On This Day

What Happened in May 1908

Historical Events

  • May 1 World's most intense shower (2.47" in 3 minutes) at Portobelo, Panama
  • May 2 Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer register their popular song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" for copyright
  • May 5 34th Kentucky Derby: Arthur Pickens aboard 66-1 chance Stone Street wins in muddy track conditions; 2:15.20 slowest Derby in history
  • May 7 Emperor Franz-Joseph celebrates his golden jubilee with festivities throughout the Austro-Hungarian empire
  • May 9 Dirk Fock becomes governor of Suriname
  • May 10 1st Mother's Day observed (Philadelphia)

Theater Premiere

May 12 George Bernard Shaw's play "Getting Married" premieres in London

  • May 12 Wireless Radio Broadcasting is patented by Nathan B. Stubblefield
  • May 14 1st passenger flight in an airplane
  • May 15 Reich Association Law comes into force
  • May 21 1st American horror movie silent film "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde" premieres in Chicago
  • May 23 Dirigible explodes over San Francisco Bay, 16 passengers fall, none killed
  • May 23 Part of Great White Fleet arrives in Puget Sound, Washington
  • May 24 Belgium Catholic socialist/liberal parliamentary election
  • May 24 John Masefields "Tragedy of Nan" premieres in London
  • May 26 Mr & Mrs Jacob Murdock and their children become 1st family to travel across United States by car: Los Angeles to NYC in a Packard Thirty (32 days, 5 hours and 25 minutes)
  • May 26 At Masjed Soleyman (مسجد سليمان) in southwest Persia, the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made, rights acquired by the United Kingdom
  • May 27 Maulana Hakeem Noor-ud-Din iss elected the first Khalifa of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
  • May 30 1st federal workmen's compensation law approved
  • May 30 42nd Belmont: Joe Notter aboard Colin win
  • May 30 Aldrich Vineland Currency Act forerunner to Federal Reserve System
  • May 30 Paris advocate E Archdeacon is 1st passenger in a airplane
  • May 30 US Assay Office in Salt Lake City, Utah authorized
  • May 31 Miss Pottelsberghe de la Pottery is 1st airplane passenger (Belgium)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Giovannino Guareschi, Italian writer (Don Camillo, Peppone), born in Roccabianca, Emilia, Kingdom of Italy (d. 1968)
  • May 2 William Bakewell, American actor (All Quiet on the Western Front; Gone With The Wind), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1993)
  • May 5 Jacques Massu, French general who led Battle of Algiers, born in Châlons-sur-Marne (d. 2002)
  • May 5 Kurt Böhme, German bass, born in Dresden, Germany (d. 1989)
  • May 6 Necil Kazım Akses, Turkish classical composer, born in Istanbul, Turkey (d. 1999)
  • May 7 Wouter Paap, Dutch composer, born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 1981)
  • May 8 Laura Liddell, English actress (Shakespeare Wallah), born in Barrow-in-Furness, England (d. 1992)
  • May 9 Mary Goldsmith, American ceramist (d. 2007)
  • May 10 Carl Albert,, American politician, US speaker of the House (1971-77), (Rep (D) OK 1947-77), born in McAlester, Oklahoma (d. 2000)
  • May 10 Henry Diamond, Irish Nationalist MP
  • May 15 Lars-Eric Vilner Larsson, Akarp Sweden, composer (Linden)
  • May 16 Mohammed Roem, Indonesian foreign minister (Linggadjati)
  • May 16 John Holland, American actor (My Fair Lady, Chinatown), born in Fremont, Nebraska (d. 1993)
  • May 17 Sigismund Toduţă, Romanian composer, born in Simeria, Romania (d. 1991)
  • May 19 Percy Williams, Canadian athlete (Olympic gold 100m / 200m 1928), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 1982)

James Stewart

May 20 Jimmy Stewart, American actor (The Philadelphia Story; It's a Wonderful Life; Mr Smith Goes to Washington; Vertigo), born in Indiana, Pennsylvania (d. 1997)

  • May 22 Rattana Pestonji, Thai filmmaker and cinematographer (Tang), born in Bangkok, Thailand (d. 1970)
  • May 22 Horton Smith, American golfer (US Masters 1934, 36), born in Springfield, Missouri (d. 1963)

John Bardeen

May 23 John Bardeen, American physicist, electrical engineer and co-inventor of the transistor (Nobel 1956, 1972), born in Madison, Wisconsin (d. 1991)

  • May 23 Max Abramovitz, US architect (Lincoln Center, UN Building)
  • May 24 Krešimir Fribec, Croatian composer, born in Daruvar, Croatia (d. 1996)
  • May 24 Michael Roberts, English historian, born in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire (d. 1996)
  • May 25 Theodore Roethke, American poet (Words for the Wind), born in Saginaw, Michigan (d. 1963)
  • May 26 Robert Morley, British actor (Marie Antoinette, The Young Ones, How the Other Half Loves), born in Semley, Wiltshire, England (d. 1992)
  • May 26 Nguyễn Ngọc Thơ, Prime Minister of South Vietnam, born in Long Xuyên, Annam, French Indochina (d. 1976)
  • May 27 Alec Brown, English snooker player (Daily Mail Gold Cup 1939, 40; News of the World 1951), born in London (d. 1995)
  • May 27 Harold Rome, American composer (Fanny; Pins & Needles), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1993)
  • May 27 Melle Oldeboerrigter, Dutch painter and cartoonist, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1976)
  • May 28 Ian Fleming, English author (James Bond novels), born in London, England (d. 1964)
  • May 29 Dick Metz, American golfer (US Open 1938 runner-up; 10 PGA Tour titles), born in Arkansas City, Kansas (d. 1993)
  • May 30 Mel Blanc, American voice actor, comedian best known for his Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons (Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd & Porky Pig), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1989)
  • May 31 Dominic "Don" Ameche, American actor (Cocoon, Trading Places), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin (d. 1993)
  • May 31 Nils Poppe, Swedish actor (the Seventh Seal, Dum-Bom), born in Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden (d. 2000)
  • May 31 Gene Gifford American jazz banjoist, guitarist, and arranger (Jean Goldkette; Casa Loma Orchestra), born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1970)

Famous Weddings

Famous Deaths

  • May 12 Melesio Morales, Mexican composer, dies at 69
  • May 23 Francois Coppee, French poet, dies
  • May 24 Old Tom Morris, Scottish golfer (British Open 1861-62, 64, 67), dies as result of a fall at 86
  • May 26 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Indies theologist (Ahmadiyya motion), dies at 69
  • May 31 C L "Boy" Johnson, Irish-born South African cricketer (Test for South Africa 1895-96), dies at 37
  • May 31 Louis-Honoré Fréchette, Canadian poet, dies at 68