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May 23, 1912: Imperator, world's largest ocean liner, is launched
May 14, 1912: Denmark's King Frederik VIII dies during German visit
May 18, 1912: USS Texas, largest U.S. warship, launched
May 24, 1912: Piltdown Man hoax continues with delivery of skull fragments
May 18, 1912: Kongō, Japan's largest Japanese battleship is launched

The following events occurred in May 1912:

May 1, 1912 (Wednesday)Edit

May 2, 1912 (Thursday)Edit

  • The "Symphony for Negro Music" was performed at Carnegie Hall by the all-black Clef Club Orchestra, with 125 singers and musicians led by conductor James Reese Europe, and marked the most prestigious event for African-American musicians up to that time.[5]
  • Italian Army Captain Alberto Margenhi Marengoon made the first nighttime reconnaissance flight in history, using an airplane to assess Ottoman troop strength near Benghazi, Libya.[6]

May 3, 1912 (Friday)Edit

May 4, 1912 (Saturday)Edit

May 5, 1912 (Sunday)Edit

  • The first competitive events of the 1912 Summer Olympics took place in Stockholm, Sweden, with lawn tennis being played until May 12. Most of the competition took place between June 29 and July 22, with the opening ceremonies being held on July 6.[11]
  • Vladimir Lenin began the daily publication of Pravda (Russian for "The Truth") the official newspaper of the Communist Party in Saint Petersburg, and later the leading daily paper for the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991. The first issue carried the date "22 April 1912" (22 Апрель 1912),[12] in that Russia was still using the Julian Calendar, which was 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. The paper would later carry the slogan "Newspaper founded 5 May 1912 by V. I. Lenin".[13]
  • The first issue of Our Sunday Visitor, was introduced in Catholic churches throughout the United States. The 35,000 copies of the first issue sold for one cent apiece.[14]
  • Born: Adolf Ottman, Anne-Marie Ottman, Emma Ottman and Elisabeth Ottman, the longest-lived quadruplets to date, in Munich. All four were 79 years, 316 days old when Adolf became the first to pass away on March 17, 1992.[15]

May 6, 1912 (Monday)Edit

May 7, 1912 (Tuesday)Edit

May 8, 1912 (Wednesday)Edit

  • Pascual Orozco, who had helped in the revolution that made Francisco I. Madero the President of Mexico six months earlier, then led a second revolution against Madero, ordered his 6,000 insurrectionists to fight against Madero's troops at the state of Coahuila. Reports of the day described the oncoming clash as "the greatest body of rebels and government troops that has ever come together...in what is expected to be the turning point of the revolution".[20]

May 9, 1912 (Thursday)Edit

Samson takes off

May 10, 1912 (Friday)Edit

May 11, 1912 (Saturday)Edit

May 12, 1912 (Sunday)Edit

May 13, 1912 (Monday)Edit

  • The United States House of Representatives voted 237-39 to send the proposed Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the 48 states for ratification. The amendment, which provided for U.S. Senators to be elected directly by popular vote, rather than by the state legislatures, followed 86 years worth of rejections. In 1894, 1898, 1900 and 1902, the House had approved an amendment and the Senate had rejected it.[27] The Amendment would be ratified by April 8, 1913, after Connecticut became the 36th of 48 states to give its approval.[28]
  • The remains of three people, who had been able to escape the sinking RMS Titanic in a lifeboat, but died while awaiting rescue, were located by another White Star Line steamer, RMS Oceanic.[29][30] Passenger Thomson Beattie and two of the ship's firemen (who could not be identified) had managed to get into one of the collapsible lifeboats, but drifted for a month after the ship sank, dying from hypothermia or thirst along the way.[31] Another three bodies of Titanic victims were recovered by the Canadian government ship Montmagny and brought to Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, where they were shipped to Halifax via the Sydney and Louisburg Railway.[32]
  • The first jury trial ever conducted in China began in Shanghai.[33]
  • Italian ships captured more islands from the Ottoman Empire, seizing Piskopi, Nisero, Kalismo, Leno and Patmos.[10]
  • Born: Gil Evans, Canadian jazz composer, best known for his collaborations with Miles Davis, as Ian Ernest Gilmore Green, in Toronto (d. 1988)

May 14, 1912 (Tuesday)Edit

King Christian X
  • King Frederick of Denmark collapsed and died during an evening stroll while on vacation in Germany. Found alone, and with no identification, the 68-year old monarch was taken as a "John Doe" to a morgue in a local hospital before his fellow travelers realized he was missing.[34]
  • Saved from the Titanic, a silent film produced by the Eclair Film Company and starring Dorothy Gibson, was released in the United States. Coming out on the one-month anniversary of the day RMS Titanic struck the iceberg, it was the first disaster film, and the first to use special effects, interspersing film of the RMS Olympic with models "sometimes resembling a toy boat in a bathtub" to recreate the sinking. Ms. Gibson, at the time the most famous movie star in America, actually had been a passenger on the ship when it began to sink, and literally had been "saved from the Titanic".[35]
  • China's legislature rejected the six power railroad loan agreement.[33]
  • In the California presidential primaries, Theodore Roosevelt won all 26 of the Republican delegates, defeating William Howard Taft in all 58 counties. Former House Speaker Champ Clark won the Democratic delegates, defeating Woodrow Wilson by a 2-1 ratio. Women, though not allowed to vote in national elections, were able to participate in the primaries.[36]
  • Died:

