On This Day

What Happened in May 1951

Historical Events

  • May 1 600,000 march for peace & freedom in Germany
  • May 1 Dutch Reformed Church introduces new church choir

Baseball Record

May 1 Future Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Mickey Mantle hits first career home run in 8-3 win v White Sox in Chicago; Minnie Minoso homers in Sox debut

  • May 3 Gil McDougald ties major league record with 6 RBIs in 1 inning
  • May 3 NY Yankee Gil McDougald is 5th to get 6 RBIs in an inning (9th)
  • May 3 Royal Festival Hall opens in London
  • May 3 The Festival of Britain opens
  • May 5 "Out of This World" closes at New Century Theater NYC after 157 performances
  • May 5 77th Kentucky Derby: Conn McCreary aboard Count Turf wins in 2:02.6
  • May 6 Pitts Pirate Cliff Chambers no-hits Boston Brave, 3-0
  • May 7 International Olympic committee allows Russia to participate in 1952 Olympics
  • May 7 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction awarded to Conrad Richter, for his novel "The Town"
  • May 8 Dacron men's suits introduced
  • May 8 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • May 9 Air raid on Chinese positions at Yalu River
  • May 10 Z Alexander Looby elected to Nashville City Council
  • May 11 American engineer Jay Forrester applies for patent for computer core memory
  • May 14 Sammy Fain and Yip Harburg's musical "Flahooley" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 40 performances
  • May 14 Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety debut on NBC
  • May 15 AT&T becomes the 1st US corporation to have a million stockholders after young car salesman Brady Denton purchases 7 shares worth $1,078
  • May 15 Polish cultural attache in Paris, Czesław Miłosz, asks the French government for political asylum

Historic Event

May 15 First vaginoplasty procedure (sex reassignment surgery) in the UK performed on Roberta Cowell by Harold Gillies

  • May 16 The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights begin between Idlewild Airport (New York International Airport) and Heathrow Airport (London), operated by El Al Israel Airlines
  • May 18 US General Collins predicts use of atom bomb in Korea

Sports History

May 19 76th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Bold wins in 1:56.4

  • May 21 The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition - a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School.
  • May 23 Peter Ustinov's "Love of Four Colonels" premieres in London
  • May 23 Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet signed in Beijing, formally establishes Chinese sovereignty over Tibet
  • May 24 Racial segregation in Washington, D.C. restaurants ruled illegal
  • May 24 US performs nuclear test at Enwetak (atmospheric tests)

Sports History

May 25 NY Giant Willie Mays 1st major league game (goes 0 for 5)

  • May 26 Vaughan Williams' "Pilgrim's Progress" premieres in London

Historic Event

May 27 Chinese Communists force Dalai Lama to surrender his army to Beijing

  • May 28 After going 0-for-12, Willie Mays connects for his 1st major league home run
  • May 28 Bernardus J Alfrink appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Utrecht and Titular Archbishop of Tyana
  • May 28 The Jerry Colonna Show debuts on ABC-TV

Radio Premiere

May 28 Radio programme "Crazy People" (later titled The Goon Show) premieres on the BBC, created by Spike Milligan

  • May 29 1st North Pole flight in single engine plane-CF Blair

Boxing Title Fight

May 30 Ezzard Charles beats Joey Maxim in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Lee Wallard wins in a Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser that loses its brakes, suffers damaged exhaust pipe and broken shock absorber mounting
  • May 31 Netherlands & South Africa sign cultural accord

