The People History Home

May 1st to 31st

Just a few news items from each day in May click on the link for each day to find more news for that day

May 1

1931 The Empire State Building in New York Officially opens

1962 The first Kmart department store opens

1967 Elvis Presley, married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Ann Beaulieu

1982 British Warships and Fighter Bombers bombed Argentinean positions at Port Stanley on the Islands as war broke out over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands

1982 World’s Fair opens in Knoxville, Tennessee

2006 Great American Strike was a one day boycott of United States schools and businesses by immigrants, both legal and illegal

May 2

1930 Hoover Says Stock Market Crash Temporary Setback

1952 The worlds first commercial Jet Airliner a De Havilland Comet from London for Johannesburg

1997 Tony Blair became Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years.

2008 Australia Ongoing Drought

May 3

1926 General Strike is called for by the (TUC) in UK

1932 Continued growth in TB / Tuberculosis in US and around the world

1951 Festival of Britain is opened at the Royal Festival Hall by King George VI

1979 Margaret Thatcher Becomes British Prime Minister

1991 Last Dallas Episode Shown

May 4

1886 Haymarket Square Riot Chicago

1932 Al Capone begins life as convict 40886 in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary serving 11 years for Income Tax Evasion

1970 National Guards fired on protesters at Kent State University and 4 were killed and a further 10 were injured.

2010 First Oil Reaches Louisiana Coast From Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster

May 5

1891 Carnegie Hall originally called Music Hall has it's official opening in New York City

1925 John Thomas Scopes a teacher from Dayton, Tennessee is arrested for violating Tennessee's Butler Act

1961 Alan B. Shepard Jr became the first American in space

May 6

1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from the United States for 10 years.

1910 King Edward VII Dies

1937 The German airship Hindenburg the largest dirigible ever built burst into flames

1954 Roger Bannister becomes the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes

1994 The Queen and France's President Francois Mitterrand formally open the Channel Tunnel during two ceremonies in France and Britain.

May 7

1915 A German torpedo sinks the British Ocean liner Lusitania off the Irish coast, killing nearly 1,200 people.

1941 Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

1941 Germany continues to send large numbers of Bombers laden with bombs targeting Liverpool, North East, North West, Bristol and London

1945 Germany signs unconditional surrender at Rheims in France bringing to an end six years of war in Europe.

1956 British Health Minister RH Turton, rejects calls for a government campaign against smoking, saying no ill-effects have actually been proven from smoking and the link between smoking and lung Cancer has not been proved.

1977 Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his Triple Crown victories for three-year-old thoroughbred horses.

Born in May

Tim McGraw

Born: May 1st, 1967 Start, Louisiana

The Rock

Born: May 2nd, 1972, Hayward, California

Bing Crosby

Born: May 3rd, 1903, Tacoma, Washington

Audrey Hepburn

Born: May 4th, 1929, Brussels, Belgium


Born: May 5th 1988 London, United Kingdom

Orson Welles

Born: May 6th, 1915, Kenosha, Wisconsin

May 8

1945 VE Day / Victory In Europe Declared

1970 Just shortly after the Break Up of the Beatles is announced The Beatles Final original album "Let It Be" is released by Apple Records.

1973 Battle Of Wounded Knee Ends

1988 Murder Via Cyanide in Excedrin Capsules

2000 The Tate Modern art gallery in a conversion of the former power station on Bankside in London opens its doors to the world's media

May 9

1960 The Food and Drug Administration approved the first pill for contraceptive use in Birth Control

1974 Nixon impeachment hearings begin against President Richard M. Nixon

1974 Bruce Springsteen nicknamed "The Boss," with his E Street Band performed a concert in Cambridge, Mass., which made the well known rock critic Jon Landau write, "I saw rock and roll future and it's name is Bruce Springsteen."

May 10

1924 J. Edgar Hoover is appointed by President Calvin Coolidge to be the Sixth director of the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) name changed in 1936 to the FBI

1926 General strike in England

1940 Battle Of France Begins

1965 Warren Buffet Gains Controlling Interest In Berkshire-Hathaway

1994 South Africa's newly elected parliament chose an Unopposed Nelson Mandela to be the country's first black president.

1998 Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and other members of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the republican IRA, vote to accept the Good Friday peace agreement.

