What Happened in May 1954

Historical Events

  • May 1 80th Kentucky Derby: Raymond York wins aboard Determine, his only Derby success
  • May 1 Bishops publish Mandement (member socialist org forbidden)
  • May 1 HSA-UWC Forms (Unification Church) (Moonies)
  • May 1 Preston North End defender Joe Marston becomes the first Australian to play in an FA Cup Final, a 3-2 loss to WBA
  • May 1 The Hudson Motor Car Company merges with the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation to form the American Motors Corporation [1]
  • May 1 WAPA TV channel 4 in San Juan, PR (NBC/SFN) begins broadcasting

Baseball Record

May 2 MLB St. Louis Cardinal Stan Musial hits 5 HRs in a doubleheader against the New York Giants at Busch Stadium

  • May 3 KTEN TV channel 10 in Ada-Ardmore, Oklahoma(ABC) begins broadcasting

Historic Event

May 3 Pulitzer prize awarded to Charles A Lindbergh & John Patrick

  • May 3 WHA TV channel 21 in Madison, Wisconsin (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 4 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island

Coup d'état

May 5 General Alfredo Stroessner leads a military coup in Paraguay, overthrowing the government of President Federico Chávez

Sports History

May 6 English athlete Roger Bannister becomes first to run a sub-4 minute mile, recording 3:59:4 at Iffley Road Track, Oxford

  • May 7 French surrender to Vietminh after 55-day siege at Dien Bien Phu
  • May 7 US, Great Britain & France reject Russian membership of NATO
  • May 8 1st shot-put throw over 60' (18.29 m) by American Parry O'Brien, Los Angeles, California
  • May 10 Bolshoi Ballet does not appear in Paris
  • May 13 "Pajama Game" opens at St James Theater NYC for 1063 performances
  • May 13 Chinese Middle School students in Singapore take part in anti-National Service riots
  • May 13 Labour Party wins British municipal elections
  • May 13 Robin Roberts gives up a HR then retires next 27 men in a row
  • May 13 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • May 14 Belgium shortens military conscription from 20 to 18 months
  • May 15 KGLO (now KIMT) TV channel 3 in Mason City, IA (CBS) 1st broadcast

Sports History

May 16 Ted Williams gets 8 hits in 1st game (DH) since breaking collarbone

  • May 16 WGAN (now WGME) TV channel 13 in Portland, ME (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • May 17 US Supreme Court unanimously rules on Brown v Topeka Board of Education reverses 1896 "separate but equal" Plessy v Ferguson decision
  • May 19 Postmaster General Summerfield approves CIA mail-opening project

Historic Event

May 20 Chiang Kai-shek becomes president of Nationalist China

  • May 21 US Twenty-sixth amendment to give 18-year-olds right to vote is defeated
  • May 22 79th Preakness: Johnny Adams aboard Hasty Road wins in 1:57.4
  • May 22 KREX TV channel 5 in Grand Junction, CO (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 22 Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan is Bar Mitzvahed
  • May 24 1st rocket attains 150 mi (241 km) altitude, White Sands, New Mexico
  • May 24 Dr Peter Murray Marshall becomes 1st African American to head an American Medical Association unit (New York County)
  • May 24 German airline Lufthansa forms
  • May 24 IBM announces vacuum tube "electronic" brain that could perform 10 million operations an hour
  • May 29 British runner Diane Leather becomes first woman to run the mile in under 5 minutes; 4:59.6 at Alexander Sports Ground in Birmingham, England
  • May 29 First of the annual Bilderberg conferences, fostering relations between Europe and North America held at Oosterbeek, Netherlands

French Open Men's Tennis

May 29 French Championships Men's Tennis: Tony Trabert beats Art Larsen 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 for first of 2 straight French singles titles

French Open Women's Tennis

May 29 French Championships Women's Tennis: Maureen Connolly retains her title; beats Ginette Bucaille of France 6-4, 6-1

Historic Event

May 29 Pope Pius XII issues holy declaration

  • May 30 Dutch bishops forbid membership to non-catholic sporting clubs
  • May 30 Emile Zatopek runs world record 5K (13:57.2)
  • May 30 Hector Villa-Lobos' "Odisseia de Uma Raca" premieres
  • May 31 Indianapolis 500: Bill Vukovich takes the lead on lap 150 to win his second consecutive 500; sets then record 130.840 mph average race speed