May 15, 1912 (Wednesday)Edit

Batting king (.367) Ty Cobb

May 16, 1912 (Thursday)Edit

May 17, 1912 (Friday)Edit

May 18, 1912 (Saturday)Edit

May 19, 1912 (Sunday)Edit

  • Julia Clark of Great Britain became only the third woman in history to receive an airplane pilot's license. On June 17, she would become the first woman to be killed while piloting an airplane.[45]

May 20, 1912 (Monday)Edit

May 21, 1912 (Tuesday)Edit

May 22, 1912 (Wednesday)Edit

  • The U.S. Marines entered into military aviation, as 2nd Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham reported for flight training at the Navy Aviation Center.[52]
  • Count István Tisza, formerly the Prime Minister of Hungary, was elected President of the Hungarian Chamber of Deputies after a fight between the legislators. Reportedly, "all the inkpots and other articles that could be used as missiles were removed from the chamber before the voting began", and the Socialist Union party members walked out after fistfights broke out.[53]
  • Massachusetts became the first state to ratify the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as the state Senate voted 30-0 in favor of direct election of U.S. Senators, after the House had approved the measure by acclamation.[54]
  • The steamer Algerine recovered the body of Titanic saloon steward James McGrady.[55]
  • Born: Herbert C. Brown, English-American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this research into organoboron chemistry, as Herbert Brovarnik, in London (d. 2004)

May 23, 1912 (Thursday)Edit

Haakon, Christian and Gustaf

May 24, 1912 (Friday)Edit

May 25, 1912 (Saturday)Edit

  • In Tyler, Texas, Dan Davis, an African-American who had confessed to raping and then slitting the throat of a young white woman on May 13, was burned at the stake after a mob of 2,000 people overpowered his jailers. Davis's executioners had brought "several wagon loads of wood" to the town's public square and tied him to a rail. After Davis said, "I am guilty," he was set ablaze.[60]

