprivi succeeds Otto von Bismarck as Chancellor of Germany

  • May 24 Geo Train & Sam Wall circle world in record 67 days, Tacoma-Tacoma
  • May 24 Tivoli Theater of Varieties opens in London
  • May 30 First baseman Dave Foutz hits Brooklyn Bridegrooms' (later Dodgers) first ever home run during doubleheader defeats to Chicago Colts at Washington Park, Brooklyn
  • May 31 Ulm Minster, in Ulm, Germany, the tallest church in the world with a steeple 161.5m high, is finally completed (begun 1377)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 E. E. Smith, American food engineer and sci-fi author (Triplanetary), born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (d. 1965)
  • May 3 B. Traven, (German?) writer (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) whose real identity is disputed (possible date)
  • May 5 Christopher Morley, American author (Kitty Foil), born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (d. 1957)
  • May 6 Claire Whitney, American silent film actress (Blind Fools, Haunted Mine), born in NYC, New York (d. 1969)
  • May 7 Billy House, American actor (Imitation of Life; Bedlam: The Egg and I), born in Mankato, Minnesota (d. 1961)

Alfred Jodl

May 10 Alfred Jodl, German general during World War II (head of the German High Command, signed unconditional Nazi surrender), born in Würzburg, German Empire (d. 1946)

  • May 14 Alex Pompez, American baseball executive (d. 1974)
  • May 15 Katherine Anne Porter, American novelist (Ship of Fools)
  • May 17 Philip James, American composer, and conductor (New Jersey Symphony, 1922-29; Bamberger Little Symphony, 1929-36), and educator (NYU, 1934-56), born in Jersey City, New Jersey (d. 1975)
  • May 18 Mary Charleson, Irish-American silent film actress (Upstairs And Down), born in Dungannon, Ireland (d. 1961)

Ho Chi Minh

May 19 Ho Chi Minh [Nguyễn Sinh Cung], Vetnamese communist revolutionary and President of North Vietnam (1946-69), born in Nghệ An Province, French Indochina (d. 1969)

  • May 20 Beniamino Gigli, Italian tenor (Enzo-La Gioconde)
  • May 21 Albert van Raalte, Dutch conductor (AVRO-orchestra), (d. 1952)
  • May 23 Herbert Marshall, English actor (Murder, Razor's Edge, Little Foxes), born in London, England
  • May 23 Virginia Eames, Ft Davis TX, entertainer
  • May 26 Kurt Edzard, German sculptor (nudes/portraits), born in Bremen, Germany (d. 1972)
  • May 27 Fritzi Brunette, American actress, born in Savannah, Georgia (d. 1943)
  • May 29 Francis de Bourguignon, Belgian composer, born in Brussels (d. 1961)
  • May 29 Martin Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan author (Gamperaliya - The Uprooted/Changing Village), born in Koggala, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) (d. 1976)

Famous Deaths

  • May 6 Hubert Léonard, Belgian violinist, and pedagogue (Brussels Conservatoire, 1848-67), dies at 71
  • May 7 James Nasmyth, Scottish engineer and inventor of the steam hammer, dies at 81
  • May 19 Gus Kempis, South African cricketer (South Africa's 1st Test), dies of fever at 24
  • May 28 Viktor Nessler, Alsatian composer, dies at 49