On This Day in History May 18

May 18 – Events:

  • 1152 – Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • 1268 – The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch.
  • 1302 – Bruges Matins, the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by members of the local Flemish militia.
  • 1498 – Vasco da Gama reaches the port of Calicut, India
  • 1593 – Playwright Thomas Kyd’s accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.
  • 1631 – In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts.
  • 1652 – Rhode Island passes the first law in North America making slavery illegal.
  • 1765 – Fire destroys a large part of Montreal, Quebec.
  • 1783 – First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States.
  • 1803 – Napoleonic Wars: The United Kingdom revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France.
  • 1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.
  • 1811 – Las Piedras Battle: first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay leaded by Jose Artigas.
  • 1848 – Opening of the first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins.
  • 1869 – Surrender and dissolution of the Ezo Republic to Japan.
  • 1869 – The Public Credit Act is signed by Ulysses S. Grant, one of his first actions as President of the United States.
  • 1876 – Wyatt Earp starts work in Dodge City, Kansas.
  • 1896 – The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal is constitutional.
  • 1896 – Khodynka Tragedy: a mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people.
  • 1897 – Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker is published.
  • 1900 – The United Kingdom proclaims a protectorate over Tonga.
  • 1910 – The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President the power of conscription.
  • 1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears while visiting a Venice, California, beach.
  • 1927 – The Bath School Disaster: Forty-five people are killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.
  • 1933 – New Deal: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.
  • 1944 – World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino – Conclusion after seven days of the fourth battle as German paratroopers (“Fallschirmjäger”) evacuate Monte Cassino.
  • 1944 – Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union government.
  • 1944 – World War II: SS troops burn down six villages in the Brkini hills in south western Slovenia.
  • 1948 – The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking.
  • 1953 – Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.
  • 1958 – An F-104 Starfighter sets a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph (2,259.82 km/h).
  • 1959 – Launching of the National Liberation Committee of Côte d’Ivoire in Conakry, Guinea.
  • 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 launched.
  • 1974 – Nuclear test: Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
  • 1974 – Completion of the Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time. It later collapses on August 8, 1991.
  • 1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
  • 1980 – Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms.
  • 1983 – In Ireland, the Government launched a crackdown, with the leading Dublin pirate Radio Nova being put off the air.
  • 1990 – In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record – 515.3km/h
  • 1991 – Helen Sharman from Sheffield becomes the first Briton to orbit in Space.
  • 1991 – Northern Somalia declares independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is unrecognized by the international community.
  • 1992 – The Archivist of the United States officially announces the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1998 – United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
  • 2006 – The post Loktantra Andolan government passes a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country.

May 18 – Birthdays:

  • 1048 – Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher (d. 1131)
  • 1186 – Konstantin of Rostov, Prince of Novgorod (d. 1218)
  • 1474 – Isabella d’Este, Marquise of Mantua (d. 1539)
  • 1610 – Stefano della Bella, Italian printmaker (d. 1664)
  • 1616 – Johann Jakob Froberger, German composer (d. 1667)
  • 1662 – George Smalridge, English bishop of Bristol (d. 1719)
  • 1692 – Joseph Butler, English bishop and philosopher (d. 1752)
  • 1711 – Ruder Josip Boškovic, Croatian atomic theorist (d. 1787)
  • 1778 – Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (d. 1854)
  • 1785 – John Wilson, Scottish writer (d. 1854)
  • 1797 – Frederick Augustus II of Saxony (d. 1854)
  • 1850 – Oliver Heaviside, English physicist (d. 1925)
  • 1851 – James Budd, Governor of California (d. 1908)
  • 1868 – Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov, Nicholas II, Last Emperor of Russia (d. 1918)
  • 1872 – Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, English mathematician, writer and philosopher, Nobel laureate (d. 1970)
  • 1876 – Hermann Müller, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1931)
  • 1882 – Babe Adams, American baseball player (d. 1968)
  • 1883 – Eurico Gaspar Dutra, President of Brazil (d. 1974)
  • 1883 – Walter Gropius, German architect (d. 1969)
  • 1887 – Jeanie MacPherson, American actress and screenwriter (d. 1946)
  • 1889 – Thomas Midgley, American chemist and inventor (d. 1944)
  • 1891 – Rudolf Carnap, German philosopher (d. 1970)
  • 1892 – Ezio Pinza, Italian-born bass (d. 1957)
  • 1897 – Frank Capra, American film producer, director, and writer (d. 1991)
  • 1901 – Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1978)
  • 1902 – Meredith Willson, American composer (d. 1984)
  • 1904 – Jacob K. Javits, American politician (d. 1986)
  • 1905 – Hedley Verity, English cricketer (d. 1943)
  • 1907 – Carl Mydans, American photographer (d. 2004)
  • 1909 – Fred Perry, British former tennis player (d. 1995)
  • 1911 – Big Joe Turner, American blues singer (d. 1985)
  • 1912 – Richard Brooks, American film director, writer and producer (d. 1992)
  • 1912 – Perry Como, American singer (d. 2001)
  • 1912 – Walter Sisulu, South African anti-apartheid activist (d. 2003)
  • 1913 – Jane Birdwood, British anti-Semitic activist (d. 2000)
  • 1913 – Charles Trenet, French singer and songwriter (d. 2001)
  • 1913 – Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Fifth President of India (d. 1996)
  • 1914 – Pierre Balmain, French fashion designer (d. 1982)
  • 1918 – George Welch, American pilot and war hero (d. 1954)
  • 1918 – Massimo Girotti, Italian actor (d. 2003)
  • 1919 – Dame Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer (d. 1991)
  • 1920 – Pope John Paul II (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Lucia Mannucci, Italian singer (Quartetto Cetra)
  • 1922 – Gerda Boyesen, Norwegian-born body psychotherapist (d. 2005)
  • 1922 – Bill Macy, American actor
  • 1922 – Kai Winding, Danish-born musician (d. 1983)
  • 1923 – Hugh Shearer, Prime Minister of Jamaica (d. 2004)
  • 1923 – Jean-Louis Roux, French Canadian actor and artistic director
  • 1924 – Priscilla Pointer, American actress
  • 1924 – Jack Whitaker, American sportscaster
  • 1926 – Dirch Passer, Danish actor (d. 1980)
  • 1928 – Pernell Roberts, American actor
  • 1929 – Jack Sanford, American baseball player (d. 2000)
  • 1931 – Don Martin, American cartoonist (d. 2000)
  • 1931 – Robert Morse, American actor
  • 1933 – Bernadette Chirac, French politician
  • 1934 – Dwayne Hickman, American actor and television executive
  • 1937 – Brooks Robinson, American baseball player
  • 1937 – Jacques Santer, Luxembourg statesman
  • 1939 – Giovanni Falcone, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • 1939 – Gordon O’Connor, Canadian politician
  • 1941 – Lobby Loyde, Australian guitarist and songwriter (d. 2007)
  • 1942 – Albert Hammond, British musician and composer
  • 1942 – Nobby Stiles, English footballer
  • 1943 – James Reiher, American professional wrestler
  • 1944 – W. G. Sebald, German-born writer (d. 2001)
  • 1946 – Bruce Gilbert, English musician (Wire)
  • 1946 – Frank Hsieh, former Premier of Taiwan
  • 1946 – Reggie Jackson, American baseball player
  • 1946 – Andreas Katsulas, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1947 – John Bruton, ninth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland
  • 1949 – Rick Wakeman, English composer and musician (Yes)
  • 1949 – Bill Wallace, Canadian musician (The Guess Who)
  • 1950 – Thomas Gottschalk, German television show host
  • 1950 – Mark Mothersbaugh, American composer, musician, and singer (Devo)
  • 1952 – Diane Duane, American writer
  • 1952 – George Strait, American musician
  • 1952 – Jeana Yeager, American aviator
  • 1955 – Chow Yun-Fat, Hong Kong actor
  • 1957 – Michael Cretu, German musician (Enigma)
  • 1958 – Toyah Willcox, English actor and singer
  • 1959 – Jay Wells, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Jari Kurri, Finnish ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Yannick Noah, French tennis player
  • 1962 – Mike Whitmarsh, American Volleyball Player
  • 1962 – Nanne Grönvall, Swedish singer
  • 1962 – Sandra Cretu, German singer
  • 1962 – Mike Darnell, American television executive
  • 1965 – Ingo Schwichtenberg, German drummer (d. 1995)
  • 1966 – Michael Tait, American musician (dc Talk, Tait)
  • 1967 – Heinz-Harald Frentzen, German F1 driver
  • 1969 – Martika, Cuban-American singer
  • 1970 – Tina Fey, American writer/actress
  • 1971 – Brad Friedel, American soccer player
  • 1971 – Nobuteru Taniguchi, Japanese racing driver
  • 1972 – Turner Stevenson, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Dario Franchitti, American racecar driver (Indy Racing League)
  • 1975 – John Higgins, Scottish snooker player
  • 1975 – Jack Johnson, American musician
  • 1975 – Peter Iwers, Swedish bass player (In Flames)
  • 1976 – Oleg Tverdovsky, Ukrainian ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Lee Hendrie, English footballer
  • 1977 – Danny Mills, English footballer
  • 1978 – Ricardo Carvalho, Portuguese footballer
  • 1979 – Mariusz Lewandowski, Polish footballer
  • 1979 – Michal Martikán, Slovak slalom canoeist
  • 1979 – Julián Speroni, Argentine footballer
  • 1980 – Jeff Roehl, American football player
  • 1980 – Ali Zafar, Pakistani singer and model
  • 1980 – Aileen Campbell, Scottish Politician
  • 1981 – Mahamadou Diarra, Malian footballer
  • 1982 – Jason Brown, English-born footballer
  • 1982 – Eric West, American singer and actor
  • 1983 – Gary O’Neil, English footballer
  • 1983 – Luis Terrero, Dominican baseball player
  • 1983 – Vince Young, American football player
  • 1984 – Scarlett Keegan, Playboy Playmate
  • 1984 – Joakim Soria, Mexican baseball player
  • 1984 – Niki Terpstra, Dutch cyclist
  • 1986 – Ryan Lamb, English rugby union player
  • 1987 – Luisana Lopilato, Argentine actress and model
  • 1988 – Ryan Cooley, Canadian television actor
  • 1991 – Michael Edwards, Lacrosse player
  • 1992 – Spencer Breslin, American actor
  • 1997 – Alana Etheridge, American actress

May 18 – Deaths:

  • 1450 – Sejong the Great of Joseon, ruler of Korea (b. 1397)
  • 1550 – John, Cardinal of Lorraine, French churchman (b. 1498)
  • 1551 – Domenico di Pace Beccafumi, Italian Renaissance-Mannerist painter (d. 1486)
  • 1584 – Ikeda Motosuke, Japanese samurai commander (b. 1559)
  • 1675 – Stanislaw Lubieniecki, Polish astronomer (b. 1623)
  • 1675 – Jacques Marquette, French Jesuit missionary and explorer (b. 1637)
  • 1692 – Elias Ashmole, English antiquarian (b. 1617)
  • 1733 – Georg Böhm, German organist (b. 1761)
  • 1780 – Charles Hardy, British governor of Newfoundland
  •  1781 – Túpac Amaru II, Peruvian Indian revolutionary, a descendant of the last Inca ruler, Túpac Amaru (b. 1742)
  • 1799 – Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, French playwright (b. 1732)
  • 1800 – Alexander Suvorov, Russian general (b. 1729)
  • 1807 – John Douglas, Scottish Anglican bishop and man of letters (b. 1721)
  • 1808 – Elijah Craig, American minister and inventor (b. 1738?)
  • 1829 – Maria Josepha of Saxony, queen consort of Spain (b. 1803)
  • 1844 – Richard McCarty, American politician (b. 1780)
  • 1889 – Isabella Glyn Dallas, Scottish Shakepearean actress (b. 1823)
  • 1900 – Jean Gaspard Felix Ravaisson-Mollien, French philosopher (b. 1813)
  • 1909 – George Meredith, English novelist and poet (b. 1828)
  • 1909 – Isaac Albéniz, Spanish pianist and composer (b. 1860)
  • 1910 – Pauline Garcia-Viardot, French mezzo-soprano and composer (b. 1821)
  • 1910 – Eliza Orzeszkowa, Polish novelist (b.1841)
  • 1911 – Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer (b. 1860)
  • 1922 – Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, French physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1845)
  • 1927 – Andrew Kehoe, American mass murderer (b. 1872)
  • 1941 – Werner Sombart, German economist and sociologist (b. 1863)
  • 1955 – Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator and activist (b. 1875)
  • 1956 – Maurice Tate, English cricketer (b. 1895)
  • 1963 – Ernie Davis, American football player (b. 1939)
  • 1967 – Andy Clyde, American actor (b. 1892)
  • 1971 – Aleksandr Gennadievich Kurosh, Russian mathematician (b. 1908)
  • 1973 – Jeannette Rankin, first U.S. Congresswoman (b. 1880)
  • 1975 – Leroy Anderson, American composer (b. 1908)
  • 1980 – Ian Curtis, English musician, singer and lyricist (Joy Division) (b. 1956)
  • 1980 – Harry Truman, victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1896)
  • 1980 – David A. Johnston, a U.S. Volcanoligist was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b.  1949)
  • 1980 – Reid Blackburn, a photojournalist for National Geographic was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1952)
  • 1981 – Arthur O’Connell, American actor (b. 1908)
  • 1981 – William Saroyan, American author (b. 1908)
  • 1988 – Daws Butler, American voice actor (b. 1916)
  • 1990 – Jill Ireland, English actress (b. 1936)
  • 1992 – Skip Stephenson, American TV personality (b. 1940)
  • 1992 – Marshall Thompson, American actor (b. 1925)
  • 1995 – Elisha Cook, Jr., American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Alexander Godunov, Russian ballet dancer and actor (b. 1949)
  • 1995 – Elizabeth Montgomery, American actress (b. 1933)
  • 1997 – Bridgette Andersen, American actress (b. 1975)
  • 1999 – Augustus Pablo, Jamaican singer (b. 1954)
  • 1999 – Betty Robinson, American runner (b. 1911)
  • 2000 – Stephen M. Wolownik, Russian musician and arranger (b. 1946)
  • 2002 – Davey Boy Smith, English professional wrestler (b. 1962)
  • 2003 – Anna Santisteban, Puerto Rican beauty contest organizer (b. 1914)
  • 2003 – Barb Tarbox, Canadian anti-smoking crusader (b. 1961)
  • 2004 – Elvin Jones, American jazz drummer (b. 1927)
  • 2004 – Serge Turgeon, Quebec actor and union leader (b. 1946)
  • 2006 – Andrew Martinez, U.C. Berkeley’s “Naked Guy” (b. 1972)
  • 2006 – Marissa Cooper, fictional character on FOX’s “The O.C.” (b. 1988)
  • 2007 – Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, French physicist (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Yoyoy Villame, Philippine novelty singer and movie actor (b. 1932)

