On This Day

What Happened in May 1919

Historical Events

  • May 1 Mount Kelud (Indonesia) erupts, boiling crater lake which broke through crater wall killing 5,000 people in 104 small villages

Historic Event

May 1 "L'Ordine Nuovo" Italian socialist weekly newspaper established in Turin by Antonio Gramsci, Angelo Tasca and Palmiro Togliatti

Historic Event

May 1 British naval officer David Beatty is promoted to Admiral of the Fleet

  • May 3 Afghanistan Emir Amanoellah begins war against Great Britain
  • May 4 1st legal Sunday baseball game in NYC, 35,000 watch the Phillies beat the NY Giants 4-3
  • May 4 Demonstrates organised by students erupt in China, after news from the Paris Peace Conference that the Allies intend to give Shangtung to Japan
  • May 6 Paris Peace Conference disposes of German colonies; German East Africa is assigned to Britain and France, German South West Africa to South Africa
  • May 7 A draft of the Versailles Treaty is shown to Germans
  • May 8 1st transatlantic flight take-off by a navy seaplane
  • May 8 Appingedam soccer team forms

End of World War I

May 8 Edward George Honey first proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, leads to the creation of Remembrance Day

  • May 10 45th Kentucky Derby: Johnny Loftus aboard Sir Barton wins in 2:09.8 on way to first Triple Crown
  • May 10 Race riot in Charleston, South Carolina, 2 blacks killed
  • May 11 Cincinnati Reds Hod Eller no-hits St Louis Cards, 6-0

Sports History

May 11 Washington Senators future Baseball Hall of Fame ace Walter Johnson pitches 12 scoreless innings in a famous 0-0 duel with Jack Quinn of the NY Yankees at the Polo Grounds

  • May 12 New York Yankees and Washington Senators play second straight extra inning tie, 4-4 in 15 innings at the Polo Grounds; 0-0 in 12 the previous day
  • May 12 The Transvaal British Indian Association calls a mass meeting to organise opposition to the proposed Asiatics (Land and Trading) Amendment Act; in the Act, Transvaal Indians are prohibited from owning shares in limited companies
  • May 14 44th Preakness: Johnny Loftus aboard Sir Barton wins in 1:53 on way to first Triple Crown
  • May 14 Pope Benedictus XV publishes encyclical In hac tanta
  • May 15 Brooklyn Dodgers score 10 runs in 13th to beat Reds 10-0
  • May 17 UK War Department orders use of National Star Insignia on all airplanes
  • May 19 Kelud volcano on Java, erupts killing 5,160

Historic Event

May 19 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun on the Black Sea coast, beginning the Turkish War of Independence

Historic Event

May 22 A. E. Douglass establishes the relative dates of two archaeological sites using ancient wood samples, marking a major step forward in the dating of archaeological sites

Sports History

May 25 Casey Stengel releases a sparrow from under his baseball cap

  • May 26 The Supreme Council of Allies, meeting at Versailles, decides to recognize two White Russian leaders, Admiral Kolchak and General Denikin, and support them against the Bolsheviks
  • May 27 1st transatlantic flight ends; US Navy flying boat takes 11 days

Historic Invention

May 29 Charles Strite files patent for the automatic pop-up toaster

Historic Expedition

May 29 Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, that when light passes a large body, gravity will bend the rays confirmed by Arthur Eddington's expedition to photograph a solar eclipse on the island of Principe, West Africa

  • May 29 The Republic of Prekmurje founded - a short-lived, unrecognised state, which on June 6, 1919 was incorporated into the newly established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed "Yugoslavia" in 1929)
  • May 31 NC-4 aircraft commanded by AC Read completes 1st crossing of Atlantic
  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: Howdy Wilcox accompanied by riding mechanic Leo Banks win; driver Arthur Thurman dies in a crash on lap 45; lap 96, Louis LeCocq and riding mechanic Robert Bandini wrecked in turn 2, both burned to death

