On This Day

What Happened in May 1926

Historical Events

  • May 1 British coal miners go on strike
  • May 1 Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige (19) debuts in the Negro Southern League for Chattanooga
  • May 2 US military intervenes in Nicaragua

Volunteers Help Defeat General StrikeVolunteers Help Defeat General Strike

May 3 Britain's Trade Union Congress calls for the country's first ever general strike, begins at 1 minute to midnight in support striking coal miners, lasts 9 days
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Walking to work in the General Strike. Photo: Daily Mail
Walking to work in the General Strike. Photo: Daily Mail
  • May 3 Pulitzer prize awarded to Sinclair Lewis (Arrowsmith)
  • May 3 US Marines land in Nicaragua (9 months after leaving), stay until 1933
  • May 5 Geldrop soccer team forms
  • May 5 Sinclair Lewis refuses his Pulitzer Prize for "Arrowsmith"
  • May 8 A Philip Randolph organizes Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
  • May 8 Fire breaks out in Fenway Park, home of Boston Red Socks baseball team

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 9 1st flight over the North Pole claimed by Richard E. Byrd and co-pilot Floyd Bennett. Later discovery of Byrd's diary suggests they may have turned back 150 miles short of the pole due to an oil leak.

Aviator and Polar Explorer Richard E. Byrd
Aviator and Polar Explorer
Richard E. Byrd
  • May 10 51st Preakness: John Maiben aboard Display wins in 1:59.8
  • May 11 Airship Norge leaves Spitsbergen for 1st air crossing of Arctic Ocean

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Airship Norge is the first vessel to fly over North Pole, lead by Roald Amundsen and piloted by Umberto Nobile

Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen
Polar Explorer
Roald Amundsen

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 12 Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Symphony premieres in Leningrad

BattleCoup d'état

May 12 General Józef Piłsudski returns to power in Poland after coup d'état against the Witos regime

Statesman and First Marshall Józef Piłsudski
Statesman and First Marshall
Józef Piłsudski

  • May 12 Hans Luther resigns for 2nd time as German Chancellor after no-confidence vote against his minority government
  • May 12 British General Strike ends after 9 days, coal mine workers stay on strike
  • May 15 52nd Kentucky Derby: Albert Johnson on Bubbling Over wins in 2:03.8

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 17 Chiang Kai-shek is made supreme warlord in Canton

Chinese Military and Political Leader Chiang Kai-shek
Chinese Military and Political Leader
Chiang Kai-shek
  • May 17 Wilhelm Marx succeeds Hans Luther as Chancellor of Germany
  • May 18 Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanishes in Venice, California She shows up a month later saying she's been kidnapped
  • May 19 French air force bombs Damascus Syria
  • May 20 Belgian government of Jaspar takes power
  • May 20 Congress passes Air Commerce Act, licensing of pilots & planes
  • May 20 Railway Labor Act became law in USA

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 20 Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talkies

Inventor Thomas Edison
Inventor
Thomas Edison
  • May 21 White Sox Earl Sheely hits a record 6th consecutive double
  • May 22 "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue" by Gene Austin hits #1
  • May 22 Chiang Kai-shek replaces communists in Guomindang China
  • May 22 Dutch Communist Party expels David Wijnkoop
  • May 23 Hack Wilson is 1st to hit a home run off Wrigley Field scoreboard
  • May 23 Lebanese constitution forms under French mandate

Sports record brokenWorld Record

May 24 Paavo Nurmi runs world record 3000 m (8:25.4)