May 18 – Holidays:

  • International Museum Day
  • Baltic Fleet Day in Russia
  • Renascence, Unity and Poetry Day of Makhtumkuli in Turkmenistan
  • Festival of the god Pan in Ancient Greece
  • Festival of Faunus in Ancient Rome
  • Liturgical feast day of the following saints in the Roman Catholic Church:

o   Saint Eric of Sweden

o   Saint Dioscorus

o   St. Felix of Cantalice

o   Pope John I

o   Venantius of Camerino

  • Feast day of Saint Alexandra in the Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Flag Day in Haiti

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On This Day in History May 17th

May 17 – Events:

  • 1521 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for treason.
  • 1590 – Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
  • 1642 – Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (1612–1676) founds the Ville Marie de Montréal.
  • 1673 – Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploring the Mississippi River.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: The Continental Congress bans trade with Canada.
  • 1792 – The New York Stock Exchange is formed.
  • 1809 – Napoleon I of France orders the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.
  • 1814 – Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian.
  • 1814 – The Constitution of Norway is signed and the Danish Crown Prince Christian Frederik is elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.
  • 1849 – A fire threatens to burn St. Louis, Missouri, to the ground.
  • 1860 – German football club TSV 1860 München is founded
  • 1863 – Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, her first book in the Galician language.
  • 1865 – The International Telegraph Union (the later International Telecommunication Union) is established.
  • 1875 – Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby.
  • 1895 – The first Omonoia station of the Athens metro is inaugurated in Greece.
  • 1900 – Second Boer War: British troops relieve Mafeking.
  • 1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
  • 1915 – The last British Liberal Party government (Herbert Henry Asquith) falls.
  • 1918 – Almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin are arrested.
  • 1919 – Committee of One Thousand forms to oppose Winnipeg General Strike.
  • 1919 – War Department (UK) orders use of National Star Insignia on all airplanes.
  • 1927 – U.S. Army aviation pioneer, Major Harold Geiger, died in the crash of his Airco DH.4 de Havilland plane at Olmstead Field, Pennsylvania.
  • 1933 – Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort form Nasjonal Samling — the national-socialist party of Norway.
  • 1940 – World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1940 – World War II: The old city centre of the Dutch town of Middelburg is bombed by the  German Luftwaffe, to force the surrender of the Dutch armies in Zeeland.
  • 1943 – The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School to develop the ENIAC.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams.
  • 1954 – The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
  • 1963 – Bruno Sammartino defeats Nature Boy Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds in Madison Square Garden for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. It begins the longest heavyweight championship reign in pro wrestling history.
  • 1967 – Six-Day War: President Abdul Nasser of Egypt demands dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt.
  • 1969 – Venera program: Soviet Venera 6 begins its descent into the atmosphere of Venus, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.
  • 1970 – Thor Heyerdahl sets sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II to sail the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1973 – Watergate scandal: Hearings begin in the United States Senate and are televised.
  • 1974 – Police in Los Angeles, California, raid the Symbionese Liberation Army’s headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall.
  • 1974 – Thirty-three people are killed by terrorist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland.
  • 1980 – General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea declares martial law in order to suppress student demonstrations.
  • 1980 – On the eve of presidential elections, Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacks a polling location in the town of Chuschi, Ayacucho starting the Internal conflict in Peru.
  • 1983 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
  • 1984 – Prince Charles calls a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend,” sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture.
  • 1987 – An Iraqi fighter jet fires two missiles into the U.S. warship USS Stark (FFG-31), killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.
  • 1992 – In Thailand, the so-called Black May begins. Thai police and protestors start attacking one another. By midnight, the current Thai government declares a state of emergency, and military troops open fire.
  • 1994 – Malawi holds its first multiparty elections.
  • 1995 – After 18 years as the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac takes office as President of France.
  • 1997 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa.
  • 1998 – David Wells of the New York Yankees pitches the 15th perfect game in baseball history against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.
  • 1999 – Ehud Barak is elected prime minister of Israel.
  • 2000 – Philippines. Explosion rocks Glorietta 2 injuring 13 persons, mostly teenagers. According to local authorities, the homemade bomb was placed in front of a toilet beside a video arcade.
  • 2004 – Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
  • 2007 – Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This is the first time that trains have crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.

May 17 – Birthdays:

  • 1155 – Jien, Japanese poet and historian (d. 1225)
  • 1443 – Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of  England
  • 1551 – Martin Delrio, Flemish theologian and occultist (d. 1601)
  • 1628 – Archduke Ferdinand Charles of Austria, Regent of the Tyrol (d. 1662)
  • 1682 – Bartholomew Roberts, AKA Black Bart, notorious Welsh pirate (d. 1722)
  • 1706 – Andreas Felix von Oefele, German historian and librarian (d. 1780)
  • 1718 – Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, English diplomat and politician (d. 1778)
  • 1743 – Seth Warner, American revolutionary leader (d. 1784)
  • 1749 – Edward Jenner, English medical researcher (d. 1823)
  • 1758 – John St Aubyn, British fossil collector (d. 1839)
  • 1768 – Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales (d. 1821)
  • 1768 – Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general (d. 1854)
  • 1794 – Anna Brownell Jameson, British writer (d. 1860)
  • 1821 – Sebastian Kneipp, German naturopathist (d. 1897)
  • 1836 – Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian chess player (d. 1900)
  • 1836 – Virginie Loveling, Belgian writer and poet (d. 1923)
  • 1844 – Julius Wellhausen, German biblical scholar (d. 1918)
  • 1866 – Erik Satie, French composer (d. 1925)
  • 1868 – Horace Elgin Dodge, American automobile manufacturer (d. 1920)
  • 1873 – Henri Barbusse, French novelist and journalist (d. 1935)
  • 1873 – Dorothy Richardson, English writer (d. 1957)
  • 1879 – Simon Petlyura, Ukrainian independence fighter (d. 1926)
  • 1886 – Alfonso XIII of Spain (d. 1941)
  • 1888 – Tich Freeman, English cricketer (d. 1965)
  • 1891 – Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife (d. 1959)
  • 1897 – Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1898 – Alfred Joseph Casson, Canadian painter (d. 1992)
  • 1900 – Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian Muslim cleric (d. 1989)
  • 1901 – Werner Egk, German composer (d. 1983)
  • 1903 – Cool Papa Bell, baseball player (d. 1991)
  • 1904 – Jean Gabin, French actor (d. 1976)
  • 1906 – Zinka Milanov, Croatian soprano (d. 1989)
  • 1911 – Lisa Fonssagrives, Swedish-born supermodel (d. 1992)
  • 1911 – Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish actress (d. 1998)
  • 1913 – Hans Ruesch, Swiss racing driver (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish soprano (d. 2005)
  • 1919 – Antonio Aguilar, Mexican singer and actor (d. 2007)
  • 1919 – Merle Miller, American biographer (d. 1986)
  • 1921 – Dennis Brain, English French horn player (d. 1957)
  • 1921 – Bob Merrill, American composer and lyricist (d. 1998)
  • 1931 – Marshall Applewhite, American cult leader (d. 1997)
  • 1935 – Dennis Potter, English writer (d. 1994)
  • 1936 – Dennis Hopper, American actor and director
  • 1937 – Hazel R. O’Leary, United States Secretary of Energy
  • 1938 – Jason Bernard, American actor (d. 1996)
  • 1939 – Gary Paulsen, American author
  • 1940 – Alan Kay, American computer scientist
  • 1941 – David Cope, American composer and author
  • 1942 – Taj Mahal, American musician
  • 1943 – Johnny Warren, Australian Footballer (d. 2004)
  • 1943 – Vicky Moscholiou, Greek singer (d. 2005)
  • 1945 – Tony Roche, Australian tennis player
  • 1946 – Udo Lindenberg, German musician
  • 1946 – F. Paul Wilson, American novelist
  • 1948 – Dick Gaughan, Scottish musician, singer and songwriter
  • 1949 – Bill Bruford, English musician (Yes)
  • 1950 – Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian politician
  • 1951 – Simon Hughes, British politician
  • 1952 – Howard Hampton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario
  • 1955 – Bill Paxton, American actor and film director
  • 1956 – Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer
  • 1956 – Bob Saget, American actor
  • 1956 – Dave Sim, Canadian cartoonist
  • 1957 – Pascual Pérez, Major league pitcher
  • 1958 – Paul Di’Anno, English singer (Iron Maiden)
  • 1959 – Marcelo Loffreda, Argentine rugby player and coach
  • 1959 – Jim Nantz, American broadcaster
  • 1960 – Lou DiBella, American boxing promoter
  • 1961 – Enya, Irish singer and songwriter
  • 1962 – Craig Ferguson, Scottish actor and comedian
  • 1962 – Lise Lyng Falkenberg, Danish writer
  • 1963 – Page McConnell, American musician and songwriter (Phish)
  • 1964 – Menno Oosting, Dutch tennis player (d. 1999)
  • 1965 – Richard Baumhammers, American spree killer
  • 1965 – Trent Reznor, American musician (Nine Inch Nails)
  • 1969 – Thom Filicia, American television personality
  • 1969 – Alan Doyle, Canadian musician (Great Big Sea)
  • 1970 – Jordan Knight, American singer (New Kids on the Block)
  • 1970 – Angelica Agurbash, Belarusian singer, actress and model
  • 1970 – Matt Lindland, American mixed martial arts fighter
  • 1971 – Shaun Hart, Australian footballer
  • 1971 – Princess Máxima of the Netherlands
  • 1973 – Josh Homme, American musician and songwriter
  • 1973 – Matthew McGrory, American actor (d. 2005)
  • 1973 – Sasha Alexander, American television actress
  • 1973 – Steve Barakatt, Canadian composer
  • 1974 – Andrea Corr, Irish singer (The Corrs)
  • 1974 – Wiki González, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1974 – Eddie Lewis, American football (soccer) player
  • 1974 – Sendhil Ramamurthy, American actor
  • 1975 – Cheick Kongo, French martial artist
  • 1975 – Jonti Picking, British cartoonist
  • 1975 – Kostas Sommer, Greek actor
  • 1975 – Laura Voutilainen, Finnish singer
  • 1975 – Alex Wright, German professional wrestler
  • 1976 – José Guillén, Dominican baseball player
  • 1976 – Lee-Hom Wang, American-born Taiwanese musician, singer, songwriter, and composer
  • 1978 – John Foster, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Paddy Kenny, Irish goalkeeper
  • 1978 – Carlos Pena, Dominican baseball player
  • 1979 – Wayne Thomas, English footballer
  • 1980 – Davor Džalto, Serbian art historian
  • 1980 – Dallas Taylor, American Vocalist (Underoath)
  • 1981 – Beñat Albizuri, Spanish cyclist
  • 1981 – R.J. Helton, American Idol finalist
  • 1981 – Shiri Maimon, Israeli singer
  • 1981 – Leon Osman, English footballer
  • 1981 – Giannis Taralidis, Greek footballer
  • 1982 – Tony Parker, French-American basketball player
  • 1983 – Channing Frye, American basketball player
  • 1983 – Nicky Hofs, Dutch footballer
  • 1984 – Christine Robinson, Canadian water polo player
  • 1984 – Christian Bolaños, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1986 – Tahj Mowry, American actor
  • 1988 – Nikki Reed, American actress

May 17 – Deaths:

  • 1189 – Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Japanese general (b. 1159)
  • 1336 – Emperor Go-Fushimi of Japan (b. 1288)
  • 1365 – Louis VI the Roman, Duke of Bavaria and Elector of Brandenburg (b. 1328)
  • 1395 – Constantine Dragas, Serbian ruler of a semi-independent realm
  • 1464 – Thomas de Ros, 10th Baron de Ros, English politician (executed) (b. 1427)
  • 1510 – Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter (b. 1445)
  • 1521 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, English politician (b. 1478)
  • 1536 – George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, English diplomat
  • 1575 – Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1504)
  • 1626 – Juan Pujol, Catalan composer (b. 1570)
  • 1643 – Giovanni Picchi, Italian composer
  • 1727 – Catherine I of Russia (b. 1684)
  • 1729 – Samuel Clarke, English philosopher (b. 1675)
  • 1765 – Alexis Claude Clairault, French mathematician (b. 1713)
  • 1797 – Michel-Jean Sedaine, French dramatist (b. 1719)
  • 1801 – William Heberden, English physician (b. 1710)
  • 1809 – Leopold Auenbrugger, Austrian physician (b. 1722)
  • 1822 – Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, French-Russian statesman (b. 1766)
  • 1829 – John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1745)
  • 1838 – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, French diplomat (b. 1754)
  • 1838 – René Caillé, French explorer (b. 1799)
  • 1839 – Archibald Alison, Scottish author (b. 1757)
  • 1868 – Isami Kondo, Shinsengumi Commander (b. 1834)
  • 1875 – John C. Breckinridge, Vice President of the United States (b. 1821)
  • 1879 – Asa Packer, railroad magnate and founder of Lehigh Valley Railroad (b. 1805)
  • 1886 – John Deere, American blacksmith and manufacturer (b. 1804)
  • 1888 – Giacomo Zanella, Italian poet (b. 1820)
  • 1916 – Boris Borisovich Galitzine, Russian physicist (b. 1862)
  • 1917 – Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke, ruler of Sarawak (b. 1829)
  • 1919 – Guido von List, German occult author (b. 1848)
  • 1927 – Major Harold Geiger, U.S. Army aviation pioneer (b. 1884)
  • 1935 – Paul Dukas, French composer (b. 1865)
  • 1936 – Panagis Tsaldaris, twice Greek prime minister (b. 1868)
  • 1937 – Guillame Furrét, Portuguese playwright and political activist (b. 1863)
  • 1938 – Jakob Ehrlich, Austrian politician and zionist (b. 1877)
  • 1947 – George William Forbes, Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1869)
  • 1963 – John Wilce, physician and former head football coach at the Ohio State University (b.  1888)
  • 1974 – Ernest Nash, German born archaeologist (b. 1898)
  • 1985 – Abe Burrows, songwriter, composer, and writer (b. 1910)
  • 1987 – Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1898)
  • 1992 – Lawrence Welk, American musician (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Hector “Toe” Blake, Canadian ice hockey player and NHL coach (b. 1912)
  • 1996 – Kevin Gilbert, American singer, composer and instrumentalist (b. 1966)
  • 1996 – Scott Brayton, American race car driver (b. 1959)
  • 1999 – Bruce Fairbairn, Canadian record producer and musician (b. 1949)
  • 2000 – Donald Coggan, 101st Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1909)
  • 2001 – Frank G. Slaughter, American novelist and physician (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – Dave Berg, American cartoonist (b. 1920)
  • 2002 – Sharon Sheeley, American songwriter (b. 1940)
  • 2002 – Davey Boy Smith, English professional wrestler (b. 1962)
  • 2002 – Ladislao Kubala, Hungarian-Spanish footballer (b. 1927)
  • 2003 – Frank “Pop” Ivy, American and Canadian football coach (b. 1916)
  • 2004 – Jørgen Nash, Danish artist (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Tony Randall, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Ezzedine Salim, leader of Iraqi Governing Council (b. 1943)
  • 2005 – Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934)
  • 2006 – Cy Feuer, American playwright (b. 1911)
  • 2006 – Eric Forth, British Member of Parliament (b. 1944)
  • 2006 – Captain Nichola Goddard, Canadian soldier (b. 1980)
  • 2007 – Lloyd Alexander, author (b. 1924)

