On This Day

What Happened in May 1918

Historical Events

  • May 2 General Motors acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.
  • May 10 HMS Vindictive sunk to block entrance of Ostend Harbor
  • May 11 44th Kentucky Derby: William Knapp on Exterminator wins in 2:10.8
  • May 13 1st US airmail stamps issued (24 cents)
  • May 14 Sunday baseball is made legal in Washington, D.C.
  • May 15 1st regular US airmail postal service between NY, Philadelphia & Washington, D.C.
  • May 15 43rd Preakness: Johnny Loftus aboard War Cloud wins in 1:53.6
  • May 15 Greeks troops land at Smyrna

Sports History

May 15 Washington Senator Walter Johnson pitches 1-0, 18 inning game

  • May 15 The Finnish Civil War ends
  • May 16 The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government an imprisonable offense.
  • May 18 Dutch Indian Volksraad installed in Batavia
  • May 18 TNT explosion in chemical factory in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, kills 200
  • May 19 Wash 1st Sunday game, Senators beat Cleveland 1-0 in 18 innings
  • May 20 1st electrically propelled warship (New Mexico)
  • May 21 US House of Representatives passes amendment allowing women to vote
  • May 23 King Oil/Shell refinery on Curacao officially opens
  • May 24 Cleveland Indians Stan Coveleski sets club record for most innings pitched (19) as the Indians beat the Yankees 3-2
  • May 24 British officer General Poole lands at Murmansk, the Russian port on the Barents Sea
  • May 26 Georgian Social Democratic Republic declares independence from Russia
  • May 26 Armenia defeats the Ottoman Army in the Battle of Sardarapat
  • May 27 Third Battle of Aisne: German offensive overcomes British forces (WWI)
  • May 28 Azerbaijan gains independence and declares itself a Democratic Republic
  • May 28 The Armenian National Council declares Armenia independent from the Russian Empire

Famous Birthdays

Jack Paar

May 1 Jack Paar, American comedian and TV host of the Jack Paar Show and The Tonight Show (1957-62), born in Canton, Ohio (d. 2004)

  • May 1 Gersh Budker, Russian physicist (d. 1977)
  • May 2 Frederick Archibald Warner, British diplomat, born in Blagdon, England (d. 1995)
  • May 3 Ted Bates, English former footballer, born in Thetford, England (d. 2003)
  • May 4 Kakuei Tanaka, Japanese Prime Minister (1972-74), convicted of bribe-taking, born in Kariwa, Japan (d. 1993)
  • May 4 Thomas Mead, Australian politician and journalist, born in Randwick, Australia (d. 2004)
  • May 5 Erbie Bowser, American blues and jazz pianist, born in Davila, Texas (d. 1995)
  • May 6 Godfrey Ridout, Canadian composer, conductor, educator, and musicologist, born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1984)
  • May 6 Sydney Chatton, English actress (Once Upon a Horse), born in Bolton, Lancashire, England (d. 1966)

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

May 6 Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, 1st President of the United Arab Emirates, born in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, birth date disputed (d. 2004)

  • May 7 Argeliers León, Cuban composer, born in Pinar del Río, Cuba (d. 1991)
  • May 8 Nan Wynn [Masha Vatz], American radio and big-band singer (Rudy Vallée; Teddy Wilson), actress, and singing voice for Rita Hayworth, born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (d. 1971) [1]

Mike Wallace

May 9 Mike Wallace, American journalist and media personality (Biography, 60 Minutes), born in Brookline, Massachusetts (d. 2012)

  • May 9 Orville Freeman, (Sen-D-Mn)/Sec of Agriculture (1961-69), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • May 10 Dr. T Berry Brazelton, American child development paediatrician, author, TV host (What Every Baby Knows), who developed the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), born in Waco, Texas (d. 2018)
  • May 10 George Welch, American World War II flying ace (Medal of Honor nominee) and test pilot, born in Wawaset Park, Delaware (d. 1954)
  • May 11 Richard Feynman, American theoretical physicist, born in Queens, New York (d. 1988)
  • May 12 Oscar Beregi Jr, Hungarian actor (Young Frankenstein, Panic in City), born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary (d. 1976)

Julius Rosenberg

May 12 Julius Rosenberg, 1st US civilian executed for espionage, born in NYC, New York

