On This Day

What Happened in May 1915

Historical Events

  • May 1 British liner Lusitania leaves NY for Liverpool
  • May 1 German submarine torpedoes US tanker Gulflight
  • May 2 Old Fordham Road in Bronx renamed Landing Road

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 3 John McCrae writes the poem "In Flanders Fields"

World War I Soldier & Poet John McCrae
World War I Soldier & Poet
John McCrae
  • May 4 Italy drops Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary & Germany
  • May 5 German U-20 captures and sinks Britsih schooner Earl of Lathom
  • May 6 German U-20 sinks Centurion SE of Ireland

Sports record brokenBaseball Event

May 6 Red Sox Babe Ruth pitching debut & 1st HR, loses to Yanks 4-3 in 15

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • May 6 The Allies on Cape Helles launch three attacks to enlarge their beachheads; after terrible losses, they advance about three miles
  • May 7 RMS Lusitania sunk by German submarine off the southern coast of Ireland; 1198 lives lost
  • May 8 41st Kentucky Derby: Joe Notter aboard Regret wins in 2:05.4
  • May 9 German & French fight Battle of Artois
  • May 10 Zeppelin drops hundred of bombs on Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England

InventionHistoric Invention

May 10 Canadian physician Cluny MacPherson first presents his gas mask invention to the British War Office

  • May 12 Croatians plunder Armenia, killing 250
  • May 12 Franklin K Mathiews presents idea of "Book Week"

  • May 13 US Secretary of State Bryan sends a note to Germany demanding that Germany disavow the attacks on the Lusitania and make immediate reparations; however, the note is written only to 'pacify exited public opinion', according to Bryan
  • May 17 40th Preakness: Douglas Hoffman aboard Rhine Maiden wins in 1:58
  • May 17 Cubs George "Zip" Zabel relieves with 2 outs in 1st & winds up with 4-3 19-inning win over Brooklyn in longest relief job ever

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 17 Last liberal British government of H. H. Asquith falls

British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
British Prime Minister
H. H. Asquith
  • May 17 National Baptist Convention chartered
  • May 20 Bataafsche Petroleum Me begins oil extraction of Maracaibo
  • May 22 Local train collides with troop train killing 226 in Gretna, Scotland
  • May 22 Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, only mountain other than Mount St. Helens, to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century
  • May 23 Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary during WW I

InventionHistoric Invention

May 24 Thomas Edison invents telescribe to record telephone conversations

Inventor Thomas Edison
Inventor
Thomas Edison
  • May 25 Second Battle of Ypres ends with 105,000 casualties
  • May 25 Chicago Claude Hendrix no-hits Pitts (Federal League), 10-0
  • May 26 H. H. Asquith forms a coalition government in the United Kingdom
  • May 31 An LZ-38 Zeppelin makes an air raid on London
  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: Italian-born American driver Ralph DePalma accompanied by riding mechanic Louis Fontaine wins from Englishman Dario Resta

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Archie Williams, American athlete (Olympic gold 400m 1936), born in Oakland, California (d. 1993)
  • May 2 Jan Hanus, Czech composer, born in Prague (d. 2004)
  • May 2 Van Alexander, American composer and orchestra leader (Gordon MacRae Show), born in NYC, New York (d. 2015)
  • May 2 Doris Fisher, American singer and songwriter, born in NYC, New York (d. 2003)
  • May 2 Margaret "Peggy" Mount, British actress (Oliver!, Panic in the Parlor), born in Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England (d. 2001)
  • May 3 Evencio Castellanos, Venezuelan pianist, born in Cúa, Miranda state, Venezuela (d. 1984)
  • May 3 Stu Hart, Canadian professional wrestler and trainer, born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (d. 2003)
  • May 4 Pedro Saenz, Argentine and Spanish composer, born in Buenos Aires (d. 1995)
  • May 5 Alice Faye [Leppert], American actress and singer (Hello, Frisco, Hello; Fallen Angel; Stowaway), born in NYC, New York (d. 1998)
  • May 5 Richard Rovere, American political journalist (Goldwater Caper), born in Jersey City, New Jersey (d. 1979)
  • May 6 George Perle, American composer (12 Tone Tonality), born in Bayonne, New Jersey (d. 2009)
  • May 6 John Arnold, British high court judge (d. 2004)
  • May 6 May Henriquez-Alvarez, Curacao Dutch sculptor, born in Curacao (d. 1999)

Person of interestOrson Welles

May 6 Orson Welles [George], American actor (Citizen Kane, War of the Worlds), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin (d. 1985)