May 17 – Holidays:

  • Día das Letras Galegas (Galician Literature Day) — holiday in Galicia, honoring the Galician language.
  • Norwegian Constitution Day or Syttende Mai.
  • Bahá’í Faith — Feast of ‘Azaamat (Grandeur) — First day of the fourth month of the Bahá’í calendar.
  • International Day Against Homophobia aka IDAHO.
  • Ascension in 2007
  • World Telecommunication Day
  • Saints in the Roman Catholic Church:

o   Saint Adrian of Alexandria

o   Saint Dietmar

o   Saint Montanus

o   Saint Paschal Baylon or Pascal Baylon

o   Saint Pamphamer

o   Saint Pamphalon

o   Saint Solochon

o   Saint Victor

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On This Day in History May 16

May 16 – Events:

  • 1204 – Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders is crowned first Emperor of the Latin Empire.
  • 1527 – The Florentines drive out the Medici for a second time and Florence re-establishes a republic.
  • 1532 – Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England.
  • 1568 – Mary Queen of Scots flees to England.
  • 1770 – 14-year old Marie Antoinette marries 15-year-old Louis-Auguste who later becomes king of France.
  • 1771 – The Battle of Alamance, a pre-American Revolutionary War battle between local militia and a group of rebels called “The Regulators” occurs in present-day Alamance County, North Carolina.
  • 1777 – Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett shoot each other during a duel near Savannah, Georgia. Gwinnett, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, dies three days later.
  • 1811 – Peninsular War – Allies (Spain, Portugal & Britain) defeat French at the Battle of Albuera.
  • 1822 – Greek War of Independence: The Turks capture the Greek town of Souli.
  • 1836 – Edgar Allan Poe marries his 13-year-old cousin Virginia.
  • 1843 – The first major wagon train heading for the Northwest sets out with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri on the Oregon Trail.
  • 1866 – The U.S. Congress eliminates the half dime coin and replaces it with the five cent piece, or nickel.
  • 1866 – Charles Elmer Hires invents root beer.
  • 1868 – President Andrew Johnson is acquitted during his impeachment trial, by one vote in the United States Senate.
  • 1874 – A flood on the Mill River in Massachusetts destroyed much of four villages and killed 139 people.
  • 1877 – May 16, 1877 political crisis in France.
  • 1910 – The U.S. Congress authorizes the creation of the United States Bureau of Mines.
  • 1914 – The first ever Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final is played. Brooklyn Field Club beat Brooklyn Celtic 2-1.
  • 1918 – The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government a jailable offense.
  • 1919 – US Navy Naval Curtiss aircraft NC-4 commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.
  • 1920 – In Rome, Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc as a saint.
  • 1929 – In Hollywood, California, the first Academy Awards are handed out.
  • 1943 – Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends.
  • 1948 – Chaim Weizmann is elected as the first President of Israel.
  • 1951 – The first regularly-scheduled transatlantic flights begin between New York and London, operated by El Al Israel Airlines.
  • 1960 – Nikita Khrushchev demands an apology from US President Dwight D. Eisenhower for U-2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union thus ending a Big Four summit in Paris.
  • 1960 – Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
  • 1965 – Campbell Soup Company introduces SpaghettiOs under its Franco-American brand.
  • 1966 – The Communist Party of China issued the ‘May 16 Notice’, marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.
  • 1967 – The city Jerusalem is taken over by the nation of Israel
  • 1969 – Venera program: Venera 5, a Soviet spaceprobe, lands on Venus.
  • 1974 – Josip Broz Tito was re-elected as president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This time he was elected for life.
  • 1975 – India annexes Sikkim after the mountain state held a referendum where popular vote was in favor of merging with India.
  • 1975 – Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  • 1983 – Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement rebelled against the Sudanese government.
  • 1986 – The Seville Statement on Violence is adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO, in Seville, Spain.
  • 1988 – A report by United States’ Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.
  • 1992 – STS-49: Space Shuttle Endeavour lands safely after a successful maiden voyage.
  • 2003 – In Casablanca, Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 people are injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks.
  • 2004 – The Day of Mourning at Bykivnia forest, just outside of Kiev, Ukraine. Here during 1930’s and early 1940’s communist bolsheviks executed over 100,000 Ukrainian civilians.
  • 2005 – Kuwait permits women’s suffrage in a 35-23 National Assembly vote.
  • 2006 – A large earthquake (7.4 on the Richter scale) occurs near New Zealand.

May 16 – Birthdays:

  • 1490 – Duke Albert of Prussia (d. 1568)
  • 1578 – Everard Digby, English conspirator (d. 1606)
  • 1611 – Pope Innocent XI (d. 1689)
  • 1710 – William Talbot, 1st Earl Talbot, English politician (d. 1782)
  • 1718 – Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Italian mathematician (d. 1799)
  • 1763 – Louis Nicolas Vauquelin, French pharmacist (d. 1829)
  • 1788 – Friedrich Rückert, German Poet, Translator and Orientalist (d. 1866)
  • 1801 – William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State, bought Alaska at 2 ¢/acre (d. 1872)
  • 1821 – Pafnuty Chebyshev, Russian mathematician (d. 1894)
  • 1824 – Levi P. Morton, United States Vice President under Benjamin Harrison (d.1920)
  • 1827 – Pierre Cuypers, Dutch architect (d. 1921)
  • 1831 – David E. Hughes, American musician (d. 1900)
  • 1845 – Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, Russian microbiologist, Nobel laureate (d. 1916)
  • 1891 – Richard Tauber, Austrian tenor (d. 1948)
  • 1898 – Tamara de Lempicka, Polish-born painter (d. 1980)
  • 1898 – Kenji Mizoguchi, Japanese film director (d. 1956)
  • 1905 – Henry Fonda, American actor (d. 1982)
  • 1906 – Alfred Pellan, French Canadian painter (d. 1988)
  • 1906 – Arturo Uslar Pietri, Venezuelan writer (d. 2001)
  • 1906 – Margret Rey, author and illustrator (d. 1996)
  • 1909 – Margaret Sullavan, American actress (d. 1960)
  • 1910 – Olga Berggolts, Russian poet (d. 1975)
  • 1910 – Aleksandr Ivanovich Laktionov, Russian painter (d. 1972)
  • 1912 – Studs Terkel, American writer
  • 1913 – Woody Herman, American musician and band leader (d. 1987)
  • 1914 – Edward T. Hall, American anthropologist and author
  • 1916 – Adriana Caselotti, American actress (d. 1997)
  • 1917 – Juan Rulfo, Mexican novelist (d. 1986)
  • 1917 – James C. Murray, American politician (d. 1999)
  • 1917 – George Gaynes, American actor
  • 1918 – Wilf Mannion, English former footballer (d. 2000)
  • 1919 – Liberace, American pianist (d. 1987)
  • 1919 – Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (d. 2004)
  • 1920 – Martine Carol, French actress (d. 1967)
  • 1921 – Harry Carey, Jr., American actor
  • 1923 – Merton Miller, American economist, Nobel laureate
  • 1925 – Bobbejaan Schoepen, Belgian entertainer
  • 1927 – Nílton Santos, Brazilian footballer
  • 1928 – Billy Martin, American baseball player and coach (d. 1989)
  • 1929 – John Conyers, American politician
  • 1929 – Claude Morin, French Canadian politician
  • 1929 – Adrienne Rich, American writer
  • 1930 – Betty Carter, American jazz singer (d. 1998)
  • 1930 – Friedrich Gulda, Austrian pianist (d. 2000)
  • 1931 – Jack Dodson, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1931 – Denise Filiatrault, French Canadian actress and director
  • 1931 – Natwar Singh, Indian politician
  • 1931 – Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., American politician
  • 1936 – Roy Hudd, English radio and television actor
  • 1936 – Karl Lehmann, German Catholic cardinal
  • 1937 – Yvonne Craig, American actress
  • 1944 – Billy Cobham, American virtuoso drummer
  • 1944 – Danny Trejo, American actor
  • 1945 – Nicky Chinn, English songwriter (Sweet, Suzi Quatro)
  • 1946 – Robert Fripp, English guitarist (King Crimson)
  • 1946 – Roger Earl, English rock drummer (Savoy Brown, Foghat)
  • 1947 – Bill Smitrovich, American actor
  • 1948 – Katia Dandoulaki, Greek actress
  • 1948 – Judy Finnegan, English TV presenter (Richard & Judy)
  • 1950 – J. Georg Bednorz, German physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1950 – Ray Condo, Canadian rockabilly musician
  • 1951 – Christian Lacroix, French fashion designer
  • 1951 – Jonathan Richman, American proto-punk icon
  • 1952 – James Herndon, American media psychologist
  • 1953 – Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor
  • 1955 – Olga Korbut, Russian gymnast
  • 1955 – Jack Morris, American baseball player
  • 1955 – Hazel O’Connor, English singer
  • 1955 – Debra Winger, American actress
  • 1959 – Mare Winningham, American actress
  • 1961 – Charles Wright, American professional wrestler known as “The Godfather”
  • 1963 – Jon Coffelt, American artist
  • 1963 – Mercedes Echerer, Austrian actress and politician
  • 1964 – John Salley, American basketball player
  • 1964 – Boyd Tinsley, American violinist (Dave Matthews Band)
  • 1965 – Krist Novoselic, American bassist (Nirvana)
  • 1966 – Janet Jackson, American singer
  • 1966 – Scott Reeves, American actor and singer
  • 1966 – Thurman Thomas, American football player
  • 1968 – Ralph Tresvant, American singer (New Edition)
  • 1968 – Chingmy Yau, Hong Kong actress
  • 1969 – David Boreanaz, American actor
  • 1969 – Tucker Carlson, American television commentator
  • 1969 – Tracey Gold, American actress
  • 1969 – Steve Lewis, American athlete
  • 1970 – Gabriela Sabatini, Argentine tennis player
  • 1970 – Danielle Spencer, Australian singer and actress
  • 1971 – Rachel Goswell, English singer and songwriter (Slowdive, Mojave 3)
  • 1972 – Khary Payton, American actor
  • 1973 – Special Ed, American rapper
  • 1973 – Tori Spelling, American actress
  • 1973 – Jason Acuña “Wee-Man”, American television personality
  • 1974 – Laura Pausini, Italian pop singer
  • 1974 – Sonny Sandoval, American singer (P.O.D.)
  • 1975 – Tony Kakko, Finnish singer (Sonata Arctica)
  • 1975 – Tonéx, American singer
  • 1977 – Dolcenera, Italian singer
  • 1977 – Jean-Sébastien Giguère, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1978 – Lionel Scaloni, Argentine footballer
  • 1978 – David Ford, English singer/songwriter
  • 1979 – McKenzie Lee, English pornographic actress
  • 1980 – Mikel Alonso, Spanish footballer
  • 1980 – Michael Ryan, American ice hockey player
  • 1982 – Joo Ji Hoon, Korean actor and model
  • 1982 – Lukasz Kubot, Polish tennis player
  • 1983 – Kyle Wellwood, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1983 – Nancy Ajram, Lebanese singer
  • 1983 – Gordon McRory, Scottish Drummer (The Fratellis)
  • 1984 – Jensen Lewis, American baseball player
  • 1985 – Anja Mittag, German footballer
  • 1985 – Corey Perry, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1985 – Stanislav Ianevski, Bulgarian actor
  • 1986 – Megan Fox, American actress

May 16 – Deaths:

