On This Day

What Happened in May 1955

Historical Events

Golf Tournament

May 1 American golfer Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins the Peach Blossom LPGA Tournament in Spartanburg, South Carolina, her final victory before her death the following year

Sports History

May 1 Future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller tosses his record 12th 1-hitter in Indians' 2-0 win v Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Stadium

Miss Atomic Pageant

May 1 Showgirl Linda Lawson is crowned "Miss-Cue" in the Atomic Pageant, after the Operation Cue test is repeatedly delayed by high winds

  • May 2 India proposal to discrimination against Dalits or "Untouchables" punishable

Historic Event

May 2 Pulitzer prize awarded Tennessee Williams for (Cat on Hot Tin Roof)

  • May 2 WGBH TV channel 2 in Boston, MA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 5 "Damn Yankees" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 1022 performances
  • May 5 Indian parliament accepts Hindu divorce
  • May 5 US performs nuclear test at Nevada test Site
  • May 5 West Germany is granted full sovereignty by its three occupying powers
  • May 6 West Germany joins NATO

Sports History

May 7 81st Kentucky Derby: Bill Shoemaker aboard Swaps wins in 2:01.8

  • May 7 USSR signs peace treaty with France & Great Britain
  • May 7 West European Union established
  • May 9 German Federal Republic (West Germany) joins NATO
  • May 10 8th Cannes Film Festival: "Marty" directed by Delbert Mann wins Palme d'Or
  • May 11 Israel attacks Gaza
  • May 12 Chicago Cub Sam "Toothpick" Jones is 1st African-American to pitch a no-hitter, winning 4-0 over Pittsburgh Pirates, at Wrigley Field, Chicago

Baseball Record

May 13 Mickey Mantle hits 3 consecutive HRs of at least 463'

  • May 14 US performs nuclear test at Pacific Ocean
  • May 14 Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland & Romania
  • May 15 Building of space travel center at Baikonur Kazakhstan begins
  • May 15 KPUA (now KGMD) TV channel 9 in Hilo, HI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 15 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 15 Vienna Treaty: Britain, France, US & USSR restore Austria's independence
  • May 15 The first ascent of Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain
  • May 16 King Baudouin of Belgium visits Congo
  • May 16 Ray Lindwall scores his 2nd Test Cricket century 118 at Bridgetown

Boxing Title Fight

May 16 Rocky Marciano beats Don Cockell by TKO in the 9th round at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco to retain his world heavyweight boxing title

  • May 17 Dutch government of Drees resigns
  • May 18 28.7 cm rain falls at Lake Maloya New Mexico (state record)
  • May 18 Atkinson & Depeiaza take West Indies from 6-187 to 6-494 in day v Australia
  • May 18 Queen Juliana opens E55 fair in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • May 19 Atkinson & Depeiaza make 347 stand for 7th wkt WI v Australia
  • May 20 Argentine parliament accepts separation of church and state

Musical Finale

May 21 Harold Arlen and Truman Capote' musical "House of Flowers" closes at Alvin Theater, NYC, after 165 performances

  • May 21 1st transcontinental round-trip solo flight-sunrise to sunset
  • May 21 WFRV TV channel 5 in Green Bay, Wisconsin (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 22 Oldest man to drive in the Grand Prix (aged 55) finishes 6th
  • May 25 Series of 19 twisters destroy Udall, Kansas and most of Blackwell, Oklahoma
  • May 26 "7th Heaven" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 44 performances

Election of Interest

May 26 Conservatives led by Anthony Eden win British parliamentary election

Historic Event

May 26 Khrushchev arrives in Belgrade

  • May 27 Boston Red Sox Norm Zauchin gets 10 RBIs, beating Senators 16-0
  • May 27 "The Red Buttons Show", last airs on NBC-TV

Sports History

May 28 80th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Nashua wins in 1:54.6

