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

Royal Coronation

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

  • 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

Historic Event

May 8 President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek asks US for weapons

  • 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 Premiere

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

  • 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

Sports History

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

Historic Event

May 21 Vietnamese troops of Ho Chi-Minh attack Cambodia

  • May 22 Celal Bayar elected President of Turkey
  • May 22 Dutch poet Gerrit Achterberg wins PC Hooft prize

Music Premiere

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

  • May 25 Brooklyn Battery Tunnel opens in NYC
  • May 27 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Wallace Stevens
  • May 27 Morton Gould and Dorothy Field's colonial-era musical "Arms and the Girl", starring Nanette Fabray and Pearl Bailey, closes at 46th St Theater, NYC, after 134 performances
  • May 29 3rd British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "Bicycle Thieves" Best Film

Music History

May 29 The Carter family debut on the Grand Ole Opry with Chet Atkins

  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: Johnny Parsons becomes first American to win a World Championship event; race stopped after 138 laps (345 miles) due to rain

Famous Birthdays

  • 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 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 2 Duncan Gay, Australian politician, Vice-President of the Executive Council (2014-17), born in Crookwell, New South Wales
  • May 2 Lou Gramm [Grammatico], American rock singer-songwriter (Foreigner - "Hot Blooded"; "Cold As Ice"), born in Rochester, New York
  • 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"; "Goodbye"), born in Pontardawe, Wales
  • May 4 Darryl Hunt, British celtic-rock bassist (The Pogues - "Fairytale of New York"), born in Christchurch, Hampshire, England (d. 2022)
  • 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 Galen Fous, American acoustic jazz-fusion guitarist (Sacred Ground), born in Portland, Oregon
  • May 5 Googoosh [Faegheh Atashin (فائقه آتشین)], Persian singer and actress, born in Sarcheshmeh Street, Tehran
  • May 5 Maggie MacNeal, Dutch singer (Mouth & MacNeal - "I See A Star"), born in Tilburg, Netherlands
  • 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

Tim RussertTim Russert (1950-2008)

May 7 American television journalist and host of NBC's Meet the Press, born in Buffalo, New York

  • May 8 Pierre de Meuron, Swiss architect (Herzog and de Meuron - Tate Modern), born in Basel, Switzerland
  • 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 (John) "Jocko" Marcellino, American rock singer (Sha Na Na, 1969-present), born in Quincy, 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 (Tron; Scarecrow and Mrs King; Babylon 5), and novelist, born in Elgin, Illinois
  • May 12 Gabriel Byrne, Irish actor (Hello Again; Cool World), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • May 12 Renate Stecher-Meissner, German sprinter (3-time Olympic gold 1972, 76), born in Süptitz, Germany
  • May 12 Ronnie Foster, American soul, funk, and acid jazz Hammond B-3 organist, keyboard player, and record producer, born in Buffalo, New York
  • May 12 Shōzō Fujii, Japanese judoka (World Champion 1971, 1973, 1975 and 1979), born in Higashikagawa, Kagawa. Japan
  • May 13 Danny Kirwan, British musician, singer and songwriter (Fleetwood Mac - "Albatross"), born in London, England (d. 2018)

Stevie WonderStevie Wonder (72 years old)

May 13 American singer-songwriter ("You Are The Sunshine Of My Life"; "Sir Duke"), born in Saginaw, Michigan

  • May 14 Jill Stein, American physician, activist and Green Party nominee for President (2016), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 14 Mark Blum, American actor (Worth Winning, Blind Date, Presidio), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 2020)
  • 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 Algirdas Martinaitis, Lithuanian classical composer (Cantus ad futurum), born in Paserbentys, Lithuania
  • 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 Mark Mothersbaugh, American new wave rock singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (Devo - "Whip It"), born in Akron, Ohio
  • May 18 Rodney Milburn Jr, American athlete (Olympic gold 110m hurdles 1972), born in Opelousas, Louisiana (d. 1997)
  • May 18 Thomas Gottschalk, German radio and TV host (Telespiele), born in Bamberg, Germany
  • May 20 Andy Johns, British sound engineer (Rolling Stones; Led Zeppelin), and record producer (Free; Humble Pie; L.A. Guns), born in Epsom, Surrey, England (d. 2013)
  • May 20 Reinaldo Merlo, Argentine footballer
  • May 22 Alekos Alavanos, Greek politician (Member of the European Parliament for Greece), born in Athens, Greece
  • May 22 Bernie Taupin, British lyricist (Elton John), and singer, born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire
  • May 23 Aleksandr Klepikov, Russian rower (Olympic gold Soviet Union coxed four 1976), born in St. Petersburg, Russia (d. 2021)
  • May 23 Linda Thompson, actress (Hee Haw), born in Memphis, Tennessee

Martin McGuinnessMartin McGuinness (1950-2017)

May 23 Irish Sinn Féin politician and IRA member, born in Derry, Northern Ireland

  • 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 (Elizabeth) Ann Crumb, American stage and screen actress and singer, born in Charleston, West Virginia (d. 2019)
  • 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 (Maureen) "Rebbie" 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, English cartoonist, born in Birmingham, England
  • May 31 Gregory Harrison, American actor (Trapper John, M.D. - "Gonzo"; Falcon Crest; Logan's Run), born in Catalina, California

Famous Weddings

Jayne Mansfield

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

Elizabeth Taylor

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

Jack Lemmon

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 Belle da Costa Greene, American librarian, bibliographer and archivist, dies at 66
  • May 10 John G Fletcher, American poet (Burning Mountain), dies
  • May 17 Eduardo Fabini, composer, dies at 67
  • May 24 Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell, British general, dies at 67
  • May 26 Antonina Nezhdanova, Russian soprano (Bolshoi Theater), dies at 77
  • May 28 Vicente Sotto, Filipino politician and author (Sotto Law, Republic Act No. 53), dies at 73