  • 583 – Saint Brendan, Irish navigator (b. 484)
  • 1265 – Saint Simon Stock, English saint (b. 1165)
  • 1620 – William Adams, English navigator (b. 1564)
  • 1657 – Andrzej Bobola, Polish Jesuit missionary (b. 1591)
  • 1667 – Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton, English statesman (b. 1607)
  • 1669 – Pietro da Cortona, Italian architect (b. 1596)
  • 1691 – Jacob Leisler, American colonist (b. 1640)
  • 1703 – Charles Perrault, French author (b. 1628)
  • 1778 – Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, English diplomat (b. 1718)
  • 1782 – Daniel Solander, Swedish botanist (b. 1736)
  • 1790 – Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, English politician (b. 1720)
  • 1830 – Joseph Fourier, French scientist (b. 1768)
  • 1891 – Ion Bratianu, Romanian statesman (b. 1821)
  • 1913 – Louis Perrier, member of the Swiss Federal Council (b. 1849)
  • 1920 – Levi P. Morton, United States Vice President under Benjamin Harrision (b. 1824)
  • 1926 – Mehmed VI, last Ottoman Sultan (b. 1861)
  • 1943 – Alfred Hoche, German psychiatrist (b. 1865)
  • 1944 – George Ade, American author (b. 1866)
  • 1947 – Frederick Hopkins, English biochemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1861)
  • 1953 – Django Reinhardt, Belgian musician (b. 1910)
  • 1954 – Clemens Krauss, Austrian conductor (b. 1893)
  • 1955 – James Agee, American writer (b. 1909)
  • 1956 – H. B. Reese, American founder of Reese’s (b. 1876)
  • 1957 – Eliot Ness, American federal agent (b. 1903)
  • 1959 – Elisha Scott, Northern Irish footballer (b. 1894)
  • 1969 – Robert R., first confirmed death from AIDS in North America (b. 1954)
  • 1979 – A. Philip Randolph, American civil rights activist and labor union leader (b. 1889)
  • 1981 – Ernie Freeman, American pianist and arranger (b. 1922)
  • 1984 – Andy Kaufman, American comedian (b. 1949)
  • 1984 – Irwin Shaw, American author (b. 1913)
  • 1985 – Margaret Hamilton, American actress (b. 1902)
  • 1988 – Charles Keeping, English illustrator (b. 1924)
  • 1990 – Sammy Davis, Jr., American entertainer (b. 1925)
  • 1990 – Jim Henson, American puppeteer (b. 1936)
  • 1992 – Chalino Sanchez, Mexican musician (b, 1960)
  • 1993 – Marv Johnson, American R&B and soul singer (b. 1938)
  • 1996 – Jeremy Michael Boorda, American admiral (b. 1939)
  • 2000 – Bodacious the Bull Famous rodeo bull (b. 1988)
  • 2001 – Brian Pendleton, English musician (The Pretty Things) (b. 1944)
  • 2002 – Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC (b. 1899)
  • 2002 – Big Dick Dudley, American professional wrestler (b. 1968)
  • 2003 – Mark McCormack, American businessman (b. 1930)

May 16 – Holidays:

  • Teachers’ Day in Malaysia.
  • Middlesex Day.
  • Feast days of saints in the Christian Church:

o   Aaron, in the Coptic Church

o   Abda and Abdjesus and companions including Aba of Kaskhar

o   Saint Brendan the Navigator – also in the Irish Calendar.

o   Saint Germerius

o   Saint Honoré of Amiens

o   Saint Andrew Bobola

o   Saint Ubaldus

o   Saint Peregrine of Auxerre

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On This Day in History May 15

May 15 – Events:

  • 1252 – Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.
  • 1514 – Jodocus Badius Ascensius publishes Christiern Pedersen’s Latin version of Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, the oldest known version of that work.
  • 1525 – The battle of Frankenhausen ends the Peasants’ War.
  • 1567 – Mary Queen of Scots weds James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, her third husband.
  • 1602 – Bartholomew Gosnold becomes the first European to see Cape Cod.
  • 1618 – Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion (he first discovered it on March 8 but soon rejected the idea after some initial calculations were made).
  • 1701 – The War of the Spanish Succession begins.
  • 1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the world’s first machine gun.
  • 1756 – The Seven Years’ War begins when England declares war on France.
  • 1776 – American Revolution: Virginia convention instructs its delegates to propose a declaration of independence from Great Britain.
  • 1791 – Maximilien Robespierre proposed the self-denying ordinance.
  • 1792 – War of the First Coalition, France declares war on Kingdom of Sardinia.
  • 1793 – Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for “about 360 meters,” at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted flights.
  • 1796 – First Coalition: Napoleon enters Milan in triumph.
  • 1811 – Paraguay declares independence from Spain.
  • 1817 – Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1836 – Francis Baily observes “Baily’s beads” during an annular eclipse.
  • 1849 – Troops of the Two Sicilies take Palermo and crush the republican government of Sicily.
  • 1851 – Rama IV is crowned King of Thailand.
  • 1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture (later renamed USDA).
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Resaca, Georgia ends.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of New Market, Virginia – Students from the Virginia Military Institute fight alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.
  • 1869 – Woman’s suffrage: In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association.
  • 1891 – Rerum Novarum, the first document of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition is published by Pope Leo XIII.
  • 1897 – The Greek army retreats with heavy losses in Greco-Turkish War
  • 1905 – Las Vegas, Nevada, is founded when 110 acres (0.4 km²), in what later would become downtown, are auctioned off.
  • 1910 – The last time a major earthquake happened on the Elsinore Fault Zone.
  • 1911 – The United States Supreme Court declares Standard Oil to be an “unreasonable” monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and orders the company to be dissolved.
  • 1911 – The Georgios Averof cruiser is bought by Greece.
  • 1914 – Bolivia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1918 – Finnish Civil War ends.
  • 1919 – The Winnipeg General Strike began. By 11:00, virtually the entire working population of Winnipeg had walked off the job.
  • 1919 – Greek invasion of Izmir. During the invasion, the Greek army killed or wounded 350 Turks. The responsible were punished by the Greek Commander Aristides Stergiades. Hasan Tahsin fired the first shot of the Turkish War of Independence.
  • 1920 – Council of Lithuania adjourned as newly elected Constituent Assembly of Lithuania met for the first time in Kaunas
  • 1929 – A fire at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio kills 123.
  • 1932 – The May 15 Incident. In an attempted coup the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed.
  • 1934 – Karlis Ulmanis establishes an authoritarian government in Latvia.
  • 1935 – The Moscow Metro was opened to public.
  • 1940 – World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrender to Nazi Germany, marking the beginning of 5 years of occupation.
  • 1941 – Baseball player Joe DiMaggio starts his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak.
  • 1942 – World War II: In the United States, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
  • 1943 – Joseph Stalin dissolves the Comintern (or Third International).
  • 1945 – Last skirmish of the Second World War in Europe fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.
  • 1948 – Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attack Israel.
  • 1951 – The Polish cultural attache in Paris, Czeslaw Milosz, asks the French government for political asylum.
  • 1955 – Austrian Independence Treaty signed.
  • 1955 – First ascent of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain.
  • 1957 – Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple.
  • 1958 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3.
  • 1960 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 4.
  • 1963 – Project Mercury: launch of Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper onboard. He  became the first American to spend more than a day in space. Final Mercury mission.
  • 1970 – President Richard Nixon appoints Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first  female United States Army Generals.
  • 1970 – Philip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green killed at Jackson State University by police during student protests.
  • 1972 – The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.
  • 1972 – In Laurel, Maryland, Arthur Bremer shoots and paralyzes Alabama Governor George Wallace while Wallace is campaigning to be American President.
  • 1974 – Ma’alot massacre a total of 31 people, including hostage takers, are killed.
  • 1987 – Soviet Union launches the Polyus prototype orbital weapons platform, which failed to reach orbit.
  • 1988 – Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Red Army begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • 1990 – Portrait of Doctor Gachet by Vincent van Gogh is sold for a record $82.5 million, the most expensive painting at the time.
  • 1991 – Edith Cresson becomes France’s first female prime minister.
  • 1997 – United States government acknowledges existence of “Secret War” in Laos and dedicates Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other “Secret War” veterans.

May 15 – Birthdays:

  • 1567 – Claudio Monteverdi, Italian composer (d. 1643)
  • 1608 – René Goupil, French Catholic missionary (Canadian Martyrs) (d. 1642)
  • 1720 – Maximilian Hell, Slovakian astronomer (d. 1792)
  • 1749 – Levi Lincoln, Sr., American revolutionary, statesman, politician, and acting Governor of  Massachusetts (d. 1820)
  • 1773 – Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, Austrian statesman (d. 1859)
  • 1786 – General Dimitris Plapoutas, a Revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence (d. 1864)
  • 1817 – Debendranath Tagore, Indian religious reformer (d. 1905)
  • 1848 – Viktor Vasnetsov, Russian painter (d. 1926)
  • 1856 – L. Frank Baum, American author (d. 1919)
  • 1857 – Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (d. 1911)
  • 1859 – Pierre Curie, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1906)
  • 1862 – Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian dramatist and narrator (d. 1931)
  • 1890 – Katherine Anne Porter, American author (d. 1980)
  • 1891 – Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian writer (d. 1940)
  • 1891 – Fritz Feigl, Austria-born chemist (d. 1971)
  • 1892 – Jimmy Wilde, boxer (d. 1969)
  • 1895 – William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (d. 1941)
  • 1898 – Arletty, French model and actress (d. 1992)
  • 1899 – Jean-Etienne Valluy, French general (d. 1970)
  • 1901 – Luis Monti, Argentine-Italian footballer (d. 1983)
  • 1902 – Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago (d. 1976)
  • 1903 – Maria Reiche, German-born mathematician and archaeologist (d. 1998)
  • 1905 – Joseph Cotten, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1907 – Sukhdev Thapar, Indian freedom fighter (d. 1931)
  • 1909 – James Mason, English actor (d. 1984)
  • 1910 – Constance Cummings, British actress (d. 2005)
  • 1911 – Max Frisch, Swiss author (d. 1991)
  • 1911 – Herta Oberheuser, Nazi doctor (d. 1978)
  • 1912 – Arthur Berger, American composer (d. 2003)
  • 1914 – Turk Broda, ice hockey goaltender (d. 1972)
  • 1914 – Tenzing Norgay, (adopted birthdate) Nepalese Sherpa who accompanied Edmund Hillary to the top of Mount Everest (d. 1986)
  • 1915 – Hilda Bernstein, English-born South African author, artist, and activist (d. 2006)
  • 1915 – Mario Monicelli, Italian director and screenwriter
  • 1915 – Paul Samuelson, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1915 – Gus Viseur, French button accordionist (d. 1974)
  • 1918 – Eddy Arnold, American country music singer
  • 1918 – Joseph Wiseman, Canadian actor
  • 1922 – Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun
  • 1923 – Richard Avedon, American photographer (d. 2004)
  • 1923 – John Lanchbery, English composer (d. 2003)
  • 1923 – Johnny Walker, Indian actor (d. 2003)
  • 1924 – Maria Koepcke, ornithologist (d. 1971)
  • 1926 – Anthony Shaffer, English playwright (d. 2001)
  • 1926 – Peter Shaffer, English playwright
  • 1930 – Jasper Johns, American painter
  • 1931 – Ken Venturi, American golfer
  • 1936 – Anna Maria Alberghetti, Italian-born actress
  • 1936 – Wavy Gravy, American clown and activist
  • 1936 – Ralph Steadman, British cartoonist
  • 1936 – Paul Zindel, American writer (d. 2003)
  • 1937 – Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State
  • 1937 – Trini López, American musician
  • 1938 – Mireille Darc, French actress
  • 1938 – Lenny Welch, American singer
  • 1939 – Dorothy Shirley, British athlete
  • 1940 – Lainie Kazan, American actress and singer
  • 1940 – Don Nelson, NBA coach
  • 1941 – K.T. Oslin, American musician
  • 1942 – Jusuf Kalla, vice- president of Indonesia and Chairman of the Golkar Party.
  • 1944 – Ulrich Beck, German sociologist
  • 1944 – Bill Alter, Missouri State Senator
  • 1945 – Lasse Berghagen, Swedish singer
  • 1945 – Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese crown
  • 1948 – Brian Eno, English musician and record producer
  • 1948 – Yutaka Enatsu, Japanese professional baseball pitcher
  • 1950 – Nicholas Hammond, American actor
  • 1951 – Chazz Palminteri, American actor, writer and director
  • 1951 – Jonathan Richman, American musician
  • 1951 – Frank Wilczek, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1953 – George Brett, baseball player
  • 1953 – Mike Oldfield, English composer
  • 1954 – Robert P. Harrison, American thinker
  • 1955 – Lee Horsley, American actor
  • 1956 – Dan Patrick, American sportscaster
  • 1958 – Ron Simmons, American professional wrestler
  • 1959 – Andrew Eldritch, English singer and songwriter (The Sisters of Mercy)
  • 1959 – Kaokor Galaxy, Thai boxer
  • 1959 – Luis Perez-Sala, Spanish racing driver
  • 1960 – Rob Bowman, American film director
  • 1961 – Katrin Cartlidge, British actress (d. 2002)
  • 1962 – Melle Mel, American musician
  • 1965 – Madhuri Dixit, Indian actress
  • 1965 – Raí, Brazilian footballer
  • 1966 – Pete Wiggs, English musician (Saint Etienne)
  • 1967 – John Smoltz, baseball player
  • 1968 – Cecilia Malmström, Swedish politician
  • 1968 – Seth Putnam, American musician
  • 1969 – Hideki Irabu, Japanese baseball player
  • 1969 – Emmitt Smith, American football player
  • 1970 – Frank de Boer, Dutch football player
  • 1970 – Ronald de Boer, Dutch football player
  • 1970 – Desmond Howard, American football player
  • 1970 – Rod Smith, American football player
  • 1971 – Phil Pfister, American strength athlete
  • 1972 – David Charvet, French actor
  • 1974 – Vassilis Kikilias, Greek footballer
  • 1974 – Ahmet Zappa, American musician
  • 1975 – Ray Lewis, American football player
  • 1976 – Adolfo Bautista, Mexican footballer
  • 1976 – Torraye Braggs, American basketball player
  • 1976 – Jacek Krzynówek, Polish footballer
  • 1976 – Ryan Leaf, former NFL quarterback
  • 1976 – Tyler Walker, baseball player
  • 1978 – Amy Chow, American gymnast
  • 1978 – Dwayne DeRosario, Canadian footballer
  • 1978 – Caroline Dhavernas, Canadian actress
  • 1978 – Edu, Brazilian footballer
  • 1978 – David Krumholtz, American actor
  • 1978 – Krissy Taylor, American model (d. 1995)
  • 1980 – Josh Beckett, American baseball player
  • 1980 – Rocky Marquette, American actor
  • 1981 – Patrice Evra, French-Senegalese footballer
  • 1981 – Justin Morneau, Canadian baseball player
  • 1981 – Zara Phillips, British royal and eventer
  • 1981 – Jamie-Lynn Sigler, American actress
  • 1982 – Alex Breckenridge, American actress
  • 1982 – Veronica Campbell, Jamaican athlete
  • 1982 – Segundo Castillo, Ecuadorian footballer
  • 1982 – Tatsuya Fujiwara, Japanese actor
  • 1982 – Jessica Sutta, American dancer, singer and actress (The Pussycat Dolls)
  • 1983 – Devin Bronson, American guitarist (Avril Lavigne)
  • 1984 – Sérgio Jimenez, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1985 – Cristiane, Brazilian footballer
  • 1985 – Derek Hough, American dancer and choreographer
  • 1986 – Matías Fernández, Chilean soccer player forward
  • 1987 – Ersan Ilyasova, Turkish basketball player

