On This Day

What Happened in May 1948

Historical Events

Sports History

May 1 74th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro wins aboard Citation to become first 4-time Derby winning jockey

  • May 1 North Korea proclaims itself Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Catholic Encyclical

May 1 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Auspicia quaedam

  • May 1 Glenn Taylor, Idaho Senator, arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, for trying to enter a meeting through a door marked "for Negroes"

Historic Event

May 3 Pulitzer prize awarded to James Michener & Tennessee Williams

  • May 3 1st broadcast of "CBS Evening News" - longest running network news show in the US
  • May 4 The Hague Court of Justice convicts Nazi SS officer in the Netherlands Hans Rauter of Crimes against Humanity (executed 24 March 1949)
  • May 5 1st squadron of jet aircraft aboard a carrier
  • May 6 Revival of Jerome Kerns and Clifford Grey's rags-to-riches musical "Sally" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 36 performances
  • May 7 Nazi collaborator V-Mann Antonius van de Waals sentenced to death
  • May 10 1st attack by Egyptian irregular forces at Kfar Darom Israel
  • May 11 Haganah takes control of Safed & port of Haifa
  • May 11 Luigi Einaudi elected President of Italy
  • May 14 Israeli Radio Station Kol Yisrael's 1st broadcast
  • May 14 Jordan's Arab League captures Atarot, north of Jerusalem
  • May 14 US grants Israel de facto recognition
  • May 14 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • May 14 WBEN (now WIVB) TV channel 4 in Buffalo, NY (CBS) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

May 14 Golda Meir (Meyerson) is one of the signatories of Israel’s independence declaration

  • May 15 28 year old British Mandate over Palestine ends
  • May 15 73rd Preakness: Eddie Arcaro wins aboard Citation, 2nd leg of successful Triple Crown
  • May 15 Australia scores 721 runs in one day v Essex, world record
  • May 15 Troops from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attack Israel
  • May 16 First chess world championship since WWII; Russian player Mikhail Botvinnik wins a 5-player tournament to begin 20-year Russian domination
  • May 16 CBS news correspondent George Polk's body is found in Greece

Election of Interest

May 16 Chaim Weizmann elected 1st President of Israel

  • May 16 Egyptians enter Gaza
  • May 16 Israel issues its 1st postage stamps
  • May 17 Israel liberates Acre, Nebi Yusha & Telel-Kadi
  • May 17 Soviet Union recognizes Israel
  • May 18 "Ballet Ballads" opens at Music Box Theater NYC for 62 performances
  • May 18 Arab Legion captures fort on Mt Scopus during Arab-Israeli war
  • May 18 Saudi Arabia joins invasion of Israel
  • May 18 The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking
  • May 20 Cleveland Indians tie AL record of 18 walks (beat Red Sox 13-4)

Sports History

May 21 NY Yank Joe DiMaggio hits for cycle (single, double, triple, HR)

  • May 23 Future Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder Joe DiMaggio hits 3 consecutive HRs as the New York Yankees edge the Indians, 6-5 at Cleveland Stadium
  • May 23 Ramat Rahel gateway to Jerusalem is repossessed by Israel

Music Premiere

May 24 Benjamin Britten's "Beggar's Opera" premieres at Arts Theatre, Cambridge, England

PGA Championship

May 25 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Norwood Hills CC: Ben Hogan scores a convincing 7 & 6 win over Mike Turnesa in the Tuesday final for his 2nd PGA crown

  • May 25 San Francisco receives its 1st telecast

Execution

May 25 Polish war hero Witold Pilecki is executed by communist police after a show trial in Warsaw

  • May 26 Entire Hagana-arm forces sworn-in as Israeli soldiers
  • May 26 South Africa elects a nationalist government under D. F. Malan with an apartheid policy
  • May 27 Arabs blow up Jewish synagogue Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid

Sports History

May 27 Hank Greenberg buys an interest in the Cleveland Indians

  • May 28 Israeli Air Force is officially founded shortly after the start of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
  • May 28 Iraq captures Ge'ulim settlement
  • May 29 French Championships Men's Tennis: Frank Parker wins 1st of 2 straight French titles; beats Jaroslav Drobný 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 8-6
  • May 29 French Championships Women's Tennis: Belgium-born but representing France, Nelly Landry beats American Shirley Fry 6-2, 0-6, 6-0 for her lone major title

Baseball Record

May 30 Schenectady Blue Jays Tommy Lasorda strikes out 25 in 15-inning game

  • May 30 A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.
  • May 31 Tommy Lasorda strikes out 25 Amsterdam Rugmakers (in 15 innings)
  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: For the second straight year, Blue Crown Spark Plug teammates Mauri Rose and Bill Holland finish 1st-2nd; Rose the second driver to win the 500 in consecutive years

