What Happened in May 1952

Historical Events

  • May 1 Mr Potato Head introduced
  • May 1 TWA introduces tourist class
  • May 1 US Marines take part in an atomic explosion training in Nevada
  • May 2 1st scheduled jet airliner passenger service began with a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Comet from London to Johannesburg carrying 36 passengers [1]
  • May 2 John Cage's "Water Music" (for a solo pianist, using a piano, a radio, whistles, water containers, and a deck of cards) premieres in New York City
  • May 3 "Call Me Madam" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 644 performances
  • May 3 1st landing by an airplane at geographic North Pole

Sports History

May 3 78th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro aboard Hill Gail wins his record fifth Derby

  • May 5 "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" (also known as "Vitameatavegamin") episode of "I Love Lucy" premieres, garnering 68% of US television viewers
  • May 5 Pulitzer prize awarded to Herman Wouk for this novel "The Caine Mutiny"
  • May 7 The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey Dummer
  • May 8 5th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "La Ronde" Best Film
  • May 8 Revival of Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle's musical "Shuffle Along" opens at Broadway Theater, NYC; runs for 4 performances

Music Premiere

May 8 Revival of George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind's musical political satire "Of Thee I Sing", directed by Kaufman, opens at Ziegfeld Theater, NYC; runs for 72 performances

Cannes Film Festival

May 10 5th Cannes Film Festival: "The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice" directed by Orson Welles and "Two Cents Worth of Hope" directed by Renato Castellani jointly awarded the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film

  • May 10 Revival of Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle's musical "Shuffle Along" closes at Broadway Theater, NYC, after 4 performances
  • May 12 Charlton Playground named in Bronx
  • May 12 Gaj Singh is crowned Maharaja of Jodhpur
  • May 13 Ron Necciai of Pittsburgh Pirate's Bristol Twins Class D farm team, strikes out 27 in 9-innings, as he no-hits Welch Minors; 4 Minors do reach base
  • May 13 The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, holds its first sitting
  • May 15 Detroit Tiger Virgil Trucks no-hits Washington Senators, 1-0
  • May 15 Johnny Longden becomes 2nd jockey to ride 4,000 winners
  • May 16 "New Faces of 1952" opens at Royale Theater, NYC; runs for 365 performances
  • May 17 77th Preakness: Conn McCreary aboard Blue Man wins in 1:57.4
  • May 21 Booklyn Dodgers score 15 runs in their 1st inning to beat Cincinnati Reds 19-1
  • May 21 Dutch Queen Juliana opens Amsterdam-Rhine Canal
  • May 27 European Defense Community forms
  • May 28 Memphis Kiddie Park opens in Brooklyn, Ohio. The park's Little Dipper roller coaster would become the oldest operating steel roller coaster in North America.
  • May 28 The women of Greece are given the right to vote.
  • May 29 2nd Round Conference between Dutch Antilles & Suriname ends
  • May 30 Charlie Grimm succeeds Tommy Holmes as manager of Boston Braves
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Troy Ruttman at 22 years 80 days sets record for youngest 500 winner in history; his Kuzma-Offenhauser is last dirt track car to win at Indy

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 Christine Baranski, American Tony and Emmy Award-winning stage and screen (Rumors; The Good Wife; Cybill - "Maryann"; The Birdcage), born in Buffalo, New York
  • May 2 Mari Natsuki, Japanese singer, dancer and actress, born in Tokyo
  • May 3 Allen Wells, Scottish athlete (Olympic 100m gold 1980), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • May 3 Caitlin Clarke, American actress (Dragonslayer), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 2004)
  • May 3 Keiji Haino, Japanese rock guitarist, and singer-songwriter (Fushitsusha), born in Chiba, Japan
  • May 4 Michael Barrymore, English comedian, actor, quiz master and entertainer, born in Bermondsey, London
  • May 5 Campbell McComas, Australian impersonator and broadcaster, born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 2005)
  • May 5 Louis Cortelezzi, American rock and jazz saxophonist (Mink DeVille) and film composer (Pokemon), born in New Galilee, Pennsylvania
  • May 6 Chiaki Naito-Mukai, Tatebayashi Japan, astronaut (STS 65, sk:95)
  • May 6 Christian Clavier, French actor
  • May 6 Michael O'Hare, American actor
  • May 7 Amy Heckerling, American director (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless), born in The Bronx, New York
  • May 8 Beth Henley, American actress and playwright (Miss Firecracker), born in Jackson, Mississippi
  • May 8 Charles J. Camarda, American astronaut, born in NYC, New York
  • May 9 Patrick Ryecart, actor (Silas Mariner)
  • May 10 Bob Glaub, American session and touring bass player (Jackson Browne; Nicolette Larson, Warren Zevon; Linda Ronstadt; John Fogerty), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 10 Kikki Danielsson, Swedish pop and country singer, yodeler, and accordion player, born on Osby, Sweden
  • May 10 Lee Brilleaux, British musician (Dr Feelgood), born in Durban, South Africa
  • May 10 Sly Dunbar, Jamaican reggae drummer (Sly & Robbie), born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • May 11 Darrow Igus, American comedian (Fridays, Roll Out), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • May 11 Frances Fisher, English-American actress (Titanic, Watchmen), born in Milford on Sea, England
  • May 11 Mike Lupica, American sports journalist and newspaper columnist (New York Daily News, ESPN), born in Oneida, New York
  • May 11 Renaud [Séchan], French pop singer, composer, and actor, born in Paris, France
  • May 11 Shohreh Aghdashloo, Iranian actress
  • May 11 Warren Littlefield, American television executive
  • May 13 John Kasich, US politician (Governor of Ohio (R), 2011-19), born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
  • May 13 Manfred Langer, Austrian-Dutch disco builder
  • May 13 Sew Shivnarine, West Indian cricketer (3 Tests for WI 1978, later USA captain), born in Albion, Guyana
  • May 14 David Byrne, Scottish-American rock singer-songwriter (Talking Heads - "Burning Down the House"; "Psycho Killer"), born in Dumbarton Scotland
  • May 14 Donald R McMonagle, Mjr USAF/astronaut (STS 39, 54, 66), born in Flint, Michigan
  • May 14 Robert Zemeckis, American film director (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 14 Scott Irwin, American professional wrestler (d. 1987)
  • May 15 Chazz Palminteri, American actor (The Usual Suspects, Bronx Tale), born in The Bronx, New York
  • May 15 David Brandon, American businessman (Toys "R" Us, Domino's Pizza), born in Dearborn, Michigan
  • May 15 Phil Seymour, American rock and power pop musician, singer, and songwriter (The Dwight Twilley Band), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1993)
  • May 15 Rick Waits, baseball pitcher (Rangers, Indians, Twins)
  • May 16 James Herndon, American media psychologist
  • May 17 Howard Hampton, Canadian politician
  • May 17 Jody Pijper, Dutch (background) singer
  • May 18 Diane Duane, American sci-fi author (Door into Fire), born in New York City
  • May 18 George Strait, American country singer ("All My Exes Live in Texas"), born in Pearsall, Texas
  • May 18 Jeana Yeager, American aviator (1st non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • May 18 Martin Hoke, American politician (Rep-R-Ohio), born in Lakewood, Ohio
  • May 19 Barbara Joyce Lomas, American funk and disco vocalist (B.T. Express - "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)"), born in Brooklyn, NYC
  • May 19 Bert van Marwijk, Dutch football manager
  • May 20 Roger Milla, Cameroonian footballer
  • May 20 Warren Cann, Canadian rock drummer (Ultravox), born in Victoria, British Columbia