May 15 – Deaths:

  • 913 – Hatto I, Archbishop of Mainz
  • 1036 – Emperor Go-Ichijo of Japan (b. 1008)
  • 1157 – Yury Dolgoruky, Russian prince
  • 1174 – Nur ad-Din, ruler of Syria (b. 1118)
  • 1381 – Eppelein von Gailingen, German robber baron
  • 1470 – Charles VIII of Sweden (b. 1409)
  • 1585 – Niwa Nagahide, Japanese warlord (b. 1535)
  • 1591 – Dmitry Ivanovich, Tsarevich (b. 1582)
  • 1609 – Giovanni Croce, Italian composer (b. 1557)
  • 1634 – Hendrick Avercamp, Dutch painter (b. 1585)
  • 1698 – Marie Champmeslé, French actress (b. 1642)
  • 1699 – Edward Petre, English Jesuit and privy councilor (b. 1631)
  • 1714 – Roger Elliott, British general and Governor of Gibraltar
  • 1740 – Ephraim Chambers, English encyclopaedist (b. 1680)
  • 1760 – Alaungpaya, King of Burma (b. 1711)
  • 1773 – Alban Butler, English Catholic priest and writer (b. 1710)
  • 1782 – Marquis of Pombal, Prime Minister of Portugal (b. 1699)
  • 1879 – Gottfried Semper, German architect (b. 1803)
  • 1886 – Emily Dickinson, American poet (b. 1830)
  • 1924 – Paul-Henri-Benjamin d’Estournelles de Constant, French diplomat, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1852)
  • 1935 – Kazimir Malevich, Polish/Ukrainian artist (b. 1878)
  • 1937 – Phillip Snowden, British politician (b. 1864)
  • 1940 – Menno ter Braak, Dutch author and polemicist (b. 1902)
  • 1945 – Charles Williams, UK writer (b. 1886)
  • 1948 – Edward Flanagan, American priest and founder of Boys Town (b. 1886)
  • 1954 – William March, American writer (b. 1893)
  • 1956 – Austin Osman Spare, English magician (b. 1886)
  • 1967 – Edward Hopper, American painter (b. 1882)
  • 1971 – Tyrone Guthrie, English director, producer, and writer (b. 1900)
  • 1978 – Sir Robert Menzies, twelfth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1894)
  • 1982 – Gordon Smiley, American race car driver (b. 1946)
  • 1984 – Francis Schaeffer, American theologian, philosopher, and pastor (b. 1912)
  • 1986 – Theodore White, American writer (b. 1915)
  • 1986 – Elio de Angelis, Italian race car driver (b. 1958)
  • 1989 – Johnny Green, American songwriter (b. 1908)
  • 1991 – Andreas Floer, German mathematician (b. 1956)
  • 1991 – Ronald Lacey, English actor (b. 1935)
  • 1992 – Jovy Marcelo, Filipino race car driver (b. 1965)
  • 1993 – Salah Ahmed Ibrahim, Sudanese writer, poet, and diplomat (b. 1933)
  • 1994 – Gilbert Roland, Mexican actor (b. 1905)
  • 1995 – Eric Porter, British actor (b. 1928)
  • 1996 – Charles B. Fulton, American jurist (b. 1910)
  • 1998 – Earl Manigault, American basketball player (b. 1944)
  • 2003 – June Carter Cash, American musician and singer (b. 1929)
  • 2003 – George Francis, British gangster (b. 1940)
  • 2007 – Jerry Falwell, American evangelist (b. 1933)
  • 2007 – Yolanda King, American actress and activist, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. (b. 1955)

May 15 – Holidays:

  • International Conscientious Objectors’ Day
  • Paraguay – Independence Day.
  • Roman Empire – Mercuralia in honor of Mercury held.
  • Buddha’s Birthday in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea (2005).
  • United States – Peace Officers Memorial Day.
  • Slovenia – Day of Slovenian armed forces.
  • Teacher’s Day in Mexico (Día del Maestro) and South Korea.
  • Nakba Day in Palestinian communities.
  • In the Roman Catholic Church:

o   Saint Achillius

o   Saint Isidore the Labourer

o   Saint Jean-Baptiste de la Salle

o   Saint Reticius

o   Saint Denise

o   Saint Dymphna

  • In the Coptic Church:

o   Athanasius of Alexandria

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On This Day in History May 14

May 14 – Events:

  • 1264 – Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured in France making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.
  • 1483 – Coronation of Charles VIII of France (“Charles l’Affable”).
  • 1509 – Battle of Agnadello: In northern Italy, French forces defeat the Venetians.
  • 1607 – Jamestown, Virginia is settled as an English colony.
  • 1608 – Protestant Union founded in Auhausen.
  • 1610 – Assassination of Henri IV of France, bringing Louis XIII to the throne.
  • 1643 – Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
  • 1747 – A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeats the French at first battle of Cape Finisterre.
  • 1787 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates begin to meet to write a new Constitution for the United States.
  • 1796 – Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination.
  • 1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition departs from Camp Dubois and begin their historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River.
  • 1811 – Paraguay gains independence from Spain.
  • 1861 – The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Jackson (MS).
  • 1868 – Japanese Boshin War: End of the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle, former Shogunate forces withdraw northward to Aizu by way of Nikko.
  • 1870 – The first game of rugby in New Zealand is played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.
  • 1879 – The first group of 463 Indian indentured labourers arrive in Fiji abroad the Leonidas.
  • 1889 – The children’s charity the NSPCC is launched in London.
  • 1913 – New York Governor William Sulzer approves the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which begins operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.
  • 1925 – Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is published.
  • 1927 – Cap Arcona is launched at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg.
  • 1927 – University of Chicago’s local collegiate organization, Phi Sigma, becomes incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois as Eta Sigma Phi, the National Honorary Classical Fraternity.
  • 1929 – Wilfred Rhodes takes his 4000th first-class wicket during a performance of 9 for 39 at Leyton.
  • 1931 – Ådalen shootings, five people are killed in Ådalen, Sweden, as soldiers open fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration.
  • 1935 – The Filipinos ratify an independence agreement.
  • 1939 – Lina Medina becomes the world’s youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.
  • 1940 – World War II: Rotterdam is bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
  • 1940 – World War II: The Netherlands surrender to Germany.
  • 1943 – Sinking of the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur off the coast of Queensland, by a Japanese submarine.
  • 1948 – Israel declared to be an independent state and a provisional government is established. Immediately after the declaration, Israel was attacked by the neighboring Arab states.
  • 1955 – Cold War: Eight communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, sign a mutual defense treaty called the Warsaw Pact.
  • 1961 – American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protestors are beaten by an angry mob.
  • 1961 – Stirling Moss wins the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix.
  • 1970 – The Red Army Faction is established in Germany.
  • 1970 – Mississippi state police kill two black students at Jackson State University.
  • 1973 – Human Space Flight: Skylab, the United States’ first space station, is launched. It is the last launch of the Saturn V rocket.
  • 1978 – First round of the presidential elections in Upper Volta.
  • 1988 – Carrollton bus collision: A drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Kentucky, USA hits a converted school bus carrying a church youth group. The crash and ensuing fire kill 27.
  • 1995 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, proclaims six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the eleventh reincarnation of the Panchen Lama.
  • 2002 – Ten members of the Darwin-based Network Against Prohibition invade the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia.
  • 2004 – The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturns the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.
  • 2004 – The marriage of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark and Mary Donaldson takes place in Copenhagen.
  • 2005 – Pope Benedict XVI observes his first beatification, elevating Blessed Marianne of Molokai on the road to canonization into sainthood.
  • 2005 – The former USS America (CV-66), a decommissioned supercarrier of the United States Navy, is deliberately sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after four weeks of live-fire exercises. She is the largest ship ever to be disposed of as a target in a military exercise.

May 14 – Birthdays:

  • 1265 – Dante Alighieri, Italian poet (d. 1321)
  • 1316 – Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1378)
  • 1553 – Margaret of Valois, wife of Henry IV (d. 1615)
  • 1666 – Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia (d. 1732)
  • 1679 – Peder Horrebow, Danish astronomer (d. 1764)
  • 1686 – Gabriel Fahrenheit, German physicist and engineer (d. 1736)
  • 1699 – Hans Joachim von Zieten, Prussian field marshal (d. 1786)
  • 1701 – William Emerson, English mathematician (d. 1782)
  • 1710 – King Adolf Frederick of Sweden (d. 1771)
  • 1725 – Ludovico Manin, last Doge of Venice (d. 1802)
  • 1727 – Thomas Gainsborough, English artist (d. 1788)
  • 1737 – George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney, British statesman (d. 1806)
  • 1752 – Timothy Dwight, American theologian (d. 1817)
  • 1752 – Albrecht Thaer, German agronomist (d. 1828)
  • 1771 – Robert Owen, Welsh social reformer (d. 1858)
  • 1781 – Friedrich Ludwig Georg von Raumer, German historian (d. 1873)
  • 1814 – Charles Beyer, German-British locomotive engineer (d. 1876)
  • 1817 – Alexander Kaufmann, German poet (d. 1893)
  • 1832 – Rudolf Lipschitz, German mathematician (d. 1903)
  • 1867 – Kurt Eisner, German politician (d. 1919)
  • 1872 – Elia Dalla Costa, Italian cardinals (d. 1961)
  • 1878 – James L. Wilkinson, American baseball executive (d. 1964)
  • 1880 – Wilhelm List, German field marshal (d. 1971)
  • 1881 – G. Murray Hulbert, American politician (d. 1950)
  • 1881 – Ed Walsh, American baseball player (d. 1959)
  • 1885 – Otto Klemperer, German-born conductor (d. 1973)
  • 1890 – Alex Pompez, American baseball executive (d. 1974)
  • 1893 – Louis Verneuil, French playwright, screenwriter (d. 1952)
  • 1897 – Sidney Bechet, American musician (d. 1959)
  • 1897 – Ed Ricketts, American marine biologist (d. 1948)
  • 1899 – Pierre Victor Auger, French physicist (d. 1993)
  • 1899 – Earle Combs, American baseball player (d. 1976)
  • 1900 – Hal Borland, Writer (d. 1978)
  • 1900 – Leo Smit, Dutch composer (d. 1943)
  • 1900 – Edgar Wind, German art historian (d. 1971)
  • 1901 – Robert Ritter, German psychologist (d. 1951)
  • 1903 – Billie Dove, American actress (d. 1997)
  • 1904 – Hans Albert Einstein, American professor (d. 1973)
  • 1904 – Marcel Junod, Swiss physician (d. 1961)
  • 1905 – Jean Daniélou, French cardinal (d. 1974)
  • 1905 – Herbert Morrison, American radio reporter (d. 1989)
  • 1907 – Hans von der Groeben, German diplomat, member of the European Commission (d. 2005)
  • 1907 – Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan (d. 1974)
  • 1907 – Johnny Moss, American poker player (d. 1995)
  • 1916 – Lance Dossor, British-born concert pianist (d. 2005)
  • 1916 – Del Moore, American comedian (d. 1970)
  • 1916 – Marco Zanuso, Italian architect
  • 1917 – Lou Harrison, American composer (d. 2003)
  • 1919 – Solange Chaput-Rolland, French Canadian journalist, author and politician (d. 2001)
  • 1919 – John Hope, American meteorologist (d. 2002)
  • 1921 – Richard Deacon, American actor (d. 1984)
  • 1921 – Arve Opsahl, Norwegian actor (d. 2007)
  • 1922 – Franjo Tudman, President of Croatia (d. 1999)
  • 1923 – Adnan Pachachi, Iraqi politician
  • 1923 – Mrinal Sen, Indian film director
  • 1925 – Patrice Munsel, American opera soprano
  • 1926 – Eric Morecambe, British comedian (d. 1984)
  • 1927 – Herbert W. Franke, Austrian writer
  • 1929 – Henry McGee, British actor (d. 2006)
  • 1929 – Gump Worsley, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 2007)
  • 1931 – Alvin Lucier, American composer
  • 1932 – Robert Bechtle, American painter
  • 1933 – Michael Chevalier, German voice actor
  • 1934 – Siân Phillips, Welsh actress
  • 1936 – Bobby Darin, American singer (d. 1973)
  • 1936 – Charlie Gracie, American singer
  • 1936 – Waheeda Rehman, Indian actress
  • 1940 – Troy Shondell, American singer
  • 1940 – ‘H’. Jones, British Soldier (VC recipient) (d. 1982)
  • 1942 – Valeriy Brumel, Soviet athlete (d. 2003)
  • 1942 – Byron Dorgan, U.S. Senator
  • 1942 – Prentis Hancock, British actor
  • 1942 – Tony Pérez, Cuban baseball player
  • 1942 – Rüdiger Vogler, German actor
  • 1943 – Jack Bruce, Scottish bassist (Cream)
  • 1943 – Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland
  • 1943 – Derek Leckenby, British musician (Herman’s Hermits) (d. 1994)
  • 1943 – Elizabeth Ray, American sex scandal figure
  • 1944 – George Lucas, American film director
  • 1945 – Francesca Annis, British actress
  • 1945 – Yochanan Vollach, Israeli footballer and president of Maccabi Haifa
  • 1946 – Eric Peterson, Canadian actor
  • 1947 – Tamara Dobson, American actress (d. 2006)
  • 1948 – Bob Woolmer, English cricket coach (d. 2007)
  • 1949 – Klaus-Peter Thaler, German cyclist
  • 1950 – Adolfo Dominguez, Spanish fashion designer
  • 1952 – David Byrne, Scottish-born American musician (Talking Heads)
  • 1952 – Scott Irwin, American professional wrestler (d. 1987)
  • 1952 – Donald R. McMonagle, American astronaut
  • 1952 – Robert Zemeckis, American film director
  • 1953 – Tom Cochrane, Canadian musician (Red Rider)
  • 1953 – Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia
  • 1954 – Jens Sparschuh, German writer
  • 1955 – Dennis Martínez, Nicaraguan baseball player
  • 1957 – Leon White, American professional wrestler
  • 1959 – Patrick Bruel, French singer
  • 1959 – Steve Hogarth, British singer (Marillion)
  • 1959 – Rick Vaive, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Anne Clark, English female singer
  • 1960 – Steve Williams, American wrestler
  • 1961 – Ulrike Folkerts, German actress
  • 1961 – Jean Leclerc, French Canadian singer and songwriter
  • 1961 – Tim Roth, English actor
  • 1961 – Alain Vigneault, Canadian ice hockey coach
  • 1962 – Ian Astbury, English singer (The Cult)
  • 1962 – C. C. DeVille, American musician (Poison)
  • 1963 – Pat Borders, American baseball player
  • 1964 – James M. Kelly, American astronaut
  • 1964 – Eric Peterson, American guitarist (Testament)
  • 1964 – Suzy Kolber, American sportscaster
  • 1965 – Eoin Colfer, Irish writer
  • 1966 – Marianne Denicourt, French actress
  • 1966 – Mike Inez, American bassist
  • 1966 – Fabrice Morvan, French music artist (Milli Vanilli)
  • 1966 – Raphael Saadiq, American musician (Tony! Toni! Toné!)
  • 1967 – Tony Siragusa, American football player
  • 1969 – Cate Blanchett, Australian actress
  • 1969 – Danny Wood, American singer (New Kids on the Block)
  • 1971 – Sofia Coppola, American director
  • 1972 – Mark Ruskell, England-born Scottish politician
  • 1973 – Voshon Lenard, American basketball player
  • 1973 – Natalie Appleton, Canadian-born singer
  • 1973 – Anais Granofsky, Canadian actress and director
  • 1973 – Julian White, English rugby union footballer
  • 1974 – Jennifer Allan, American model
  • 1975 – Salim Iles, Algerian swimmer
  • 1975 – Nicki Sørensen, Danish road bicycle racer
  • 1976 – Hunter Burgan, American musician (AFI)
  • 1976 – Brian Lawrence, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Martine McCutcheon, British actress
  • 1977 – Sophie Anderton, English model and television personality
  • 1977 – Roy Halladay, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Ada Nicodemou, Australian actress
  • 1978 – Eddie House, American basketball player
  • 1978 – Henry Garza, American singer and guitarist (Los Lonely Boys)
  • 1978 – André Macanga, Angolan footballer
  • 1978 – Gustavo Varela, Uruguayan footballer
  • 1979 – Clinton Morrison, English-born Irish footballer
  • 1979 – Carlos Tenorio, Ecuadorian footballer
  • 1980 – Zdenek Grygera, Czech footballer
  • 1980 – Eugene Martineau, Dutch decathlete
  • 1980 – Júlia Sebestyén, Hungarian figure skater
  • 1980 – Hugo Southwell, Scottish rugby union footballer
  • 1981 – Sarbel, Greek-born singer
  • 1982 – Anahí, Mexican actress and singer
  • 1982 – BeardyMan, English beatboxer
  • 1982 – Ai Shibata, Japanese swimmer
  • 1983 – Uroš Slokar, Slovenian basketball player
  • 1983 – Amber Tamblyn, American actress
  • 1983 – Tom Welham, British musician (Thirteen Senses)
  • 1984 – Gary Ablett, Jr., Australian rules footballer
  • 1984 – Michael Rensing, German footballer
  • 1984 – Nigel Reo-Coker, English footballer
  • 1984 – Mark Zuckerberg, founder & CEO of Facebook
  • 1985 – Sally Martin, American actress
  • 1986 – Camila Sodi, Mexican actress
  • 1987 – Franck Songo’o, Cameroonian footballer
  • 1987 – Francois Steyn, South African rugby union footballer
  • 1990 – Emily Samuelson, American ice dancer
  • 1993 – Miranda Cosgrove, American actress

