What Happened in May 1921

Historical Events

  • May 1 Drusian sultan Pasja al-Atrasj elected governor of Suwayda
  • May 2 Start of 3rd anti-German revolt in Upper Silesia
  • May 3 West Virginia imposes 1st state sales tax
  • May 5 1st ranger for Cleveland Metroparks hired
  • May 5 Miniature newspaper published (Brighton Gazette 10 x 13 cm)
  • May 6 American Soccer League forms
  • May 7 47th Kentucky Derby: Charles Thompson on Behave Yourself wins 2:04.2
  • May 8 Sweden abolishes capital punishment
  • May 10 Luigi Pirandello's "Sei Personaggi in Cerca d'Autore" premieres
  • May 11 Tel Aviv is 1st all Jewish municipality
  • May 11 The Allied Supreme Council warns Germany to pay reparations or the entire Ruhr Valley will be occupied; Germany agrees
  • May 12 National Hospital Day 1st observed in the United States
  • May 14 Florence Allen is 1st woman judge to sentence a man to death in Ohio

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

May 14 Mussolini's fascists obtain 29 parliamentary seats in Italian elections

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • May 15 British Legion formed to care for ex-servicemen
  • May 16 46th Preakness: F Coltiletti aboard Broomspun wins in 1:54.2
  • May 17 Belgian and Luxembourg sign customs union

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 17 US President Warren G. Harding opens (via telephone) 1st Valencia Orange Show

29th US President Warren G. Harding
29th US President
Warren G. Harding
  • May 19 Congress sharply curbs immigration, setting a national quota system
  • May 21 Oldest radio station west of Mississippi River licensed in Greeley Co
  • May 23 "Shuffle Along" 1st black musical comedy, opens in NYC
  • May 24 1st parliament for Northern Ireland elected
  • May 24 Bulhoek Massacre: police commissioner Colonel Theodore Truter leads 6 squadrons and artillery detachment against Israelite religious sect collected at annual gathering on land of leader Enoch Mgijima at Ntabalanga; 190 killed
  • May 27 After 84 years of British control, Afghanistan achieves sovereignty
  • May 30 Lord Dunsany's "If" premieres in London
  • May 30 Memorial to Capt Eddie Grant, killed in WW I, unveiled at Polo Grounds
  • May 30 Salzburg, Austria, votes to join Germany
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Tommy Milton wins in 5:34:44.578 (144.231 km/h)
  • May 31 Suffy McInnis (1st base) begins an errorless string of 1,700

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 12th Lord Middleton, English large landowner/multi-millionaire
  • May 1 Paul Daels, president (Flemish Iron Pilgrimage committee)
  • May 2 Satyajit Ray, Indian director (Goddess, Adversary), born in Calcutta, India (d. 1992)

Person of interestSugar Ray Robinson

May 3 Sugar Ray Robinson [Walter Smith], American middle/welterweight boxer (1946-52, 55, 58), born in Ailey, Georgia (d. 1989)

Middle/welterweight championship boxer Sugar Ray Robinson
Middle/welterweight championship boxer
Sugar Ray Robinson
  • May 3 Vasco Gonçalves, Portuguese army officer and 103rd Prime Minister of Portugal (1974-75), born in Lisbon, Portugal (d. 2005)
  • May 3 Joe Ames, American singer and actor (The Ames Brothers Show), born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 2007)
  • May 4 John van Kesteren, Dutch tenor (Komische Oper, West-Berlin), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 2008)
  • May 4 Virginia "Patsy" Garrett, American singer and actress (Nanny & the Professor, Fred Waring's Pleasure Time), born in Atlantic City, New Jersey (d. 2015)
  • May 4 Edo Murtić, Croatian painter, born in Velika Pisanica, Bjelovar, Croatia (d. 2005)
  • May 5 Sonja Oosterman, Dutch singer (Marketensters)

Person of interestArthur Leonard Schawlow

May 5 Arthur Leonard Schawlow, American physicist, shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work with lasers, born in Mount Vernon, New York (d. 1999)