May 11

1934 A huge dust storm is spotted moving from the Midwest. The dust storm was 1,500 miles long, 900 miles across and two miles high

1953 F5 tornado struck Waco, Texas where 48 were known dead and more than 250 injured.

1997 IBM's The Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov to win a six-game chess match between man and computer in New York.

May 12

1932 The Baby son kidnapped from Charles Lindbergh was found dead just miles away from the Lindbergh home

1937 King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

2008 An Earthquake measuring 7.8 strikes near Chengdu, Sichuan's provincial capital in south western China leaving more than 60 thousand dead

May 13

1938 "When the Saints Go Marching In" was recorded by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.

1940 Churchill makes First Speach As Prime Minister

1985 Philadelphia Police Department drop a bomb containing C-4 and Tovex from a helicopter onto MOVE's residence part of a row of tenements on Osage Avenue

May 14

1940 The British Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden announced the creation of the Local Defence Volunteers ( LDV ) name changed in July of to "The Home Guard".

1942 Congress creates the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps ( WACS )

1948 The independent state of Israel is proclaimed as British rule in Palestine came to an end.

1957 Petrol rationing, which has been in force in Britain and France for five months following the Suez crisis ends.

1991 Winnie Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela, is given a six-year prison sentence for her part in the kidnap of four youths suspected of being police informers, one of the kidnapped boys later died of his injuries.

May 15

1940 Nylon stockings from DuPont ( Nylon invented in 1935 by Wallace Carothers ) went on general sale for the first time in the United States.

1941 The Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 Jet aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, ( First Jet Aircraft Flight )

1942 Gas rationing goes into effect across 27 US states as part of the war effort.

1957 Britain tests first hydrogen bomb on the Christmas Island area in the Pacific Ocean,

Visit our 1950's Section

1950s Prices including inflation prices for homes, wages etc,

Baby Boomers raise families following 20 years of unrest ( Great Depression and World War II ) the peak of the Baby Boomer Years

Includes Music, Fashion, Prices, News for each Year, Popular Culture, Technology and More.

May 16

1927 Following the floods in Louisiana rescue workers have so far found over 20 people dead with more coming as they continue to check homes flooded due to the flooding

1929 The First ever Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards were handed out at a banquet held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

1943 Resistance in the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw has ended as SS Police and Wehrmacht units using tanks and other armoured vehicles take back control of the ghetto crushing resistance after 1 month of fighting.

1969 Rioting and protests against the war in Vietnam continue on campuses throughout California with local National Guardsman patrolling Berkeley campus of the University of California area with fixed bayonets to keep peace and order.

2005 Army Specialist Sabrina Harman was convicted at Fort Hood, Texas, for her role in the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

May 17

1943 Lancaster bombers use the revolutionary bomb designed to bounce on the water to bypass dam defences ( immortalised in a 1954 war film Dambusters ) .

1954 The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education , ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional.

1973 The investigation of Watergate by the Senate begins televised hearings on the Watergate scandal.

May 18

1964 Large numbers of Mods and Rockers involved in violent clashes at a number of seaside resorts on the south coast of England

1980 Mount St. Helens located in the Cascade Range erupted and blasted 1,300 ft off it's top that sent hot mud, gas and ashes running down it's slopes

May 19

1921 The Emergency Quota Act was passed into law which limits the number of immigrants admitted into the US.

1962 Marilyn Monroe performed a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for President John F. Kennedy for his forty-fifth birthday during a fund-raiser at New York's Madison Square Garden.

May 20 :

1927 Charles Lindbergh who many called the "flying fool" sets off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, NY, flying the "Spirit of St. Louis" on an epic flight from New York to Paris. He completed the 33-hour, 30-minute flight and landed at Le Bourget Airport, Paris on the evening of 21 May.

1961 An angry mob consisting of all white's attacked a busload of "Freedom Riders" ( Freedom Riders were testing the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia, that gave them a legal right to disregard local segregation ordinances regarding interstate transportation facilities. ) in Montgomery, Ala.

1973 The British Royal Navy Frigates the Cleopatra, the Plymouth and the Lincoln are sent to the disputed Icelandic 50-mile zone to protect British trawlers fishing inside the zone as the COD WAR between Britain and Iceland escalates.

May 21

1881 American Red Cross Founded

1927 Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris, completing the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight

1932 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to make a solo air crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Ireland

1991 Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated

2010 Scientists in the United States successfully created artificial life by creating the first live cell to be controlled by synthetic DNA.

