On This Day

May 1953 in History

Events in History

  • May 2 Feisal II installed as King of Iraq
  • May 2 Hussein I installed as King of Jordan
  • May 3 Westchester conference of American Library Association proclaims "Freedom to Read"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 4 Pulitzer Prize for Literature awarded to Ernest Hemingway for "The Old Man & The Sea"

  • May 7 "Can Can" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 892 performances
  • May 7 Record 537-kg swordfish is caught by LE Marron, in Chile
  • May 11 Tornado kills 114 in Waco Texas ($39M damage)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 11 Winston Churchill criticizes US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' domino theory

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
US Secretary of State
John Foster Dulles
  • May 15 Osip Zadkine's monument to "The destroyed city" unveiled in Rotterdam
  • May 18 1st woman to break sound barrier (Jacqueline Cochran, USA)
  • May 19 Nuclear explosion in Nevada (fall-out in St George, Utah)
  • May 21 French government of Mayer resigns

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 US President Eisenhower signs Offshore Oil Bill

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

May 24 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Doctor Mellifluus

260th Pope Pius XII
260th Pope
Pius XII
  • May 25 1st atomic cannon electronically fired at Frenchman Flat, Nevada
  • May 26 Dutch Convair crashes at Schipholweg, 2 die
  • May 27 Dutch social democratic/Dutch Liberal Party win municipal elections

Historic InventionTenzing Norgay on the Summit of Mount Everest

May 29 Edmund Hillary (NZ) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) are first to reach the summit of Mount Everest as part of a British Expedition

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Tenzing Norgay brandishes his ice axe on the summit of Mount Everest
Tenzing Norgay brandishes his ice axe on the summit of Mount Everest
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 29 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire (to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II)

Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror
Ottoman Sultan
Mehmed the Conqueror
  • May 31 Lebanese president Camille Shamun disbands government

Birthdays in History


Person of interestTony Blair

May 6 Tony Blair, British Prime Minister (Labour: 1997-2007), born in Edinburgh, Scotland

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair
  • May 6 Michelle Courchesne, Quebec politician
  • May 7 Pat McInally, American National Football League player, born in Villa Park, California
  • May 7 Ian McKay, British soldier (VC recipient), born in Wortley, South Yorkshire, England (d. 1982)
  • May 9 Scott McInnis, (Rep-R-Colorado)
  • May 10 John Diamond, English journalist, born in London, England (d. 2001)
  • May 14 Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
  • May 16 David Maclean, British minister of state
  • May 17 Nicholas Bacon, premier baronet of England
  • May 18 Helen Chadwick, artist
  • May 19 Henry Lascelles, English grandson of princess Mary
  • May 19 Dawud M. Mu'Min, American convicted murderer (d. 1997)
  • May 20 Robert Doyle, Australian politician
  • May 22 John Edward Stevens, American bank robber (FBI Most Wanted List), born in NYC, New York
  • May 22 Doris Barnett, German politician, born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, West Germany
  • May 23 Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Prime Minister of Rwanda (1993-94) and one of the 1st female political figures in Africa, born in Nyaruhengeri, Rwanda (d. 1994)
  • May 25 Jane Priest, Prince Charles' lover, born in Perth, Australia
  • May 25 Eve Ensler, American playwright (The Vagina Monologues), born in NYC, New York
  • May 25 Stan Sakai, Japanese-American cartoonist (Usagi Yojimbo), born in Kyoto, Japan
  • May 26 Michael Portillo, British politician

Weddings in History

  • May 23 John F. Kennedy's sister Eunice Kennedy (31) weds activist and attorney Sargent Shriver at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City

Deaths in History

  • May 4 Edward Shanks, British poet and critic, dies at 60
  • May 14 Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Japanese-American painter, etcher and lithographer, dies at 59
  • May 19 Damaso Berenguer, Spanish soldier and politician (122nd Prime Minister of Spain), dies at 79
  • May 28 Hori Tatsuo, Japanese writer (b. 1904)