May 26, 1912 (Sunday)Edit

May 27, 1912 (Monday)Edit

May 28, 1912 (Tuesday)Edit

May 29, 1912 (Wednesday)Edit

May 30, 1912 (Thursday)Edit

Wilbur Wright

May 31, 1912 (Friday)Edit


  1. ^ "Large Crowds at U.S. League Opening Games". Reading Eagle. May 2, 1912. pp. 1, 9.
  2. ^ "Official Schedule of the United States League, Season 1912". Richmond Times-Dispatch. April 8, 1912. p. 6.
  3. ^ Wiggins, Robert (2008). The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs: The History of an Outlaw Major League, 1914–1915. McFarland. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Underwood Wins Georgia". The New York Times. May 2, 1912.
  5. ^ Wintz, Cary D. & Finkelman, Paul (2004). Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance: A-J. Taylor & Francis. p. 230.
  6. ^ Villard, Henry (2002). Contact! The Story of the Early Aviators. Courier Dover Publications. p. 230.
  7. ^ Khireddine Mourad, Marrakech Et La Mamounia (ACR Edition-Internationale, 1994) p. 64
  8. ^ "Bury 59 Titanic Dead". The New York Times. May 4, 1912.
  9. ^ "Italian Fleet Seizes Rhodes". The New York Times. May 5, 1912.
  10. ^ a b c d e f The Britannica Year-Book 1913: A Survey of the World's Progress Since the Completion in 1910 of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1913. pp. xxvi–xxvii.
  11. ^ "The Olympic Games of Stockholm 1912: Official Report" (PDF). The Swedish Olympic Committee. 1912. pp. 139, 307.
  12. ^ Cliff, Tony (2002). Building the Party: Lenin 1893–1914. 1. Haymarket Books. p. 397.
  13. ^ Gibbs, Joseph (1999). Gorbachev's Glasnost: The Soviet Media in the First Phase of Perestroika. Texas A&M University Press. p. 95.
  14. ^ "Our Sunday Visitor celebrates 100th Anniversary in 2012". OSV.com. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  15. ^ Matthews, Peter, ed. (1994). The Guinness Book of Records 1995. Guinness World Records, Ltd. p. 59.
  16. ^ "The Inflation Calculator"
  17. ^ "Astor Fortune Goes to Vincent", New York Times, May 7, 1912
  18. ^ "Cable Ship Brings More Titanic Dead", New York Times, May 6, 1912; "Cold Killed Many of Titanic Victims", New York Times, May 7, 1912
  19. ^ Joshua Stoff, Aviation Firsts: 336 Questions and Answers (Courier Dover Publications, 2000) p. 10
  20. ^ "Mexicans Arrayed for Decisive Fight", Milwaukee Sentinel, May 9, 1912, p. 1
  21. ^ Michael J. H. Taylor, Aviators: A Photographic History of Flight (Harper Collins, 2005) p. 96
  22. ^ Henry Gariepy, Christianity in Action: The International History of The Salvation Army (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009) pp. 82–83
  23. ^ "Paraguay Rebels Routed", New York Times, May 14, 1912
  24. ^ Henry Villard, Contact! The Story of the Early Aviators (Courier Dover Publications, 2002) p. 165
  25. ^ Walter J. Boyne, Clash of Wings: World War II in the Air (Simon and Schuster, 2012)
  26. ^ Edward J. Erickson, Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913 (Greenwood Publishing, 2003) p. 49
  27. ^ "Senators by Direct Vote Passes House". The New York Times. May 14, 1912.
  28. ^ The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Government Printing Office, 2005, p. 34
  29. ^ "Fate of One of Winnipeggers— Possible That Thomson Beattie Died From Thirst and Exposure in Collapsible Boat". Winnipeg Tribune. May 16, 1912. p. 1.
  30. ^ "Seamen Find Titanic Collapsible Boat— It Contained Three Dead Bodies, Some Letters, a Coat and Ring". El Paso (TX) Herald. May 16, 1912. p. 1.
  31. ^ "Titanic's last lifeboat: Contained three rotting bodies – including a man still in his dinner jacket – was found 200 miles by passing liner a month later a..." TheVintageNews.com. June 26, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  32. ^ "Montmagny's search for dead bodies". The Chronicle Herald. May 13, 1912.
  33. ^ a b c "Record of Current Events". The American Monthly Review of Reviews: 675–679. June 1912.
  34. ^ "Deepest Sorrow Prevades the Danish Kingdom", Dubuque (IA) Telegraph-Herald, May 15, 1912, p. 1; "Beloved King of Denmark No More", St. Petersburg Evening Independent, May 15, 1912, p. 1
  35. ^ Paul Heyer, Titanic Century: Media, Myth, and the Making of a Cultural Icon (ABC-CLIO, 2012) p. 139
  36. ^ "Roosevelt Wins in California", New York Times, May 15, 1912
  37. ^ "Austrian Premier Blind", New York Times, May 16, 1912
  38. ^ "Cobb Whips Hilltop Fan for Insults; Detroit Player Hurdles Into the Stand and Thrashes a Profane Commentator", New York Times, May 16, 1912
  39. ^ "Denies Insulting Cobb", New York Times, May 19, 1912
  40. ^ "Ty Cobb's Anger Led To Baseball's First Strike, A Comedy Of Errors", Sports Illustrated, August 29, 1977
  41. ^ "Mother of Waifs Due To-Day". The New York Times. May 16, 1912.
  42. ^ "Navratil was last known male survivor of Titanic sinking". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. February 2, 2001. p. 5B.
  43. ^ "Detroit Tigers Walk Off the Ball Field, Inaugurate Strike Over Cobb Ruling". Pittsburg Press. May 19, 1912. p. 1.
  44. ^ John J. Joughin, Shakespeare and National Culture (Manchester University Press, 1997) p126
  45. ^ Eileen F. Lebow, Before Amelia: Women Pilots in the Early Days of Aviation (Potomac Books, Inc., 2002) p. 250
  46. ^ William Luis, Culture and Customs of Cuba (Greenwood Publishing, 2001) pp. 7-8
  47. ^ Robert Benedetto, Presbyterian Reformers in Central Africa (BRILL, 1996) p. 453
  48. ^ Robert Elsie, Historical Dictionary of Kosovo (Scarecrow Press, 2010) p. 83
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  53. ^ "Inkpots Were Taken Away", New York Times, May 23, 1912
  54. ^ Ralph A. Rossum, Federalism, the Supreme Court, and the Seventeenth Amendment: The Irony of Constitutional Democracy (Lexington Books, 2001) p. 214
  55. ^ Algerine
  56. ^ "Kaiser Is Near Death". Milwaukee Sentinel. May 24, 1912. p. 1.
  57. ^ "Funeral of Ruler is Notable Event". Milwaukee Sentinel. May 24, 1912. p. 1.
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  59. ^ J. S. Weiner, The Piltdown Forgery (Oxford University Press, 2004) pp. 112-1133
  60. ^ "2,000 Aid in Burning Negro at the Stake", New York Times, May 26, 1912
  61. ^ "84 Dead by Theatre Fire", New York Times, May 30, 1912
  62. ^ Peter Matthews, Historical Dictionary of Track and Field (Scarecrow Press, 2012) p. 64
  63. ^ Peter F. Ostwald, Vaslav Nijinsky: A Leap Into Madness (Carol Publishing, 1996) pp. 60-61
  64. ^ "Joe Dawson Wins Famous Auto Race", Manitoba Free Press (Winnipeg), May 31, 1912, p. 6
  65. ^ Hugh Thomas, Cuba, Or, The Pursuit of Freedom (Da Capo Press, 1998) p. 523
  66. ^ "Wilbur Wright Dies of Typhoid Fever", New York Times, May 31, 1912
  67. ^ "Rainmaking Test Fails", New York Times, June 1, 1912