On This Day

What Happened in May 1936

Historical Events

Historic Event

May 1 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie leaves Ethiopia as Italy invades

Historic Event

May 1 FBI's J. Edgar Hoover arrests gangster Alvin "Creepy" Karpis

  • May 2 Sergei Prokofiev's musical "Peter and the Wolf" premieres in Moscow
  • May 2 62nd Kentucky Derby: Ira Hanford aboard Bold Venture wins in 2:03.6
  • May 2 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and family flee Abyssinia
  • May 3 French People's Front wins elections

Sports History

May 3 NY Yankee Joe DiMaggio makes his major-league debut, gets 3 hits

  • May 4 Pulitzer prize awarded to Harold L Davis (Honey in the Horn)
  • May 5 Edward Ravenscroft patents screw-on bottle cap with a pour lip
  • May 5 Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa
  • May 8 Jockey Ralph Neves unexpectedly revived after being declared dead after a fall. His wife faints when he returned to track
  • May 9 1st KLM airplane to land on Bonaire
  • May 9 Italy takes Addis Abba, annexing Absynnia (Ethiopia)

Election of Interest

May 10 Manuel Azaña elected the second President of the Spanish Republic

  • May 10 Nahas Pasja becomes premier of Egypt
  • May 12 Ralph Vaughan Williams' opera "Poisoned Kiss" premieres in London
  • May 13 Quiroga government takes office in Spain

Historic Event

May 15 Amy Johnson arrives in Croydon, England having flown from South Africa in a record 4 days and 16 hours

  • May 16 1st British air hostess Daphne Kearley flies to France
  • May 16 61st Preakness: George Woolf aboard Bold Venture wins in 1:59
  • May 21 Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover's severed genitals in her hand. Her story soon becomes one of Japan's most notorious scandals.
  • May 22 Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) is founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland
  • May 24 Dutch bishops forbid membership of Nazi party
  • May 24 Tony Lazerri 2 grand slams (11 RBIs); Ben Chapman sets record by reaching 1st 7 times safely, Yanks beat A's 25-2
  • May 25 The Remington Rand strike, led by the American Federation of Labor, begins
  • May 26 1st government of Zealand in Belgium ends
  • May 27 RMS Queen Mary leaves Southampton for NY on maiden voyage

On Computable Numbers

May 28 Alan Turing submits "On Computable Numbers" for publication, in which he set out the theoretical basis for modern computers.

  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Meyer becomes first 3-time winner of the race; Lawson Harris is first 2-time riding mechanic; famous tradition of serving milk in victory lane commences

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Lacy Gibson, American Chicago-style blues guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Switchy Titchy"), born in Salisbury, North Carolina (d. 2011)
  • May 2 Michael Rabin, American violinist (In Memorium), born in NYC, New York (d. 1972)
  • May 2 Quinn Redeker, American actor (Dan Raven, Young & Restless), born in Woodstock, Illinois
  • May 2 Engelbert Humperdinck [Arnold George Dorsey], British pop singer ("Release Me"; "After The Loving"), born in Madras, British India
  • May 3 José Torres, Puerto Rican boxer (world light-heavyweight champion), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 2009)
  • May 4 El Cordobés [Manuel Benítez Pérez], Spanish matador, born in Palma del Río, Andalusia, Spain
  • May 5 Patrick Gowers, British choral and film score composer (Viri Galilaei; Hamlet; Smiley's People), born in Islington, England (d. 2014)
  • May 6 Joanna Dunham, English actress (Possession, House the Dripped Blood), born in Luton, Bedfordshire (d. 2014)
  • May 6 Bernard Lemaire, French Canadian businessman (Cascades), born in Drummondville, Quebec
  • May 6 Pat Walsh, New Zealand rugby union utility back and selector (14 caps), born in Kaitaia, Far North District (d. 2007)
  • May 7 Cornelius Cardew, British composer (Scratch Orchestra), born in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire (d. 1981)
  • May 7 Jimmy Ruffin, American soul singer ("What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"), born in Collinsville, Mississippi (d. 2014)
  • May 8 Neville Purvis, British vice admiral (Chief of Fleet Support)
  • May 8 James R. Thompson, American politician (longest serving Governor of Illinois, 1977-91), born in Chicago Illinois (d. 2020)
  • May 9 Albert Finney, English actor (The Dresser, Under the Volcano), born in Salford, England (d. 2019)
  • May 9 Floyd Robinson, baseball player (White Sox, Reds, A's), born in Prescott, Arkansas

