On This Day

What Happened in May 1942

Historical Events

  • May 1 Radio Orange calls to defy order to wear "Jewish star"
  • May 2 68th Kentucky Derby: Wayne D Wright aboard Shut Out wins in 2:04.4
  • May 2 Japanese troops occupy Mandalay, Burma
  • May 3 Japanese troop attack Tulagi, Gavutu & Tanambogo, Solomon Islands during WWII
  • May 3 German Luftwaffe again bombs Exeter, destroying its town centre
  • May 3 Nazis execute 72 OD'ers in reprisial in Sachsenhausen, Netherlands
  • May 3 Nazis require Dutch Jews to wear a Jewish star
  • May 4 Battle of Coral Sea begins (1st naval battle fought solely in air) between Japanese, US and Australian navies and air forces
  • May 4 Food 1st rationed in US
  • May 4 German occupiers imprison 450 prominent Dutch as hostages
  • May 4 Pulitzer prize awarded to Ellen Glasgow (In this our Life)
  • May 5 British assault on Diego Suarez, Madagascar
  • May 5 US begins rationing sugar during WW II
  • May 6 Corregidor & Philippines surrender to Japanese Armies
  • May 7 Battle of Coral Sea ends stopping Japanese expansion
  • May 7 Nazi decree orders all Jewish pregnant women of Kovno Ghetto executed
  • May 8 Aircraft carrier USS Lexington sunk by Japanese air attack in Coral Sea
  • May 8 German summer offensive opens in Crimea
  • May 8 1st twilight game in 24 years, the Dodgers top Giants 7-6 raising $60,000 for Navy Relief Fund
  • May 9 67th Preakness: Basil James aboard Alsab wins in 1:57
  • May 10 World War II: The Thai Phayap Army invades the Shan States during the Burma Campaign
  • May 11 Japanese troops conquer Kalewa

Historic Publication

May 11 William Faulkner's collections of short stories, "Go Down, Moses", is published

  • May 12 1,500 Jews gassed in Auschwitz

Historic Event

May 12 David Ben-Gurion leaves Jewish state in Palestine

  • May 12 Nazi U-boat sinks American cargo ship at mouth of Mississippi River
  • May 12 Russia occupies Crackow, until Aug 23, 1943
  • May 13 Helicopter makes its 1st cross-country flight
  • May 13 Pitcher Jim Tobin belts 3 HRs in a game
  • May 14 US Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) forms

Music Premiere

May 14 World premiere performance of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" with: Andre Kostelanetz conducting the Cincinnati Symphony in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • May 15 Gasoline 1st rationed in US (17 Eastern States)
  • May 15 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands arrest 2,000 Dutch officers
  • May 16 1st transport of British and Dutch prisoners to South Burma

Historic Event

May 17 Dutch SS vows loyalty to Hitler

  • May 18 NYC ends night baseball games for rest of WW II
  • May 19 Braves Paul Waner is 3rd NLer to get 3,000 hits (Anson & Wagner)
  • May 20 US Navy 1st permitted black recruits to serve
  • May 21 Convoy PQ16 departs Great Britain for Russia
  • May 22 Mexico declares war on Nazi-Germany & Japan
  • May 22 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbands, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, is formed
  • May 26 Anglo-Soviet Treaty signed in London
  • May 26 Belgium Jews are required by Nazis to wear a Jewish star
  • May 26 Tank battle at Bir Hakeim: Afrika Korps vs British army
  • May 27 Dorie Miller awarded navy cross for deeds at Pearl Harbor
  • May 27 Hitler orders 10,000 Czechs murdered
  • May 27 Italian army begin siege of French western Fort Bir Hachim

Historic Event

May 27 Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich is mortally wounded by a grenade thrown by Czech rebels in Prague during Operation Anthropoid; he would die a week later

  • May 28 1,800 Czechs murdered by Nazis during attack on Heydrich

Music History

May 29 Bing Crosby records "White Christmas", world's best-selling single (estimated 100 million copies sold)

Film Premiere

May 29 "Yankee Doodle Dandy", based on life of George M. Cohan, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring James Cagney and Joan Lesley, premieres in NYC (Academy Awards Best Actor 1943)

  • May 30 1,047 bombers bomb Cologne in RAF's raid of WW II

Historic Event

May 30 Reichsfuehrer Herman Himmler arrives in Prague

Sports History

May 30 Satchel Paige pitches 5 innings to defeat Dizzy Dean All-Stars 8-1

  • May 30 US aircraft carrier Yorktown leaves Pearl Harbor

PGA Championship

May 31 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Seaview CC: Sam Snead beats Jim Turnesa, 2 & 1 for his first PGA Tour major title

  • May 31 Luftwaffe bombs Canterbury
  • May 31 U-boats sink and damage 146 allied ships this month (722,666 tons)

Radio History

May 31 Avant-garde radio play "The City Wears A Slouch Hat" with music by John Cage and script by Kenneth Patchen broadcast in Chicago


Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Stephen Macht, American actor (Joe-Knots Landing, Cagney & Lacey), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 1 Jean Saubert, American alpine ski racer (Olympic giant slalom silver, slalom bronze 1964), born in Roseburg, Oregon (d. 2007)
  • May 2 Jacques Rogge, Belgian sports administrator, (8th President International Olympic Committee 2001-13), born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 2021)
  • May 3 Lynn Farleigh, English actress (Lovers of Their Time), born in Bristol, England
  • May 3 Věra Čáslavská, Czech gymnast (7 Olympic gold 1964, 68), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2016)
  • May 3 Dave Marash, American television journalist, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 3 Butch Otter, American politician, 32nd governor of Idaho, born in Caldwell, Idaho
  • May 4 Ronnie Bond, British drummer (Troggs - "Wild Thing"; "Love Is All Around"), born in Andover, Hampshire, England (d. 1992)
  • May 5 Amy Hill, American comedian and actress (Grandma-Seinfeld, Pauly Shore), born in Deadwood, South Dakota

Tammy Wynette

May 5 Tammy Wynette [Virginia Pugh], American country singer ("Stand By Your Man"), born in Itawamba County, Mississippi (d. 1998)

  • May 5 Marc Alaimo, American actor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • May 6 Rin Kaiho, Taiwanese professional Go player, born in Shanghai, China
  • May 8 (Euclid) Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood, American rock saxophonist and vocalist (Mothers Of Invention), born in Arkansas City, Kansas (d. 2011)
  • May 8 Norman Lamont, British politician, (Chancellor of Exchequer), born in Lerwick, Shetland
  • May 8 Robin Hobbs, English cricket spin bowler (7 Tests, 12 wickets; Essex CCC, Glamorgan CCC), born in Chippenham, England
  • May 8 Terry Neill, Northern Irish soccer defender (59 caps; Arsenal, Hull City FC) and manager (Hull City FC, Tottenham, Arsenal), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • May 9 John D Ashcroft, (Gov-MO)
  • May 9 Mike Millward, British guitarist (The Fourmost - "A Little Loving"), born in Bromborough, Cheshire, England (d. 1966)
  • May 9 Tommy Roe, American pop-rock singer ("Sheila"; "Dizzy"), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 9 Val Garay, American record producer and engineer (Bette Davis Eyes), born in San Francisco, California
  • May 10 Bill Coday, American musician and singer (You’re Gonna Want Me), born in Coldwater, Mississippi (d. 2008)
  • May 10 Ingram Douglass Marshall, American composer (Alcatraz; Fragility Cycles), born in Mount Vernon, New York
  • May 10 Youssouf Sambo Bâ, Burkinabé politician
  • May 10 Jim Calhoun, American College Basketball & Basketball Hall of Fame coach (Men's NCAA National C'ship 1999, 2004, 11; UConn; University of Saint Joseph), born in Braintree, Massachusetts
  • May 11 Rachel Billington, British author (A Woman's Age, Bodily Harm), born in Oxford, England
  • May 12 Barry Longyear, American sci-fi author (City of Baraboo), born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • May 12 Dumitru Dediu, Romanian cosmonaut (Soyuz 40 backup)
  • May 12 Ian Dury, English rock musician (The Blockheads) and actor (Judge Dredd), born in Upminster, Essex (d. 2000)
  • May 12 Billy Swan, American country-rock singer-songwriter ("I Can Help"), born in Cape Giradeau, Louisiana
  • May 13 Jim Douglas, Scottish jazz guitarist, born in Gifford, East Lothian
  • May 13 Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 27, 39, T-6, T-12, T-13), born in Iskandar, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
  • May 14 Byron L Dorgan, (Rep-D-ND, 1981- )
  • May 14 Gerald Shapiro, American classical and electro-acoustic composer (The Voice of the Dharma; In Time's Sahdow), and educator (Brown university), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 14 Lord McAlpine, English contractor/multi-millionaire
  • May 14 Tony Perez, baseball player
  • May 14 Valeriy Brumel, Soviet athlete (d. 2003)
  • May 14 Rüdiger Vogler, German actor
  • May 15 Anthony Wayne England, PhD/astronaut (STS 51-F), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • May 15 Doug Lowe, 35th Premier of Tasmania
  • May 17 Caroline Charles, fashion designer
  • May 17 Taj Mahal [Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, Jr.], American singer-songwriter (Real Thing), born in Harlem, New York
  • May 17 Myles Brand, American sports administrator (4th NCAA President), born in Brooklyn, NY (d. 2009)
  • May 18 Keith Hellawell, English Chief Constable (West Yorkshire) and government 'drugs czar', born in Kirkburton, England
  • May 18 Simon Isaacs, 4th Marquess of Reading, English aristocrat, banker and philanthropist
  • May 18 Nobby Stiles, English soccer midfielder (28 caps; World Cup 1966; Manchester United 311 games) and manager (Preston NE, WBA), born in Manchester, England (d. 2020)
  • May 18 Rodney Dillard, American musician (Glittergrass), born in Salem, Missouri

Gary Kildall

May 19 Gary Kildall, American computer scientist and entrepreneur who created the CP/M operating system, born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1994)