May 14 – Deaths:

  • 964 – Pope John XII
  • 1470 – Charles VIII of Sweden (b. 1409)
  • 1574 – Guru Amar Das, third Sikh Guru (b. 1479)
  • 1608 – Charles III, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1543)
  • 1610 – Henry IV of France (b. 1553)
  • 1643 – Louis XIII of France (b. 1601)
  • 1649 – Friedrich Spanheim, Dutch theologian (b. 1600)
  • 1669 – Georges de Scudéry, French writer (b. 1601)
  • 1688 – Antoine Furetière, French writer (b. 1619)
  • 1754 – Pierre-Claude Nivelle de La Chaussée, French writer (b. 1692)
  • 1761 – Thomas Simpson, British mathematician (b. 1710)
  • 1818 – Matthew Gregory Lewis, English novelist (b. 1775)
  • 1847 – Fanny Mendelssohn, German composer and pianist (b. 1805)
  • 1860 – Ludwig Bechstein, German writer (b. 1801)
  • 1873 – Gideon Brecher, Austrian physician and writer (b. 1797)
  • 1878 – Ookubo Toshimichi, Japanese statesman, samurai, and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration (b. 1830)
  • 1887 – Lysander Spooner, American philosopher (b. 1808)
  • 1889 – Volney E. Howard, American politician (b. 1809)
  • 1893 – Ernst Kummer, German mathematician (b. 1810)
  • 1906 – Carl Schurz, German revolutionary and statesman (b. 1829)
  • 1912 – Frederick VIII of Denmark (b. 1843)
  • 1912 – August Strindberg, Swedish author (b. 1849)
  • 1918 – James Gordon Bennett, Jr., American newspaper publisher (b. 1841)
  • 1919 – Henry John Heinz, founder of the H. J. Heinz Company (b. 1844)
  • 1923 – Charles de Freycinet, French prime minister (b. 1828)
  • 1925 – H. Rider Haggard, English author (b. 1856)
  • 1931 – David Belasco, American theatrical producer (b. 1853)
  • 1931 – Denys Finch Hatton, English big-game hunter (b. 1887)
  • 1934 – Lou Criger, American baseball player (b. 1872)
  • 1936 – Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, British general (b. 1861)
  • 1940 – Emma Goldman, Lithuanian-born anarchist (b. 1869)
  • 1943 – Henri La Fontaine, Belgian Nobel Peace Prize laureate (b. 1854)
  • 1945 – Heber J. Grant, seventh president of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  (b. 1856)
  • 1954 – Heinz Guderian, German General (b. 1888)
  • 1957 – Marie Vassilieff, Russian artist (b. 1884)
  • 1959 – Sidney Bechet, American musician (b. 1897)
  • 1962 – Florence Auer, American actress (b. 1880)
  • 1968 – Husband E. Kimmel, American admiral (b. 1882)
  • 1969 – Frederick Lane, Australian swimmer (b. 1888)
  • 1970 – Billie Burke, American actress (b. 1884)
  • 1973 – Jean Gebser, German-born author, linguist, and poet (b. 1905)
  • 1976 – Keith Relf, British singer and musician (The Yardbirds) (b. 1943)
  • 1978 – Robert Menzies, twelfth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1894)
  • 1982 – Hugh Beaumont, American actor (b. 1909)
  • 1983 – Roger J. Traynor, American judge (b. 1900)
  • 1983 – Miguel Alemán Valdés, President of Mexico (b. 1900)
  • 1984 – Walter Rauff, German colonel (b. 1906)
  • 1985 – Mei Ling Barbara Yung, Hong Kong actress (b. 1959)
  • 1987 – Rita Hayworth, American actress (b. 1918)
  • 1988 – Willem Drees, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (b. 1886)
  • 1991 – Jiang Qing, wife of Mao Zedong (b. 1914)
  • 1992 – Lyle Alzado, American football player (b. 1949)
  • 1992 – Nie Rongzhen, Chinese Communist military leader (b. 1899)
  • 1993 – Patrick Haemers, Belgian criminal (b. 1953)
  • 1993 – William Randolph Hearst Jr., American newspaper magnate (b. 1908)
  • 1995 – Christian B. Anfinsen, American Nobel laureate (b. 1916)
  • 1997 – Harry Blackstone Jr., American magician (b. 1934)
  • 1998 – Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor (b. 1915)
  • 1998 – Marjory Stoneman Douglas, American conservationist (b. 1890)
  • 2000 – Obuchi Keizo, Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1937)
  • 2003 – Dave DeBusschere, American basketball player (b. 1940)
  • 2003 – Wendy Hiller, British actress (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – Robert Stack, American actor (b. 1919)
  • 2004 – Anna Lee, British actress (b. 1913)
  • 2006 – Lew Anderson, American actor and bandleader (b. 1922)
  • 2006 – Stanley Kunitz, American poet (b. 1905)
  • 2006 – Eva Norvind, Mexican actress (b. 1944)
  • 2007 – Mary Goldsmith, American ceramist (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – Ülo Jõgi, Estonian freedom fighter (b. 1921)

May 14-Holidays

  • Feast day of the following saints in the Roman Catholic Church:

o   St. Matthias (Apostle)

o   St. Michael Garicoits

o   St. Boniface of Tarsus

o   St. Victor and Corona

o   St. Vincent of Lerins

o   St. Carthach the Younger

o   St. Engelmund

o   St. Just

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On This Day in History May 13

May 13 – Events:

  • 1497 – Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola.
  • 1568 – Battle of Langside: the forces of Mary Queen of Scots are defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, Earl of Moray, her half-brother.
  • 1619 – Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt is executed in The Hague after having been accused of treason.
  • 1648 – Construction of the Red Fort at Delhi was completed.
  • 1779 – War of Bavarian Succession: Russian and French mediators at the Congress of Teschen negotiate an end to the war. In the agreement Austria receives the part of its territory that was taken from them (the Innviertel).
  • 1787 – Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth, England with eleven ships full of convicts (First Fleet) to establish a penal colony in Australia.
  • 1830 – Ecuador gains its independence.
  • 1846 – Mexican-American War: The United States declares war on Mexico.
  • 1848 – First performance of Finland’s national anthem.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Queen Victoria of Britain issues a “proclamation of neutrality” which recognizes the breakaway states as having belligerent rights.
  • 1861 – Great Comet of 1861 discovered in Australia.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Resaca – the battle begins with Union General Sherman fighting toward Atlanta.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Battle of Palmito Ranch – In far south Texas, more than a month after Confederate General Lee’s surrender, the last land battle of the Civil War ends with a Confederate victory.
  • 1880 – In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.
  • 1888 – With the passage of the Lei Áurea (“Golden Law”), Brazil abolishes slavery.
  • 1909 – The first Giro d’Italia took place in Milan. Italian cyclist Luigi Ganna was the winner.
  • 1912 – In the United Kingdom, the Royal Flying Corps (now the Royal Air Force) was established.
  • 1913 – Igor Sikorsky becomes the first man to pilot a four-engine aircraft.
  • 1917 – The Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, is consecrated Archbishop by Pope Benedict XV.
  • 1939 – The first commercial FM radio station in the United States is launched in Bloomfield, Connecticut. The station later became WDRC-FM.
  • 1940 – World War II: Germany’s conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse River. Churchill makes his “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech to the House of Commons.
  • 1940 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands flees the Nazi invasion in the Netherlands to Britain. Princess Juliana takes her children to Canada for their safety.
  • 1941 – World War II: Yugoslav royal colonel Dragoljub Mihailovic starts fighting with German occupation troops, beginning the Serbian resistance.
  • 1943 – World War II: German Afrika Korps and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allied  forces.
  • 1948 – 1948 Arab-Israeli War: The Kfar Etzion massacre is committed by Arab irregulars, the day before the declaration of independence of the state of Israel on May 14.
  • 1952 – The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, held its first sitting.
  • 1954 – Anti-National Service Riots, a riot in Singapore by Chinese Middle School students.
  • 1958 – During a visit to Caracas, Venezuela, Vice President Richard M. Nixon’s car is attacked by anti-American demonstrators.
  • 1958 – Pierre Pflimlin becomes Prime Minister of France.
  • 1958 – Velcro’s trade mark is registered.
  • 1960 – Hundreds of UC Berkeley students congregate for the first day of protest against a visit by the House Un-American Activities Committee. 31 students are arrested, and the Free Speech Movement is born.
  • 1967 – Dr. Zakir Hussain became 3rd President of India. He was the first Muslim President of Indian Union. He held this position till August 24, 1969.
  • 1969 – Race riots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, later known as the May 13 Incident.
  • 1972 – Faulty electrical wiring ignites a fire underneath the Playtown Cabaret in Osaka. Blocked exits and nonfunctional elevators cause 118 fatalities, with many victims leaping to their deaths.
  • 1980 – An F3 tornado hits Kalamazoo County, Michigan. President Jimmy Carter declares it a federal disaster area.
  • 1981 – Mehmet Ali Agca attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The Pope was rushed to the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic to undergo emergency surgery, and managed to survive.
  • 1985 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police storm MOVE headquarters to end a stand-off, killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 250 city residents.
  • 1989 – Large groups of students occupied Tiananmen Square and began a hunger strike.
  • 1996 – Severe thunderstorms and a tornado in Bangladesh kill 600 people.
  • 1998 – India carries out two nuclear tests at Pokhran, in addition to the three conducted on May 11. United States and Japan impose economic sanctions on India.
  • 2000 – In Enschede, the Netherlands, a fireworks factory explodes, killing 22 people, wounding 950, and resulting in approximately €450 million in damage.
  • 2001 – Silvio Berlusconi’s House of Freedoms coalition wins the Italian general elections.
  • 2005 – The Andijan Massacre occurs in Uzbekistan.
  • 2006 – 2006 São Paulo violence: A major rebellion occurs in several prisons of the Brazilian state.
  • 2007 – Construction of the Calafat-Vidin Bridge between Romania and Bulgaria begins.
  • 2007 – Republic Protests in Turkey