Actor and Director Orson Welles
Actor and Director
Orson Welles
  • May 6 Theodore H. White, American journalist (Making of President, Pulitzer Prize 1962), born in Dorchester, Boston (d. 1986)
  • May 6 Freddie Cochrane, American boxer (World Welterweight champion 1941-1946), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (d. 1993)
  • May 8 John Archer [Ralph Bowman], American actor (Destination: Moon, White Heat, Blue Hawaii), born in Osceola, Nebraska (d. 1999)
  • May 9 Richard Janvrin, British vice admiral
  • May 10 Bert van Dongen [Albert Cohen], Dutch singer, impressionist and actor (Het meisje met den blauwen hoed), born in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands (d. 1982)
  • May 10 Denis Thatcher, husband of British PM Margaret (1979-90), born in London, England (d. 2003)
  • May 10 John Egerton, 6th Duke of Sutherland, British peer
  • May 10 Monica Dickens, British author and founder of the Samaritians in the US, born in London, England (d. 1992)
  • May 10 Salah Abou Seif [Salah Abu Saif], Egyptian film director (Bidaya wa Nihaya), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1996)
  • May 12 Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman, founded Mary Kay Cosmetics (d. 2001)
  • May 13 John Habakkuk, principal (Jesus College in Oxford)
  • May 15 Maurice B Latey, commentator (BBC World Service)
  • May 15 Paul A Samuelson, economist (1970 Nobel, 1947 John Bates Clark Medal)
  • May 15 Gus Viseur, French button accordionist (d. 1974)
  • May 17 Joseph D Craggs, electrical engineer
  • May 18 Leon Shenandoah, native American leader

Person of interestMoshe Dayan

May 20 Moshe Dayan, Israeli Military Leader and politician, born in Degania Alef, Ottoman Empire (d. 1981)

Israeli Politician and General Moshe Dayan
Israeli Politician and General
Moshe Dayan
  • May 20 Peter Copley, British actor (Victim, Kingdom of Heaven, King & Country), born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England (d. 2008)
  • May 23 Clyde Wiegand, physicist
  • May 25 Daniel Wolf, American journalist (d. 1996)
  • May 25 Virginia "Ginny" Simms, American actress and singer (Night and Day, Kay Kyser Band), born in San Antonio, Texas (d. 1994)
  • May 26 Sam Edwards, American actor (Captain Midnight, Twelve O'Clock High), born in Macon, Georgia (d. 2004)
  • May 26 Antonia Forest [Patricia Giulia Caulfield Kate Rubinstein], British children's author (The Marlows), born in Hampstead, London (d. 2003)
  • May 27 Herman Wouk, American novelist (The Caine Mutiny, Winds of War), born in NYC, New York (d. 2019)
  • May 27 Louise Annand-MacFarquhar, Lanarkshire, Scotland, painter and filmmaker (At the Museum), (d. 2012)
  • May 28 Scott McKay [Carl Chester Gose], American actor (Stage Door, Guest in House, 30 Seconds over Tokyo), born in Pleasantville, Iowa (d. 1987)
  • May 28 Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Austrian violinist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2002)
  • May 28 Joseph Greenberg, American linguist (d. 2001)
  • May 29 David Jenkins, Welsh librarian (National Library of Wales), born in Blaenclydach, Glamorgan (d. 2002)
  • May 29 Igor Buketoff, American conductor (Iceland Symphony Orchestra 1964-65), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2001)
  • May 29 Gerald Charles Arcedeckne Vanneck, 6th Baron Huntingfield, British agent to UN Secreteriat (d. 1994)
  • May 29 Karl Münchinger, German conductor (Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, 1945-87), born in Stuttgart, Germany (d. 1990)
  • May 30 Jerome Bert Weisner, military scientist/disarmer
  • May 30 Larry Kelley, American College Football Hall of fame end (Heisman Trophy 1936; Unanimous All-American 1936; Yale), born in Hightstown, New Jersey (d. 2000)
  • May 31 Barbara Pepper [Marion], American actress (Foreign Correspondent, Green Acres, Rogue Tavern), born in NYC, New York (d. 1969)

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Clara Immerwahr, German chemist, first woman to be awarded a doctorate in chemistry in Germany, dies at 44
  • May 7 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Sr., American businessman and sportsman (New York Central Railway), dies aboard the RMS Lusitania during World War I at 37
  • May 7 Alfred Scott Witherbee Jr., American 3 year old who drowned on Lusitania
  • May 7 Charles Frohman, American theatre producer (Peter Pan) dies aboard RMS Lusitania at 58
  • May 8 Henry McNeal Turner, 1 African American Methodist Bishop and 1st African American army chaplain, dies at 82
  • May 9 François Faber, Luxembourgian cyclist (Tour de France 1909), dies of gunshot wounds at 28
  • May 9 Anthony Wilding, New Zealand tennis player (Wimbledon 1910-13), dies on the Western Front at 31
  • May 10 Albert Weisgerber, German painter and graphic artist, dies in battle at 37
  • May 19 John Simpson Kirkpatrick stretcher bearer with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli during World War I (b. 1892)
  • May 19 Bob Ferguson, Scottish golfer (British Open 1880-82), dies at 69
  • May 21 Leonid Gobyato, Russian general (b. 1875)