Mr. T

May 21 Mr. T [Lawrence Tureaud], American actor (A-Team, Rocky III, T & T), born in Chicago, Illinois

  • May 22 Jan Todd, woman power lifter, once lifted 248 kg in a squat, born in Pennsylvania
  • May 23 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler, American boxer (undisputed World Middleweight champion 1980-87; second-longest unified C'ship reign in history), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 2021)
  • May 23 Anne-Marie David, French singer
  • May 23 Deborah Adair, actress (Tracey-Dynasty, Kate-Day of Our Life)
  • May 23 James Mankey, American rock guitarist (Sparks, 1972-73; Concrete Blonde - "Joey"), born in Washington
  • May 23 Martin Parr, British photographer, born in Epsom, England
  • May 25 Al Sarrantonio, American writer (999: New Stories of Horror and Suspense), born in NYC, New York
  • May 25 Gordon Smith, American politician (U.S. Senator from Oregon), born in Pendleton, Oregon
  • May 25 Jeffrey Bewkes, American media executive (CEO of Time Warner from 2008-18), born in Paterson, New Jersey
  • May 26 David Meece, American contemporary Christian singer-songwriter, and piano player, born in Humble, Texas
  • May 28 Deborah Jo Billingsley, American singer (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and songwriter, born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 2010)
  • May 28 Russell J. Wintner, American film executive
  • May 29 Louise Cooper, British sci-fi author (Nemesis, Inferno, Infanta, Nocturne), (d. 2009)
  • May 30 Alexander Toradze, Soviet Georgian-American concert pianist and music professor (University of Indiana, 1991-2017), born in Tbilisi, Georgia, USSR (d. 2022)
  • May 30 Zoltán Kocsis, Hungarian pianist, conductor and composer, born in Budapest (d. 2016)
  • May 31 Jim Vallance, Canadian songwriter, arranger and producer (Bryan Adams - "Cuts Like a Knife"; "Heaven"; "Summer of '69"), born in Chilliwack, British Columbia
  • May 31 Karl Bartos, German electronic percussionist, and composer (Kraftwerk, 1975-90; Electric Music), born in Berchtesgaden, West Germany

Famous Divorces

Hank Williams

May 29 Country music legend Hank Williams and Audrey Sheppard granted divorce for the second and final time after seven years of marriage. Their first divorce was in 1948.

Famous Deaths

  • May 6 Alberto Savinio [Andrea Francesco Alberto de Chirico], Italian composer (Capitano Ulisse), dies at 60

Maria Montessori

May 6 Maria Montessori, Italian physician/educationist, dies at 81

  • May 8 William Fox [Wilhem Fuchs], Hungarian-American movie theater pioneer and film producer (Fox Film Corporation), dies at 73
  • May 9 Canada Lee [Leonard Canegata], African-American actor (Lost Boundaries), dies of a heart attack at 45
  • May 11 Giovanni Tebaldini, Italian composer, dies at 87
  • May 15 Albert Bassermann, German actor (Foreign Correspondent, Madame Curie), dies at 84
  • May 15 Italo Montemezzi, Italian composer (L'amore dei tre re), dies at 76
  • May 16 Alec Hearne, English cricket batsman (1 Test; Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1894; Kent), dies at 88
  • May 16 Frances Benjamin Johnston, American pioneering female photographer
  • May 18 Rossetter Gleason Cole, American composer, dies at 86
  • May 21 John Garfield [Jacob Garfinkle], American actor (Four Daughters, Body and Soul), dies of coronary thrombosis at 39
  • May 23 Georg Alfred Schumann, German composer, dies at 85
  • May 26 Damaso Alonso, Spanish linguistic/poet (Hombrey Dios), dies at 55
  • May 28 Joseph Lauber, Swiss concert pianist and composer, dies at 87
  • May 31 Walter Schellenberg, German lawyer/headed spy (Venlo), dies