On This Day

Historical Events in May 1941

Film Premiere

May 1 "Citizen Kane", directed by Orson Welles and starring himself, Joseph Cotten and Dorothy Corningore, premieres at the Palace Theater in New York City

  • May 1 General Mills introduces CheeriOats (renamed Cheerios in 1945) an oat-based, ready-to-eat cold cereal
  • May 1 German assault on Tobruk
  • May 1 US savings bonds go on sale to help finance the war effort
  • May 2 FCC approves regular scheduled commercial TV broadcasts to begin July 1
  • May 2 Nazi occupied Netherlands lays off Jewish journalists

Sports History

May 2 MLB player Ted Williams' lowest average (.308) in year he hit over .400

  • May 3 -4] German air raid on Liverpool

Sports History

May 3 67th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro aboard Whirlaway, 1st leg of successful Triple Crown

  • May 5 2 Fokker employees flee Nazi occupied Netherlands to England

Historic Event

May 5 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa

  • May 5 Pulitzer prize awarded to Robert E Sherwood (There shall be no night)

Historic Event

May 6 Joseph Stalin becomes Premier of the Soviet Union, replacing his foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov

Film & TV History

May 6 At California's March Field, Bob Hope performs his first USO show

Historic Event

May 7 British House of Commons votes for Winston Churchill (477-3)

Music Recording

May 7 Glenn Miller records "Chattanooga Choo Choo" for RCA, it becomes 1st record to be designated "gold"

  • May 8 German Q-ship Pinguin sinks in Indian Ocean

Historic Event

May 9 British intelligence at Bletchley Park breaks German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines aboard the weather ship Muenchen

Murder of Interest

May 9 Louis Buchalter is arraigned in New York state court on the 1936 Joseph Rosen murder along with three other murders

  • May 10 66th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro wins aboard Whirlaway, 2nd leg of successful Triple Crown

Historic Event

May 10 Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess escapes to Britain to open secret negotiations with the Allies, parachuting into Scotland

  • May 10 British House of Commons & Holborn Theatre damaged in an air raid

Radio History

May 10 Queen Wilhelmina on Radio Orange warns against treason

  • May 11 1st Messerschmidt 109F shot down above England
  • May 12 British forces march into Alexandria, Egypt
  • May 12 Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin
  • May 13 Martin Bormann is named head of Nazi Chancellery in Germany
  • May 13 Trial against resistance fighter comte d'Estienne d'Orves begins
  • May 13 Willy Lewis' US jazz band performs in Switzerland
  • May 14 3,600 Parisian Jews arrested
  • May 15 1st British turbojet flies
  • May 15 British attack Halfaya-pass & Fort Capuzzo in Egypt and Libya

Baseball Record

May 15 Joe DiMaggio starts 56-game hitting streak; Yanks lose 13-1

  • May 15 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid Jewish music
  • May 16 1st US radio performance of Robert Russell Bennett''s "Symphony in D for the Dodgers"
  • May 16 Italian army under Aosta surrenders to Britain at Amba Alagi, Ethiopia
  • May 16 Last great German air attack on Great Britain (Birmingham)
  • May 16 Nazis forbid Dutch Organization of Actors (NOT)
  • May 17 Pennsylvania declares legal holiday to honor A's manager Connie Mack
  • May 18 Italian army in Ethiopia under general Aosta surrenders to Britain
  • May 19 Germany occupiers in Holland forbid bicycle taxis
  • May 19 New Nazi battleship Bismarck leaves Gdynia, Poland
  • May 20 Archer's "Christian Calendar & Gregorian Reform" published
  • May 20 Former Dutch PM Colijn says Neth Indies not ready for independence
  • May 20 Germany begins airborne invasion of Crete
  • May 20 White Sox Taft Wright sets AL record of RBIs in 13 consecutive games
  • May 21 SS Robin Moor becomes the first US ship sunk by a U-boat during World War II
  • May 21 German airforce occupies airport at Maleme, Crete
  • May 21 Singer Johan Heesters visits Dachau concentration camp
  • May 22 British troops attack Baghdad

Boxing Title Fight

May 23 In his 20th World Heavyweight Boxing title defence Joe Louis knocks out Buddy Baer in round 1 at New York's Madison Square Garden

  • May 24 German athlete Rudolf Harbig runs world record 1,000m in 2:21.5 at Dresden, Germany
  • May 24 German battleship Bismarck sinks the British battle cruiser HMS Hood; 1,416 die, 3 survive
  • May 25 5,000 drown in a storm at Ganges Delta region in India
  • May 25 Ted Williams raises his batting average over .400 for 1st time in 1941

Historic Event

May 26 American Flag House (Betsy Ross' Home) given to city of Philadelphia

  • May 26 Aircraft from HMS Ark Royal sights German battleship Bismarck
  • May 26 German occupiers begin youth labor

Historic Event

May 27 FDR declares state of emergency after a German U-boat sinks the American flagged SS Robin Moor

  • May 27 German battleship Bismarck sunk by British naval force
  • May 28 1st night game at Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C. (NY Yankees pip the Senators 6-5)
  • May 28 Allied troops begin evacuation of Crete
  • May 30 1st anti semitic measures in Serbia
  • May 30 British Army enters Baghdad, chasing pro-German coup government
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Floyd Davis/Mauri Rose win final 500 prior to United States involvement in WWII; final time one car would carry 2 drivers to victory at Indy
  • May 31 -June 1) 32.0 cm rain falls on Burlington Kansas (state record)
  • May 31 1st issue of "Parade" goes on sale
  • May 31 German occupiers forbids Jews access to beach & swimming pools
  • May 31 A Luftwaffe air raid in Dublin, in neutral Ireland, claims 38 lives.