On This Day

What Happened in May 1949

Historical Events

  • May 1 A's Elmer Valo is 1st AL'er to hit 2 bases-loaded triples in a game
  • May 1 Gerard Kuiper discovers Nereid, (2nd satellite of Neptune)

Historic Event

May 2 Arthur Miller wins Pulitzer Prize for "Death of a Salesman"

  • May 2 Bolivian state of siege proclaimed
  • May 2 Don Newcombe, 1st start, shuts out Cincinnati on 5 hits to win 3-0
  • May 3 1st firing of a US Viking rocket; reached 80 km
  • May 4 Plane carrying the entire Torino Serie A soccer squad crashes on the outskirts of Turin, Italy; 31 killed; Torino awarded League title at the request of their rivals
  • May 5 KGO TV channel 7 in San Francisco, California (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • May 5 Statute of Council of Europe drawn up
  • May 5 Detroit Tigers second baseman Charlie Gehringer is elected in the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • May 7 75th Kentucky Derby: Steve Brooks aboard Ponder wins in 2:04.2
  • May 8 West German constitution approved
  • May 9 Britain's 1st launderette opens in Queensway, London

Historic Event

May 9 Prince Rainier III becomes monarch of Monaco

  • May 11 By a vote of 37-12, Israel becomes 59th member of UN
  • May 11 Siam renames itself Thailand

Historic Event

May 12 1st foreign woman ambassador received in USA (Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India)

  • May 13 1st British-produced jet bomber, the Canberra, makes its 1st test flight
  • May 14 "Love Life" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 252 performances
  • May 14 74th Preakness: Ted Atkinson aboard Capot wins in 1:56

Historic Invention

May 14 US President Harry Truman signs bill establishing a rocket test range at Cape Canaveral

  • May 17 British government recognises Republic of Ireland (previously Irish Free State)
  • May 18 Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America incorporates
  • May 23 Federal Republic of [West] Germany created out of the American, British and French occupation zones
  • May 25 Chinese Red army occupies Shanghai

Sports History

May 27 Indians start 12-17, owner Bill Veeck arranges a "Second Opening Day"

  • May 27 Martin Canine, cartoon character, spoofs Martin Kane
  • May 28 French Championships Men's Tennis: Frank Parker retains title; beats fellow American Budge Patty 6-3, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4
  • May 28 French Championships Women's Tennis: Margaret Osborne duPont wins her second French singles crown; beats Nelly Adamson Landry of France 7-5, 6-2
  • May 29 Candid Camera, TV comedy show, moves to NBC
  • May 29 1st British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "The Best Years of Our Lives" Best Film
  • May 29 2nd British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "Hamlet" Best Film
  • May 30 East German constitution approved
  • May 30 NPS/VHP win 1st general election in Suriname
  • May 30 WRTV TV channel 6 in Indianapolis, IN (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: After finishing runner-up the previous 2 years, Bill Holland finally wins giving car owner Lou Moore his 3rd consecutive Indy victory; 1947-48 winner Mauri Rose fired after the race for ignoring team orders
  • May 31 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Hermitage CC: Sam Snead beats fellow American Johnny Palmer, 3 & 2; first time reigning Masters champion wins PGA Championship in the same calendar year.
  • May 31 Charley Lupica begins stay on 4 foot square platform atop a 60' pole, vowing to stay until Indians clinch pennant. (They don't, & stays 117 days)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Douglas Barr, actor (Howie-Fall Guy), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • May 1 Tim Hodgkinson, British composer and musician (Henry Cow), born in Salisbury, England
  • May 1 Paul Teutul, Sr., founder of Orange County Choppers
  • May 1 Jim Clench, Canadian rock bassist and songwriter (April Wine; Bachman-Turner Overdrive), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2010)
  • May 2 Joey Phillips, percussionist (Atlantic Starr - "Touch a Four-Leaf Clover")
  • May 2 Alan Titchmarsh, English gardener and broadcaster (Gardener's World), born in Iilkley, England
  • May 3 Albert Sacco Jr., American chemical engineer and astronaut (STS 73), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 3 Ron Wyden, American politician (Senator-D-Oregon 1996-, Rep-D-Oregon 1981-96), born in Wichita, Kansas
  • May 3 Ken Hom, Chinese-American chef, author and BBC TV presenter (OBE for "services to culinary arts" 2009), born in Tucson, Arizona
  • May 3 Leopoldo Luque, Argentine soccer striker (43 caps; River Plate), born in Santa Fe, Argentina (d. 2021)
  • May 4 Sybil Danning, Austrian-American actress (Chained Heat), born in Wels, Austria
  • May 4 Zal Cleminson, Scottis guitarist (Alex Harvey Band), born in Glasgow
  • May 4 John Force, American drag racer (16 NHRA Championships), born in Bell Gardens, California
  • May 4 Graham Swift, British author (Waterland, Last Orders), born in London
  • May 5 Anna Bergman, Swedish actress (Agent 69), born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 6 David Leestma, American astronaut (STS 41-G, 28, 45), born in Muskegon, Michigan
  • May 7 Kathy Ahern, American golfer (Women's PGA C'ship 1972), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1996)
  • May 7 Stuart Marshall, British film director (Desire), born in Manchester (d.1993)