  • May 28 Indianapolis 500: Bob Sweikert wins; defending champion Bill Vukovich killed in a crash while seemingly on his way to an unprecedented third consecutive Indy 500
  • May 28 Henry Bolte becomes Premier of the state of Victoria
  • May 29 Jordan government of Tewfik Abdul Huda resigns
  • May 30 KMVT TV channel 11 in Twin Falls, ID (CBS/NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • May 30 Said el-Mufti forms Jordan government
  • May 30 Tunisia begins domestic self governing
  • May 31 Construction begins on Soviet cosmodrome launch facilities
  • May 31 Great Britain proclaims emergency crisis due to rail strike
  • May 31 US Supreme Court orders school integration "with all deliberate speed"

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Julien Wiener, Australian cricket batsman (6 Tests, top score 93; 7 ODIs), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • May 1 Nick Feldman, British pop-new wave musician (Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight), born in London, England
  • May 1 András Törőcsik, Hungarian soccer forward (45 caps; Újpest Dozsa FC, Montpellier), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2022)
  • May 2 Ian Callen, Australian cricketer (one Test Australia v India 1978, six wickets), born in Alexandra, Victoria, Australia
  • May 2 Donatella Versace, Italian fashion designer, born in Reggio di Calabria, Italy
  • May 3 Van McLain [McElvain], American rock guitarist (Shooting Star), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 2018)
  • May 3 David Hookes, Australian cricketer and coach, born in Mile End, Adelaide, Australia (d. 2004)
  • May 3 Timmy Cappello, American rock & sax player (Tina Turner; Ringo Starr; The Lost Boys), born in Silver Lake, New York
  • May 4 Renate Bruemmer, Swiss cosmonaut, born in St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • May 4 Robert Ellis Orrall, American singer and songwriter, born in Winthrop, Massachusetts
  • May 5 Melinda Culea, American actress (A-Team, Brotherly Love), born in Western Springs, Illinois
  • May 5 Robert Feld, National Scrabble Champion (1990), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • May 5 Roddy Radiation [Byers], British ska and rockabilly guitarist, singer, and songwriter (The Specials - "Hey' Little Rich Girl"; The Skabillys), born in Keresley, Coventry, England
  • May 6 Donald A Thomas, PhD/Astronaut (STS 65, 70, 83, 94), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 6 John Hutton, British politician and cabinet minister (L), born in London
  • May 6 Tom Bergeron, American game show host
  • May 7 Peter Reckell, American actor (Days of our Lives), born in Elkhart, Indiana
  • May 7 Kevin Reed, American Presbyterian theologian
  • May 9 Kevin Peter Hall, American actor (Misfits of Science), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • May 9 Myra Blackwelder, American golfer (LPGA Rookie of the Year 1980), born in Lexington, Kemtucky
  • May 9 Anne-Sofie von Otter, Swedish opera, lieder, and rock mezzo-soprano (For The Stars, with Elvis Costello), born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 9 Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian politician (President, 1991-95; Prime Minister, 1995-2012), born in Adwa, Ethiopian Empire (d. 2012)
  • May 10 Chris Berman, sportscaster (ESPN)
  • May 10 Mark David Chapman, American assassin (John Lennon), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • May 11 Jos Haagmans, Dutch singer (Frank Boeijen Group)
  • May 11 Mark Herndon, American country music drummer (Alabama - "Take Me Down"), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • May 11 John DeStefano, Jr., American politician
  • May 11 Country Dick Montana [Daniel McLain], American rock drummer and vocalist (The Beat Farmers - "Happy Boy"), born in Carmel, California (d. 1995)
  • May 11 J. J." Jeczalikvv. British electronic musician, synthesizer programmer, and record producer (Art of Noise), born in Banbury, England
  • May 12 Kix Brooks, American country music singer (Brooks & Dunn - "Brand New Man"), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • May 12 Bashiri Johnson, American session and touring percussionist (Whitney Houston; Michael Jackson), and educator, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 13 Xiaoyong Chen, Chinese contemporary classical composer (Invisible Landscapes), born in Beijing, China
  • May 14 Peter Kirsten, South African cricket batsman and coach (12 Tests, top score 104; 40 ODIs), born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa

