On This Day

What Happened in May 1950

Historical Events

  • May 1 Gwendolyn Brooks is 1st African American awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry
  • May 1 Mayor of Brussels reluctantly bans May Day parade
  • May 1 New marriage laws enforced in People's Republic of China
  • May 1 Pulitzer prize awarded to Rodgers & Hammerstein for musical "South Pacific"
  • May 1 WJIM (now WLNS) TV channel 6 in Lansing, MI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 2 Carlo Terron's "Giuditta" premieres in Milan
  • May 2 Dutch 1st Chamber accept Laws on immigration
  • May 2 Dutch PM Malan recognizes South-Africa but not People's Republic of China

CrownRoyal Coronation

May 5 Bhumibol Adulyadej crowned King Rama IX of Thailand in the Royal Palace in Bangkok

King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej
King of Thailand
Bhumibol Adulyadej
  • May 6 "Great to Be Alive" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 52 performances
  • May 6 76th Kentucky Derby: William Boland on Middleground wins in 2:01.6

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 8 Chiang Kai-shek asks US for weapons

Chinese Military and Political Leader Chiang Kai-shek
Chinese Military and Political Leader
Chiang Kai-shek
  • May 9 French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman calls for European community EGKS
  • May 9 Norman Dello Joio's opera, "The Triumph of St. Joan", premieres in Bronxville, New York
  • May 10 1st Netherlands-US telex sent
  • May 11 Belgium mine disaster at Borinage, 39 die

  • May 11 Eugene Ionesco's first play "La Cantatrice Chauve" (The Bald Soprano) premieres in Paris

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 12 Darius Milhaud's opera "Bolivar" premieres in Paris

Composer Darius Milhaud
Composer
Darius Milhaud
  • May 13 Diner's Club issues its 1st credit cards
  • May 13 First ever race of the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship is run at Silverstone, England and won by Giuseppe Farina of italy in an Alfa Romeo
  • May 14 Pitts Johnny Hopp goes 6 for 6 including 2 HRs
  • May 18 "Liar" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 12 performances
  • May 18 MLB St. Louis Cardinals baseman Tommy Glaviano makes 3 consecutive errors on grounders
  • May 19 NY Times reports of worlds smallest & dumbest mechanical brain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 20 75th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Hill Prince wins in 1:59.2

Racing Hall of Fame Jockey Eddie Arcaro
Racing Hall of Fame Jockey
Eddie Arcaro

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 Vietnamese troops of Ho Chi-Minh attack Cambodia

Vietnamese Communist Revolutionary Ho Chi Minh
Vietnamese Communist Revolutionary
Ho Chi Minh
  • May 22 Celal Bayar elected President of Turkey
  • May 22 Dutch poet Gerrit Achterberg wins PC Hooft prize

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 Richard Strauss' "4 Last Songs" (4 letzte Lieder) in London

Composer and Conductor Richard Strauss
Composer and Conductor
Richard Strauss
  • May 25 Brooklyn Battery Tunnel opens in NYC
  • May 27 "Arms & the Girl" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 134 performances
  • May 27 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Wallace Stevens
  • May 29 3rd British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAS): "Bicycle Thieves" Best Film
  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: Due to rain, race shortened to 345 miles, Johnny Parson wins
  • May 31 Laker takes 14-12-2-8 in Test Cricket trial

