On This Day

What Happened in May 1911

Historical Events

  • May 2 French troops occupy Fès El Bali, Morocco
  • May 9 Fire breaks out at Empire Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • May 11 The United States becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty
  • May 12 American economic expert W. Morgan Schuster arrives by invitation to assume almost dictatorial power over Persia's finances; a move resented by Russia
  • May 12 1st Inter-Empire Championships open in London
  • May 13 37th Kentucky Derby: George Archibald aboard Meridian wins in 2:05
  • May 13 NY Giant Fred Merkle is 1st to get 6 RBIs in an inning (1st)
  • May 15 British House of Commons accept Parliament Bill
  • May 15 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Indiana University, incorporates
  • May 15 Supreme Court dissolves Standard Oil (Sherman Antitrust Act)
  • May 15 The Georgios Averof cruiser is bought by Greece
  • May 16 Remains of a neanderthal man found on Jersey, Channel Islands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 16 Zeppelin "Deutscheland" wrecked at Dusseldorf

Inventor of the Zeppelin Ferdinand von Zeppelin
Inventor of the Zeppelin
Ferdinand von Zeppelin
  • May 17 36th Preakness: Eddie Dugan aboard Watervale wins in 1:51
  • May 18 President Jose Porfirio Diaz of Mexico's term ends

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 19 Maurice Ravel's opera "L'Heure Espagnole" premieres at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, France

Composer and Pianist Maurice Ravel
Composer and Pianist
Maurice Ravel
  • May 20 Edwin Boaler Alletson hits 189 in 90 mins Notts v Sussex
  • May 21 French troop enter Fez in Morocco to quell anti-European agitation
  • May 22 Braves pitcher, Cliff Curtis, loses his 23rd game in a row

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 23 NY Public Library building at 5th Avenue dedicated by President Taft

27th US President William Howard Taft
27th US President
William Howard Taft
  • May 25 Revolution in Mexico overthrows President Jose Porfirio Diaz
  • May 26 Germany passes legislation organizing Alsace and Lorraine as an autonomous state with a legislature
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Ray Harroun driving a Marmon Wasp for Nordyke & Marmon Company comes out of retirement, wins inaugural event; average speed: 74.602 mph (120.060 km/h)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 31 RMS Titanic launched in Belfast

Captain of the Titanic Edward Smith
Captain of the Titanic
Edward Smith
  • May 31 Mexican President Porfirio Díaz flees the country during the Mexican Revolution

Famous Birthdays

  • May 3 John Rhea "Yank" Lawson, American jazz trumpeter ("Dogtown Blues"; "Stormy Weather"), born in Trenton, Missouri (d. 1995)
  • May 5 Gilles Grangier, French film director (Archimède le clochard), born in Paris (d. 1996)
  • May 5 Norman Oldfield, English cricketer (Engl batsman one Test v WI 1939, 80 & 19), born in Dukinfield, Cheshire, England (d. 1996)
  • May 5 Philip Manson-Bahr, English zoologist and specialist in tropical medicine, born in Wavertree, Liverpool, England (d. 1996)
  • May 5 (Thaman) "Pete" Daily, American swing and dixieland jazz cornetist and valve trombonist (The Chicagoans), born in Portland, Indiana (d. 1981)
  • May 7 Ishirō Honda, Japanese film director and producer (Godzilla), born in Yamagata, Japan (d. 1993)

Person of interestRobert Johnson

May 8 Robert Johnson, American blues singer-songwriter, and guitarist (King of Delta Blues Singers), born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi (d. 1938)

