On This Day

What Happened in May 1945

Historical Events

  • May 1 About 1,000 citizens of Demmin in Germany, commit suicide provoked by occupation by Soviet Red Army
  • May 1 Admiral Karl Doenitz forms German government
  • May 1 Australian & Dutch troops land on Tarakan
  • May 1 General Belgian Labor Union (ABVV) party forms
  • May 1 Radio Budapest, Hungary re-enters shortwave broadcasting after WW II
  • May 1 Seys-Inquart flees to Flensburg
  • May 1 Soviet army reaches Rostock
  • May 2 Allies occupy Wismar, Northern Germany

Historic Event

May 2 Dutch Queen Wilhelmina & Princess Juliana reach Gilze-Rijen

  • May 2 More than 1,000,000 German soldiers officially surrender to the Western Allies in Italy and Austria
  • May 2 Yugoslav troops occupy Trieste, Italy
  • May 3 1st Polish Armoured Division of the Polish Armed Forces in the West occupies Wilhelmshafen in Germany
  • May 3 Allies arrest German physicist Werner Heisenberg
  • May 3 British troop join in Rangoon
  • May 3 World War II: German ship "Cap Arcona" laden with prisoners sunk by Royal Air Force in East Sea, 5,800 killed - one of largest maritime losses of life

Historic Event

May 4 German forces in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands surrender unconditionally to British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery at Luneburg Heath

  • May 4 German forces in Bavaria surrender unconditionally to American commander Jacob L. Devers
  • May 5 Mauthausen Concentration camp in Austria liberated by US forces from 41st Reconnaissance Squadron
  • May 5 Netherlands & Denmark liberated from Nazi control
  • May 5 Uprising against occupying SS troops in Prague
  • May 5 Premier Gerbrandy on Radio Orange tells Dutch they are liberated

Battle of Interest

May 5 World War II: Admiral Karl Dönitz, leader of Germany after Hitler's death, orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases

  • May 6 General Johannes Blaskowitz surrenders German troops in Netherlands
  • May 6 World War II: Axis Sally delivers her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops (first was on December 11, 1941).

Sports History

May 7 Branch Rickey announces formation of the US Negro Baseball League

  • May 7 World War II: British troops enter Utrecht, Netherlands

Historic Event

May 7 World War II: Unconditional German surrender to the Allies signed by General Alfred Jodl at Rheims

  • May 7 Princess Irene Brigade moves into The Hague, Netherlands
  • May 7 Pulitzer prize awarded to John Hersey (Bell for Adano)
  • May 7 SS open fire on crowd in Amsterdam, killing 22
  • May 8 Canadian troops move into Amsterdam
  • May 8 Chinese counter attack at Tsjangte, supports by 14th air fleet

Nazi Germany Surrenders

May 8 German General Wilhelm Keitel formally surrenders to the Allies represented by the United States, the UK, France and the Soviet Union in Berlin

  • May 8 V-E Day: World War II ends in Europe after Germany signs an unconditional surrender
  • May 9 Czechoslovakia liberated from Nazi occupation (National Day)
  • May 9 Nazi propagandist Max Blokzijl arrested
  • May 9 New balata ball used in baseball, 50% livilier

Historic Event

May 9 Norwegian nazi collaborators Vidkun Quisling arrested

  • May 9 Victory celebration at Red Square
  • May 9 World War II: Partisans liberate Ljubljana.

Historic Event

May 9 World War II: Hermann Goering is captured by the United States Army

  • May 9 World War II: The Soviet Union marks Victory Day
  • May 9 World War II: The Channel Islands are formally liberated by the British
  • May 10 Allies capture Rangoon from the Japanese
  • May 10 Soviet troops occupied Prague
  • May 11 US Marines conquer Awatsha Draw, Okinawa
  • May 13 US troops conquer Dakeshi Okinawa
  • May 14 Kamikaze Zero strikes US aircraft carrier Enterprise
  • May 14 US offensive on Okinawa, Sugar Loaf conquered

Historic Event

May 14 Physician Joseph G. Hamilton injects misdiagnosed cancer patient Albert Stevens (CAL-1) with 131 kBq (3.55 µCi) of plutonium without his knowledge. Stevens lives another 20 years, surviving the highest known accumulated radiation dose in any human