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Gordon Greenidge, West Indies Cricket Batsman (108 Tests, 7,558 runs @ 44.72; 19 x 100s), born in St. Peter, Barbados
  • May 1 Antony Worrall Thompson, English celebrity chef
  • May 2 John "Jo" Callis, British punk-rock songwriter and musician (The Rezillos; The Human League), born in Rotherham, England
  • May 2 John Glascock, British bass guitarist and singer (Carmen, 1972-75; Jethro Tull, 1976-79 - "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young To Die"), born in Islington, England (d. 1979)
  • May 3 Christopher Cross [Geppert], American singer-songwriter ("Arthur's Theme"; "Think Of Laura"; "Sailing"), born in San Antonio, Texas
  • May 3 Tatyana Tolstaya, Russian writer, born in St Petersburg, Russia
  • May 4 (Sigmund) "Jackie" Jackson, American pop singer and songwriter (Jackson 5 - "ABC"; "I Want You Back"), born in Gary, Indiana
  • May 4 Colin Bass, British bassist (Camel), born in London
  • May 4 Mick Mars [Robert Alan Deal], guitarist (Mötley Crüe), born in Terre Haute, Indiana (alternative date 4 April 1955)
  • May 5 Rex Goh, Singaporean-Australian rock guitarist (Air Supply -"The One That You Love"), born in Singapore
  • May 6 Samuel Doe, President of Liberia (d. 1990)
  • May 6 Davey Johnstone, Scottish guitarist, and musical director (Elton John's band, 1971–1977, 1982–present), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • May 6 Zhaksylyk Ushkempirov, Kazakh Greco-Roman wrestler (Olympic gold, light-flyweight 1980; World C'ship gold 1981), born in Tegistik, Kazakhstan (d. 2020)
  • May 7 Robert Hegyes, American actor (Underground Aces; Welcome Back, Kotter - "Juan Epstein"), born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey (d. 2012)
  • May 7 Carlos Alomar, Puerto Rican-American guitarist, composer, and arranger (David Bowie), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico
  • May 7 Mic Gillette, American trumpet, trombone, and flugelhorn player (Tower of Power, Cold Blood, The Sons of Champlin), born in Oakland, California (d. 2016)
  • May 8 Chris Frantz, American rock drummer (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club), born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky
  • May 8 Deborah Harmon, American actress (Ted Knight Show; M*A*S*H; Just the 10 of Us), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 8 Philip Bailey, American R&B and pop singer (Earth Wind & Fire - "Shining Star"; solo - "Easy Lover"), born in Denver, Colorado
  • May 8 Mike D'Antoni, American basketball coach (NBA Coach of the Year 2005, 17; Houston Rockets; LA Lakers, NY Knicks, Phoenix Suns), born in Mullens, West Virginia
  • May 9 Alley Mills, actress (Norma Arnold-Wonder Years), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 9 Joy Harjo, American poet and musician (first Native American US Poet Laureate, 2019-), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • May 9 Charley Drayton, American session and touring drummer, bass player (X-pensive Winos; DiVinyls; Paul Simon; Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul; Bob Dylan), and record producer, born in New York City
  • May 10 Ron Banks, American R&B singer and songwriter (Dramatics - "Whatcha See is Whatcha Get"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2010)
  • May 10 Steve Gunderson, (Rep-R-WI, 1981- )
  • May 11 Mike Sleman, English rugby union winger (32 caps; British and Irish Lions 1980; Liverpool RUFC), born in Liverpool, England (d. 2020)
  • May 12 Gunnar Larrson, Swedish 200m/400m swimmer (Olympic gold 1972)
  • May 13 Paul Thompson, British rock drummer (Roxy Music - "Love Is The Drug")
  • May 13 Selina Scott, English TV newscaster (West 57th), born in Scarborough, England
  • May 13 Jim Douglas, American politician, Governor of Vermont (2003-11), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • May 13 Guus Janssens, Dutch jazz and classical pianist, harpsichordist, and composer, born in Heiloo, Netherlands
  • May 14 Jay Beckenstein, American saxophonist (Spyro Gyra - "Morning Dance"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 14 Season Hubley [Susan], American actress (Vice Squad, Hardcore), born in NYC, New York
  • May 15 (Dennis) "Fergie" Frederiksen, American rock singerr (Toto, 1984-85), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 2014)
  • May 15 Frank Wilczek, American Physicist (2004 Nobel Prize), born in Mineola, New York
  • May 16 Jonathan Richman, American rock singer-songwriter (Modern Lovers - "Road Runner"), born in Natick, Massachusetts
  • May 16 Christian Lacroix, French fashion designer, born in Arles, France
  • May 17 I R Evans, CEO (Hyder, Welsh Water)
  • May 17 Simon Hughes, British politician and government minister (SD)
  • May 18 Angela Voigt, East German long jumper (Olympic gold 1976), born in Weferlingen, East Germany (d. 2013)
  • May 18 Denny Dillon, American comedian (SNL, Dream On), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 18 James Stephens, American actor (Paper Chase, Devil's Island), born in Mount Kisco, New York
  • May 18 Rodger Davis, Australian golfer (British Open runner-up 1997), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • May 18 Jim Sundberg, American baseball player (Kansas City Royals), born in Galesburg, Illinois
  • May 18 Mike Baird, American session drummer (Donna Summer; Rick Springfiel; Eddie Money; Richard Marx; Kenny Rogers), born in South Gate, California
  • May 19 Joey Ramone [Jeffrey Hyman], American punk rock singer and musician (The Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"; Blitzkrieg Bop"; solo -"What a Wonderful World") (d. 2001)
  • May 19 Dick Slater, American professional wrestler
  • May 19 James Boyer, American audio engineer and record producer (Peter Cetera; Billy Joel; George Benson), born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
  • May 20 Michael D Crapo, (Rep-R-Idaho)
  • May 20 Thomas D Akers, American former astronaut (STS 41, 49, 61, 79), born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • May 20 William Cullen Bryant, actor (Hell Squad)
  • May 21 Al Franken, US politician (Senate-D-Minnesota 2009-18) comedian, writer, actor (SNL, 1975-80; 1985-90), born in NYC, New York
  • May 21 Arthur Russell, American experimental classical-pop fusion cellist, and composer, born in Oskaloosa, Iowa (d. 1992)

