On This Day

May 1939 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 Pulitzer Prize awarded to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Yearling)
  • May 3 The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Subhash Chandra Bose
  • May 7 Germany and Italy announce an alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis
  • May 13 SS St Louis departs Hamburg with 937 Jewish fugitives
  • May 14 Lina Medina of Peru becomes the world's youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five
  • May 16 1st AL night game, Philadelphia Shribe Park (Indians 8, Athletics 3 in 10)
  • May 16 US food stamps are 1st issued in Rochester, New York
  • May 20 "3 Little Fishies" by Kay Kyser swam to #1
  • May 20 1st regular transatlantic airmail (Pan Am: NY to Marsseille France)

AgreementTreaty of Interest

May 22 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini sign "Pact of Steel" in Berlin, Germany

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • May 23 British parliament plans to make Palestine independent by 1949

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 23 Adolf Hitler proclaims he wants to move into Poland

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • May 23 Submarine USS Squalus sinks in the Gulf of Maine, drowning 26, 33 remaining crew rescued from a depth of 243 ft (74 m) by divers using newly developed heliox air systems (divers later awarded the Medal of Honor)

Birthdays in History

  • May 2 Sumio Iijima, Japanese physicist, born in Koshigaya, Saitama, Japan
  • May 4 Amos Oz, Israeli author (My Michael), born in Jerusalem
  • May 5 James R. Jones, American lawyer and politician (U.S. Ambassador to Mexico), born in Muskogee, Oklahoma
  • May 6 Anthony Blacker, Master-General of Ordnance
  • May 6 Zhanna Yorkina, Russian cosmonaut, born in Soltsy, Russia (d. 2015)
  • May 7 Ruud Lubbers, Dutch politician, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1982-94), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2018)
  • May 7 Volker Braun, German writer (Provocation for me), born in Dresden, Germany
  • May 7 Sidney Altman, Canadian-American molecular biologist (Nobel 1989), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • May 9 Kenneth Warby, fastest man on water at 300 knots (345 mph)
  • May 12 Ronald Ziegler, White House press secretary for Nixon
  • May 12 Miltiadis Evert, Greek politician
  • May 13 William W Cobey Jr, (Rep-R-NC, 1985-87)
  • May 14 M N Fathulin, cosmonaut
  • May 15 Brian Hartley, British mathematician (group theory) (d. 1994)
  • May 17 Wim de Bie, CEO (Simplistic Covenant)
  • May 17 Gary Paulsen, American author of young adult literature, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • May 18 Patrick Cormack, British politician (C), born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire
  • May 18 Giovanni Falcone, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • May 18 Gordon O'Connor, Canadian politician, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • May 19 Dick Scobee, American pilot and astronaut (STS 41C, killed commanding Space Shuttle Challenger), born in Cle Elum, Washington (d. 1986)
  • May 24 Gert Schutte, Dutch politician (GPV), born in Nieuwpoort, Netherlands
  • May 26 Gerald Ronson, English multi-millionaire
  • May 26 Merab Kostava, Georgian anti-Soviet leader
  • May 27 Earl Cairns, CEO (S G Warburg & Co)
  • May 27 Socratis Kokkalis, Greek businessman
  • May 31 Terry Waite, English Anglican Church envoy/Lebanese hostage, born in Bollington, Cheshire

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

May 29 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (25) weds Aliza Arnold

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin

Deaths in History

  • May 3 [Karl Eduard] Wilhelm Groener, German general, dies at 71
  • May 11 Yevgeny Miller [Eugen Ludwig Müller], Baltic German general and a leader of the anticommunist White Army during and after the Russian Civil War, executed at 71 after being kidnapped in Paris by Soviet intelligence and taken to Moscow where he was tortured and eventually shot
  • May 22 Ernst Toller, German playwright, commits suicide at 45
  • May 22 Jiri Mahen, Czech author (b. 1882)
  • May 25 Joseph Duveen, British art connoisseur (Elgin marbles), dies at 69
  • May 26 Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeon and co-founder (Mayo Clinic), dies at 74
  • May 26 Cornelis J Cutters, supreme commander of Navy (1910-18), dies
  • May 26 Cornelis Jacobus Snijders, Supreme commander of Dutch Navy (1910-18), dies at 86
  • May 27 Joseph Roth, Austria journalist (Fluctuate ohne Ende), dies at 44
  • May 29 Ursula Ledóchowska, Polish-Austrian Catholic saint and foundress of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, dies of a carcinoma at 74