  • May 15 World War II: The final skirmish in Europe is fought near Prevalje, Slovenia
  • May 16 Violent battles around Sugar Loaf and Half Moon, Okinawa
  • May 17 2 US P-47 Thunderbolts bomb Kiushu
  • May 18 MLB Detroit Tigers & Philadelphia A's both have 7 straight games postponed due to rain
  • May 19 Start of the 1st Victory Test Cricket between England & Aust Services
  • May 20 Keith Miller scores 105 in the 1st Victory Test Cricket at Lord's
  • May 21 Australian Services win 1st Victory Test Cricket at Lord's by 6 wickets
  • May 22 6th US Marine division reaches suburbs of Naha Okinawa
  • May 22 NSB-Fuhrer Rost van Tonningen makes failed suicide attempt
  • May 23 The Allies arrest the members of the Nazi Flensburg government, including Admiral Karl Donitz, formally dissolving Nazi Germany
  • May 23 German island of Helgoland in the North Sea surrenders to British

Historic Event

May 23 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) arrested at Danish boundary

  • May 25 Arthur C. Clark proposes relay satellites in geosynchronous orbit
  • May 26 US drop fire bombs on Tokyo
  • May 29 US 1st Marine division conquers Shuri Castle, Okinawa

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Rita Coolidge, American Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter (Higher & Higher; We're All Alone), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • May 1 John Richard Patterson, English businessman who founded Dateline, born in Hertfordshire, England
  • May 2 Bianca Jagger [Blanca Pérez-Mora Macías], Nicaraguan model and socialite who married Mike Jagger, born in Managua, Nicaragua
  • May 2 Goldy McJohn [John Goadsby], Canadian rock keyboard and Hammond B3 organ player (Steppenwolf - "Magic Carpet ride"; 'Born To Be Wild"), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2017)
  • May 2 Randy Cain, American soul singer (4 Gents; Delfonics - "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2009)
  • May 2 Judge Dread [Alexander Hughes] English reggae musician, born in Kent, England (d. 1998)
  • May 2 Loyd Phillips, American College Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman (University of Arkansas; Chicago Bears), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2020)
  • May 3 Sadiq Mohammad, Pakistani cricket batsman 41 Tests @ 35.81, 5 x 100; brother of Hanif & Mushtaq Mohammad), born in Junagadh, India
  • May 3 Jeffrey C. Hall, American geneticist (Nobel Prize 2017 behavioral rhythms of the fly), born in New York City
  • May 4 Georg Wadenius, Swedish rocker (Blood, Sweat & Tears), born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 4 Monika van Paemel, Belgian writer (Accursed Fathers), born in Poesele, Belgium
  • May 4 Narasimhan Ram, Indian journalist (The Hindu), born in Madras, British India
  • May 5 Jiří Svoboda, Czech director and politician (2nd Chairman of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia), born in Kladno, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
  • May 5 Rodney H. Pardey, American poker player (2 x World Series of Poker C'ships; World Series of Poker Bracelets 1991, 94), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2020)
  • May 5 Kurtis "Kurt" Loder, American film critic, TV personality and columnist (Rolling Stone, New York, Time), born in Ocean City, New Jersey