  • May 19 James Topping, author of CP/M
  • May 19 Robert Kilroy-Silk, British politician and television presenter
  • May 19 Frank Froehling, American tennis player (US C'ships 1963 runner-up; doubles, mixed doubles 1965 runner-up), born in Islamorada, Florida (d. 2020)
  • May 19 Curly Neal, American basketball guard (Harlem Globetrotters 1963-85), born in Greensboro, North Carolina (d. 2020)
  • May 20 Lynn Davies, long jumper
  • May 20 Paula [Jill Jackson], American pop singer ("Hey Paula"), born in McCamey, Texas
  • May 20 Simon Keswick, British financier/merchant (Hong Kong)
  • May 20 Carlos Hathcock, American Marine sniper (d. 1999)
  • May 21 David Hunt, British Conservative politician, born in Glyn Ceiriog, Wales
  • May 21 Robert C. Springer, American Army Colonel USMC/astronaut (STS-29, STS-38), born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • May 21 John Konrads, Australian swimmer (Olympic gold 1500m freestyle, bronze 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle 1960; 26 individual world records), born in Riga, Latvia (d. 2021)
  • May 21 Danny Ongais, American auto racer (inducted Motorsports Hall of Fame of America 2000), born in Kahului, Hawaii (d. 2022)
  • May 22 Barbara Parkins, Canadian-American actress (Betty-Peyton Place, Asylum), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • May 22 Calvin Simon, American funk and gospel vocalist (Parliament/Funkadelic - "Livin' the Life"), born in Beckley, West Virginia (d. 2022)
  • May 22 Malika Sabirova, Soviet Tajik ballet dancer, born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan (d. 1982)
  • May 22 Pallo Jordan, South African politician and ANC member, born in Kroonstad, Free State

Ted Kaczynski

May 22 Ted Kaczynski, American serial killer and terrorist known as the "Unabomber", born in Evergreen Park, Illinois

  • May 23 K. Raghavendra Rao, Indian film director
  • May 23 Gabriel Liiceanu, Romanian philosopher
  • May 23 Zalman King, Trenton, New Jersey, actor and director (Wild Orchid), (d. 2012)
  • May 24 Ali Bacher, South African cricketer (South African batsman and captain in 60's), born in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • May 24 Derek Quinn, British guitarist (Freddie and the Dreamers - "I'm Telling You Now"), born in Manchester, England (d. 2020)
  • May 24 Hannu Mikkola, Finnish rally driver (World Rally champion 1983), born in Joensuu, Finland (d. 2021)
  • May 25 Brian "Blinky" Davison, British rocker (The Nice), born in Leicester, England (d. 2008)
  • May 25 Ron Davies, Welsh footballer (29 Welsh caps), born in Holywell, Flintshire, Wales (d. 2013)
  • May 26 Ray Ennis, British rock guitarist (Swinging Blue Jeans - "You're No Good"), born in Huyton, England
  • May 27 Kent Bede Bernard, Trinidad, 4X400 runner (Olympic bronze 1964)
  • May 27 Priscilla Anne McLean, composer
  • May 27 Roger Freeman, British minister of transport
  • May 27 Lee Baca, American law enforcement official
  • May 28 Stanley B. Prusiner, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • May 29 Kevin Conway, American actor (Flash Point, Cage of Angels), born in NYC, New York
  • May 29 Pierre Bourque, Canadian politician (40th Mayor of Montreal), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • May 30 Dan Miller, (Rep-R-Florida)
  • May 31 Happy Hairston, NBA star (Cin, Detroit, LA)
  • May 31 John Daniel, British Vice-Chancellor (Open U)

Famous Weddings

Jack Kirby

May 23 Comic book artist Jack Kirby (24) weds Roz Goldstein


Famous Deaths

  • May 3 Johan H. Westerveld, Dutch WW II resistance fighter and leader of Order Service (OD), executed at 61
  • May 3 Thorvald Stauning, Prime Minister of Denmark (1924-26, 1929-42), dies at 68
  • May 5 Qemal Stafa, Albanian politician (b. 1920)
  • May 7 Felix Paul von Weingartner, Austria conductor and composer, dies at 79
  • May 9 Graham McNamee, American early sportscaster (1st Rose Bowl), dies at 53
  • May 10 Joseph M Weber, comedian/singer (Weber & Lewis Fields), dies at 74
  • May 13 Hyam Greenbaum, British violinist, composer and conductor of the 1st TV orchestra (BBC), dies of alcohol-related problems at 41
  • May 16 Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski, anthropologist, dies
  • May 17 Alfred Hollins, British composer, dies at 76
  • May 19 Nicoline Magdalene Roll Anker, Norwegian author (Enken), dies at 69
  • May 20 Hector Guimard, French Art Nouveau architect and designer (entrances to Paris Metros),
  • May 25 Emanuel Feuermann, cellist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), dies at 39

John Barrymore

May 29 John Barrymore, American actor (Beloved Rogue, Dinner at 8), dies from cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure at 60

  • May 29 Akiko Yosano, Japanese poet (Tangled Hair), dies at 63