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Marina Stepanova, Russian athlete (3-time 400m hurdles WR; first woman to run sub 53s; 52.94s 1986), born in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • May 1 Dann Florek, American actor (Law & Order), born in Flat Rock, Michigan
  • May 1 Danny McGrain, Scottish soccer right-back (62 caps; Celtic), born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • May 2 Lou Gramm [Grammatico], American rock singer-songwriter (Foreigner - "Hot Blooded"; "Cold As Ice"), born in Rochester, New York
  • May 2 Duncan Gay, Australian politician, Vice-President of the Executive Council (2014-17), born in Crookwell, New South Wales
  • May 2 Randy Colley (Moondog Rex), American pro wrestler (WWF Tag Team champion 1981), born in Alexander City, Alabama (d. 2019)
  • May 3 Mary Hopkin, Welsh folk singer ("Those Were the Days"), born in Pontardawe, Wales
  • May 4 Darryl Hunt, British celtic-rock bassist (Pogues - "Fairytale of New York",), born in orn in Christchurch, Hampshire, England
  • May 4 Hilly Hicks, American actor (Roll Out, Roots), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 4 René van Asten, Dutch actor (Herenstraat 10), born in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
  • May 5 Maggie MacNeal, Dutch singer (Mouth & MacNeal - "I See A Star"), born in Tilburg, Netherlands
  • May 5 Googoosh [Faegheh Atashin (فائقه آتشین)], Persian singer and actress, born in Sarcheshmeh Street, Tehran
  • May 5 Galen Fous, American acoustic jazz-fusion guitarist (Sacred Ground), born in Portland, Oregon
  • May 6 Robbie McIntosh, Scottish drummer (Average White Band - "Pick Up The Pieces"), born in Dundee (d. 1974)
  • May 7 (Charles) "Prairie" Prince, American rocker (The Tubes; Chris Isaak; Jefferson Starship, 1992-2008), born in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • May 7 Randall 'Tex' Cobb, American boxer and actor, born in Bridge City, Texas

Person of interestTim Russert

May 7 Tim Russert, American television journalist and host of NBC's Meet the Press, born in Buffalo, New York (d. 2008)

Television Journalist Tim Russert
Television Journalist
Tim Russert
  • May 9 James A Butts, American triple jumper (Olympic silver 1976), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 9 Matthew Kelly, actor/TV host (Holding the Fort, Relative Strangers)
  • May 9 Tom Petersson, American rock bassist (Cheap Trick - "I Want You to Want Me"), born in Rockford, Illinois
  • May 10 Sally James [Cann], British children's TV-show presenter (Tiswas), born in Chiswick, London
  • May 11 Dane Iorg, American MLB baseball player, 1977-86 (Philadelphia Philles, St. Louis Cardinals, and 2 other teams), born in Eureka, California
  • May 11 Jeremy Paxman, English broadcaster (University Challenge, Newsnight), born in Leeds, England
  • May 11 John Kelly, American General, President Trump's Chief of Staff (2017-), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 12 Billy Squier, American rock singer-songwriter, and guitarist ("The Stroke"; "My Kind Of Lover"), born in Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • May 12 Bruce Boxleitner, American actor (Scarecrow & Mrs King; Babylon 5), born in Elgin, Illinois
  • May 12 Gabriel Byrne, Irish actor (Hello Again; Cool World), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • May 12 Jocko Marcellino, American rocker (Sha Na Na), born in Quincy, Massachusetts
  • May 12 Renate Stecher-Meissner, German sprinter (3-time Olympic gold 1972, 76), born in Süptitz, Germany
  • May 12 Shōzō Fujii, Japanese judoka (4x World Champion 1971-79)
  • May 13 Danny Kirwan, British musician, singer and songwriter (Fleetwood Mac - "Albatross"), born in London, England (d. 2018)

Person of interestStevie Wonder

May 13 Stevie Wonder [Stevland Hardaway Morris], American singer-songwriter ("You Are The Sunshine Of My Life"; "Sir Duke"), born in Saginaw, Michigan

Singer-Songwriter Stevie Wonder
Singer-Songwriter
Stevie Wonder
  • May 14 Mark Blum, American actor (Worth Winning, Blind Date, Presidio), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 2020)
  • May 14 Jill Stein, American physician, activist and Green Party nominee for President (2016), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 15 Nicholas Hammond, American actor (The Amazing Spider-Man), born in Washington, D.C.
  • May 16 Jock Bartley, American singer-songwriter, and guitarist (Firefall - "Just Remember I Love You"), born in Hutchinson, Kansas
  • May 16 Johannes Bednorz, German superconductivity physicist (Nobel 1987)
  • May 16 Ray Condo [Tremblay], Canadian rockabilly guitarist and sax player, born in Hull, Quebec (d. 2004)
  • May 17 Alan Johnson, British politician (Home Secretary 2009-10), born in London
  • May 17 Howard Ashman, American playwright and lyricist (Little Shop of Horrors: The Little Mermaid), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1991)
  • May 17 Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian politician
  • May 18 Rodney Milburn Jr, American hurdler (Olympic gold 1972), born in Opelousas, Louisiana (d. 1997)
  • May 18 Thomas Gottschalk, German radio and TV host (Telespiele), born in Bamberg, Germany
  • May 18 Mark Mothersbaugh, American new wave rock singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (Devo - "Whip It"), born in Akron, Ohio
  • May 20 Reinaldo Merlo, Argentine footballer
  • May 20 Andy Johns, British sound engineer and record producer (Humble Pie; Free; Joe Satriani), born in Epsom, Surrey, England (d. 2013)
  • May 22 Bernie Taupin, British lyricist (Elton John), and singer, born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire
  • May 22 Alekos Alavanos, Greek politician (Member of the European Parliament for Greece), born in Athens, Greece
  • May 23 Linda Thompson, actress (Hee Haw), born in Memphis, Tennessee