  • May 6 Bob Seger, American singer and songwriter ("Old Time Rock and Roll"; "Hollywood Nights"; "Against The Wind"), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • May 6 Richard Eyers, American actor (My Friend Irma, Stagecoach West), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 6 Victoria Bond, American conductor and composer, born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 7 Cornelius Bumpus, American saxophonist and keyboardist (Doobie Brothers; Steely Dan), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2004)
  • May 7 Robin Strasser, American actress (Dorian-One Life to Live, Another World), born in NYC, New York
  • May 7 Wim A. Mateman, Dutch politician (CDA), born in Aalten, Netherlands
  • May 7 Christy Moore, Irish folk singer and songwriter, born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
  • May 8 Arthur Docters van Leeuwen, Dutch jurist (Holland's secret service)
  • May 8 Keith Jarrett, American jazz and classical pianist and composer (The Köln Concert), born in Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • May 9 Steve Katz, American rock guitarist and vocalist (Blood, Sweat & Tears), born in NYC, New York
  • May 10 John Laws, Lord Justice of Appeal (1999- )
  • May 12 "Little" Jayotis Washington, American cappella singer (The Persuasions), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • May 12 Linda Carlson, American actress (Bev-Newhart, Katie-Kaz), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • May 12 Ian McLagan, English rock keyboardist (Small Face; Faces), born in Hounslow, Middlesex, (d. 2014)
  • May 12 Patrick Ricard, French businessman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, born in Marseille, France (d. 2012)
  • May 12 Keith Olsen, American rock record producer and sound engineer (Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac; Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station; Joe Walsh - The Confessor), born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (d. 2020)
  • May 13 Magic Dick [Richard Salwitz], American harmonica player and musician (J Geils Band - "Centerfold"), born in New London, Connecticut
  • May 13 Sam Anderson, American actor (Perfect Strangers), born in Wahpeton, North Dakota
  • May 13 Louis "Blue Lou" Marini, American saxophonist, arranger, and composer (Blues Brothers), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • May 14 Yochanan Vollach, Israeli footballer and president of Maccabi Haifa
  • May 14 Grigori Zhislin, Russian concert violinist, and viola player, born in Leningrad, USSR (d. 2017)
  • May 15 Lasse Berghagen, Swedish pop singer-songwriter (Teddybjörnen Fredriksson), born in Enskede, Sweden
  • May 15 Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese crown
  • May 15 Jerry Quarry, American boxer (famous bouts v world champions Floyd Patterson, Jimmy Ellis, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton), born in Bakersfield, California (d. 1999)
  • May 16 Brewster H Shaw Jr, Mich, Col USAF/astro (STS-9, STS 61B, STS-28)
  • May 16 James Moran, (Rep-D-Virginia)
  • May 16 Nicky Chinn, English songwriter/producer (Chinn & Chapman)
  • May 17 D A S Pennefather, Maj-General/Commandant (General Royal Marines)
  • May 17 George Miller, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1975-2015), born in Richmond, California
  • May 17 Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Indian cricketer (brilliant Indian leggie 1964-79), born in Mysore, Karnataka
  • May 18 Maarten van Traa, Dutch politician (PvdA)

