On This Day

May 1943 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 1st edition of illegal "The Free Artist" appears in Amsterdam
  • May 1 Food rationing begins in the United States during World War II
  • May 1 German Wehrmacht deployed in order to break Dutch strikes
  • May 1 German plane sinks the British ship SS Erinpura in the Mediterranean with the loss of 799 lives
  • May 1 SS General Hanns Albin Rauter announces that all Jews will be 'removed' from the occupied Netherlands
  • May 2 German troops vacate Jefna, Tunisia

Historic Event

May 3 Pulitzer prize awarded to Upton Sinclair (Dragon's Teeth)

  • May 3 Strike against obligatory labor camps ends, after 200 killed
  • May 3 US 1st armour division occupies Mateur Tunisia
  • May 4 NL Ford Frick demonstrates revised balata ball to reporters by bouncing it on his office carpet ball proves to be 50% livelier
  • May 5 Postmaster General Frank C Walker invents Postal Zone System
  • May 6 British 1st army opens assault on Tunis
  • May 7 British 11th Hussars occupy Tunis
  • May 7 Dutch men 18-35 obliged to report to labor camps

Historic Event

May 7 Liberty Ship George Washington Carver, named after scientist, launched

  • May 7 US 1st Armour division occupies Ferryville, Tunisia
  • May 7 US 9th Infantry division occupies Bizerta/Bensert, Tunisia
  • May 8 Admiral Cunningham of British fleet: "Sink, burn & destroy; let nothing pass"
  • May 9 5th German Panzer army surrenders in Tunisia
  • May 9 Rotschild-Haddassh University Hospital opens

Victory in Battle

May 11 Hermann Goering division in Tunisia surrenders

  • May 11 US 7th div lands on Attu, Aleutian, (1st US territory recaptured)
  • May 12 Axis forces in North Africa surrender
  • May 12 German troops in Tunisia, North Africa, surrender
  • May 13 German & Italian forces in Africa surrender
  • May 13 German occupiers attempt to confiscate all radios in the Netherlands
  • May 14 Sinking of the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur off the coast of Queensland, by a Japanese submarine
  • May 15 Halifax bombers sinks U-463

Historic Event

May 15 Joseph Stalin dissolves the Comintern (or Third International) to avoid upsetting his Western allies with claims he was trying to foment revolution globally

Historic Event

May 16 Operation Chastise: No. 617 Squadron RAF begins the famous Dambusters Raid, bombing the Möhne and Eder dams in the Ruhr valley with bouncing bombs

Historic Event

May 16 SS General Jürgen Stroop orders the burning of the Warsaw Ghetto, ending a month of Jewish resistance. 13,000 Jews have died, about half burnt alive or suffocated, German casualties less than 300

  • May 17 The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer).
  • May 17 World War II: the Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams

Historic Event

May 17 Millionaire Howard Hughes crashes into Lake Mead, while test flying his Sikorsky S-43, killing CAA inspector Ceco Cline and Richard Felt

  • May 18 Allied bombers attack Pantelleria, an Italian island 100 km southwest of Sicily
  • May 19 Berlin is declared "Judenrien" (free of Jews)
  • May 19 Churchill pledges Britain's full support to US against Japan
  • May 20 French, British and US victory parade in Tunis, Tunisia
  • May 22 RAF scatters 1st copies of "The Flying Hollander"
  • May 23 -24] 826 Allied bombers attack Dortmund

Historic Event

May 23 Thomas Mann begins writing his novel Dr Faustus

Historic Event

May 24 Admiral Donitz stops U-boat in Atlantic Ocean

  • May 24 U-441 shoots Sunderland seaplane down over Gulf of Biskaje
  • May 25 Riot at Mobile, Alabama, shipyard over upgrading 12 black workers
  • May 25 Trident conference in Washington, D.C. (operation plan '43 against Japan)
  • May 26 Edwin Barclay of Liberia becomes first president of a black country to visit US
  • May 26 Jews riot against Germany in Amsterdam
  • May 26 Prime Minister Winston Churchill & General Marshall fly from US to North Africa
  • May 27 French resistance under Jean Moulin meets secretly in Paris
  • May 29 Meat and cheese rationed in US

