May 1910

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May 20, 1910: European kings gather for funeral of Edward VII
May 18, 1910: Earth's inhabitants brace themselves for their encounter with Halley's Comet

The following events occurred in May 1910:

May 1, 1910 (Sunday)

  • Edward VII, the 68-year-old King of Great Britain and Ireland and its possessions, and Emperor of India, developed a bad cold after spending a cold and rainy weekend at his estate in Sandringham. Refusing to rest and ignoring medical advice, the popular 69-year-old monarch developed bronchitis, then pneumonia, and was dead by Friday.[1]
  • Born: J. Allen Hynek, American UFO author, in Chicago (died 1986); and Cliff Battles, American pro football player, in Akron (died 1981)
  • Died: J.Q.A. Ward, 80, American sculptor; and Pierre Nord Alexis, 90, former President of Haiti, 90[2][2]

May 2, 1910 (Monday)

  • The United States Senate confirmed Charles Evans Hughes as a Supreme Court Justice, without debate.[3]
  • The U.S. Senate also voted to approve creation of the United States Bureau of Mines, as part of the Department of the Interior, in the first federal regulation of mining. President Taft signed the legislation on May 16.[2]
  • Edward Payson Weston walked into City Hall in New York City at 3:10 pm, completing a walk across the continent that he had started in Santa Monica on February 1. The septuagenarian was greeted by New York Mayor George Alexander, who proclaimed, "Weston, you are a benefactor to the human race, for you have shown people what can be done by a man who lives simply and healthfully in the open air." [4]
  • Homesteading of the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana was permitted by the federal government, with the drawing of the first names in a lottery.[5]

May 3, 1910 (Tuesday)

May 4, 1910 (Wednesday)

  • The Royal Canadian Navy came into existence when the Naval Service Act became law. Canadian Naval Centennial, creating a force separate from Britain's Royal Navy. The first two ships, designated "HMCS" for "His Majesty's Canadian Ship", were the Rainbow and the Niobe.[7]
  • Twelve years after the USS Maine had exploded and sunk in Havana Harbor, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to pay for the raising of the ship's remains at "all convenient speed", and the bill was signed into law.[8]

May 5, 1910 (Thursday)

May 6, 1910 (Friday)

May 7, 1910 (Saturday)

  • USS Cyclops, a U.S. Navy coal hauling ship (collier), was launched. The ship would become famous in the world of the paranormal after its disappearance in 1918 while sailing, with 306 people on board, into the area known as the Bermuda Triangle.[16]
  • A total eclipse of the Sun was visible in New Zealand and in parts of Antarctica.[17]
  • The village of Acme, Alberta was incorporated.

May 8, 1910 (Sunday)

  • A fire at the General Explosives Company near Hull, Ontario set off a blast that killed fifteen people, and injured more than 100. Most were spectators who ignored warnings to leave the area. The blast shattered windows in neighboring Ottawa.[18]
  • In elections in Spain, Premier José Canalejas retained his majority.[2]
  • For the first time in its history, the United States Supreme Court ordered the release of a convict from his sentence, on grounds that his punishment violated the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.[19] Paul Weems, who had served at a lighthouse in the Philippines, had been held in heavy chains for malfeasance of office.

May 9, 1910 (Monday)

  • Three days after his father's death, Prince George Frederick was formally proclaimed King George V worldwide throughout the British Empire, starting with the Duke of Norfolk's reading of the proclamation at St. James Palace that closed with, "God Save the King!" [20]
  • President Taft approved an act passed by Congress to remove the wreck of the battleship Maine, which had been destroyed 12 years earlier in Havana Harbor[21]

May 10, 1910 (Tuesday)

May 11, 1910 (Wednesday)

  • Glacier National Park (U.S.) was established in Montana by federal law. The park has an area of 1,584 square miles (4,100 km2), and contains 653 lakes, 175 mountains, and 26 glaciers. After attracting 4,000 visitors in its first full year as a park (1911), the park had more than 2,000,000 visitors in 2009.[24]
  • Born: Johnnie Davis, American actor and singer (Hooray For Hollywood), in Brazil, Indiana (died 1983)

May 12, 1910 (Thursday)

May 13, 1910 (Friday)

  • Woolworth's became the first large retail chain to sell ice cream cones, test-marketing the treat at counters at several sites that had been supplied with modern refrigerator-freezers. The idea was successful enough that it would be introduced nationwide by the variety store, and then by other chain stores.[26]
  • French aviator Hauvette Michelin became only the seventh person in history to be killed in an airplane accident, crashing while attempting a takeoff at a show in Lyons.[27]

May 14, 1910 (Saturday)

May 15, 1910 (Sunday)