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 James Wise, American soul singer (Archie Bell & the Drells- I Can't Stop Dancing; Do the Choo-Choo), born in Houston, Texas
  • May 2 Larry Gatlin, American country singer (Gatlin Brothers - "Broken Lady"), born in Seminole, Texas
  • May 3 Chris Mulkey, American actor (Cloverfield), born in Viroqua, Wisconsin
  • May 3 Peter Oosterhuis, British golfer (British Open 1974, 82 runner-up; Ryder Cup x 6), born in London, England
  • May 4 Billy O'Donnell, Canadian harness racer driver of year (1984), born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • May 4 Hurley Haywood, American auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1977, 83, 94; 24 Hours of Daytona 1973, 75, 77, 79, 91), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 4 George Tupou V, King of Tonga (2006-2012), born in Tongatapu, Tonga (d. 2012)
  • May 5 Bill Ward, English heavy metal drummer (Black Sabbath), born in Birmingham, England
  • May 5 Frank Esler-Smith, English-Australian rock keyboardist (Air Supply - "All Out Of Love"), born in London (d. 1991)
  • May 6 Richard Cox, American actor (Mark-Executive Suite), born in NYC, New York
  • May 6 Mary MacGregor, American pop singer ("Torn Between Two Lovers"), born in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • May 6 Jacques Israelievitch, French Canadian classical violinist, concertmaster (St. Louis Symphony, 1978-88; Toronto Symphony, 1988-2008), and music director (Koffler Chamber Orchestra, 2005-14), born in Cannes, France (d. 2015)
  • May 6 Shaun Murphy, American session and touring rock, blues, and R&B singer (Little Feat, 1993-2009; Bob Seger; Eric Clapton), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • May 8 John Reid, British politician (L), born in Bellshill, Scotland
  • May 8 Maurizio Nichetti, Italian screenwriter, director and actor (Icicle Thief, Volcano), born in Milan, Italy
  • May 8 Stephen Stohn, Canadian television producer (Degrassi)
  • May 8 Don "Red" Young, American session, touring keyboard and piano player, band leader, and jazz Hammond B3 organist, born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • May 9 John Mahaffey, American golfer (PGA Championship 1978; 10 PGA Tour titles), born in Kerrville, Texas
  • May 9 Hans Georg Bock, German mathematician
  • May 9 Calvin Murphy, American basketball player
  • May 10 Christopher Gent, CEO (Vodafone Group)
  • May 11 Alfred Matt, Austrian slalom (Olympic bronze 1968)
  • May 11 Nirj Deva, Sri Lankan-British politician
  • May 11 Shigeru Izumiya, Japanese folk musician
  • May 12 Lindsay Ann Crouse, American actress (Slapshot, Iceman, Places in Heart), born in NYC, New York
  • May 12 Steve Winwood, English singer, songwriter and musician (Spencer Davis Group - "Gimme Some Lovin'"; Traffic - "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys"; solo - 'Higher Love"; "While You See A Chance"), born in Birmingham, England
  • May 13 Jeffrey Evans, Lord Mayor of London (2015-16), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • May 13 Guillermo Echevarría, Mexican swimmer (1,500m WR 16:28.1 1968), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2021)
  • May 13 David "Hawk" Wolinski, American funk keyboardist (Rufus; Chaka Kahn), and record producer, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 14 Dave LaRoche, baseball pitcher (NY Yankees)
  • May 14 Walter Olkewicz, actor (Last Resort, Wizards & Warriors), born in Bayonne, New Jersey
  • May 14 Bob Woolmer, English cricket all-rounder, coach (19 Tests, coach Pakistan, South Africa), born in Kanpur, India (d. 2007)
  • May 15 Brian Eno, British rock and ambient musician, and record producer (Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2, Coldplay, Paul Simon), born in Woodbridge, Sussex
  • May 16 Katia Dandoulaki, Greek actress
  • May 16 Alto Reed [Thomas Cartmell], American saxophonist (Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2020)
  • May 18 Felix MH Troch, Flemish actor and director (Gekkenbriefje)
  • May 18 Joe Bonsall, American country singer (Oak Ridge Boys - "Elvira"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 19 Grace Jones, Jamaican-American disco singer ("Slave to the Rhythm"), and actress (A View To A Kill), born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica
  • May 19 Jean-Pierre Haignere, French cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-17)
  • May 19 Tom Scott, American saxophonist and composer (L.A. Express; The Blues Brothers), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 19 Boet van Dulmen, Dutch motorcycle racer (84 starts, 1 win, 4 podiums,1 pole; Finnish 500cc GP 1979), born in Ammerzoden, Netherlands (d. 2021)
  • May 20 Dave Thomas, St Catherines Ontario, comedian (SCTV, Grace Under Fire)
  • May 20 John Amiel, director (Queen of Hearts, Tune in Tomorrow)
  • May 20 John R McKernan Jr, (Rep-R-ME, 1983-86/Gov-Maine)
  • May 20 Samuel Gejdenson, (Rep-D-Connecticut, 1981- )
  • May 20 Aleksandr Timoshinin, Russian rower (Olympic gold Soviet Union double sculls 1968, 72), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 2021)
  • May 21 (Gerard) "Leo" Sayer, British songwriter and singer ("You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"; "When I Need Love"), born in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England
  • May 21 Carol Potter, American actress (Beverly Hills 90210, Today's FBI), born in NYC, New York
  • May 22 Richard Baker, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana's 6th district), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • May 22 Doug Gray, American musician (The Marshall Tucker Band), born in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • May 23 Ernesto Marcel, Panamanian boxer (WBA featherweight title 1972-74), born in Colón, Panama (d. 2020)
  • May 24 Ernst Jansz, Dutch keyboardist and singer (Doe Maar), born in Amsterdam
  • May 25 Klaus Meine, German musician (Scorpions), born in Hannover, Germany
  • May 26 Geoff Greenidge, West Indian cricket batsman (5 Tests; last white player to play for WI), born in St Michael, Barbados
  • May 26 (Stephanie) "Stevie"Nicks, American rock singer-songwriter (Fleetwood Mac - "Rhiannon"; "Landslide"; Bella Donna - "Edge Of Seventeen"), born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • May 26 Ken Clark, Canadian football punter (CFL All Star 1977, 80, 82, 85; Hamilton Tiger-Cats; Saskatchewan Roughriders; Ottawa Rough Riders; NFL: LA Rams), born in Southampton, England (d. 2021)
  • May 27 Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Volkov, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-8, T-14, TM-7)
  • May 27 Anna E "Annelies" Balhan, Dutch revue-artist/actress (Sweet Chairty)
  • May 27 Pete Sears, British session and touring bassist (Jefferson Starship; Rod Stewart), born in Bromley, Kent, England
  • May 28 Bob Shearer, Australian golfer, course designer (4 x PGA Tour of Australia Order of Merit), born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 2022)
  • May 28 Ray Laidlaw, British folk-rock drummer (Lindisfarne - "Lady Eleanor"; Jack the Lad), born in England
  • May 29 Linda Esther Gray, Scottish operatic soprano (Isolde), born in Greenock
  • May 29 Michael Berkeley, English composer, broadcaster and House of Lords member (Jayne Eyre opera), born in London, England
  • May 29 Nick Mancuso, Italian-Canadian actor, born in Mammola, Italy
  • May 30 Michael Piller, American screenwriter (d. 2005)
  • May 31 Duncan L Hunter, (Rep-R-CA, 1981- 2009), born in Riverside, California

