What Happened in May 1926

Historical Events

Hall of Fame

May 1 Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige (19) debuts in the Negro Southern League for Chattanooga

  • May 1 British coal miners go on strike
  • May 2 US military intervenes in Nicaragua

Volunteers 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

  • 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 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 Sox baseball team

Historic Event

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.

  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • May 12 British General Strike ends after 9 days, coal mine workers stay on strike

Music Premiere

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

Coup d'état

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

  • May 12 Hans Luther resigns for 2nd time as German Chancellor after no-confidence vote against his minority government
  • May 15 52nd Kentucky Derby: Albert Johnson on Bubbling Over wins in 2:03.8

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Film & TV History

May 20 Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talkies

  • 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 Chicago Cub's Hack Wilson is 1st to hit a home run off Wrigley Field scoreboard
  • May 23 Lebanese constitution forms under French mandate

World Record

May 24 Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi sets world 3000m record (8:25.4) in Berlin, Germany

  • 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 Indianapolis 500: First rain-shortened race in "500" history; Frank Lockhart wins after 20 lap duel with Dave Lewis; race called after 400 miles (160 laps)
  • May 31 Kruger National Park is established as South Africa's first national park
  • May 31 Portuguese president Bernardino Machedo resigns after coup
  • May 31 Sesquicentennial Exposition opens in Philadelphia

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 stage and screen actress (Bob Cummings Show - "Schultzy"; The Brady Bunch - "Alice"), born in Schenectady, New York (d. 2014)
  • May 5 Doug Cowie, Scottish soccer defender (20 caps; Dundee FC 341 games), born in Aberdeen, Scotland (d. 2021)
  • May 6 Gilles Grégoire, Quebec politician (co-founder of the Parti Québécois), born in Quebec City, Quebec (d. 2006)
  • May 6 John Hamilton-Jones, CEO (Richmond Enterprises) and British Major-General
  • May 6 Johnny Bragg, American doo-wop singer-songwriter (The Prisonaires - "Just Walkin' in the Rain"), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 2004)
  • May 6 Marguerite Piazza, American operatic soprano (Young Broadway), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2012)
  • May 7 Val Bisoglio, American actor (Lt Marsh-Police Woman, Danny-Quincy ME), born in NYC, New York

David Attenborough

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

  • May 8 Don Rickles, American comedian (Don Rickles Show, CPO Sharkey), born in Queens, New York (d. 2017)
  • May 8 Erico Menczer, Italian cinematographer (Chosen, Miranda), born in Fiume, Italy (d. 2012)
  • 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 (d. 2020)
  • May 12 Mervyn Dymally, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1981-93), born in Cedros, Trinidad and Tobago (d. 2012)
  • May 12 Philip Springer, American composer (“Santa Baby”; "The Next Time"; "The Bells Of Notre Dame"), born in New York City [1]
  • May 13 Dewey Philip "Daddy-O", American pioneering DJ, born in Crump, Tennessee (d. 1968)
  • May 13 Wallace Breem, British author (Eagle in the Snow), born in Kingston, England (d. 1990)
  • 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)

Peter Shaffer

May 15 Peter Shaffer, English playwright (Equus, Amadeus), twin brother to Anthony, born in Liverpool (d. 2016)

