What Happened in May 1953

Historical Events

  • May 2 79th Kentucky Derby: Hank Moreno aboard Dark Star wins in 2:02
  • May 2 Feisal II installed as King of Iraq
  • May 2 Hussein I installed as King of Jordan
  • May 3 Westchester conference of American Library Association proclaims "Freedom to Read"
  • May 3 WTVO TV channel 17 in Rockford, IL (NBC) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

May 4 Pulitzer Prize for Literature awarded to Ernest Hemingway for "The Old Man & The Sea"

  • May 6 MLB St. Louis Browns Alva "Bobo" Holloman, in his first start game as starting pitcher, no-hits visiting Philadelphia A's, 6-0
  • May 7 "Can Can" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 892 performances

Music Premiere

May 7 Cole Porter's musical "Can-Can" opens at the Shubert Theatre, NYC; runs for 892 performances

  • May 7 Record 537-kg swordfish is caught by LE Marron, in Chile
  • May 8 WIPB TV channel 49 in Muncie, IN (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 10 KCBD TV channel 11 in Lubbock, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 11 Tornado kills 114 in Waco Texas ($39M damage)
  • May 12 KUHT TV channel 8 (PBS) in Houston, TX, begins broadcasting

Boxing Title Fight

May 15 In his first world heavyweight title defence, Rocky Marciano KOs former champion Jersey Joe Walcott in the 1st round at Chicago Stadium

  • May 15 Osip Zadkine's monument to "The destroyed city" unveiled in Rotterdam
  • May 15 The Urey-Miller experiment using primordial soup to show how life of earth might have originated, written by Stanley Miller, is published in the journal "Science" [1]
  • May 16 Phillies Curt Simmons gives up a single, then retires next 27 in a row
  • May 17 Yanks & Browns use record 41 players in a game
  • May 18 American Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier
  • May 19 Nuclear explosion in Nevada (fall-out in St George, Utah)
  • May 21 French government of René Mayer resigns

Historic Event

May 22 US President Eisenhower signs Offshore Oil Bill

  • May 22 Yankee Irv Noren hits into a triple-play, Yanks beat Wash 12-4
  • May 23 78th Preakness: Eric Guerin aboard Native Dancer wins in 1:57.8
  • May 23 WHIZ TV channel 18 in Zanesville, OH (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting

Catholic Encyclical

May 24 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Doctor Mellifluus

  • May 25 1st atomic cannon electronically fired at Frenchman Flat, Nevada
  • May 25 1st non-commercial educational television station - Houston, Texas
  • May 25 Braves Max Surkont strikes out record 8 Reds in a row
  • May 26 Dutch Convair crashes at Schipholweg, 2 die
  • May 27 Dutch social democratic/Dutch Liberal Party win municipal elections
  • May 28 Premier of 1st animated 3-D cartoon in Technicolor-"Melody"

Historic Event

May 29 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire (to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II)

Tenzing Norgay on the Summit of Mount Everest

May 29 Edmund Hillary (NZ) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) are first to reach the summit of Mount Everest as part of a British Expedition

  • May 30 1st major league network baseball game-Cleveland 7, Chicago 2

French Open Men's Tennis

May 30 French Championships Men's Tennis: Ken Rosewall of Australia wins his 2nd Grand Slam title, beating American Vic Seixas 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2

French Open Women's Tennis

May 30 French Championships Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly beats fellow American Doris Hart 6-2, 6-4 for the 2nd leg of her Grand Slam

  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Labelled "Hottest 500" due to high temperatures, Bill Vukovich wins first of 2 consecutive Indy 500 victories; Carl Scarborough drops out of race, and later dies of heat prostration
  • May 31 Lebanese president Camille Shamun disbands government
  • May 31 WSUN TV channel 38 in St Petersburg-Tampa, FL (IND) 1st broadcast

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Elquemedo Willett, West Indian cricket spin bowler (5 Tests, 11 wickets), born in Charlestown, Nevis
  • May 1 Felix Hanemann, American rocker (Zebra), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • May 1 Glen Ballard, American songwriter and record producer (Alanis Morissette; Michael Jackson), born in Natchez, Mississippi
  • May 2 Jamaal Wilkes, American NBA forward (Golden State-Rookie of Yr 1975), born in Berkeley, California
  • May 2 Valery Gergiev, Russian conductor (Mariinsky Orchestra, 1988 -present; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, 1995-2008), born in Moscow, USSR
  • May 3 Bruce Hall, American rock bassist (Reo Speedwagon), born in Champaign, Illinois
  • May 6 Graeme Souness, Scottish soccer midfielder (54 caps; Middlesbrough FC, Liverpool FC 247 games) and manager (FA Cup: 1991–92 Liverpool; 3 x SPD Rangers), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • May 6 Lynn Whitfield, American actress (Josephine Baker; Equal Justice), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • May 6 Michelle Courchesne, Quebec politician