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi
  • May 25 Sholom Schwartzbard assassinates Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of the Ukrainian People's Republic
  • May 26 Lebanon adopts constitution
  • May 28 Military coup by General Manuel Gomes da Costa in Portugal
  • May 28 US Customs Court created by congress
  • May 31 Portuguese president Bernardino Machedo resigns after coup
  • May 31 Sesquicentennial Exposition opens in Philadelphia
  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: Frank Lockhart wins in 5:12:48.768 (154.343 km/h)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Peter Lax, Hungarian Mathematician
  • May 2 Gérard D. Levesque, Canadian politician, born in Port-Daniel–Gascons, Canada (d. 1993)
  • May 4 Gerlind Reinshagen, German writer, born in Konigsberg, Germany
  • May 4 Milt Thompson, American astronaut (Dynasoar, X-15), NASA test pilot and chief-engineer, born in Crookston, Minnesota (d. 1993)
  • May 5 Ann B Davis, American actress (Bob Cummings Show, Alice-Brady Bunch), born in Schenectady NY, (d. 2014)
  • May 6 John Hamilton-Jones, CEO (Richmond Enterprises) and British Major-General
  • May 6 Marguerite Piazza, American operatic soprano (Young Broadway), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2012)
  • May 6 Gilles Grégoire, Quebec politician (co-founder of the Parti Québécois), born in Quebec City, Quebec (d. 2006)
  • May 7 Val Bisoglio, American actor (Lt Marsh-Police Woman, Danny-Quincy ME), born in NYC, New York

Person of interestDavid Attenborough

May 8 David Attenborough, English naturalist, TV producer and host (BBC "Life" and "Our Planet" series), born in London, England

Natural History Filmmaker and TV Personality David Attenborough
Natural History Filmmaker and TV Personality
David Attenborough
  • May 8 Don Rickles, comedian (Don Rickles Show, CPO Sharkey), born in Queens, New York (d. 2017)
  • May 8 Erico Menczer, Fiume Italy, cinematographer (Chosen, Miranda)
  • May 8 Ronald Waterhouse, British high court judge (d.2011)
  • May 9 Francis Kennedy, British diplomat
  • May 9 Joshua Hassan, chief minister (Gibralter)
  • May 9 Robin Cooke, pres (NZ Court of Appeal)
  • May 10 Duncan Watson, president (World Blind Union)
  • May 10 Hugo Banzer, Bolivian dictator (d. 2002)
  • May 11 Ernest Harrison, CEO (Racal Electronics)
  • May 11 Frank Thring, Australian actor (El Cid, Ben-Hur), born in Melbourne, Victoria (d. 1994)
  • May 12 Earl Hutto, American politician (Rep-D-Florida, 1979-95 ), born in Panama City, Florida
  • May 12 Mervyn Dymally, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1981-93), born in Cedros, Trinidad and Tobago (d. 2012)
  • May 13 Wallace Breem, British author (Eagle in the Snow), born in Kingston, England (d. 1990)
  • May 13 Dewey Philip "Daddy-O", American pioneering DJ, born in Crump, Tennessee (d. 1968)
  • May 14 Čestmír Gregor, Czech composer, born in Brno (d. 2011)
  • May 14 Eric Morecambe [John Bartholomew], British comedian (Morecambe & Wise, Picadilly Palace), born in Morecambe, Lancashire (d. 1984)
  • May 15 Anthony Shaffer, Engish playwright (Sleuth), twin brother to Peter, born in Liverpool (d. 2001)
  • May 15 [Jean-Josephat] Clermont Pépin, Canadian pianist and composer (Implosion Symphony), born in Saint-Georges, Quebec (d. 2006)
  • May 15 Peter Shaffer, English playwright (Equus, Amadeus), twin brother to Anthony, born in Liverpool (d. 2016)
  • May 16 Jan Zimmer, Slovak composer, born in Ružomberok, North Slovakia (d. 1993)
  • May 17 Cicely Berry, British theatre director (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • May 17 David Young, Lt-Gen/CEO (Cairn Tech)
  • May 17 David Ogilvy, Earl of Airlie, Scottish peer, Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth, born in London
  • May 17 Geoffrey Caston, vice chancellor (U of South Pacific)
  • May 17 Tenniel Evans, British actor and clergyman (10 Rillington Place, My Brother's Keeper), born in Nairobi, Kenya (d. 2009)
  • May 18 Dirch Passer, prolific Danish actor (Going for Broke, Mig og mafiaen), born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 1980)
  • May 19 Paul Cooper, American composer, born in Victoria, Illinois (d. 1996)
  • May 19 Swami Kriyananda, Indian teacher and author
  • May 19 David Jacobs, British broadcaster (Juke Box Jury), born in London (d. 2013)
  • May 20 John Lucarotti, scriptwriter
  • May 20 Vic Ames, singer (Ames Brothers), born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 1978)
  • May 20 Bob Sweikert, American race car driver (d. 1956)
  • May 21 Joseph Horovitz, composer
  • May 21 Rick Jason [Richard Jacobson], American actor (Day of the Wolves, Eagles Attack at Dawn), born in NYC, New York (d. 2000)
  • May 21 Robert Creeley, Mass, poet/novelist (Island)
  • May 24 Len Maddocks, Australian cricket wicket-keeper (Australian mid-50's) (d. 2016)
  • May 24 Stanley Baxter, Scottish actor (The Stanley Baxter Moving Picture Show, Crook Anonymous), born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • May 25 Claude Akins, American character actor (B. J. and the Bear, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Movin' On), born in Nelson, Georgia (d. 1994)