May 13 – Birthdays:

  • 1024 – Hugh of Cluny, French saint (d. 1109)
  • 1254 – Maria of Brabant, queen of France (d. 1321)
  • 1588 – Ole Worm, Danish physician (d. 1654)
  • 1638 – Richard Simon, French Biblical critic (d. 1712)
  • 1655 – Pope Innocent XIII (d. 1724)
  • 1699 – Marquis of Pombal, Prime Minister of Portugal (d. 1782)
  • 1712 – Johann Hartwig Ernst, Count von Bernstorff, Danish statesman (d. 1772)
  • 1717 – Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (d. 1780)
  • 1730 – Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1782)
  • 1742 – Archduchess Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen (d. 1798)
  • 1753 – Lazare Carnot, French general, politician, and mathematician (d. 1823)
  • 1792 – Pope Pius IX (d. 1878)
  • 1794 – Louis-Leopold Robert, French painter (d. 1835)
  • 1795 – Gérard Paul Deshayes, French geologist (d. 1875)
  • 1822 – Francis of Assisi of Bourbon, King Consort of Spain (d. 1902)
  • 1830 – Zebulon Baird Vance, three-time governor of North Carolina (d. 1894)
  • 1840 – Alphonse Daudet, French novelist (d. 1897)
  • 1842 – Arthur Sullivan, English composer (d. 1900)
  • 1857 – Ronald Ross, English physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d.  1932)
  • 1882 – Georges Braque, French painter (d. 1963)
  • 1883 – Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek doctor, inventor of the Pap smear (d. 1962)
  • 1894 – Ásgeir Ásgeirsson, 2nd President of Iceland (d. 1972)
  • 1898 – Justin Tuveri, Italian veteran of the First World War (d. 2007)
  • 1907 – Dame Daphne du Maurier, English author (d. 1989)
  • 1911 – Robert Middleton, American film and television actor (d. 1977)
  • 1912 – Gil Evans, Canadian musician (d. 1988)
  • 1912 – Judah Nadich, American rabbi (d. 2007)
  • 1913 – William R. Tolbert, Jr., Liberian president (d. 1980)
  • 1913 – Lambros Konstantaras, Greek actor (d. 1985)
  • 1914 – Joe Louis, American boxer (d. 1981)
  • 1918 – T. Balasaraswati, Bharatanatyam dancer (d.1984)
  • 1920 – Gareth Morris, British flautist (d. 2007)
  • 1922 – Michael Ainsworth, British cricketer (d. 1978)
  • 1923 – Beatrice Arthur, American actress
  • 1924 – Harry Schwarz, South African MP and Ambassador to the US
  • 1926 – Wallace Breem, British author
  • 1927 – Archie Scott-Brown, English race car driver (d. 1558)
  • 1927 – Herbert Ross, American director (d. 2001)
  • 1928 – Édouard Molinaro, French film actor, director and screenwriter
  • 1928 – Enrique Bolaños, President of Nicaragua
  • 1928 – Jim Shoulders, Champion Rodeo Cowboy
  • 1930 – Mike Gravel, Former Democratic Senator of Alaska and 2008 Presidential Candidate
  • 1930 – José Jiménez Lozano, Spanish writer
  • 1931 – Jim Jones, American cult leader (d. 1978)
  • 1934 – Leon Wagner, baseball player (d. 2004)
  • 1935 – Dominic Cossa, American baritone
  • 1937 – Roch Carrier, Canadian novelist
  • 1937 – Roger Zelazny, American author (d. 1995)
  • 1937 – Trevor Baylis, English inventor of the wind-up radio
  • 1937 – Zohra Lampert, American actress
  • 1938 – Laurent Beaudoin, French Canadian businessman (Bombardier)
  • 1938 – Giuliano Amato, Italian politician
  • 1939 – Harvey Keitel, American actor
  • 1940 – Bruce Chatwin, British writer (d. 1989)
  • 1941 – Senta Berger, Austrian actress
  • 1941 – Joe Brown, British singer
  • 1941 – Ritchie Valens, American singer (d. 1959)
  • 1941 – Jody Conradt, American college basketball coach
  • 1943 – Mary Wells, American singer (d. 1992)
  • 1944 – Armistead Maupin, American author
  • 1947 – Stephen R. Donaldson, American author
  • 1949 – Zoë Wanamaker, English-American actress
  • 1950 – Stevie Wonder, American singer and musician
  • 1950 – Danny Kirwan, British musician (Fleetwood Mac)
  • 1950 – Bobby Valentine, Major League baseball manager
  • 1951 – Sharon Sayles Belton, Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1951 – Paul Thompson, British rock drummer (Roxy Music)
  • 1954 – Johnny Logan, Irish singer and songwriter
  • 1956 – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the Art of Living Foundation
  • 1956 – Richard Madeley, Television presenter
  • 1957 – Alan Ball, American screenwriter, director, and producer
  • 1957 – Koji Suzuki, Japanese writer (Ring, Dark Water)
  • 1957 – Andrea Klump, German terrorist
  • 1961 – Dennis Rodman, American basketball player and actor
  • 1962 – Eduardo Palomo, Mexican actor (d. 2003)
  • 1962 – Kathleen Jamie, Scottish poet
  • 1963 – Wally Masur, Australian former tennis player
  • 1964 – Stephen Colbert, American comedian and actor
  • 1964 – Ronnie Coleman, American bodybuilder
  • 1964 – Tom Verica, American actor
  • 1965 – José Antonio Delgado, Venezuelan mountain climber (d. 2006)
  • 1965 – Hikari Ota, Japanese comedian
  • 1965 – Tasmin Little, English violinist
  • 1965 – Lari White, American country music singer
  • 1966 – Darius Rucker, American singer (Hootie & the Blowfish)
  • 1966 – Nikos Aliagas, Greek TV show host
  • 1966 – Kamen Vodenicharov, Bulgarian entertainer
  • 1967 – Chuck Schuldiner, American musician (Death, Control Denied) (d. 2001)
  • 1967 – Melanie Thornton, African American German pop singer, former member of La Bouche. (d.  2001)
  • 1968 – Alison Goldfrapp, English musician
  • 1968 – Buckethead, Guitarist
  • 1968 – Miguel Ángel Blanco, Spanish politician (d. 1997)
  • 1969 – André Schmechta, German musician (X Marks the Pedwalk)
  • 1971 – Tom Nalen, American football player
  • 1976 – Mark Delaney, Welsh footballer
  • 1977 – Ilse DeLange, Dutch singer
  • 1977 – Neil Hopkins, American actor
  • 1977 – Samantha Morton, English actress
  • 1978 – Mike Bibby, American basketball player
  • 1978 – Ryan Bukvich, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Barry Zito, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
  • 1980 – Waka Inoue, Japanese gravure idol and actress
  • 1980 – Mau Marcelo, Filipino singer
  • 1981 – Jimmy Yang, American wrestler
  • 1981 – Sunny Leone, Canadian model
  • 1981 – Rebecka Liljeberg, Swedish actress
  • 1982 – Yoko Kumada, Japanese gravure idol
  • 1982 – Oguchi Onyewu, American footballer
  • 1983 – Casey Donovan, Australian singer
  • 1983 – Grégory Lemarchal, French singer (d. 2007)
  • 1983 – Yaya Touré, Ivorian footballer
  • 1985 – Travis Zajac, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1986 – Robert Pattinson, English actor
  • 1986 – Scott Sutter, Swiss footballer
  • 1987 – Hunter Parrish, American actor

May 13 – Deaths:

  • 1162 – Géza II of Hungary
  • 1176 – Matthias I, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1119)
  • 1312 – Theobald II, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1263)
  • 1573 – Takeda Shingen, Japanese warlord (b. 1521)
  • 1619 – Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Dutch statesman (b. 1547)
  • 1704 – Louis Bourdaloue, French Jesuit preacher (b. 1632)
  • 1742 – Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (b. 1719)
  • 1807 – Eliphalet Dyer, American statesman and judge (b. 1721)
  • 1832 – Georges Cuvier, French naturalist (b. 1769)
  • 1835 – John Nash, English architect (b. 1752)
  • 1866 – Nikolai Brashman, Russian mathematician (b. 1796)
  • 1871 – Daniel Auber, French composer (b. 1782)
  • 1884 – Cyrus McCormick, American inventor (b. 1809)
  • 1885 – Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle, German physician (b. 1809)
  • 1901 – Leopoldo Alas y Ureña, a.k.a. “Clarín”, Spanish novelist and literary critic (b. 1851)
  • 1916 – Sholom Aleichem, Russian author (b. 1859)
  • 1921 – Jean Aicard, French poet and novelist (b. 1848)
  • 1925 – Boris Savinkov, Russian writer and terrorist (b. 1879)
  • 1926 – Libert H. Boeynaems, Belgian Catholic prelate (b. 1857)
  • 1930 – Fridtjof Nansen, Nobel Peace Prize winner (b. 1861)
  • 1937 – Ekaterina Geladze, mother of Joseph Stalin (b. 1858)
  • 1938 – Charles Edouard Guillaume, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1861)
  • 1945 – Tubby Hall, American musician (b. 1895)
  • 1961 – Gary Cooper, American actor (b. 1901)
  • 1962 – Henry Trendley Dean, American dental researcher (b. 1893)
  • 1963 – Alois Hudal, bishop, helped Nazi war criminals escape (b. 1885)
  • 1972 – Dan Blocker, American actor (b. 1928)
  • 1974 – Jaime Torres Bodet, Mexican writer (b. 1902)
  • 1975 – Bob Wills, American musician (b. 1905)
  • 1985 – Leatrice Joy, American actress (b. 1893)
  • 1988 – Chet Baker, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1929)
  • 1992 – F. E. McWilliam, Northern Irish sculptor (b. 1909)
  • 1994 – Duncan Hamilton, British racing driver (b. 1920)
  • 1999 – Gene Sarazen, American golfer (b. 1902)
  • 2000 – Paul Bartel, American actor (b. 1938)
  • 2001 – R.K. Narayan, Indian novelist (b. 1906)
  • 2001 – Jason Miller, American playwright (b. 1939)
  • 2005 – George Dantzig, American mathematician (b. 1914)
  • 2005 – Michael Ross, American serial killer (b. 1959)
  • 2005 – Eddie Barclay, French record producer (Barclay Records) (b. 1921)
  • 2006 – Jaroslav Pelikan, American historian (b. 1923)
  • 2006 – Johnnie Wilder, Jr., American singer (b. 1949)

May 13 – Holidays:

  • Commemoration of Julian of Norwich (Anglican).
  • Roman Empire – Feast of the Lemures (See Larvae).
  • Abbotsbury Garland Day, Dorset, England.
  • Rotuma Day in Fiji.
  • Our Lady of Fatima
  • Saints of the Christian Church:

o   Abban the Hermit

o   Saint Servatus

o   Saint Robert Bellarmine

o   Saint Gerald of Villamagna

o   Saint John the Silent

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On This Day in History May 12

May 12 – Events:

  • 1191 – Richard I of England marries Berengaria of Navarre.
  • 1264 – The Battle of Lewes, between King Henry III of England and the rebel Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, begins.
  • 1328 – Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, is consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice.
  • 1364 – Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland, was founded in Kraków, Poland.
  • 1551 – National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, was founded in Lima, Peru.
  • 1588 – French Wars of Religion: Henry III of France flees Paris after Henry of Guise enters the city.
  • 1689 – King William’s War: William III of England joins the League of Augsburg starting a war with France.
  • 1780 – American Revolutionary War: Charleston, South Carolina is taken by British forces.
  • 1797 – First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice.
  • 1821 – The first big battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks occurs in Valtetsi.
  • 1862 – U.S. federal troops occupy Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Raymond: two divisions of James B. McPherson’s XVII Corps (ACW) turn the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton’s defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Spotsylvania Court House: Thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers die in “the Bloody Angle.”
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Battle of Palmito Ranch: The first day of the last major land action to take place during the Civil War, resulting in a Confederate victory.
  • 1870 – The Manitoba Act was given the Royal Assent, paving the way for Manitoba to become a province of Canada on July 15.
  • 1873 – Oscar II of Sweden-Norway is crowned King of Sweden.
  • 1881 – In North Africa, Tunisia becomes a French protectorate.
  • 1885 – North-West Rebellion: The four-day Battle of Batoche, pitting rebel Métis against the Canadian government, comes to an end with a decisive rebel defeat.
  • 1890 – The first-ever official County Championship match begins. Yorkshire beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets at Bristol. George Ulyett scores the first century in the competition.
  • 1926 – UK General Strike 1926: In the United Kingdom, a nine-day general strike by trade unions ends.
  • 1932 – Ten weeks after his abduction, the infant son of Charles Lindbergh is found dead in Hopewell, New Jersey just a few miles from the Lindberghs’ home.
  • 1937 – Coronation of King George VI of Britain at Westminster Abbey.
  • 1941 – Konrad Zuse presented the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer in Berlin.
  • 1942 – World War II: Second Battle of Kharkov – In the eastern Ukraine, the Soviet Army initiates a major offensive. During the battle the Soviets will capture the city of Kharkov from the German Army, only to be encircled and destroyed.
  • 1942 – 1,500 Jews are sent to gas chambers in Auschwitz.
  • 1949 – The Soviet Union lifts its Blockade of Berlin.
  • 1949 – The western occupying powers approve the Basic Law for the new German state – the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 1952 – Gaj Singh crowned Maharaja of Jodhpur.
  • 1955 – The last portion of the IRT Third Avenue Elevated in Manhattan closes.
  • 1958 – A formal North American Aerospace Defense Command agreement is signed between the United States and Canada.
  • 1962 – Douglas MacArthur delivers his famous “Duty, Honor, Country” valedictory speech at West Point.
  • 1965 – The Soviet spacecraft Luna 5 crashes on the Moon.
  • 1965 – West Germany and Israel establish diplomatic relations.
  • 1966 – Busch Memorial Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals major league baseball team and until 1987, the NFL team of the same name, opens in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 1967 – At Queen Elizabeth Hall, England, Pink Floyd stages the first-ever quadraphonic rock concert.
  • 1975 – Mayagüez incident: The Cambodian navy seizes the American merchant ship SS Mayaguez in international waters.
  • 1978 – In Zaïre, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining center of the province of Shaba. The government of Zaïre asks the U.S., France and Belgium to restore order.
  • 1981 – Francis Hughes starves to death in the Maze Prison in a republican campaign for political status to be granted to IRA prisoners.
  • 1982 – During a procession outside the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal, security guards overpower Juan Fernandez Krohn before he can attack Pope John Paul II with a bayonet. Krohn, an ultraconservative Spanish priest opposed to the Vatican II reforms, decided that the Pope must be killed for being an “agent of Moscow.”
  • 1994 – UK opposition leader John Smith dies in a London hospital after two serious heart attacks.
  • 1999 – David Steel becomes the first Presiding Officer (speaker) of the modern Scottish Parliament.
  • 2002 – Former President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.
  • 2003 – The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, kill 26.
  • 2003 – Fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers bring the Texas Legislature to a standstill by going into hiding in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan.
  • 2006 – Justin Gatlin ties the 100 metres sprint world record with a time of 9.77 seconds in Doha, Qatar.