Singer and guitarist Robert Johnson
Singer and guitarist
Robert Johnson
  • May 8 Wilhelm F de Gaay Fortman, Dutch lawyer/foreign minister
  • May 9 Harry Simeone, choral director (Kate Smith Show), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • May 10 Bel Kaufman, American author (Up the Down Staircase), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 2014)
  • May 11 Edgar Beck, president (John Mowlem)
  • May 11 Roy James Alfred Kaulback, soldier
  • May 11 Mitchell Sharp, Canadian politician (d. 2004)
  • May 13 Maxine Sullivan [Marietta Williams], American jazz vocalist and performer (Going Places), born in Homestead, Pennsylvania (d. 1987)
  • May 13 Robert Middleton, American film and TV actor (Barney-Monroes), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1977)
  • May 14 Hans Vogt, German composer, born in Danzig (d. 1992)
  • May 14 J Borremans, Belgian politician (communist)/MP
  • May 15 Leo Fuchs, Polish-born Jewish American actor (The Six Million Dollar Man, Avalon), born in Lemberg, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1994)
  • May 15 Max Frisch, Swiss architect/writer (Stiller, Biedermann)
  • May 15 Herta Oberheuser, Nazi doctor (d. 1978)
  • May 16 Olaff J de Landell [JB Wemmerslager van Sparwoude], writer
  • May 17 Knut Anders Haukfield, SOE Operative
  • May 17 Maureen O'Sullivan, Irish actress (Tarzan, Pride & Prejudice, Hannah and Her Sisters), born in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland (d. 1998)
  • May 17 Lisa Fonssagrives, Swedish supermodel, born in Västra Götaland County, Sweden (d. 1992)
  • May 18 "Big" Joe Turner, American blues singer ("Corrine Corrina"; "Shake Rattle & Roll"), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1985)
  • May 18 Michael Berry, Baron Hartwell, British newspaper proprietor and journalist (d. 2001)
  • May 18 Sigrid Gurie, Norwegian American actress (Algiers, Sofia, Refugee), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1969)
  • May 20 Annie M G Schmidt, writer (Fam Doorsnee, Jip & Janneke)
  • May 20 Gardner Fox, American sci-fi author (Atom, Hawkman, Zatanna), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 22 Anatol Rapoport, Ukrainian-American mathematician and biologist (game theory), born in Lozova, Kharkov Governorate, Russia (d. 2007)
  • May 23 Boris Kremenliev, composer
  • May 23 Melvin M Payne, president (National Geographic Society)

Person of interestBetty Nuthall

May 23 Betty Nuthall, English tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1930), born in Surbiton, England (d. 1983)

Tennis Player Betty Nuthall
Tennis Player
Betty Nuthall
  • May 24 Barbara West, English survivor of the Titanic sinking, born in Bournemouth, Dorset, England (d. 2007)
  • May 26 Ben Alexander, American actor (Dragnet, All Quiet on the Western Front), born in Goldfield, Nevada (d. 1969)

Person of interestHubert Humphrey

May 27 Hubert Humphrey, American politician, 38th Vice President of the United States (1965-69), and 1968 Presidential candidate, born in Wallace, South Dakota (d. 1978)

US Vice President Hubert Humphrey
US Vice President
Hubert Humphrey
  • May 27 Torolf Elster, Norwegian journalist and writer (Frihet och demokrati), born in Kristiania, Norway (d. 2006)
  • May 27 Vincent Price, American actor (House on Haunted Hill, Fly, Laura), born in St Louis, Missouri (d. 1993)
  • May 27 Teddy Kollek, Israeli politician (Mayor of Jerusalem), born in Nagyvázsony, Hungary (d. 2007)
  • May 28 Bob Crisp, South African cricket fast bowler (9 Tests, 20 wickets; Rhodesia, Western Province, Worcestershire), born in Calcutta, India (d. 1994)
  • May 28 Jean-Pierre Levy, French resistance leader during WWII, born in Strasbourg, France (d. 1996)
  • May 28 Dame Thora Hird, British actress, comedian, presenter and writer (Last of the Summer Wine, The Love Match), born in Morecambe, Lancashire (d. 2003)
  • May 28 Arthur "Skeets" Herfurt, American jazz and session saxophonist and clarinetist (Dorsey Brothers; Benny Goodman; Lawrence Wlek), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1992)
  • May 29 James Marjoribanks, British ambassador to the European Economic Community, born in Colinton, Scotland (d. 2002)
  • May 29 Ralph Louis Wain, British agricultural scientist, born in Hyde, Cheshire (d. 2000)
  • May 30 Douglas Fowley, American actor (Singin' in the Rain, Pistols 'n' Petticoats), born in NYC, New York (d. 1998)
  • May 31 Edward Adamson, British artist, 'father of art therapy' and collector, born in Sale, England (d. 1996)

Famous Deaths

  • May 18 Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer (Symphony No. 2 - "Resurrection"), and conductor (New York Philharmonic, 1909-11), dies of heart disease at 50
  • May 20 E. M. Grace, English cricketer (one Test v Australia 1880, 36 & 0), dies at 69
  • May 21 Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (b. 1857)
  • May 28 Stephanus Jacobus du Toit, South African theologist and journalist (Afrikaner Bond), dies at 64

Person of interestWilliam Schwenck Gilbert

May 29 William Schwenck Gilbert, English dramatist (Gilbert & Sullivan), dies at 74

English Dramatist William Schwenck Gilbert
English Dramatist
William Schwenck Gilbert
  • May 30 Milton Bradley, American business magnate and game manufacturer, dies at 74