Dennis Martínez

May 14 [Jose] Dennis Martínez, Nicaraguan baseball pitcher (Orioles, Expos, Indians), born in Granada, Nicaragua

  • May 15 Lee Horsley, American actor (Nero Wolfe, Matt Houston), born in Muleshoe, Texas
  • May 16 Debra Winger, American actress (Terms of Endearment, Officer & Gentleman), born in Columbus, Ohio
  • May 16 Hazel O'Connor, British singer-songwriter ("Eighth Day"; "Will You?"),and actress (Breaking Glass), born in Coventry, England
  • May 16 Jack Morris, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (5 x MLB All Star; World Series 1984 Detroit Tigers, 1991 Minnesota Twins, 1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Olga Korbut

May 16 Olga Korbut, Soviet-Belarusian gymnast (4 x Olympic gold 1972, 76), born in Grodno, Belarus, Soviet Union

  • May 17 Bill Paxton, American actor (True Lies; Twister; Big Love), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2017)

Yun Fat Chow

May 18 Yun Fat Chow, Hong Kong actor (Better Tomorrow), born in Lamma Island, Hong Kong

  • May 18 Peeter Vähi, Estonian contemporary classical, choral, and electro-acoustic composer (Between Heaven and Earth), born in Tartu, Estonia [1]
  • May 19 Ed Whitson, pitcher (NY Yankees, San Diego Padres)
  • May 19 Pierre J Thuot, Lt Cmdr USN/astronaut (STS 36, 49, 62), born in Groton, Connecticut
  • May 20 Nigel Griffiths, MP (Labour)
  • May 20 Steve George, American rock keyboardist (Mr Mister - "Broken Wings"; "Kyrie"), born in, Bloomington, Indiana
  • May 20 Zbigniew Preisner, Polish film composer (Three Colors film trilogy), born in Bielsko-Biała, Poland
  • May 20 Anton Corbijn, Dutch photographer, music video director (Depeche Mode; U2), and film director (The American), born in Strijen, Netherlands
  • May 20 Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry, Indian poet and film and theater lyricist ("Vidhata Thalapuna"), born in Anakapalle, India (d. 2021)
  • May 21 John Galvin, American rock keyboardist (Molly Hatchet), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 21 Liaqat Ali, Pakistani cricket pace bowler (Pakistan for six Tests 1975-79), born in Karachi, Pakistan
  • May 21 Stan Lynch, American rock drummer (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1976-94), producer, and songwriter, born in Gainesville, Florida
  • May 21 Paul Barber, British field hockey player
  • May 22 Iva Davies, Australian rock guitarist and vocalist (Icehouse), born in Wauchope, New South Wales, Australia
  • May 22 Sam Coppersmith, American attorney and politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's 1st district), born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • May 22 Jimmy Lyon, American guitarist (Eddie Money; The Greg Kihn Band), born in Tampa, Florida
  • May 23 Dean Friedman, American singer-songwriter (Ariel), born in Paramus, New Jersey
  • May 23 Luka Bloom [Kevin Moore], Irish contemporary folk singer-songwriter and guitarist ("I Need Love"), born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland

Rosanne Cash

May 24 Rosanne Cash, American Grammy Award-winning countryand Americana singer-songwriter ("Seven Year Ache"; "Black Cadillac"), and essayist, born in Memphis, Tennessee