Anatoly Karpov

May 23 Anatoly Karpov, Russian chess player (world champion 1975-85, 93-99), born in Zlatoust, Russia

  • May 23 Judy Rodman, American country singer ("Girls Ride Horses Too"), born in Riverside, California
  • May 23 Antonis Samaras, Greek politician
  • May 23 Don Warrington [Donald Williams], Trinidadian-born British actor (Rising Damp), born in Trinidad
  • May 24 Rob Baker, Canadian rock drummer (Red Rider, 1975-85 - "Lunatic Fringe"; "White Hot"), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • May 24 Ronald Parise, Italian-American astronaut (STS 35, STS 67), born in Warren, Ohio
  • May 25 Bob Gale, American screenwriter (Back to the Future), born in University City, Missouri
  • May 25 Chuck Ruff, American rock drummer (Edgar Winter Group - "Frankenstein"), born in Reno, Nevada (d. 2011)
  • May 26 Muhammed Ahmad Faris, Syria, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-3)
  • May 26 Madeleine Taylor-Quinn, Irish politician

Sally Ride

May 26 Sally Ride, American astronaut (first American woman to go to space), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2012)

  • May 27 John Conteh, British boxer, WBC Light Heavyweight crown (1974-77), born in Liverpool
  • May 27 Norma Jean Almodovar, American author (Cop to Call Girl) and sex worker activist, born in Binghampton, New York
  • May 29 Peter Chernin, American businessman, President of News Corporation, born in Harrison, New York
  • May 29 Ron Levy [Reuvin Levi], American blues Hammond organist, and composer, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • May 30 Stephen Tobolowsky, Tx, actor (Single White Female, Thelma & Louise)
  • May 30 Fernando Lugo, Paraguayan politician
  • May 30 Zdravko Čolić, Yugoslav-Bosnian singer, born in Sarajevo, FPR Yugoslavia
  • May 31 Jimmy Nalls, American session and touring rock-jazz-fusion guitarist (Sea Level), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2017)

Famous Deaths

  • May 5 Eddie Dunn, comedian (Face to Face, Spin the Picture), dies at 54

Leo Diegel

May 5 Leo Diegel, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1928-29), dies of throat and lung cancer at 52

  • May 6 Élie Cartan, French mathematician (b. 1869)

Warner Baxter

May 7 Warner Baxter, American actor (In Old Arizona; Cisco Kid), dies at 62

  • May 9 Marie Ault, British actress, dies at 80
  • May 12 Oscar DePriest, American politician (Rep-D-Ill), dies at 80
  • May 13 Marianne Philips, Dutch author (Issue Beukennoot), dies at 65
  • May 17 Karl Heinrich David, composer, dies at 66
  • May 20 Jan Ingenhoven, Dutch composer and conductor, dies at 74
  • May 25 Paula von Preradović, Croatian-Austrian poet and writer, dies at 63
  • May 26 Lincoln Ellsworth, Arctic explorer, dies at 71
  • May 27 Thomas Blamey, Australian general (WWI, WWII), dies at 67
  • May 29 Dimitrios Levidis, Greek composer, dies at 66
  • May 29 Fanny Brice, American Zeigfield Girl and commedienne (Baby Snooks Show), dies at 59
  • May 29 Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Czech organist and composer, dies at 91
  • May 29 Robert Kahn, German composer, dies at 85
  • May 30 Hermann Broch, Austrian novelist (Sleepwalkers, Bewitchment), dies at 64