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Daniel "Dan" O'Herlihy, Irish actor (Twin Peals, Fail Safe, Last Starfighter, Robocop), born in County Wexford, Ireland (d. 2005)
  • May 1 Al Zarilla, American baseball outfielder (MLB All Star 1948; St. Louis Browns), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1996)
  • May 2 Than Wyenn, American character actor (Being There, Splash, Imitation of Life), born in NYC, New York (d. 2015)
  • May 3 Pete Seeger, American folk singer (The Weavers - "Goodnight Irene") and activist, helped create the modern American folk music movement, born in NYC, New York (d. 2014)
  • May 3 John Cullen Murphy, American comic strip artist, born in NYC, New York (d. 2004)
  • May 4 Mary Ann McCall, American big band singer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1994)
  • May 5 Tony Canadeo, American NFL hall of fame halfback (Green Bay Packers), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2003)
  • May 5 Georgios Papadopoulos, Greek dictator (head of the military coup d'état that took place in Greece on 21 April 1967), born in Elaiohori, Greece (d. 1999)
  • May 6 Frank Ereaut, Bailiff of Jersey (1975-85), born in London (d. 1998)

Eva Perón

May 7 Eva Perón [Evita], Argentine First Lady (1946-52) actress, suffragette, unionist and humanitarian who was inspiration for A.L. Webber's musical "Evita", born in Los Toldos, Argentina (d. 1952)

  • May 7 La Esterella [Ester Lambrechts], Flemish pop singer ("Oh Lieve Vrouwetoren"), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 2011)
  • May 8 Soltan Hajibeyov, Azerbaijani composer and People's Artist of the USSR, born in Shusha, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (d. 1974)

Mordecai Anielewicz

May 8 Mordecai Anielewicz, Jewish commander of Warsaw ghetto uprising, born in Wyszków, Second Polish Republic (d. 1943)

  • May 8 Leon Festinger, American psychologist, born in New York (d. 1989)
  • May 9 Arthur English, British comedian and actor (Malachi's Cove, Are You Being Served?), born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England (d. 1995)
  • May 9 Betty Jameson, American golfer (US Open 1947, Western Open 1942, 54), born in Norman, Oklahoma (d. 2009)
  • May 10 Ella Grasso, (Gov-D-Ct)
  • May 10 Louis Sen A Kaw, Surinam dam builder
  • May 10 Tibor Sarai, Hungarian composer, born in Budapest (d. 1995)
  • May 14 Heloise Bowles, columnist Heloise's mother (Hints from Heloise)
  • May 14 Maarten Vrolijk, Dutch soc-dem party minister (CRM 1965-66)
  • May 14 Solange Chaput-Rolland, French Canadian journalist and politician (d. 2001)
  • May 14 John Hope, American meteorologist (d. 2002)
  • May 15 Charles Palmer, cricketer (one Test 1955, later MCC president)
  • May 16 Richard Mason, English author (The World of Suzie Wong), born near Manchester (d. 1997)

Liberace

May 16 (Wladziu) Liberace, American Emmy Award-winning pianist, showman (The Liberace Show), and actor (Batman -"Evil Chandell"), born in West Allis, Wisconsin (d. 1987)