Tony Blair

May 6 Tony Blair, British Prime Minister (Labour: 1997-2007), born in Edinburgh, Scotland

  • May 7 Ian McKay, British soldier (VC recipient), born in Wortley, South Yorkshire, England (d. 1982)
  • May 7 Pat McInally, American National Football League player, born in Villa Park, California
  • May 8 Alex Van Halen, Dutch-American rock drummer (Van Halen - "Hot For Teacher"), born in Amsterdam The Netherlands,
  • May 8 Andreas P. Nielsen, Danish author and composer, born in Kolding, Denmark (d. 2011)
  • May 8 Billy Burnette, American rock guitarist (Fleetwood Mac, 1987-95), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • May 8 Devi Shetty, Indian surgeon and health entrepreneur (Narayana Health), born in Dakshina Kannada, India
  • May 9 Gregory Beecroft, Chorpus Christi TX, actor (Guiding Light)
  • May 9 Ron Jackson, baseball player
  • May 9 Scott McInnis, American politician who apologised for plagiarism (Rep-R-Colorado 1993-2005), born in Glenwood Springs
  • May 10 Alex Foster, American jazz and session saxophonist (SNL Band; Mingus Big Band), born in Oakland, California
  • May 10 John Diamond, English journalist, born in London, England (d. 2001)
  • May 10 Lawrence Lau, actor (Jamie Frame-Another World)
  • May 10 Steve Thomas, American drummer (Shooting Star - Summer Sun)
  • May 10 Tito Santana, Mexican-American professional wrestler
  • May 11 Boyd Gaines, American actor (Mark-One Day at a Time, Sure Thing), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 11 David Gest, American television producer, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2016)
  • May 12 Phil Beer, English multi-instrumentalist and composer (Show of Hands), born in Exminster, Devon
  • May 14 Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
  • May 14 Tom Cochrane, Canadian rock vocalist and guitarist (Red Rider - "Lunatic Fringe"), born in Toronto, Ontario

George Brett

May 15 George Brett, American Baseball Hall of Fame 3rd baseman (13 x MLB All Star; World Series 1985; AL MVP 1980; KC Royals), born in Glen Dale, West Virginia

  • May 15 Mike Oldfield, British musician and composer (Tubular Bells), born in Reading, Berkshire
  • May 16 David Maclean, British minister of state

Pierce Brosnan

May 16 Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor (Remington Steele, Golden Eye), born in Drogheda, Ireland

