Forthcoming historic anniversaries, May 2009

You may wish to write about the following historical events. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing.
 
We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research – just in case! Please let us know of any errors you find.

A greatly expanded list of anniversaries for this month is available in The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which covers the whole year from January to December 2009. More details below.

250 years ago (28 May 1759)
Birth of William Pitt, the younger, British Prime Minister (1783-1801 and 1804-1806)

200 years ago (17 May 1809)
French Emperor Napoleon I annexed the Papal States

200 years ago (31 May 1809)
Death of Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer

150 years ago (2 May 1859)
The Royal Albert Bridge was opened by Prince Albert. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it spanned the River Tamar, providing a rail link between Devon and Cornwall in England

150 years ago (2 May 1859)
Birth of Jerome K Jerome, British novelist and playwright

150 years ago (15 May 1859)
Birth of Pierre Curie, French physicist, pioneer of radiation, magnetism and crystallography, joint winner of the Nobel Prize with his wife Marie

150 years ago (22 May 1859)
Birth of Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish writer (‘Sherlock Holmes’)

100 years ago (7 May 1909)
Birth of Edwin Land, American inventor of the Polaroid camera

100 years ago (15 May 1909)
Birth of James Mason, British stage and screen actor

100 years ago (26 May 1909)
Birth of Sir Matt Busby, British football player and manager (Manchester United)

100 years ago (30 May 1909)
Birth of Benny Goodman, American jazz clarinetist and bandleader

80 years ago (16 May 1929)
The first Academy Awards were presented at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

80 years ago (21 May 1929)
Death of Archibald Primrose, British Prime Minister (1894-95)

80 years ago (24 May 1929)
The first Marx Brothers movie ‘The Cocoanuts’ was released

75 years ago (11 May 1934)
A two-day dust storm removed massive amounts of topsoil from the American Great Plains. It was one of the worst storms of the Dust Bowl era

75 years ago (17 May 1934)
Death of Cass Gilbert, American architect who designed the Woolworth Building in New York and the US Supreme Court in Washington DC

75 years ago (23 May 1934)
American bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot and killed in a police ambush while driving a stolen car in Louisiana

75 years ago (23 May 1934)
Birth of Robert Moog, American electrical engineer, inventor of the electronic music synthesizer

75 years ago (24 May 1934)
American chemist Dr Wallace Carothers produced the first nylon fibre at DuPont Laboratories, Delaware

75 years ago (25 May 1934)
Death of Gustav Holst, British composer (‘The Planets’ and other works)

75 years ago (28 May 1934)
The first Glyndebourne opera festival was held, in East Sussex, UK

60 years ago (4 May 1949)
The entire Torino F.C. football team was killed in a plane crash near Turin, Italy. (One injured player did not make the trip and was the only survivor)

60 years ago (5 May 1949)
The Council of Europe was founded

60 years ago (9 May 1949)
Death of Louis II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco. (Succeeded by Prince Rainier III)

60 years ago (11 May 1949)
Siam changed its named to Thailand

60 years ago (12 May 1949)
The Soviet Union lifted its blockade of Berlin

60 years ago (23 May 1949)
The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was established

50 years ago (4 May 1959)
The first Grammy Awards were held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, California

50 years ago (24 May 1959)
Death of John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State (1953-59)

30 years ago (4 May 1979)
Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman Prime Minister

25 years ago (4 May 1984)
Death of Diana Dors, British film actress

25 years ago (7 May 1984)
US Vietnam veterans who had become ill after being exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange were awarded a $180 million settlement

25 years ago (8 May 1984)
The USSR announced that it would boycott the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

25 years ago (16 May 1984)
Death of Andy Kaufman, American actor and entertainer. (Played Latka Gravas in ‘Taxi’ and appeared in numerous US comedy shows)

25 years ago (19 May 1984)
Death of John Betjeman, British poet laureate

25 years ago (28 May 1984)
Death of Eric Morecambe, British comedian (‘Morecambe and Wise’)

20 years ago (13 May 1989)
British war hero Jackie Mann, a former Battle of Britain pilot, was kidnapped in Beirut. (Released September 1991)

15 years ago (1 May 1994)
Death of Ayrton Senna, Brazilian racing driver, killed in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix, Italy

15 years ago (6 May 1994)
The Channel Tunnel linking England and France was officially opened by the Queen and French President François Mitterrand

15 years ago (10 May 1994)
Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president after more than three hundred years of white rule

15 years ago (26 May 1994)
American pop star Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley

10 years ago (2 May 1999)
Death of Oliver Reed, British film actor (‘Oliver!’, ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘Castaway’, and many other roles)

10 years ago (8 May 1999)
Death of Dirk Bogarde, British film actor (‘Doctor in the House’, and many other roles)

10 years ago (29 May 1999)
US space shuttle Discovery became the first spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station 

The Date-A-Base Book 2009

For more historic anniversaries see The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which spans the whole of 2009 and contains over 1,200 forthcoming anniversaries – twice as many entries per month than our standard lists featured above. For example, there are 44 anniversaries listed above for May 2009, but 100 anniversaries for the same month in the Date-A-Base Book 2009. Over the course of the year you’ll get to hear about hundreds of significant forthcoming anniversaries that other writers just won’t know about – giving you a huge advantage!

The Date-A-Base Book 2009 is an excellent source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners. Just one article sale will pay for your copy many times over!

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk

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