  • May 16 Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (d. 2004)
  • May 17 Antonio Aguilar [Barraza], Mexican singer, producer and actor (Emiliano Zapata) who popularized the Mexican equestrian sport la charrería, born in Villanueva, Zacatecas, Mexico (d. 2007)
  • May 17 Merle Miller, American biographer (d. 1986)
  • May 18 Margot Fonteyn, English ballerina considered the 1st lady of British Ballet (Giselle), born in Reigate, England (d. 1991)
  • May 19 Mitja Ribičič, Trieste, Italian Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1969-71), (d. 2013)
  • May 20 George Gobel, comedian/TV personality (I Love My Wife), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 22 Paul Vanden Boeynants, Prime Minister of Belgium (1966-68, 1978-79), born in Forest, Belgium (d. 2001)
  • May 23 Betty Garrett, American stage and screen comedian, singer, dancer, and actress (All In The Family - "Irene"; Laverne & Shirley - "Edna"), born in St Joseph, Missouri (d. 2011)
  • May 23 Robert KJE Antonissen, South African literary
  • May 23 Gayatri Devi, 3rd Maharani consort of Jaipur, India (1940-49), born in London, England (d. 2009)
  • May 23 Ruth Fernández, Puerto Rican singer ("Cuando Vuelvas" - "When You Return"), and politician (Senate-at-large, 1973-81), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 2012)
  • May 23 William LeMassena, American stage and screen actor (All That Jazz; As The World Turns, 1985-92), born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey (d. 1993)
  • May 24 Sid Couchey, American comic book artist (Richie Rich), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2012)
  • May 24 Herbie Fields [Bernfeld], American jazz saxophonist and bandleader ("Dardanella"), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (d. 1958)
  • May 25 Gino Negri, Italian composer, born in Perledo (d. 1991)
  • May 25 Lindsey Nelson, American sportscaster (NY Mets), born in Pulaski, Tennessee (d. 1995)
  • May 26 Peter Raleigh, English foreign correspondent and television executive, born in Barnstaple (d. 1996)
  • May 28 Charles John Robert Manners, 10th Duke of Rutland, British land owner/multimillionaire
  • May 28 Frank Middlemass, British actor (Heart Beat, As Time Goes By, Oliver Twist), born in Eaglescliffe, County Durham, England (d. 2006)
  • May 30 René Barrientos, President of Bolivia (d. 1969)
  • May 31 Chet Gierlach, music publisher/composer
  • May 31 (Emmanual Tettey) "E.T." Mensah, Ghanaian saxophonist, known as the "King of Highlife" music (Accra Rhythmic Orchestra; The Tempos), born in Accra, West Africa (d. 1996)
  • May 31 Robie Macauley, American editor (Houghton Mifflin), and novelist (A Secret History of Time to Come), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 1995)

Famous Weddings

  • May 31 1st wedding held in an aircraft (over Houston, Texas)

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Gustav Landauer, German socialist, dies
  • May 4 Milan Rastislav Štefánik, Slovak politician, French general and astronomer (b. 1880)
  • May 6 (Lyman) L. Frank Baum, American author (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), dies of a stroke at 62
  • May 9 James Reese Europe, American ragtime and early jazz arranger, composer, and bandleader in New York, and with the military in France during WWI, dies of a stab wound (received during an argument with one of his drummers), at 38
  • May 9 Ludwig Bösendorfer, Austrian piano builder, dies at 84

Henry John Heinz

May 14 Henry John Heinz, German-American entrepreneur who founded prepared-foods company (H.J. Heinz Company-57 varieties), dies at 74

  • May 17 Bohumil Pazdírek, Moravian composer, dies at 80
  • May 17 Guido von List, Austrian-German occultist and novelist (Jung Diethers Heimkehr), dies at 70
  • May 17 José Santos Zelaya, President of Nicaragua (1893-1910), dies at 65
  • May 20 Jacob Verdam, philosopher, dies
  • May 21 Victor Segalen [Max Anely], French ship's doctor and writer, dies
  • May 21 Yevgraf Fyodorov, Russian mathematician (b. 1853)
  • May 24 Amado Nervo [Juan Crisóstomo Ruiz de Nervo], Mexican writer and poet, dies at 48

Madam C. J. Walker

May 25 Madam C. J. Walker [Sarah Breedlove], African American entrepreneur (First American self-made female millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company), dies of kidney failure complications at 51

  • May 27 Kandukuri Veeresalingam, Indian social reformer from Andhra Pradesh, dies at 71
  • May 29 Robert Bacon, American politician (39th United States Secretary of State), dies at 58