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Joel Rosenberg, sci-fi author
  • May 1 Michael Scott, reporter (Entertainment Tonight)
  • May 1 Randy Dorton, American race car engine builder (Director of Engine Operations Hendrick Motorsports; 9 x NASCAR C'ships), born in Concord, North Carolina (d. 2004)
  • May 1 Ray Parker Jr, American rock guitarist and vocalist (Ghostbusters), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • May 1 Taslim Arif, Pakistan cricket wicket-keeper (6 Tests; top score 210no v Aust 1980), born in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan (d. 2008)
  • May 2 Angela Bofill, Cuban-Puerto Rican-American R&B singer-songwriter (This Time I'll Be Sweeter; Too Tough), born in Brooklyn, NYC
  • May 2 Bulelani Ngcuka, South African attorney and leader (UDF), born in Middlerift, South Africa
  • May 2 Roberta Pedon, American glamour model, born in Ohio (d. 1982)
  • May 3 Gary Young, American drummer (Pavement), born in Mamaroneck, New York
  • May 3 Patti Boulaye [Komlosy] (née Ebigwei), Nigerian-British pop singer and stage and screen actress (Bisi, Daughter of the River), born in a taxi in Mid-Western Nigeria
  • May 3 Peter Duncan, British stage and screen actor, and television presenter (Blue Peter, 1980-86), born in Chelsea, London, England
  • May 4 Doug Jones, American attorney and politician (Rep-D-Alabama 2017-), born in Fairfield, Alabama
  • May 4 Julie Budd, American singer ("Child of Plenty"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 4 Marilyn Martin, American singer-songwriter ("Separate Lives"), born in Tennessee
  • May 4 Pia Zadora [Schipani], American actress (Hairspray), and singer, born in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • May 5 Angelo Kimball, American rock guitarist (Face To Face), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 5 Dave Spector, American television personality and commentator, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 6 Dora Bakoyannis, Greek politician
  • May 6 Sergei Nikolayevich Tresvyatsky, Russian cosmonaut
  • May 7 Philippe Geluck, Belgian comedian and cartoonist, born in Brussels, Belgium
  • May 8 David Keith, American actor (Back Roads, Firestarter), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • May 8 Stephen Furst, American actor (Animal House, St. Elsewhere), born in Norfolk, Virginia (d. 2017)
  • May 9 Balazs Taroczy, Hungarian tennis star
  • May 10 Anatoly Chukanov, Russian cyclist (Olympic gold Soviet Union team time trial 1976; UCI Road World C'ships gold 1977), born in Novospasovka, Rostov, Russia (d. 2021)
  • May 10 Jeff Apple, American film producer (In the Line of Fire), born in Miami, Florida
  • May 10 Michael Hagerty, American actor (Overboard, Inspector Gadget), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 11 Edgar Riley Jr, American rock vocalist (Axe K)
  • May 11 John Clayton, American sports journalist/reporter (The Pittsburgh Press, The News Tribune; ESPN), born in Braddock, Pennsylvania (d. 2022)
  • May 11 John Gregory, English football manager
  • May 11 Judith Weir, English composer (Master of the Queen's Music, 2014-present), born in Cambridge, England
  • May 11 Lubomir Stoykov, Bulgarian journalist and broadcaster
  • May 13 Johnny Logan [Seán Sherrard], Irish celtic-pop singer and songwriter ("Hold Me Now"), born in Frankston, Australia
  • May 14 Jens Sparschuh, German writer
  • May 15 Robert P. Harrison, American thinker
  • May 16 Dafydd "Dave" Williams, Canadian physician and astronaut (sk: STS 90), born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • May 16 Janet Maw, actress (Sparrow, King John, Mayor of Casterbridge)
  • May 16 Joseph Polchinski, American leading theoretical physicist (multiverse), born in White Plains, New York (d. 2018)
  • May 17 John Iles, British stage and screen actor (The Bill -"Dashwood"), born in Ripon, North Yorkshire, England
  • May 17 Michael Roberts, jockey
  • May 18 Jaques Morelenbaum, Brazilian cellist, arranger, conductor, and composer, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • May 18 Reinhold Heil, German composer, born in Schlüchtern, Germany
  • May 18 Wreckless Eric [Eric Goulden], British new wave rock singer-songwriter ("Whole Wide World"), born in Newhaven, England
  • May 19 Phil Rudd, Australian rock drummer (AC/DC - Rock 'n Roll Damnation), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • May 19 Rick Cerone, catcher (Yankees/Red Sox/Mets/Expos), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • May 20 Cindy Hensley McCain, American businesswoman, wife of politician John McCain, born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • May 20 David Paterson, American politician
  • May 20 Galina Vasilyevna Amelkina, Russian doctor/cosmonaut
  • May 20 Guy Hoffman, American drummer (BoDeans, 1984-87; Violent Femmes, 1993-2002), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • May 20 James Henderson, American southern rock guitarist (Black Oak Arkansas, 1975-79 - Ain't Life Grand), born in Jackson, Mississippi (d. 2016)
  • May 20 Robert Van de Walle, Belgian judoka
  • May 21 Bill Abbott, Canadian sailor (Olympics 1996), born in Sarnia, Ontario
  • May 21 Marc Ribot, American guitarist (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Zorn), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • May 21 Marina Langner, German beauty queen, Miss World runner-up (1975), born in Dusseldorf, Germany
  • May 22 Aaron Rapoport, American photographer, and music album cover designer (Lionel Richie - Dancing on the Ceiling; Supertramp - Breakfast In America), born in San Mateo County, California
  • May 22 Jerry Dammers, British keyboardist (The Specials), born in Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu, India
  • May 22 Shuji Nakamura, Japanese-born American electronic engineer (invented the Blue LED), born in Ikata, Japan
  • May 25 Alison Stern, American wife of radio personality Howard Stern (Private Parts), born in Newton, Massachusetts
  • May 26 Alan Hollinghurst, British novelist
  • May 26 Danny Rolling, American murderer (d. 2006)
  • May 27 Cathy Carr, American swimmer (Olympic gold 100m breaststroke [WR 1:13.58], 4×100m medley 1972), born in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • May 27 Jackie Slater, American Pro Football HOF offensive tackle (7 x Pro Bowl; LA / St. Louis Rams 1976–95), born in Jackson, Mississippi
  • May 27 Pauline Hanson, Australian politician
  • May 28 George E Mahlberg, American astronomer (Mt Palomar/Mt Wilson, California, 1974-78), movie actor, sound engineer, and DJ (Dr. Cosmo), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2011)
  • May 28 John Tory, Canadian lawyer and politician (Mayor of Toronto, 2016-present), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • May 28 Youri Egorov, Soviet classical pianist, born in Kazan, USSR (d. 1988)
  • May 29 Jerry Morgan, American politician (Senator-R-Kansas 2011-), born in South Bend, Kansas
  • May 29 Pankaj Kapoor, Indian actor (Ek Doctor Ki Maut, Raakh), born in Ludhiana, Punjab
  • May 29 Randy Walker, American football fullback (Miami University) and coach (Miami University 1990-98, Northwestern University 1999-2005), born in Troy, Ohio (d. 2006)
  • May 29 Robert Beaser, American composer, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 31 Anders Hilborg, Swedish contemporary classical composer (Eleven Gates; Cold Heat), born in Sollentuna, Sweden
  • May 31 Paul Franklin, American session and touring steel guitarist (Barbara Mandrell; Vince Gill), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • May 31 Thomas Mavros, Greek soccer striker (36 caps; Panionios FC, AEK Athens), born in Athens, Greece
  • May 31 Vicki Sue Robinson, American stage and screen actress, and pop singer ("Turn the Beat Around"), born in Harlem, New York City (d. 2000)

