On This Day

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 WTVO TV channel 17 in Rockford, IL (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 3 Westchester conference of American Library Association proclaims "Freedom to Read"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

  • May 6 St. Louis Browns pitcher Bobo Holloman MLB debut; no-hits Philadelphia A's, 6-0
  • May 7 "Can Can" opens at Shubert Theater NYC 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)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 11 Winston Churchill criticizes US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' domino theory

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
US Secretary of State
John Foster Dulles
  • May 12 KUHT TV channel 8 (PBS) in Houston, TX, begins broadcasting

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 13 NY Giants Willie Mays & Darryl Spencer each hit 2 HRs & a triple

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays

Sport defeatBoxing 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

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Rocky Marciano
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jersey Joe

  • May 15 Osip Zadkine's monument to "The destroyed city" unveiled in Rotterdam
  • 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 1st woman to break sound barrier (Jacqueline Cochran, USA)
  • May 19 Nuclear explosion in Nevada (fall-out in St George, Utah)
  • May 21 French government of Mayer resigns

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 US President Eisenhower signs Offshore Oil Bill

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 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
  • 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 InventionTenzing 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
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Tenzing Norgay brandishes his ice axe on the summit of Mount Everest
Tenzing Norgay brandishes his ice axe on the summit of Mount Everest
  • May 29 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire (to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II)
  • May 30 1st major league network baseball game-Cleveland 7, Chicago 2
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Bill Vukovich wins in 3:53:01.668 (207.187 km/h)

Sport awardFrench 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

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player Vic Seixas
Tennis Player
Vic Seixas
  • 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 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 3 Bruce Hall, American rock bassist (Reo Speedwagon), born in Champaign, Illinois
  • May 6 Lynn Whitfield, American actress (Josephine Baker, Equal Justice), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Person of interestTony Blair

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

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair
  • May 6 Michelle Courchesne, Quebec politician
  • May 6 Graeme Souness, Scottish footballer/manager
  • May 7 Pat McInally, American National Football League player, born in Villa Park, California
  • May 7 Ian McKay, British soldier (VC recipient), born in Wortley, South Yorkshire, England (d. 1982)
  • May 8 Billy Burnette, rock guitarist (Fleetwood Mac), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • May 8 Alex Van Halen, Amsterdam The Netherlands, Dutch drummer (Van Halen)
  • May 9 Gregory Beecroft, Chorpus Christi TX, actor (Guiding Light)
  • May 9 Ron Jackson, baseball player
  • May 9 Scott McInnis, (Rep-R-Colorado)
  • May 10 Lawrence Lau, actor (Jamie Frame-Another World)
  • May 10 Steve Thomas, rocker (Shooting Star)
  • May 10 John Diamond, English journalist, born in London, England (d. 2001)
  • 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 is an English multi-instrumentalist and composer (Show of Hands), born in Exminster, Devon
  • May 14 Tom Cochrane, Canadian rock vocalist/guitarist (Red Rider), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • May 14 Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia

Person of interestGeorge Brett

May 15 George Brett, American Baseball Hall of Fame 3rd baseman (13-time All Star), born in Glen Dale, West Virginia

MLB Third Baseman George Brett
MLB Third Baseman
George Brett
  • May 15 Mike Oldfield, British musician and composer (Tubular Bells) born in Reading, Berkshire

Person of interestPierce Brosnan

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

  • May 16 David Maclean, British minister of state
  • May 16 Richard Page, rocker (Mr Mister), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 16 Rick Rhoden, American MLB pitcher (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 Helen Chadwick, artist
  • May 18 [Feliciano] Butch Tavares, rocker (Tavares)
  • May 19 Henry Lascelles, English grandson of princess Mary
  • May 19 Shavarsh Karapetyan, Soviet Armenian finswimmer
  • May 19 Victoria Wood, British comedian and actress (Dinner Ladies), born in Bury, Lancashire (d. 2016)
  • May 19 Dawud M. Mu'Min, American convicted murderer (d. 1997)
  • May 20 Robert Doyle, Australian politician
  • May 22 John Edward Stevens, American bank robber (FBI Most Wanted List), born in NYC, New York
  • May 22 Doris Barnett, German politician, born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, West Germany
  • May 22 Cha Bum-Kun, South Korean footballer and manager, born in Hwaseong, South Korea
  • 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 24 Alfred Molina, British actor (Spider Man 2, Frida, Chocolat), born in London, England
  • May 24 Nell Campbell [Laura], Australian actress (Rocky Horror), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • May 24 Mark Rivera, American saxophonist, musical director and corporate entertainment provider (Billy Joel), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 25 D. A. Weibring Jr, American golfer (Senior Players C'ship 2008), born in Quincy Illinois
  • May 25 Jane Priest, Prince Charles' lover, born in Perth, Australia
  • May 25 Rich Alves, American singer (Pirates of Miss-Fred Jake), born in Pleasanton, California
  • May 25 Eve Ensler, American playwright (The Vagina Monologues), born in NYC, New York
  • May 25 Daniel Passarella, Argentine footballer, born in Chacabuco, Argentina
  • May 25 Stan Sakai, Japanese-American cartoonist (Usagi Yojimbo), born in Kyoto, Japan
  • May 26 Michael Portillo, British politician
  • May 26 Dan Roundfield, American basketball forward (3-time NBA All Star), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2012)
  • May 28 Arto Lindsay, American musician and producer (Cookie, Desperately Seeking Susan), born in Richmond, Virginia

Person of interestDanny Elfman

May 29 Danny Elfman, American composer (The Simspons Theme), born in Los Angeles, California

Composer Danny Elfman
Composer
Danny Elfman
  • May 29 Ranjy Nanan, West Indian cricket spin bowler (WI 1 Test; Trinidad & Tobago), born in Preysal, Trinidad
  • May 29 Rick Henderson, 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, Japans/American painter/etcher, dies at 59

Person of interestDjango Reinhardt

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

Jazz Guitarist Django Reinhardt
Jazz Guitarist
Django Reinhardt
  • 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 27 Jesse Burkett, American Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder (NL batting champion 1895-96, 1901; 240 hits in 1896 MLB record for 15 years), 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 George Barnes, cinematographer, dies at 60
  • May 30 Dooley Wilson [Arthur Wilson], American musician and actor (Beulah, Casablanca), dies of natural causes at 67