  • May 16 Richard Page, American singer and bassist (Mr Mister- "Broken Wings"; "Kyrie"), born in Keokuk, Iowa
  • May 16 Rick Rhoden, American baseball pitcher (MLB All-Star (1976, 86; Silver Slugger Award 1984–86; LA Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, NY Yankees), born in Boynton Beach, Florida
  • May 17 George Johnson, rocker (Brothers Johnson), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 17 Kathleen Sullivan, American newscaster (ABC-TV, CBS Morning Show), born in Pasadena, California
  • May 17 Nicholas Bacon, premier baronet of England
  • May 17 Yoko Shimada, Kumamota Japan, author (Kir Royal)/actress (Shogun)
  • May 18 (Feliciano) "Butch" Tavares, American R&B singer (Tavares - "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel"), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • May 18 Helen Chadwick, English artist, born in Croydon, England (d. 1996)
  • May 19 Dawud M. Mu'Min, American convicted murderer (d. 1997)
  • May 19 Henry Lascelles, English grandson of princess Mary
  • May 19 Roddy Lorimer, Scottish session and touring trumpeter and flugelhorn player (Waterboys; Blur; Pete Townshend; Spiritualized; Dr. John), born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • May 19 Shavarsh Karapetyan, Soviet Armenian finswimmer
  • May 19 Victoria Wood, British comedian and actress (Dinner Ladies), born in Bury, Lancashire (d. 2016)
  • May 20 Robert Doyle, Australian politician
  • May 22 Cha Bum-Kun, South Korean footballer and manager, born in Hwaseong, South Korea
  • May 22 Doris Barnett, German politician, born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, West Germany
  • May 22 John Edward Stevens, American bank robber (FBI Most Wanted List), born in NYC, New York
  • May 22 Paul Mariner, English soccer striker (35 caps; Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town, Arsenal, Portsmouth) and coach (Plymouth Argyle, Toronto FC), born in Farnworth, England (d. 2021)
  • May 22 Stuart Elliott, British rock session drummer (Kate Bush; Alan Parsons Project; Al Stewart), born in London, England
  • May 23 Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Prime Minister of Rwanda (1993-94) and one of the 1st female political figures in Africa, born in Nyaruhengeri, Rwanda (d. 1994)
  • May 23 Rick Fenn, British rock guitarist (10cc - "I'm Not In Love"; "The Things We Do for Love"), born in Oxford, England
  • May 24 Alfred Molina, British actor (Spider Man 2, Frida, Chocolat), born in London, England
  • May 24 Mark Rivera, American saxophonist, musical director (Billy Joel; Ringo Starr), and corporate entertainment provider born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 24 Nell Campbell [Laura], Australian actress (Rocky Horror), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • May 25 D. A. Weibring Jr., American golfer (Senior Players Championship 2008), born in Quincy, Illinois
  • May 25 Daniel Passarella, Argentine footballer, born in Chacabuco, Argentina
  • May 25 Eve Ensler, American playwright (The Vagina Monologues), born in NYC, New York
  • May 25 Gaetano Scirea, Italian soccer defender (78 caps, FIFA World Cup 1982; Juventus 377 games), born in Cernusco sul Naviglio, Italy (d. 1989)
  • May 25 Jane Priest, Australian model who kissed Prince Charles on the beach, born in Perth, Australia
  • May 25 Rich Alves, American country guitarist (Pirates of Mississippi - "Feed Jake"), born in Pleasanton, California
  • May 25 Stan Sakai, Japanese-American cartoonist (Usagi Yojimbo), born in Kyoto, Japan
  • May 26 Dan Roundfield, American basketball forward (3-time NBA All Star), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2012)
  • May 26 Michael Portillo, British politician
  • May 28 Arto Lindsay, American guitarist, composer (Lounge Lizards; Ambitious Lovers), and producer (Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Lucas Santtana), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • May 29 Big Daddy Graham [Edward Gudonis], American comedian, writer, actor, recording artist, and radio personality, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2021)

Danny Elfman

May 29 Danny Elfman, American singer-songwriter (Oingo Boingo - "Weird Science"), and Emmy and Grammy Award-winning composer (The Simspons Theme; Good Will Hunting; Tim Burton films), born in Los Angeles, California

  • May 29 Karla DeVito, American stage and screen actress and singer, born in Mokena, Illionis
  • May 29 Ranjy Nanan, West Indian cricket spin bowler (WI 1 Test; Trinidad & Tobago), born in Preysal, Trinidad
  • May 29 Rick Henderson, American singer (Mason Dixon - "Karen Comes Around"), born in Beaumont, Texas
  • May 30 Colm Meaney, actor (Star Trek Deep Space 9)
  • May 31 Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, Finnish actor

Famous Weddings

  • May 23 John F. Kennedy's sister Eunice Kennedy (31) weds activist and attorney Sargent Shriver at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City

Famous Deaths

  • May 4 Edward Shanks, British poet and critic, dies at 60
  • May 4 T. Tertius Noble, English composer, dies at 85
  • May 7 Ormy Pearse, South African cricketer (55 runs & 3 wkts in 3 Tests for S Af), dies at 68
  • May 11 Jean Adair, Canadian actress, dies at 80
  • May 14 Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Japanese-American painter, etcher and lithographer, dies at 59

Django Reinhardt

May 16 Django Reinhardt, Belgium born Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer considered the most significant European jazz musician, dies at 43

  • May 17 Eric De Lamarter, American organist, composer and conductor (Chicago Symphony), dies at 73
  • May 18 Tom Killick, English cricketer (at the crease 2 Tests for Eng 1929), dies at 69
  • May 19 Damaso Berenguer, Spanish soldier and politician (122nd Prime Minister of Spain), dies at 79
  • May 22 Vaclav Klicka, Czech composer, dies at 70
  • May 24 Cor Hermus, Dutch actor, director and writer (Bleeke Bet, William of Orange, Jantes), dies at 63
  • May 26 Albert Spalding, American violinist and composer, dies at 64
  • May 27 Jesse Burkett, American Baseball HOF left fielder (NL batting champion 1895-96, 1901; 240 hits in 1896 MLB record for 15 years; Cleveland Spiders, St. Louis Perfectos/Cardinals), dies at 84
  • May 28 Hori Tatsuo, Japanese writer (b. 1904)
  • May 29 Man Mountain Dean [Frank Simmons Leavitt], American professional wrestler, dies at 61
  • May 30 Dooley Wilson [Arthur Wilson], American musician and actor (Beulah, Casablanca), dies of natural causes at 67
  • May 30 George Barnes, cinematographer, dies at 60