On This Day

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 radio program on CBS
  • 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 Credit-Anstalt, Austria's largest bank, fails, beginning financial collapse of Central Europe
  • May 11 "M" Fritz Lang's first sound film starring Peter Lorre premieres in Berlin
  • 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

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

May 15 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quadragesimo anno

259th Pope Pius XI
259th Pope
Pius XI
  • 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

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

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

Baseball Hall of Fame Right Fielder Chuck Klein
Baseball Hall of Fame Right Fielder
Chuck Klein
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Schneider wins in 5:10:27.948; average speed: 96.629 mph (155.509 km/h)
  • 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

Sport awardFrench 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

Tennis Player Betty Nuthall
Tennis Player
Betty Nuthall