Person of interestMartin McGuinness

May 23 Martin McGuinness, Irish Sinn Féin politician and IRA member, born in Derry, Northern Ireland (d. 2017)

Sinn Féin Leader Martin McGuinness
Sinn Féin Leader
Martin McGuinness
  • May 23 Aleksandr Klepikov, Russian rower (Olympic gold Soviet Union coxed four 1976), born in St. Petersburg, Russia (d. 2021)
  • May 23 William Barr, American lawyer (US Attorney General, 1992-93 and 2019-20), born in New York City
  • May 24 Jo Ann Washam, American golfer (3 LPGA Tour titles), born in Auburn, Washington
  • May 24 Larry Seidlin, American judge (judge during the infamous Anna Nicole Smith body custody hearing after her death), born in The Bronx, New York
  • May 25 Robby Steinhardt, American rock violinist and singer (Kansas - "Carry On Wayward Son"), born in Lawrence, Kansas
  • May 27 Dee Dee Bridgewater (née Garrett), American Grammy Award winning jazz singer-songwriter, Tony Award-winning stage actress (The Wiz), and radio host (NPR's "JazzSet"), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • May 28 Ian Bradley, British writer and academic
  • May 28 Jim Harris, American professional wrestler
  • May 29 Rebbie [Maureen] Jackson, American singer (R U Tuff Enuff), born in Gary, Indiana
  • May 29 Talat Ali, Pakistani cricket batsman (Pakistan 10 Tests), born in Lahore, Punjab
  • May 30 Bertrand Delanoë, French politician
  • May 30 Paresh Rawal, Indian Bollywood actor (Woh Chokri, Woh Chokri), born in Bombay, India
  • May 31 Edward Barker, cartoonist
  • May 31 Gregory Harrison, Catalina California, actor (Trapper John, Logan's Run)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

May 6 Elizabeth Taylor (18) marries for the 1st time to hotel heir Conrad "Nicky" Hilton (23)

  • May 6 American student, and aspiring actress, Vera Jayne (Palmer) Peers (later known as Jayne Mansfield) (17) weds American student Paul Mansfield (20), in Fort Worth, Texas; divorce in 1958

LoveWedding of Interest

May 7 Actor Jack Lemmon (25) weds tv actress Cynthia Stone (24)


Famous Deaths

  • May 6 Agnes Smedley, writer, dies
  • May 7 Bertha "Chippie" Hill, American blues and vaudeville singer (King Oliver's Jazz Band), struck and killed by a car in New York City at 45
  • May 8 Franklin Dyall, British actor (Easy Virtue, Atlantic), dies at 80
  • May 8 Vital Brazil, Brazilian physician (b. 1865)
  • May 9 Esteban Terradas i Illa, Catalan mathematician, scientist and engineer, dies at 66
  • May 10 John G Fletcher, American poet (Burning Mountain), dies
  • May 10 Belle da Costa Greene, American librarian, bibliographer and archivist, dies at 66
  • May 17 Eduardo Fabini, composer, dies at 67
  • May 24 Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell, British general, dies at 67
  • May 26 Antonina Neshdanova, Russian soprano (Bolshoi Theater), dies at 77
  • May 28 Vicente Sotto, Filipino politician and author (Sotto Law, Republic Act No. 53), dies at 73