  • May 13 John Johnston, British diplomat (Rhodesia, Malaysia)
  • May 13 T. Balasaraswati, Bharatanatyam dancer (d. 1984)
  • May 14 Arthur McIntyre, cricket wicket-keeper (England 3 times early 50's)
  • May 15 Eddy Arnold, American country music singer ("Make The World Go Away"; "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye"), born in Henderson Tennessee (d. 2008)
  • May 15 Joseph Wiseman, Canadian actor (Dr No, Viva Zapata, Les Miserables), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2009)
  • May 16 Edward Thomas, historian/intelligence expert
  • May 16 Juan Rulfo, Mexican writer (Pedro Paramo)
  • May 16 Kevin Skelton, Bishop (Lichfield)
  • May 16 Wilf Mannion, English former footballer (d. 2000)
  • May 16 Aubrey Bowman, British pianist, composer, and conductor (Workman's Music Association), born in Bournemouth, England (d. 2009)
  • May 17 (Märta) Birgit Nilsson, Swedish operatic soprano (Elektra; Salome), born in Västra Karup, Skåne, Sweden (d. 2005)
  • May 18 Massimo Girotti, Italian actor (Last Tango in Paris, In the Name of the Law), born in Mogliano, Marche, Italy (d. 2003)

Florence Chadwick

May 19 Florence Chadwick, swimmer (1st to swim English Channel both ways), born in San Diego, California (d. 1995)

  • May 19 Abraham Pais, Dutch-born American physicist (d. 2000)
  • May 20 Edward B. Lewis, American geneticist, Nobel laureate (d. 2004)
  • May 21 Leonard Mullens, British rubber physicist (Mullins effect) (d. 1997)
  • May 22 David Land, impresario and theatre producer, born in London (d. 1995)
  • May 23 Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, American band leader, songwriter, and record producer (Little Richard; Sam Cooke), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1985)
  • May 23 Dennis Compton, England cricket batsman & footballer (5,807 Test runs, Arsenal 1950 FA Cup), born in Hendon, England (d. 1997)
  • May 24 Coleman Young, 1st African American Mayor of Detroit, born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (d. 1997)
  • May 25 Peder Lunde Sr., Norwegian yachtsman (Olympic silver 1952), born in Nordstrand, Norway (d. 2009)
  • May 26 Anton Christoforidis, Greek boxer (NBA light heavyweight title 1941), born in Mersin, Turkey (d. 1985)
  • May 27 Yasuhiro Nakasone, premier of Japan (1982-87)
  • May 27 Kam Fong Chun, American actor (Hawaii Five-0, Magnum, P.I.), born in Kalihi, Territory of Hawaii (d. 2002)
  • May 29 Herb Shriner, American humorist and TV host (Herb Shriner Show), born in Toledo, Ohio (d. 1970)
  • May 29 Isabel Dean, English actress (Five Days One Summer Virgin Island, Ransom), born in Aldridge, Staffordshire (d. 1997)
  • May 30 Guadalupe "Pita" Amor, Mexican poet (d. 2000)
  • May 30 Bob Evans, American restaurateur (d. 2007)

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Grove Karl Gilbert, American geologist (investigated Lake Bonneville, Utah), dies at 74
  • May 2 Ernie Parker, Australian tennis player (Australasian C'ship 1913), dies in action WWI at 34
  • May 3 Charlie Soong, Chinese Methodist missionary and key player in the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, dies at 55
  • May 9 George Coşbuc, Romanian poet, dies at 51
  • May 12 Abel Hoadley, Australian confectioner (Violet Crumble), dies at 73
  • May 14 James Gordon Bennett, Jr., American newspaper publisher (thought to have inspired the phrase "Gordon Bennett"), dies at 77
  • May 16 Eusapia Palladino, Italian spiritual medium, dies at 64
  • May 18 Toivo Kuula, Finnish composer, dies after being shot in a quarrel at 34
  • May 19 Gervais Raoul Lufbery, French-American World War I fighter pilot and flying ace, dies at 33
  • May 24 Evan Williams, American oratorio tenor, dies at 50
  • May 27 Henry Adams, US literature historian (Esther), dies at 80
  • May 30 Georgy Valentinovich Plekhanov, Russian revolutionary theorist, dies at 61
  • May 31 Alexander Mitscherlich, German chemist and son of Eilhard Mitscherlich, dies at 82