On This Day

What Happened on May 19

Important Events

  • 1536 Anne Boleyn, second wife of English King Henry VIII, is beheaded at the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest and treason
  • 1643 Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Harbor form the United Colonies of New England
  • 1649 England is declared a Commonwealth by an act of the Rump Parliament making England a republic for the next 11 years
  • 1885 German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck takes possession of Cameroon and Togoland
  • 1898 US Congress passes the Private Mailing Card Act, allowing private publishers and printers to produce postcards, had to be labelled "Private Mailing Cards" until 1901, known as "souvenir cards"
  • 1919 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun on the Black Sea coast, beginning the Turkish War of Independence
  • More Historical Events

May 19 in Film & TV

  • 1989 "Do the Right Thing", directed by Spike Lee, starring Danny Aiello and Ossie Davis premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

May 19 in Music

  • 1958 "South Pacific" soundtrack album goes #1 & stays #1 for 31 weeks

May 19 in Sport

  • 1991 Willy T. Ribbs overcomes numerous mechanical problems in qualifying to become first African-American driver to make Indianapolis 500 starting grid

Did You Know?

About midday, near-total darkness descends on New England, now known to be caused by forest fires in Canada

On May 19, 1780

Would You Believe?

World's youngest doctor, Balamurali Ambati, 17, graduates Mount Sinai

On May 19, 1995

Famous Weddings

  • 1359 John of Gaunt (19), English prince, son of Edward III, marries Blanche of Lancaster (17) at Reading Abbey
  • 1853 Dutch prince Henry marries princess Amalia of Saxony-Weimar
  • 1880 Novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (29) weds Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne (40) in San Francisco

More Weddings & Divorces