  • May 15 [Jean-Josephat] Clermont Pépin, Canadian pianist and composer (Implosion Symphony), born in Saint-Georges, Quebec (d. 2006)
  • 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 Ogilvy, Earl of Airlie, Scottish peer, Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth, born in London
  • May 17 David Young, Lt-Gen/CEO (Cairn Tech)
  • 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 18 Lou Bennett, American bebop pianist, and jazz organist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1997)
  • May 19 David Jacobs, British broadcaster (Juke Box Jury), born in London (d. 2013)
  • May 19 Paul Cooper, American classical music composer, and educator, born in Victoria, Illinois (d. 1996)
  • May 19 Swami Kriyananda, Indian teacher and author
  • May 20 Bob Sweikert, American race car driver (d. 1956)
  • May 20 George Hurst, British conductor (BBC Northern Orchestra. 1958-68; Bournemouth Sinfonietta. 1968-74), and educator, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 2012)
  • May 20 John Lucarotti, scriptwriter
  • May 20 Vic Ames, singer (Ames Brothers), born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 1978)
  • 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, American, poet and novelist (Island), born in Arlington, Massachusetts (d. 2005)
  • May 24 Len Maddocks, Australian cricket wicket-keeper (7 Tests, 19 dismissals; Victoria, Tasmania), born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 2016)
  • May 24 Stanley Baxter, Scottish actor (The Stanley Baxter Moving Picture Show, Crook Anonymous), born in Glasgow, Scotland

Bill Sharman

May 25 Bill Sharman, American Basketball HOF guard (8 × NBA All-Star; 4 x NBA C'ship; Boston Celtics) and coach (NBA C'ship 1972 LA Lakers), born in Abilene, Texas (d. 2013)

  • 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)
  • May 26 Joseph Horovitz, British composer, born in Vienna, Austria
  • May 26 Maria de Lourdes Martins, Portuguese pianist and composer, born in Lisbon, Portugal (d. 2009)

Miles Davis

May 26 Miles Davis, American jazz musician, trumpeter and composer (Kinda Blue; Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet; Sketches of Spain), born in Alton, Illinois (d. 1991)

  • May 26 Phyllis Gotlieb, Canadian sci-fi novelist (Sunburst), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2009)
  • May 27 (Clifford) “Bud” Shank, American jazz saxophonist and flute player, born in Dayton, Ohio (d. 2009)
  • May 27 Gordon Leggat, New Zealand cricket batsman (9 Tests, 2 x 50; Canterbury), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 1973)
  • May 28 Russ Freeman, American classically trained bebop and cool jazz pianist and composer (Art Pepper; Charlie Parker; Chet Baker; Clifford Brown; Shelly Manne), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2002)
  • May 29 Abdoulaye Wade, Senegalese politician (President of Senegal, 2000-12; Secretary-General of Senegalese Democratic Party, 1974-present), born in Kébémer, Senegal
  • May 29 Charles Denner, French actor (The Bride Wore Black, The Man Who Loved Women), born in Tarnów, Poland (d. 1995)
  • May 29 Katie Boyle [Lady Sander Saunders], Italian born British actress and broadcaster (Eurovision), born in Florence, Italy (d. 2018)
  • May 30 Christine Jorgensen, pioneer transsexual (born George William Jorgensen, Jr)
  • May 30 Edouard Van Remoortel, Belgian conductor (1958-62 St Louis Symphony), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1977)
  • May 30 James Whitman McLamore, businessman
  • May 31 (Heinz) "Henry" Lewy, German-American sound engineer and record producer (Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Stephen Bishop, Judee Sill, The Monkees), born in Magdeburg, Germany (d. 2006)
  • May 31 Derek Birley, English founding Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster and sports writer, born in West Yorkshire (d. 2002)
  • May 31 Martin Peake, 2nd Viscount Ingleby, British peer and business man (d. 2008)
  • May 31 Probir Sen, Indian cricket wicketkeeper (14 Tests, 31 dismissals; Bengal), born in Comilla, Bangladesh (d. 1970)

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 18 Lucien Herr, French intellectual and librarian (École Normale Supérieure), dies at 62
  • 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, German composer, conductor and music teacher, dies at 73
  • May 25 Symon Petliura, Ukrainian socialist leader (pogroms), assassinated in Paris at 47 by Sholom Schwartzbard
  • May 26 S V Petlura, Ukrainian ataman, assassinated by Shalom Schwarzbard
  • May 27 Srečko Kosovel, Slovenian poet (b. 1904)
  • May 30 Vladimir Steklov, Russian physicist (b. 1864)