Glenda Jackson

May 9 Glenda Jackson, English actress (Women in Love), born in Cheshire, England

  • May 9 Terry Downes, British middleweight boxing champion (1961-62), born in London, England (2017)
  • May 9 Terry Drinkwater, American TV newsman (CBS), born in Denver, Colorado (d. 1989)
  • May 10 Anthony Mullens, British Lt-Gen (Deputy chief of defense)
  • May 10 Michael Stone, English broker/multi-millionaire (Man Group)
  • May 10 Trevor Clay, Gen-Sec (Royal College of Nursing)
  • May 10 Jayne Cortez, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, poet (I see Chano Pozo), (d. 2012)
  • May 11 Ulrich Berkes, German writer, born in Salle
  • May 11 Carla Bley [Lovella Borg], American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer (Escalator Over The Hill; Fictitious Sports), born in Oakland, California
  • May 12 Tom Snyder, American television and radio interviewer (The Tomorrow Show, 1973-82), and news anchor (NBC Weekend News), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2007)
  • May 12 Guillermo Endara, President of Panama (1989-94), born in Panama City, Panama (d. 2009)
  • May 12 Frank Stella, American artist, born in Malden, Massachusetts
  • May 12 Klaus Doldinger, German jazz saxophonist (Passport) and composer for film, born in Berlin, Germany
  • May 12 David Snell, British jazz harpist and conductor, born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England
  • May 13 Rafael Campos, Dominican actor (Tonka), born in Santiago, Dominican Republic (d. 1985)
  • May 14 Bobby Darin [Walden Robert Cassotto], American singer ("Mack the Knife"; "Splish-Splash"; "Beyond The Sea"), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 1973)
  • May 14 Charlie Gracie [Graci], American rock pioneer, rhythm and blues singer, and guitarist ("Butterfly"; "Fabulous"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 15 Anna Maria Alberghetti, Italian-American Tony Award-winning stage singer and actress (Carnival), and film star (Cinderfella), born in Pesaro, Italy
  • May 15 Donald [Anthony] Moffitt, American sci-fi author (Jupiter Theft)
  • May 15 Jean Balissat, Swiss composer pedagogue and conductor (Kaleidoscope for trumpet and percussion), born in Lausanne, Switzerland (d. 2007)
  • May 15 Paul Zindel, playwright (Effects of Gamma Rays on Marigolds)
  • May 15 Wavy Gravy, American clown and activist
  • May 15 Ralph Steadman, British cartoonist
  • May 15 Robert Smith, American baseball administrator (President International Baseball Federation 1981-93; IOC Olympic Order), born in Greenville, Illinois (d. 2021)
  • May 16 Philippe de Montebello, art exhibitionist (Treasures of Tut), born in Paris, France
  • May 16 Roy Hudd, British comedian (Blood Beast Terror, Vampire Beast Craves Blood), born in Croydon, Surrey, England (d. 2020)
  • May 16 Karl Lehmann, German Catholic cardinal

Dennis Hopper

May 17 Dennis Hopper, American actor (True Grit, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider), born in Dodge City, Kansas (d. 2010)