John Bonham

May 31 John Bonham, English rock drummer (Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love"), born in Redditch, England (d. 1980)

  • May 31 Lynda Bellingham, Canadian-born English actress (Sweeney, Scarlet Tunic), born in Montreal, Quebec, (d. 2014)
  • May 31 Svetlana Alexievich, journalist and author (Noble Prize for Literature 2015), born in Stanislav, Ukraine
  • May 31 Mike Edwards, aka Swami Deva Pramada, British cellist (ELO), born in London (d. 2010)
  • May 31 Paulinho da Costa, Brazilian percussionist (Thriller; Saturday Night Fever), born in Rio de Janeiro

Famous Weddings

  • May 15 American dancer and actress Cyd Charisse (26) weds American pop singer Tony Martin (34)

Stanley Kubrick

May 28 Film director Stanley Kubrick (19) weds high school sweetheart Toba Metz


Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Christos Ladas, Greek minister of Justice, murdered
  • May 6 43 communist rebels, executed in Athens
  • May 8 Alfred Holy, Czech composer and harpist, dies at 81
  • May 8 U Saw, Burmese politician (b. 1900)
  • May 12 Isidor Achron, American composer, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 15 Edward Flanagan, American priest and founder of Boys Town (b. 1886)
  • May 22 Claude McKaye, Jamaican-American author (Banjo, Home to Harlem), dies at 57
  • May 24 Alfred Kastner, Austrian-American harpist and composer, dies at 78
  • May 24 Jacques Feyder, Belgian director and screenwriter (b. 1885)

ExecutionWitold Pilecki

May 25 Witold Pilecki, Polish WWII resistance fighter (volunteered to go to Auschwitz, Witold's Report), executed by communist secret police after a show trial at age 47

  • May 26 Theodore Morell, German doctor, Hitler's personal physician, dies at 61
  • May 28 Unity Mitford, English fascist sympathizer and one of the Mitford sisters, dies from the effects of a bullet in her head at 33
  • May 29 May Whitty, English actress (Gaslight, Mrs Miniver, Suspicion), dies at 82
  • May 31 José Vianna da Motta, Portuguese composer, dies at 80