May 12 – Birthdays:

  • 1401 – Emperor Shoko (d. 1428)
  • 1496 – Gustav I of Sweden (d. 1560)
  • 1590 – Cosimo II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1621)
  • 1622 – Louis de Buade de Frontenac, Governor General of New France (d. 1698)
  • 1626 – Louis Hennepin, Flemish missionary (d. 1705)
  • 1670 – Frederick Augustus I of Poland (d. 1733)
  • 1700 – Luigi Vanvitelli, Italian architect (d. 1773)
  • 1725 – Louis Philippe I, Duke of Orléans (d. 1785)
  • 1767 – Manuel de Godoy, Spanish statesman (d. 1851)
  • 1803 – Justus von Liebig, German chemist (d. 1873)
  • 1804 – Robert Baldwin, Canadian politician (d. 1858)
  • 1806 – Johan Vilhelm Snellman, Finnish statesman (d. 1881)
  • 1812 – Edward Lear, English author and poet (d. 1888)
  • 1820 – Florence Nightingale, English nurse (d. 1910)
  • 1828 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English poet (d. 1882)
  • 1829 – Pavlos Carrer, Greek composer (d. 1896)
  • 1842 – Jules Massenet, French composer (d. 1912)
  • 1845 – Gabriel Fauré, French composer (d. 1924)
  • 1850 – Henry Cabot Lodge, U.S. statesman (d. 1924)
  • 1867 – Hugh Trumble, Australian cricketer (d. 1938)
  • 1874 – Clemens von Pirquet, Austrian physician (d. 1929)
  • 1880 – Lincoln Ellsworth, American scientist (d. 1951)
  • 1889 – Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank (d. 1980)
  • 1892 – Fritz Kortner, Austrian-born director (d. 1970)
  • 1895 – William Giauque, American chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1982)
  • 1899 – Indra Devi, yogi (d. 2002)
  • 1900 – Helene Weigel, German actress (d. 1971)
  • 1903 – Wilfrid Hyde-White, English actor (d. 1991)
  • 1907 – Leslie Charteris, British author and screenwriter (d. 1993)
  • 1907 – Katharine Hepburn, American actress (d. 2003)
  • 1910 – Charles B. Fulton, American jurist (d. 1996)
  • 1910 – Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, British biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1994)
  • 1912 – Archibald Cox, U.S. Solicitor General (d. 2004)
  • 1914 – Bertus Aafjes, Dutch poet (d. 1993)
  • 1914 – Howard K. Smith, American journalist (d. 2002)
  • 1915 – Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman, founded Mary Kay Cosmetics (d. 2001)
  • 1917 – Frank Clair, Canadian football coach (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – Julius Rosenberg, Soviet spy (d. 1953)
  • 1921 – Joseph Beuys, German artist (d. 1986)
  • 1921 – Farley Mowat, Canadian writer and naturalist
  • 1922 – Marco Denevi, Argentine writer (d. 1998)
  • 1924 – Alexander Esenin-Volpin, Russian mathematician
  • 1924 – Tony Hancock, English comedian (d. 1968)
  • 1925 – Yogi Berra, American baseball player
  • 1928 – Burt Bacharach, American composer
  • 1928 – Henry Cosby, African-American songwriter (d. 2002)
  • 1929 – Dollard St. Laurent, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1929 – Sam Nujoma, first President of Namibia
  • 1930 – Jesús Franco, Spanish film director
  • 1933 – Andrey Voznesensky, Russian poet
  • 1935 – Felipe Alou, Dominican baseball player and manager
  • 1935 – Johnny Bucyk, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1936 – Guillermo Endara, President of Panama
  • 1936 – Tom Snyder, American television personality (d. 2007)
  • 1936 – Frank Stella, American painter
  • 1937 – Beryl Burton, English cyclist (d. 1996)
  • 1937 – George Carlin, American comedian
  • 1937 – Susan Hampshire, English actress
  • 1938 – Millie Perkins, American film actress
  • 1939 – Miltiadis Evert, Greek politician
  • 1939 – Ron Ziegler, White House Press Secretary (d. 2003)
  • 1942 – Ian Dury, English musician (d. 2000)
  • 1942 – Michel Fugain, French singer and songwriter
  • 1942 – Billy Swan, American songwriter and singer
  • 1944 – James Purify, American singer
  • 1945 – Alan Ball, English footballer (d. 2007)
  • 1945 – Ian McLagan, English keyboardist (Small Faces)
  • 1946 – L. Neil Smith, American science fiction author
  • 1947 – Michael Ignatieff, Canadian politician
  • 1947 – Micheline Lanctôt, American film actor, director and screenwriter
  • 1948 – Steve Winwood, English musician (The Spencer Davis Group; Traffic)
  • 1950 – Bruce Boxleitner, American actor
  • 1950 – Gabriel Byrne, Irish actor
  • 1950 – Billy Squier, American singer
  • 1955 – Kix Brooks, American musician
  • 1956 – Bernie Federko, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1956 – Glenn Robbins, Australian comedian
  • 1957 – Lou Whitaker, American baseball player
  • 1958 – Andreas Petroulakis, Greek political caricaturist
  • 1958 – Eric Singer, American drummer
  • 1959 – Ving Rhames, American actor
  • 1960 – Ian Khan, British racing driver
  • 1961 – Billy Duffy, English guitarist (The Cult)
  • 1961 – Lar Park Lincoln, American actress
  • 1961 – Bruce McCulloch, Canadian actor
  • 1962 – Emilio Estevez, American actor
  • 1962 – Brett Gurewitz, American songwriter and record producer (Bad Religion) (Epitaph)
  • 1963 – Panagiotis Fasoulas, Greek basketball player, Mayor of Piraeus
  • 1963 – Stefano Modena, Italian racing driver
  • 1963 – Jerry Trimble, American actor
  • 1963 – Deborah Kara Unger, Canadian actress
  • 1963 – Vanessa A. Williams, American actress
  • 1966 – Stephen Baldwin, American actor
  • 1966 – Bebel Gilberto, Brazilian singer
  • 1967 – Paul D’Amour, American bass guitarist (ex-Tool)
  • 1968 – Mark Clark, American baseball player
  • 1968 – Tony Hawk, American skateboarder
  • 1968 – Scott Schwartz, American actor
  • 1968 – Catherine Tate, English comedian
  • 1969 – Kim Fields, American actress
  • 1969 – Cesar Millan, professional dog trainer
  • 1970 – Jim Furyk, American golfer
  • 1970 – Samantha Mathis, American actress
  • 1970 – Mike Weir, Canadian golfer
  • 1971 – Doug Basham, American professional wrestler
  • 1973 – Kendra Kassebaum, American stage actress
  • 1973 – Travis Lutter, Mixed Martial Arts Fighter
  • 1975 – Jonah Lomu, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • 1977 – Graeme Dott, Scottish snooker player
  • 1977 – Rebecca Herbst, American actress
  • 1978 – Jason Biggs, American actor
  • 1978 – Wilfred Le Bouthillier, Acadian singer
  • 1978 – Josh Phelps, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Hossein Reza Zadeh, Iranian weightlifter
  • 1978 – Aya Ishiguro, Japanese singer (formerly Morning Musume)
  • 1979 – Andre Carter, American football player
  • 1979 – Erdinç Saçan, Turkish-Dutch politician
  • 1981 – Kentaro Sato, Japanese composer
  • 1981 – Lorena Bernal, Spanish model and actress, Miss Spain 1999
  • 1983 – Charilaos Pappas, Greek footballer
  • 1984 – Cheryl Burke, Filipino-American ballroom dancer
  • 1985 – Tally Hall, American soccer player
  • 1986 – Emily VanCamp, Canadian actress
  • 1988 – Marcelo, Brazilian footballer
  • 1991 – Bradford N. Smith, American actor
  • 1992 – Malcolm David Kelley, American actor
  • 1995 – Sullivan and Sawyer Sweeten, American actors

May 12 – Deaths:

  • 1003 – Pope Silvester II
  • 1012 – Pope Sergius IV
  • 1382 – Queen Joan I of Naples (b. 1327)
  • 1399 – Demetrius I Starshiy (killed in battle) (b. 1327)
  • 1465 – Thomas Palaeologus, Despot of the Despotate of Morea
  • 1634 – George Chapman, English writer
  • 1641 – Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, English statesman (b. 1593)
  • 1684 – Edme Mariotte, French physicist and priest
  • 1699 – Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish painter (b. 1626)
  • 1700 – John Dryden, English writer (b. 1631)
  • 1708 – Adolf Friedrich II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (b. 1658)
  • 1748 – Thomas Lowndes, English astronomer (b. 1692)
  • 1759 – Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, French sculptor (b. 1700)
  • 1784 – Abraham Trembley, Swiss naturalist (b. 1710)
  • 1792 – Charles Simon Favart, French dramatist (b. 1710)
  • 1796 – Johann Peter Uz, German poet (b. 1720)
  • 1801 – Nicholas Repnin, Russian statesman (b. 1734)
  • 1845 – János Bacsanyi, Hungarian poet (b. 1763)
  • 1856 – Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, French mathematician (b. 1786)
  • 1859 – Sergei Aksakov, Russian writer (b. 1791)
  • 1860 – Charles Barry, English architect (b. 1795)
  • 1864 – J. E. B. Stuart, American soldier from Virginia and a Confederate Army general (b. 1833)
  • 1867 – Friedrich William Eduard Gerhard, German archaeologist (b. 1795)
  • 1871 – Anselme Payen, French physicist (b. 1795)
  • 1876 – Georgi Benkovski, Bulgarian revolutionary, brutally killed by the Turks (b. 1843)
  • 1884 – Bedrich Smetana, Czech composer (b. 1824)
  • 1889 – John Cadbury, English chocolate entrepreneur (b. 1801)
  • 1907 – Joris-Karl Huysmans, French author (b. 1848)
  • 1916 – James Connolly, Irish socialist (b. 1868)
  • 1925 – Amy Lowell, American poet (b. 1874)
  • 1931 – Eugène Ysaÿe, Belgian violinist (b. 1858)
  • 1935 – Józef Pilsudski, Polish statesman (b. 1867)
  • 1944 – Max Brand, American author (b. 1892)
  • 1944 – Arthur Quiller-Couch, English writer (b. 1863)
  • 1956 – Louis Calhern, American actor (b. 1895)
  • 1957 – Erich von Stroheim, film director and actor (b. 1885)
  • 1963 – Bobby Kerr, Canadian runner (b. 1882)
  • 1966 – Felix Martin Julius Steiner, German Heer and Waffen-SS officer (b. 1896)
  • 1967 – John Masefield, British writer (b. 1878)
  • 1970 – Nelly Sachs, German writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1891)
  • 1971 – Heinie Manush, American baseball player (b. 1901)
  • 1973 – Art Pollard, American racecar driver (b. 1927)
  • 1985 – Jean Dubuffet, French painter (b. 1901)
  • 1986 – Elisabeth Bergner, Austrian actress (b. 1897)
  • 1990 – Chen Kenmin, Japanese chef (b. 1912)
  • 1992 – Robert Reed, American actor (b. 1932)
  • 1992 – Nikos Gatsos, Greek poet and lyricist (b. 1911)
  • 1992 – Lenny Montana, American actor (b. 1926)
  • 1994 – Erik Erikson, German psychoanalyst (b. 1902)
  • 1994 – John Smith, British politician (b. 1938)
  • 1995 – Mia Martini, real name: Domenica Bertè, Italian singer and song-writer (b. 1947)
  • 1999 – Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia 1993-1999 (b. 1910)
  • 1999 – Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist (b. 1914)
  • 2000 – Adam Petty, American race car driver (b. 1980)
  • 2001 – Perry Como, American singer (b. 1912)
  • 2001 – Alexei Tupolev, Russian aircraft designer (b. 1925)
  • 2002 – Erich Kulas, ECW Wrestler (Mass Transit)
  • 2003 – Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French UN High Commissioner for Refugees (b. 1933)
  • 2005 – Martin Lings, English Islamic scholar (b. 1909)
  • 2005 – Monica Zetterlund, Swedish actress and singer (b. 1937)
  • 2006 – Gillespie V. Montgomery, former U.S. representative from Mississippi (b. 1920)
  • 2007 – Mullah Dadullah Akhund, Taliban military leader (b. 1966?)
  • 2007 – Teddy Infuhr, American former child actor (b. 1936)

May 12 – Holidays:

  • International Nurses Day, commemorating the birthday of Florence Nightingale in 1820.
  • Day of Finnishness in Finland; Commemoration day of J. V. Snellman.
  • Religious feast days:
  • Feast day of the following saints in the Roman Catholic Church:

o   Saints Achilleus and Nereus

o   Saint Pancras (died 304), second of the Ice Saints

o   Saint Epiphanius of Salamis

o   Saint Modoald

o   Saint Domitilla

o   Saint Joan of Portugal

o   Blessed Imelda

o   Saint Philip of Agira

o   Dominic de la Calzada

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