Pete Townshend

May 19 Peter Townshend, British rock guitarist, composer, and vocalist (The Who - Tommy; "My Generation": "Won't Get Fooled Again"; solo - "Let My Love Open the Door"), born in Chiswick, Middlesex, England

  • May 20 Harold E Ford, (Rep-D-TN, 1975- )
  • May 20 Lord Hollick, CEO (MAI)
  • May 20 Nikolai Nikolayevich Fefelov, Russian colonel and cosmonaut
  • May 20 Wally Herger, (Rep-R-California)
  • May 20 Vladimiro Montesinos, Peruvian politician
  • May 21 Ernst Willi Messerschmid, German astronaut (STS 22), born in Reutlingen Germany
  • May 21 Richard Hatch, American actor (Battlestar Galactica), born in Santa Monica, California (d. 2017)
  • May 23 Elliott Bernerd, English broker/multi-millionaire
  • May 23 Lauren Chapin, actress (Kathy-Father Knows Best)
  • May 23 Misty Morgan, American country keyboardist (duo with Jack Blanchard - "Tennessee Bird Walk"), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 2021)
  • May 23 Padmarajan, Indian film director (d. 1991)
  • May 24 Priscilla Presley, American actress (Jenna-Dallas, Naked Gun), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 24 Richard Ottaway, British politician (C), born in Sonning, Berkshire
  • May 24 Steven Norris, British Conservative politician, born in Liverpool, England
  • May 24 Terry Callier, American soul, folk and jazz guitarist, and singer-songwriter ("What Color Is Love"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • May 25 Dave Lee Travis [David Griffin], British DJ and presenter (Top of the Pops], convicted of indecent assault, born in Buxton, Derbyshire
  • May 26 Garry Peterson, Canadian drummer (Guess Who - "American Woman"; "No Sugar Tonight"), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • May 27 Bruce Cockburn, Canadian folk rock singer-songwriter ("Wondering Where the Lions Are"; "If I Had a Rocket Launcher"), born in Ottawa, Ontario
  • May 28 John Fogerty, American songwriter, guitarist, and singer (Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Have You Ever Seen The Rain"; "Lookin' Out My Backdoor"), born in Berkeley, California
  • May 28 Hunter "Patch" Adams, American doctor
  • May 28 John N. Bambacus, American politician
  • May 29 Peter Fraser, Scottish Minister (headed investigation into Pam Am Flight 103) (d. 2013)
  • May 29 Martin Pipe, English racehorse trainer (15-time Champion Hunt Trainer), born in Taunton, Somerset
  • May 29 Gary Brooker, British rock keyboardist and singer (Procol Harum -"A Whiter Shade of Pale"), born in Hackney, London, England (d. 2022)
  • May 30 Meredith MacRae, actress (Petticoat Junction, My 3 Sons), born in Houston, Texas
  • May 30 Steve Smith, American singer (Lawrence Welk Show), born in San Francisco, California
  • May 30 Norman Eshley, English actor
  • May 30 Richard Divila, Brazilian motorsports designer (Fittipaldi Automotive; Ligier, Nissan), born in São Paulo, Brazil (d. 2020)
  • May 30 Gladys Horton, American pop singer (The Marvelettes - "Please Mr. Postman"; "Too Many Fish In The Sea"), born in Gainesville, Florida (d. 2011) [or 1944]
  • May 30 Barry Clifford, American underwater explorer (discovered 1st verified pirate shipwreck the Whydah), born in Hyannis, Massachusetts
  • May 31 Linda Davies, British Judge
  • May 31 Rainer Werner Fassbinder, German filmmaker and director (Marriage of Maria Braum), born in Bad Worishofen, Bavaria, West Germany (d. 1982)
  • May 31 Bernard Goldberg‎, American journalist

Famous Weddings

Wedding of Interest

May 22 American paranormal investigator Lorraine Moran (18) weds partner Ed Warren (18)


Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Desider Antalffy-Zsiross, Hungarian organist and composer, dies at 59

Joseph Goebbels

May 1 Joseph Goebbels, German Nazi Minister of Propaganda, commits suicide aged 47 with his wife (43) and arranges the death of their 6 children, Heidrun (4), Hedwig (6), Holdine (8), Helmut (9), Hildegard (11), and Helga (12)

Martin Bormann

May 2 Martin Bormann, German Nazi leader (Hitler's secretary, chief of the Party Chancellery), most likely commits suicide on this date at 44 [remains identified in 1972]

  • May 2 Ludwig Stumpfegger, German SS doctor and Hitler's personal surgeon commits suicide at 34
  • May 4 Fedor von Bock, German field marshal (commander in the German occupation of Austria, invasions of Poland, France, and Russia during WWII), dies at 64
  • May 5 Peter Van Pels, Jewish Refugee (b. 1926)
  • May 5 Elsie Mitchell and five Sunday school students become the only people to die during World War II on US soil when they are killed by a Japanese fire balloon that lands in the forest of Gearhart Mountain, near Bly, Southern Oregon
  • May 8 Bernhard Rust, German Nazi education minister, reportedly commits suicide at 61
  • May 10 Richard Glücks, German SS officer and concentration camp administrator, committed suicide at 56
  • May 13 Alfred "Tubby" Hall, American jazz drummer (King Oliver; Louis Armstrong), dies at 49
  • May 14 Heber J. Grant, 7th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dies at 88
  • May 15 Major Courtney, US medal of honor marine, dies in battle of Sugar Loaf
  • May 15 Charles Williams, British poet and writer, dies at 58
  • May 17 Jan van Geenen, resistance fighter, dies
  • May 17 Sasaki Shigetsu Sokei-an, founder 1st Zen Institute of America, dies
  • May 19 Philipp Bouhler, German nazi leader (b. 1889)
  • May 22 Carel Adolph Lion Cachet, Dutch lithographer and wood carver, dies at 80

Heinrich Himmler

May 23 Heinrich Himmler, German Nazi leader (head of the SS), commits suicide while in Allied custody at 44

  • May 25 Demjan Bednyi, Russian writer and satirist, dies at 62
  • May 30 Irma Laplasse, Flemish farmer/nazi collaborator, executed