Historic Event

May 30 French General Charles de Gaulle arrives in Algiers

  • May 30 US troops reconquer Attu Aleutians
  • May 31 "Archie" comic strip 1st broadcast on radio
  • May 31 Cards Mort Cooper pitches 1st of back-to-back one-hitters
  • May 31 42 U-boats sunk by the Allies this month

Birthdays in History

  • May 3 John Costello, British military historian, born in Greenock, Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1995)
  • May 4 Mihail Chemiakin, Russian painter, born in Moscow

Andreas Baader

May 6 Andreas Baader, German left-wing militant and leader of the Red Army Faction, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1977)

  • May 7 Peter Carey, Australian author (True History of the Kelly Gang), born in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria
  • May 10 James Earl Chaney, US civil rights activist
  • May 10 Richard Darman, American economist
  • May 14 Alan B Mollohan, (Rep-D-WV, 1983- )
  • May 14 Elizabeth Ray, Marshall NC, congressman Wayne Hays' lover
  • May 14 Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland
  • May 16 Dan Coats, American politician (Rep-R-IN, 1981-89, Sen-R-IN 1989-99, 2011-17, Director of National Intelligence 2017-19), born in Jackson, Michigan
  • May 16 Jon Jost, director (All the Vermeers in NY)
  • May 20 Iain Vallance [Baron Vallance of Tummel], CEO (British Telecom)
  • May 20 Martin Honeysett, British cartoonist (Punch, Private Eye), born in Hereford (d. 2015)
  • May 20 Justin Cartwright, British novelist (In Every Face I Meet), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2018)
  • May 22 Betty Williams, Northern Irish political activist (Nobel Peace Prize 1976), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 2020)
  • May 22 Gesine Schwan, German politician (Social Democratic Party of Germany) and professor, born in Berlin
  • May 23 Lars-Ake Nilsson, diplomat
  • May 23 Peter Kenilorea, PM Solomon Islands
  • May 25 Wynand Charl Malan, South African lawyer and politician, born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • May 28 Ray Mitchell, governor (Albany Prison, England)
  • May 29 Robert W. Edgar, American businessman and politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th district), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2013)
  • May 29 E. Thomas Coleman, American politician (Rep-R-MO, 1976-93), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • May 31 Richard Timothy George Mansfield Parker, 9th Earl of Macclesfield

Deaths in History

  • May 1 Johan Oscar Smith, Norwegian Christian leader who founded the evangelical Brunstad Christian Church, dies at 71

Mordecai Anielewicz

May 8 Mordecai Anielewicz, Jewish commander of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, suspected to have committed suicide at 24 rather than surrender to Nazi troops that had surrounded his command bunker

  • May 10 Andre Bertulot, Belgian resistance fighter, hanged
  • May 10 Arnaud/Armand Fraiteur, Belgian resistance fighter, hanged
  • May 10 Maurice-Albert Raskin, Belgian resistance fighter, hanged
  • May 11 Szmul Zygielbojm, Jewish-Polish socialist politician (Bund) and activist, commits suicide to protest Allied indifference to the Holocaust during WWII at 48
  • May 14 Henri La Fontaine, Belgian international lawyer (Nobel 1913), dies at 89
  • May 16 Alfred Hoche, German psychiatrist (b. 1865)
  • May 19 Kristjan Raud, Estonian painter and one of the founders of the Estonian National Museum, dies at 77
  • May 22 Helen Herron Taft, American First lady (1909-13) wife of President William Howard Taft, planted Washington's cherry trees, dies at 81
  • May 24 Vladimir I Nemirovitch-Dantshenko, Russian playwright, dies at 84
  • May 25 Nils Dardel, Swedish post-impressionist painter, dies at 54
  • May 26 Edsel Ford, American President of Ford Motor Company (1919-1943) and son of Henry Ford, dies of stomach cancer aged 49