May 22

1927 An earthquake measuring 8.6 on Richter scale strikes Xining in the eastern part of Qinghai province It was one of the deadliest earthquakes on record with a total count of 200,000 deaths.

1965 Berkeley University Anti Vietnam Protests

1972 Ceylon changes it's name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka

1981 The Yorkshire ripper Peter Sutcliffe found guilty of killing 13 women

1989 Students occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing

May 23

1929 New gold rush starts in Australia

1934 Bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow gunned down with over 100 rounds of ammunition by police in Black Lake, Louisiana.

1988 Median price for a home is now $87,700

1998 A referendum on the Good Friday peace agreement held in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic ended with 3 to 1 support.

May 24

1883 The Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan over the East River opens to traffic.

1934 Month Long Drought in Midwest continues

1941 German Battleship Bismarck Sinks HMS Hood

1961 Two buses carrying 27 'Freedom Riders' 25 Negroes and two whites were arrested by city police officers in Jackson Mississippi and charged with disobeying an officer and breach of peace.

1976 Air France from Paris and British Airways from London simultaneously began Concorde service to Dulles Airport, Washington cutting the travel time from 7 hours to 3 1/2 hours.

May 25 :

1895 Playwright Oscar Wilde was found guilty of gross indecency in London and sentenced two years of hard labour.

1925 A high school science teacher, John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching the theory of evolution in his classes, as the Tennessee state law prohibits the teaching of evolution in public schools.

1935 Jesse Owens broke three world records at the Big Ten meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan including broad jump, the 220-yard dash and the low hurdles.

1961 President Kennedy has asked Congress for $531 million to help the US put a man on the moon before the end of the decade . On July 21st 1969 , Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon.

1968 The Gateway Arch in St. Louis standing 630 feet tall, and 630 feet wide at its base is dedicated

1977 First Of The Star Wars Movies Opens

May 26

1896 The Dow Jones Industrial Average was first published. The average price of the 12 initial stocks was 40.94

1940 The Dunkirk evacuation begins "Operation Dynamo" was launched for the evacuation of British, French and Belgian soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk in northern France

1950 After 11 years petrol rationing finally ends in Great Britain

1969 Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono stage a public 'bed in' for world peace - staying in bed for a week in a hotel in Montreal.

May 27

1923 First Le Mans 24 hour race

1937 Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California is opened to pedestrian traffic and more than 200,000 pedestrians walked across on opening day.

1941 The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the Atlantic by the Royal Naval ships Dorsetshire, King George V and Rodney

1997 F5 tornado ( Winds Greater Than 260 MPH )and almost 800 feet wide strikes Jarrell, Texas, destroying the town and killing 27 people.

May 28

1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire

1987 A 19 year old West German, Mathias Rust, flying a light plane undetected from Helsinki to Moscow and lands safely in Red Square

May 29

1932 World War I veterans known as the " Bonus Army " begin arriving in Washington to demand cash bonuses they weren't scheduled to receive for another 13 years be paid early to allow them to survive

1942 Bing Crosby records the world's top selling record White Christmas

1953 Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal become the first explorers to reach the top of Mount Everest

1985 Heysel Stadium Disaster in Belgium

May 30

1911 The first ever running of the Indianapolis 500

1922 The Lincoln Memorial built to honor Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of the United States, is dedicated by Former President William Howard Taft in Washington, D.C.

1937 The Memorial Day Massacre takes place when Ten union demonstrators are killed and 84 are wounded when police opened fire in front of the South Chicago Republic Steel plant.

1959 The first full size hovercraft , the SR-N1, designed by Sir Christopher Cockerell, is launched and tested at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

May 31

1859 Big Ben rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, England for the first time.

1889 Dam Break Johnstown, Pennsylvania kills thousands

1916 The Battle of Jutland during World War I

1935 Earthquake hits Northwestern India leaving an estimated 20,000 people dead in Quetta.

1970 An earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale 30 km off the coast of Casma, Peru in the Pacific Ocean causes the destabilized the northern wall of Mount Huascarán causing an avalanche that buries the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca. Due to the speed the avalanche travelled at more than 100 miles per hour little warning was given and an estimated 50,000 people in the two cities lost their lives making it the worst natural disaster ever recorded in the history of Peru.

1977 The almost 800 miles long Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline is completed