Billy Joel

May 9 Billy Joel, American rock singer-songwriter, and piano player ("Piano Man"; "Just the Way You Are"; "Captain Jack"), born in The Bronx, New York

  • May 9 Oleg Yuriyevich Atkov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz T-10)
  • May 10 Miuccia Prada, Italian fashion designer (Prada), born in Milan, Italy
  • May 10 Michael Larson, American "Press Your Luck" scandal big-winning contestant, born in Lebanon, Ohio (d. 1999)
  • May 10 Nolan Porter, American R&B singer-songwriter ("Keep On Keeping On"), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2021)
  • May 13 Franklyn Ajaye, American comedian and actor (Car Wash, The Jazz Singer, Bridesmaids), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 13 Jane Glover, British conductor (London Mozart Players, 1984-91; Music of the Baroque Ennsemble (Chicago), 2002-), born in Helmsley, England
  • May 13 Zoe Wanamaker, American actress (Raggedy Rawney), born in NYC, New York
  • May 13 Piotr Moss, Polish-French contemporary classical composer, born in Bydgoszcz, Poland
  • May 14 Klaus-Peter Thaler, German cyclist, born in Eckmannshausen, West Germany
  • May 15 Eric Beekes, Dutch pop singer (Kater), and actor (Lily Was Here), born in Surabaya, Dutch East Indies (now Jawa Timur, Indonesia)
  • May 15 Frank L Culbertson Jr, American US Navy officer and NASA astronaut (STS-38), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • May 15 Wendy Pritchard, Australian women's field hockey team manager (Olympic gold - 1996 & 2000), born in Busselton, Western Australia
  • May 16 Rick Reuschel, pitcher (NY Yankees)
  • May 17 Bill Bruford, PhD, British rock and jazz drummer (Yes; King Crimson; Genesis (touring only); Earthworks), born in Sevenoaks, Kent, England
  • May 17 Timothy Cordy, British director (Town/Country Planning Association)
  • May 17 Andrew Latimer, English musician (Camel), born in Guildford, England
  • May 18 Rick Wakeman, British session pianist (Cat Stevens; David Bowie), progressive rock keyboardist (Yes), and composer, born in London
  • May 18 Stuart Gannes, American writer (Fortune), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • May 18 William Wallace, Canadian musician (The Guess Who - "American Woman"), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • May 18 Jim McNeely, American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger (Mel Lewis; Stan Getz; Phil Woods), and educator, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 19 Joseph "Dusty" Hill, American rock bassist and songwriter (ZZ Top - "Cheap Sunglasses"; "Legs"), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2021) [1]

Ashraf Ghani

May 19 Ashraf Ghani, Afghan economist and President of Afghanistan (2014-21), born in Logar, Afghanistan

  • May 20 Nick Rahall II, American politician (Rep-D-WV, 1977-2015), born in Beckley, West Virginia
  • May 21 Andrew Neil, Scottish newspaper editor, (Sunday Times), born in Paisley, Scotland
  • May 21 Arno [Arnold Hintjens], Belgian rock singer-songwriter (TC Matic), born in Ostend, Belgium (d. 2022)
  • May 21 Rosalind Plowright, British mezzo-soprano (Aida, Senta), born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England
  • May 23 Alan García, President of Peru (Peruvian Aprista Party: 1985-90, 2006-11), born in Lima, Peru (d. 2019)
  • May 24 Jim Broadbent, English actor (Iris), born in Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Roger Deakins