  • May 24 Thad Ackel, American racehorse trainer
  • May 25 Connie Selleca, American actress (Hotel, Capt America II), born in The Bronx, New York
  • May 25 Alistair Burt, British Conservative Party politician, born in Bury, Lancashire, England
  • May 26 Masaharu Morimoto, Japanese chef
  • May 26 Wesley Walker, American NFL wide receiver (Pro Bowl 1978, 82; First-team All-Pro 1978; New York Jets 1977–89), born in San Bernardino, California
  • May 27 Graham "Jock" Edwards, New Zealand cricket batsman (8 Tests, 3 x 50; Central Districts), born in Nelson, New Zealand (d. 2020)
  • May 27 Richard Schiff, American actor (The West Wing), born in Bethesda, Maryland
  • May 27 Eric Bischoff, American professional wrestling promoter
  • May 27 Abdelmalek Ali Messaoud, Algerian soccer defender (38 caps; USM Alger, USM Annaba), born in Annaba, Algeria (d. 2022)
  • May 28 Mark Howe, American ice hockey player
  • May 28 Janet Seidel, Australian jazz pianist, vocalist, arranger, and educator, born in Cummins, South Australia (d. 2017)
  • May 29 Jerry Dengler, American singer (Mason Dixon - "Karen Comes Around"), born in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • May 29 John Hinckley Jr., American man who attempted to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan in 1981, born in Ardmore, Oklahoma
  • May 29 Mike Porcaro, American rock bassist (Toto, 1982-2007 "Stranger In Town"), born in South Windsor, Connecticut (d. 2015)
  • May 29 Sut Jhally, Kenyan-born American educator
  • May 29 Ken Schrader, American auto racer, promoter (Daytona 500 1988, 89, 90), born in Fenton, Missouri
  • May 30 Nicky "Topper" Headon, English drummer (Clash-Complete Control)
  • May 30 Jake "The Snake" Roberts, American wrestler, born in Gainesville, Texas

Brian Kobilka

May 30 Brian Kobilka, American Nobel Prize winning chemistry professor (G protein-coupled receptors), born in Little Falls, Minnesota

  • May 31 Ben de Lisi, American-British fashion designer, born in New York City
  • May 31 Laura Baugh, American golfer, writer, broadcaster (LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year 1973), born in Gainesville, Florida
  • May 31 Tommy Emmanuel, Australian-American acoustic guitarist (Stevie's Blues), born in Muswellbrook, New South Wales

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Tadeusz Jarecki, Polish composer and conductor, dies at 66
  • May 3 Philips C Visser, explorer/ambassador to Moscow, dies
  • May 3 Rudolf Schlichter, German artist and writer, dies at 64
  • May 4 Georges Enesco, Romanian violinist and composer (Romanian Dances), dies at 73
  • May 4 Louis Breguet, French aviation pioneer, dies at 75
  • May 9 Kate Booth, English Salvationist & evangelist, dies at 97
  • May 10 John Radecki, Australian stained glass artist, dies at 89
  • May 11 Gilbert Jessop, English cricket batsman (18 Tests; Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1898), dies at 80
  • May 14 Betty Ann Davies, British stage and screen actress (Merry Comes To Town), dies of post-surgical complications at 44
  • May 16 James Agee, American author (African Queen, Death in Family), dies at 45
  • May 17 Alan Fairfax, cricketer (10 Tests for Australia 1928-31), dies
  • May 17 Francesco Balilla Pratella, Italian composer, dies at 75
  • May 17 Leslie Hylton, Jamaican cricketer and West Indies fast bowler, executed and hanged for murder at 50
  • May 17 Camilla Wedgwood, English anthropologist (Malekula: A Vanishing People in the New Hebrides), dies of cancer at 54
  • May 18 Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator (Bethune-Cookman College) and civil rights leader, dies at 79
  • May 25 Wardell Gray, American swing and bebop jazz tenor saxophonist, dies at 34

Alberto Ascari

May 26 Alberto Ascari, Italian auto racer (World F1 champion 1952, 53), dies in a testing accident at 36

  • May 29 Daniel G van Beuningen, Dutch art collector, dies at 78
  • May 31 Bill Vukovich, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1953-4), dies in crash in Indianapolis 500 at 36
  • May 31 Raoul Gunsbourg, French composer, impresario and opera director (Opéra de Monte-Carlo, 1892-1951), dies at 95