  • The Italian national football team played its first international, defeating France, 6–2, at Milan. Italy would win the second and third FIFA World Cup championships in 1934 and 1938, and again in 1982. As the 2006 winner, Italy is the defending world champion.[29]
  • The Reverend Henry Scott Holland, Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, delivered a sermon following the death of King Edward VII, entitled "Life Unbroken", but often referred to by its first line, "Death is nothing at all."[30] Largely forgotten for nearly 80 years, the words find new popularity in the late 1980s as part of the consolation of grief.[31]

May 16, 1910 (Monday)

  • While watching a parade of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, several thousand people in Newark, New Jersey, ran in panic caused by a false rumor. As the animals passed, a calliope had frightened a police horse, spectators scattered, and someone shouted that a lion or lions had broken loose. More than 20 people were injured, and five taken to the city hospital, but none fatally.[32]
  • In Missouri, Dr. Bennett Clark Hyde was convicted of murder, by poison, in the October 3, 1909, death of his patient, Kansas City philanthropist Thomas H. Swope. However, the conviction would be reversed and two retrials would end in hung juries. State law prohibited Hyde from being tried a fourth time, and he lived until 1934.[33]
  • Troops from the armies of Peru and Ecuador massed on the common border between those two nations.[2]
  • The case of Liliuokalani v. United States, 45 Ct.Cl 418 (1910) was decided by the United States Court of Claims, which ruled that the former Queen of Hawai'i was not entitled to compensation for the "Crown Lands" taken when the monarchy had been overthrown in 1893.[34][35]
  • The United States Bureau of Mines was formed, coming into existence on July 1.[36]
  • The city of Wedgeport, Nova Scotia was incorporated.

May 17, 1910 (Tuesday)

  • The chain reaction explosion of seven boilers at the American Sheet and Tin Plate Company in Canton, Ohio, killed thirteen employees and seriously injured thirty others.[37]
  • The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts was created by legislation signed into law by President Taft.[38]

May 18, 1910 (Wednesday)

May 19, 1910 (Thursday)

May 20, 1910 (Friday)

May 21, 1910 (Saturday)

  • The settlement of Ahuzzat Bayit, founded on April 11, 1909, by Jewish settlers in Palestine, was given the name Tel Aviv, Hebrew for "spring hill", or more specifically for the newness of springtime built upon a pile of ancient ruins.[48] The name was also used in the book of Ezekiel at 3:15 ("Telabib" in the KJV).
  • The United States and Canada signed a treaty in Washington to settle the dispute over the coastal boundary between Maine and New Brunswick.[49]

May 22, 1910 (Sunday)

May 23, 1910 (Monday)

May 24, 1910 (Tuesday)

  • After a year's delay, a renegotiated loan offer was made to the Imperial Chinese government for construction of railroads in China. Originally financed by British, German and French banks, the terms were renegotiated to include American lenders as well. Dissatisfaction over the loan was considered a major factor in the Chinese revolution of 1911.[52]
  • In Peking, an edict ordered the use of decimal coinage for China.[50]
  • Born: Jimmy Demaret, American professional golfer (Masters 1940, 1947, 1950), in Houston (died 1983)

May 25, 1910 (Wednesday)

  • Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright flew on the same plane for the only time, with Orville piloting, at the Huffman Prairie airfield, near Dayton. Wilbur also made his last flight as a pilot on this day. Earlier in the day, their 81-year-old father, Bishop Milton Wright, went up on his only airplane flight, with Orville as pilot.[53]

May 26, 1910 (Thursday)

  • The French submarine Pluviose was lost with all 27 crewmen in the English Channel after colliding with the steamer Pas de Calais. The lookout on the steamer had seen the sub's periscope, but mistook it for a buoy.[54]

May 27, 1910 (Friday)

May 28, 1910 (Saturday)

May 29, 1910 (Sunday)

May 30, 1910 (Monday)

May 31, 1910 (Tuesday)