Famous Weddings

Kirk Douglas

May 28 "The Bad and the Beautiful" actor Kirk Douglas (37) weds producer Ann Buydens (24) at Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas


Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Tom Tyler [Vincent Markowsky], American actor (Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon), dies from heart failure at 50
  • May 2 Pauline Manifarges, Dutch contralto singer, dies at 82
  • May 10 George Hirst, English cricketer (36,323 1st-class runs, 2739 wickets), dies at 82
  • May 14 Heinz Guderian, German general during WWII, dies at 65
  • May 15 William March, American writer (Company K), dies at 60
  • May 16 Clemens Krauss, Austrian conductor (Vienna State Opera), dies at 61
  • May 16 Werner Bischof, Swiss photographer (Magnum), dies accidentally in a road accident at 38
  • May 19 Aart A. van Schelven, Dutch church historian (Willem of Orange), dies at 73
  • May 19 Charles Ives, American composer (Unanswered Question), dies at 79
  • May 21 János Hammerschlag, Hungarian composer, dies at 68
  • May 22 Charles "Chief" Bender, American Baseball HOF pitcher (only indigenous American in BHOF; World Series 1910, 11, 13; no-hitter 1910; Philadelphia A's), dies at 70
  • May 23 H R Bromley-Davenport, cricketer (batted in 4 Tests for England), dies

Robert CapaRobert Capa (1913-1954)

May 25 Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist, dies of injuries from a landmine explosion at 40

  • May 26 Franz Pfemfert, German journalist and writer, dies at 74
  • May 26 Lionel Conacher, Canadian Hockey HOF defenceman (Stanley Cup 1934 Chicago Black Hawks, 1935 Montreal Maroons) and politician (MP Trinity), dies from a heart attack at 54
  • May 27 Herzmanovsky-Orlando, writer, dies
  • May 28 Achille Longo, Italian composer, dies at 54
  • May 30 Ahmad Amin, Egyptian historian and author (My Life), dies at 67