Historical Events in May 1931

  • May 1 Empire State Building opens in New York City
  • May 1 Norway claims Peter I Island
  • May 1 Singer Kate Smith begins her long-running association with CBS radio, various programs continue until 1945
  • May 4 Mustafa Kemal Pasja becomes Turkish president
  • May 8 Operette "Land of Smiles" premieres in London
  • May 9 56th Preakness: George Ellis aboard Mate wins in 1:59
  • May 10 Golf ball size hail falls in Burlington, New Jersey
  • May 11 "M" Fritz Lang's first sound film starring Peter Lorre premieres in Berlin
  • May 11 Credit-Anstalt, Austria's largest bank, fails, beginning financial collapse of Central Europe
  • May 13 Paul Doumer elected president of France
  • May 14 Ådalen shootings: five people are killed in Ådalen, Sweden, as soldiers open fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration

Catholic Encyclical

May 15 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quadragesimo anno

  • May 16 57th Kentucky Derby: Charley Kurtsinger on Twenty Grand wins 2:01.8
  • May 19 Cruiser Deutschland launched in Kiel
  • May 22 Canned rattlesnake meat 1st goes on sale in Florida
  • May 23 Whipsnade Zoo opens in Bedfordshire, England
  • May 24 1st air-conditioned train installed-B&O Railroad
  • May 27 1st full scale wind tunnel for testing airplane at Langley Field, Virginia
  • May 27 Swiss Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer make 1st flight into stratosphere, by balloon from Augsburg, Germany
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Defending champion Billy Arnold leads for 155 laps before axle trouble; Louis Schneider leads final 34 laps accompanied by riding mechanic Jigger Johnson

Baseball Record

May 30 Phillies Chuck Klein homers off Ben Cantwell (Braves) in both ends DH

French Open Women's Tennis

May 31 French Championship Women's Tennis: Cilly Aussem of Germany beats England's Betty Nuthall 8-6, 6-1 for the first of 2 major titles in 1931

  • May 31 French Championships Men's Tennis: Jean Borotra wins his only home title; beats fellow Frenchman Christian Boussus 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4