Person of interestBill Sharman

May 25 Bill Sharman, American Hall of Fame basketball player (Boston Celtics), born in Abilene, Texas (d. 2013)

NBA Guard Bill Sharman
NBA Guard
Bill Sharman
  • May 26 Maria de Lourdes Martins, Portuguese pianist and composer, born in Lisbon, Portugal (d. 2009)
  • May 26 Phyllis Gotlieb, Canadian sci-fi novelist (Sunburst), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2009)

Person of interestMiles Davis

May 26 Miles Davis, American jazz musician, trumpeter and composer, born in Alton, Illinois (d. 1991)

Jazz Musician Miles Davis
Jazz Musician
Miles Davis
  • May 27 Gordon Leggat, cricketer (open batsman for NZ in 9 Tests 1953-56)
  • May 29 Charles Denner, French actor (The Bride Wore Black, The Man Who Loved Women), born in Tarnów, Poland (d. 1995)
  • May 30 Christine Jorgensen, pioneer transsexual (born George William Jorgensen, Jr)
  • May 30 Edouard Van Remoortel, conductor (1958-62 St Louis Symphony), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • May 30 James Whitman McLamore, businessman
  • May 31 Derek Birley, founding Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster
  • May 31 Probir Sen, cricket wicket-keeper (India in late 40's/early 50's)
  • May 31 Martin Peake, 2nd Viscount Ingleby, British peer and business man (d. 2008)

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Nicolaus Adriani, Dutch translator (Middle-Celebes Language), dies at 60
  • May 3 Victor, Prince Napoléon [Napoléon V], French pretender to the throne, dies at 63
  • May 9 J. M. Dent, British publisher, dies at 77
  • May 13 Libert H. Boeynaems, Belgian Catholic prelate and the fourth vicar apostolic of the Vicariate Apostolic of the Hawaiian Islands, dies at 68
  • May 15 Mohammed VI Vahideddin, last sultan of Turkey (1918-22), dies
  • May 16 Mehmed VI Vahideddin (Mohammed Osman), last sultan of Turkey, dies
  • May 17 Lucien Herr, French leader (Correspondance entre Schiller), dies
  • May 20 Dick Pougher, cricketer (17 & 3-26 in only Test for England 1892), dies
  • May 21 Georgy Catoire, Russian composer, dies at 65
  • May 21 Ronald Firbank, British novelist (The Flower Beneath the Foot), dies at 40
  • May 23 Hans Koessler, composer, dies at 73
  • May 25 Symon Petliura, Ukrainian socialist leader (pogroms), assassinated in Paris at 47 by Sholom Schwartzbard
  • May 26 S V Petlura, Ukrainain ataman, assassinated by Shalom Schwarzbard
  • May 27 Srečko Kosovel, Slovenian poet (b. 1904)
  • May 30 Vladimir Steklov, Russian physicist (b. 1864)