  1. John Halperin, Eminent Georgians (St. Martin's Griffin, 1995), p30
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 "Record of Current Events", The American Monthly Review of Reviews (June 1910), pp670–672
  3. "Promptly Confirms Hughes", New York Times, May 3, 1910, p1
  4. "Weston Ends Tramp; Welcomed By Mayor", New York Times, May 3, 1910, p3
  5. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  6. "Taft Citizen For Day At Old Home", Indianapolis Star, May 4, 1910, p1
  7. The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  8. "The Maine To Be Raised", New York Times, May 5, 1910, p10
  9. "Quake Toll 1,500 Lives", Indianapolis Star, May 8, 1910, p1
  10. "195 Trapped In Pit Blast", Indianapolis Star, May 6, 1910, p1
  11. Guinness Book of World Records (Sterling Publishing, 1962), excerpt in Popular Science Magazine (June 1962), p65; "Kite Rises 23,800 Feet", New York Times, May 6, 1910, p1
  14. "King Edward VII of England Is Dead", Indianapolis Star, May 7, 1910, p1
  15. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  16. Marie D. Jones, Modern Science and the Paranormal (Rosen Publishing, 2009), p66; "Big Collier Is Launched", New York Times, May 20, 1910, p1
  17. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  18. "Magazine Explodes; 15 Die, Scores Hurt", New York Times, May 9, 1910, p1
  19. "Holds Punishment Cruel", New York Times, May 9, 1910, p4
  20. "Londoners Cheer New British King", New York Times, May 1910, p1
  21. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  22. Francesca Miller, Latin American Women and the Search for Social Justice (University Press of New England, 1991), p73
  23. Homage to Swiss Pilots
  24. Robert C. Gildart; Jane Gildart, Glacier National Park (Globe Pequot Press, 2008)
  25. NavSource Online
  26. Karen Plunkett-Powell, Remembering Woolworth's: A Nostalgic History of the World's Most Famous Five-and-Dime (St. Martin's Griffin, 1999), p150
  27. "By the Way," U.S. Air Service Magazine (February 1920), p25
  28. "Tanzania-Uganda Boundary", International Boundary Study No. 55 (September 1, 1965), U.S. Department of State (Florida State University Law School website)
  29. Italian National Team website
  30. Poetic Expressions; Pennsylvania School Journal (August 1911), p64
  31. "Ann Landers", in Spokane Spokesman-Review, February 26, 1988; "Brother pens touching obituary while living", Ann Landers, in The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), December 20, 1987
  32. "Cry of 'Lion Loose!' Starts Circus Panic", New York Times, May 17, 1910, p3
  33. Rick Montgomery and Shirl Kasper, Kansas City: An American Story (Kansas City Star Books, 2007), p185
  34. Wikisource: Liliuokalani v. United States
  35. Lili'uokalani Loses A Big One (The Crown Lands) – Liliuokalani v. United States, 45 Ct. Cl. 418 (1910), by Kenneth R. Conklin
  36. National Archives "Records of the U.S. Bureau of Mines"
  37. "Seven Boilers Burst; At Least 13 Killed", New York Times, May 18, 1910, p1
  38. "The Commission of Fine Arts", by Sue Kohler,
  39. "Paraconsistent First-Order Logic with infinite hierarchy levels of contradiction LP" by Jaykov Foukzon
  40. "The Orbit of Halley's Comet and the Apparition of 1986", by J.L. Brady and E. Carpenter, Astronomical Journal (1971) p730
  41. "100 Guards Die In Blast", Indianapolis Star, May 19, 1910, p1
  42. "Earth Passes Through Comet's Tail: All's Well; Earth, Tail-Swept, Emerges Unharmed", Indianapolis Star, May 19, 1910, p1
  43. "Libya–Tunisia Boundary", International Boundary Study No. 121 (April 7, 1972), U.S. Department of State; (Florida State University Law School website)
  44. "Millions Watch King's Funeral" "The Funeral Procession", New York Times, May 21, 1910
  45. F. G. Notehelfer, Kōtoku Shūsui: Portrait of a Japanese Radical (Cambridge University Press, 1971), p183
  46. "The Weatherman", by Brian Hayes, American Scientist Magazine (2001)
  47. "Famous Horse Buried", Washington Post, May 23, 1910, p1
  48. "From Spring Hill to Independence",
  49. "Maine Boundary Fixed", New York Times, May 23, 1910, p2
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 "Record of Current Events", The American Monthly Review of Reviews (July 1910), pp33–36
  51. "Pardoned By King", Washington Post, May 23, 1910, p1
  52. Werner Levi, Modern China's Foreign Policy (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), pp125–127
  53. "Wright Flies With Father", New York Times, May 26, 1910, p2
  54. "French Submarine Sunk With 27 Men", New York Times, May 27, 1910, p1
  55. "'Something More than a Mere Picture Show': Charles Urban and the Early Nono-Fiction Film in Great Britain and America, 1897–1925" by Luke McKernan
  56. "Governor of Palawan Drowns", The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 1 July 1910, p10
  57. "Palawans in Gloom", Washington Post, July 19, 1910, p4; Official Army Register for 1911 (GPO, 1910), p581
  58. "Rebels Win Fight", Washington Post, May 29, 1910, p1
  59. "Curtiss Flies, Albany to New York, at the Speed of 54 Miles an Hour", New York Times, May 30, 1910, p1
  60. "Bishop, Texas", Handbook of Texas Online
  61. National Park Service
  62. Roger B. Beck, The History of South Africa (Greenwood Press, 2000), p101