  • May 6 Erich Freid, Austrian and British writer, born in Vienna (d. 1988)
  • May 6 Freddy Randall, English jazz trumpeter, born in London (d. 1999)
  • May 6 Robert Fell, CEO (British Stock Exchange)
  • May 7 Gale Robbins [Betty Gale Murphy], American singer and actress (Fuller Brush Girl, Mr Hex), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1980)
  • May 8 Graham Leonard, Bishop of London
  • May 9 Mona Van Duyn, American poet (d. 2004)
  • May 9 Daniel Berrigan, American Jesuit priest and peace activist (Vietnam War), born in Virginia, Minnesota (d. 2016)
  • May 9 Sophie Scholl, German anti-Nazi political activist, active in the non-violent resistance group, the White Rose (Die Weisse Rose), born in Forchtenberg, Germany (d. 1943)
  • May 11 Ian Percival, British politician (C) and Solicitor General (d. 1998)
  • May 11 Hildegard Hamm-Brücher, German politician
  • May 12 Edvard Mikcaeli Mirzoyan, composer
  • May 12 Giovanni Benelli, archbishop (Florence)/Papal candidate
  • May 12 Henry Mackie, designer of the Belfast Calorimeter
  • May 12 Joseph Beuys, German avant-garde painter/politician
  • May 12 Farley Mowat, Canadian writer and naturalist, born in Belleville, Ontario, (d. 2014)
  • May 12 Joe (born Otis W.) Maphis, Suffolk, Virginia, American country music guitarist
  • May 13 Syd[ney G] Vincent, British mine workers leader
  • May 14 Arve Opsahl, Norwegian actor and stand-up comedian (Mot i brøstet, Olsen-banden), born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2007)
  • May 16 Harry Carey Jr, American actor (Back to the Future Part III, Gremlins), born in Saugus, California (d. 2012)
  • May 16 Robert Croften Brown, politician
  • May 17 Dennis Brain, french-hornist (Serenade), born in London, England
  • May 17 John Garlick, British senior civil servant
  • May 17 Bob Merrill, American composer and lyricist (d. 1998)
  • May 18 Anthony Epstein, FRS/pathologist
  • May 19 Charles van de Reve, slavic (Belief of Kameraden)
  • May 19 Daniel Gélin, French actor (Obsession, The Man Who Knew Too Much), born in Angers, Maine-et-Loire (d. 2002)
  • May 19 Karel van het Reve, Dutch Slavist (Comrade's Religion)
  • May 19 William H. Stewart, 10th US Surgeon General (1965-69), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 2008)
  • May 20 John Harrison, British vice admiral/surgeon
  • May 20 John Marchi, US Senator (Rep-R-NY)
  • May 20 Wolfgang Borchert, German writer, born in Hamburg (d. 1947)
  • May 20 Hal Newhouser, American baseball player (d. 1998)

Person of interestAndrei Sakharov

May 21 Andrei Sakharov, Russian nuclear physicist and an activist for disarmament, peace and human rights (1975 Nobel), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1989)

Nuclear Physicist & Soviet Dissident Andrei Sakharov
Nuclear Physicist & Soviet Dissident
Andrei Sakharov
  • May 21 Leona Wood, painter and dancer, born in Seattle, Washington
  • May 23 Humphrey Lyttelton, British jazz musician, actor and broadcaster (It's Great to Be Young), born in Eton, Buckinghamshire (d. 2008)
  • May 23 James [Benjamin] Blish, US/UK, sci-fi author (Hugo, Star Trek Reader)
  • May 23 Loren Tindall, American actor (Meet Me on Broadway, Girl of Limberlost), born in Hastings, Oklahoma (d. 1973)
  • May 23 Montague Modlyn, broadcaster
  • May 23 Sanderson Temple, circuit judge
  • May 25 Hal David, New York, lyricist (Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head), (d. 2012)
  • May 25 Kitty Kallen, singer ("Little Things Mean a Lot"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2016)
  • May 26 Frank Mooney, cricketer (dependable wicket-keeper for NZ in 13 Tests)
  • May 27 Caryl Chessman, kidnapper who got death penalty (1960)
  • May 27 Redd Stewart, Ashland City Tn, guitarist/pianist (Pee Wee King Show)
  • May 28 Heinz G. Konsalik, German author (d. 1999)
  • May 28 Tom Uren, Australian politician, Australian heritage and conservation campaigner, born in Sydney, New South Wales (d. 2015)
  • May 29 George Terry, chief constable (Sussex England)
  • May 31 Alida Valli [Baroness Alida von Marckenstein-Frauenberg], Italian actress (The Paradine Case, The Third Man), born in Rome, Italy (d. 2006)
  • May 31 Andrew Grima, British jeweller
  • May 31 Robert Arthur Ley, UK, sci-fi author (Telepath, Power of X)
  • May 31 Howard Reig, American radio and television announcer

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Louis Campbell-Tipton, US composer, dies at 43
  • May 3 Théodore Pilette, Belgian racing driver, dies at 36
  • May 5 Alfred H Fried, Austrian/German pacifist (Nobel 1911), dies
  • May 5 William Friese-Greene, British photographer and inventor (motion pictures), dies at 65
  • May 12 Emilia Pardo Bazan, Spanish writer (La sirena negra), dies
  • May 13 Jean Aicard, French poet and novelist (b. 1848)
  • May 22 Marie E Wilton, writer, dies
  • May 28 Geo Mestdagh, Belgian aviation pioneer, dies