  • May 17 Lars Gustafsson, writer
  • May 17 Philippe Boesmans, Belgian pianist, and composer (Upon La-Mi; Reigen), born in Tongeren, Belgium
  • May 18 Olzhas Suleimenov, Kazakh poet, writer and anti-nuclear activist (Nevada-Semipalatinsk), born in Alma-Ata, Kazakh ASSR, Soviet Union [1]
  • May 19 Elisabeth Schwartz, Austrian pairs figure skater (Olympic gold 1956)
  • May 20 Anthony Zerbe, Cal, actor (Harry-O, Centennial, They Call Me Mr Tibbs)
  • May 21 Ama Samy, Indian Jesuit priest, Zen teacher and disciple of Yamada Koun, born in Burma
  • May 21 Dipak Nandy, Indian born British academic and founder of the Runnymead Trust. born in Calcutta, India
  • May 21 Abdul Taib Mahmud, 4th Chief Minister of Sarawak (1981-2014) and 7th Governor of Sarawak (2014-), born in Miri, Kingdom of Sarawak
  • May 22 George H. Heilmeier, American engineer (helped invent LCD displays), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2014)
  • May 22 M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer (The Road Less Traveled), born in NYC, New York (d. 2005)
  • May 22 Toshiaki Tsushima, Japanese film score composer, born in Okayama Prefecture, Japan (d. 2013)
  • May 23 Charles Kimbrough, actor (Murphy Brown)
  • May 23 Douglas John Gorman, businessman
  • May 23 Robert Sangster, horse owner/trainer
  • May 23 Ingeborg Hallstein, German soprano opera singer (Bavarian State Opera, 1961-73), born in Munich, Germany
  • May 24 Harold Budd, American avant-garde ambient pianist and composer (The Pavilion of Dreams), born in Los Angeles (d. 2020) [1]
  • May 25 Rusi Surti, Indian cricketer (Indian slow lefty, hat-trick for Qld 1969), born in Surat, Gujarat, India (d. 2013)
  • May 25 Tom T. Hall, American country singer, songwriter ("Harper Valley PTA"), and author, born in Olive Hill, Kentucky (d. 2021)
  • May 27 Benjamin Bathurst, vice chief of British Defense Staff
  • May 27 Lord Holme, president British Liberal Party
  • May 27 Louis Gossett Jr, American actor (Officer & Gentleman, Deep), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 27 Marcel Masse, Canadian politician
  • May 28 Maki Ishii, Japanese composer, born in Tokyo (d. 2003)
  • May 28 Claude Forget, French Canadian politician
  • May 28 Frank Orr, Canadian sports author and journalist (Hockey Hall of Fame; Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award; Toronto Star), born in Hillsburgh, Ontario (d. 2021)
  • May 29 Arlene McQuade, American actress (Rosalie-Goldbergs), born in NYC, New York
  • May 30 Keir Dullea, actor (2001, 2010, David & Lisa), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 30 Roy Harford, Fulham UK, British-born NZ cricketer
  • May 30 Ruta Lee, actress (Operation Eichmann, Marjorie Morningstar)
  • May 31 Zevulun Hammer, Israeli politician, minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel (1996-98), born in Haifa, Mandatory Palestine (d. 1998)

Famous Deaths

  • May 6 Hans Jelmoli, Swiss pianist and composer, dies at 59
  • May 8 Oswald Spengler, German historian and philosopher (Underworld of Abendlandes), dies at 55
  • May 9 François Conrad Schlumberger, French physicist, dies at 57
  • May 14 Edmund Allenby, Viscount Allenby, English Fieldmarshal, General in Egypt during WWI, dies at 74
  • May 14 Samuel Pierre l'Honoré Naber, Dutch rear-admiral and librarian, dies at 71
  • May 17 Panagis Tsaldaris, twice Greek prime minister (b. 1868)
  • May 18 Alexander "Alick" Maclean, British composer and conductor (Scarborough Spa Orchestra, 1912-35), dies at 63
  • May 25 Ján Levoslav Bella, Slovak composer, dies at 92