May 24 Roger Deakins, English cinematographer (Blade Runner 2049), born in Torquay, Devon, England

  • May 25 Jamaica Kincaid [Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardsonn], Antiguan-American journalist (NYer), born in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda
  • May 25 Lalith Kaluperuma, Sri Lankan cricketer (two Tests for Sri Lanka 1982), born in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • May 26 Dan Pastorini, American football quarterback (Super Bowl 1980 Oakland Raiders; Pro Bowl 1975 Houston Oilers), born in Sonora, California
  • May 26 Dayle Haddon, Canadian model and actress (North Dallas Forty; Bedroom Eyes), born in Montreal, Quebec

Hank Williams Jr

May 26 Hank Williams, Jr, American country singer-songwriter ("All My Rowdy Friends"; "Honky Tonkin'": "There's A Tear In My Beer"), born in Shreveport, Louisiana

  • May 26 Pam Grier, American actress (The Big Bird Cage; Jackie Brown; The L-Word), born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • May 26 Philip Michael Thomas, American actor (Miami Vice - "Tubbs"), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • May 26 Ward Cunningham, American computer programmer and inventor (the wiki), born in Michigan City, Indiana
  • May 26 Jeremy Corbyn, British politician (Labour Party leader 2015-20), born in Chippenham, England
  • May 28 Shelley Hamlin, American golfer (US Open runner-up 1973), born in San Mateo, California (d. 2018)
  • May 28 Sue Holderness, English actress (Marlene-Only Fools & Horses, Sandbaggers), born in London, England
  • May 28 Wendy O. Williams, American punk rock singer-songwriter (The Plasmatics), born in Webster, New York (d. 1998)
  • May 28 Steve King, American politician (Rep (R) Iowa 2003-21) rebuked for racist comments, born in Storm Lake, Iowa
  • May 28 Joseph Alfidi, American classical prodigy pianist, composer and conductor, born in New York City (d. 2015)
  • May 29 Francis Rossi, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Status Quo), born in London, England
  • May 29 Brian Kidd, English soccer forward, coach, manager (England 2 caps, Manchester City), born in Manchester, England
  • May 30 Bob Willis, English cricket fast bowler and captain (90 Tests, 325 wickets; 64 ODIs), born in Sunderland, County Durham, England (d. 2019)
  • May 30 P.J. Carlesimo, American basketball coach
  • May 31 Steven Kampmann, American actor (Kirk-Newhart), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 31 Tom Berenger, American actor (Big Chill, Someone to Watch Over Me), born in Chicago, Illinois

Famous Weddings

David Lean

May 21 Film director David Lean (41) weds actress and producer Ann Todd (40) in London

Rita Hayworth

May 27 American "Gilda" actress Rita Hayworth (31) weds Pakistani race horse owner Prince Aly Khan (37); separate in 1951, divorce finalized in 1953

Anwar Sadat

May 29 President of Egypt Anwar Sadat (30) weds human rights activist Jehan Raouf (16) in Egypt


Famous Divorces

Doris Day

May 31 American singer and actress Doris Day (27) divorces American saxophonist George Weidler (23) after 3 years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • May 6 Arthur Ochse, South African cricketer (10 wickets in 3 Tests for South Africa 1927-29), dies at 49

Maurice Maeterlinck

May 6 Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian playwright, poet and author (Blue Bird, Nobel 1911), dies at 86

  • May 6 Kunihiko Hashimoto, Japanese composer, violinist, conductor, and musical educator, dies of gastric cancer at 44
  • May 9 Louis II [Louis Honoré Charles Antoine Grimaldi], Prince of Monaco, dies at 78
  • May 16 William Newzam Prior Nicholson, painter/engraver, dies
  • May 18 James Truslow Adams, American historian (Pulitzer 1921), dies at 70
  • May 20 Randolph West, American biochemist, known for the Dakin-West reaction (b. 1890)
  • May 21 Klaus Mann, German-American author (Mephisto), dies at 42
  • May 22 Hans Pfitzner, German composer (Palestrina), dies at 80
  • May 22 Klaus H T Mann, German/American writer (Turning Point), dies
  • May 24 Alexey Shchusev, Russian-Soviet architect, dies at 75
  • May 25 Simon Spoor, Dutch intelligence officer and general (WWII), dies at 47
  • May 27 Ropert L Ripley, cartoonist (Believe It or Not), dies at 55 in NY