Town and Country Blog

The Month of May

Posted: May 16, 2017 at 12:00 AM by Town and Country Realty

Facts about May

According to the early Roman calendar, May was the third month. Later, the ancient Romans used January 1 for the beginning of their year, and May became the fifth month. May has always had 31 days.

Several stories are passed around to show how the month of May was named. The most widely accepted explanation is that it was named for Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth. Her name related to a Latin word that means increase or growth.

May is of of the most beautiful months of the year in the North Temperate Zone. Usually the snow and ice are gone and the hot temperatures haven't arrived. The first garden begins to sprout in May. The wild flowers are blooming, and the trees and grasses have turned green. Wild flowers that bloom in different parts of America are the forsythia, dogwood, violets, and jack-in-the-box. Many birds have built their nests, and mother birds are sitting on the eggs, which will soon hatch.

Memorial Day or Decoration Day is observed, in most states of the United States, the last Monday in May. It is a legal holiday and is observed in memory of those who died while serving the United States in war. The graves of the war heroes are decorated with flowers. It was first observed in 1866.

Mother's Day was first observed in 1908. It was designated by Presidential proclamation, and was recognized officially by Congress and the President in 1914. It is celebrated in honor of Mothers on the second Sunday of May.

Armed Forces Day is celebrated the third Saturday of May. The United States honors the men and women of the military services. The Armed Forces Day Celebration combined the Army, Navy, and the Air Force in 1950. Prior to that year, they had been held at separate times.

The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky. It is the most famous horse race in the United States.

Many Mexican Americans celebrate what they call Cinco De Mayo, on May 5th. It is the anniversary of the Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862. It is a national holiday in Mexico.

  • Emerald is the birthstone for May.

  • Hawthorn and Lily of the Valley are the flowers for the month of May.lily of the valley


  • Empire State Building opened May 1, 1931.
  • Hudson's Bay Company chartered May 2, 1670.
  • Catherine the Great of Russia born May 2, 1729.
  • Niccolo Machiavelli, author of The Prince, born May 3,1469.
  • First U.S. medical school opened in Philadelphia, May 3, 1765.

  • Karl Marx, author of Das Kapital, born May 5, 1818.
  • Napoleon died on St. Helena, May 5, 1821.
  • Mexicans defeated French at Puebla, May 5, 1862.
  • Memorial Day first observed, May 5, 1866.
  • First postage stamp issued in England May 6, 1840

  • Robert E. Peary, American Arctic explorer, born May 6, 1856.

  • Robert Browning, English poet, born May 7, 1812.
  • Composer Johannes Brahms born May 7, 1833.
  • Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer, born May 7, 1840.
  • A German submarine sank the passenger liner Lusitania in World War I, May 7, 1915.
  • Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States, was born in Lamar, Mo., May 8, 1884.

  • John Brown, American abolitionist, born May 9, 1800.
  • Sir James Barrie, Scottish author, born May 9, 1860.
  • Mother's Day became a public holiday, May 9, 1914.
  • First transcontinental railway completed in Promontory, Utah, May 10, 1869.

  • Minnesota admitted to the Union May 11, 1858.

  • Irving Berlin, American songwriter, born May 11,1888.
    Rosemary Clooney sings the music of Irving Berlin
    White Christmas by Irving Berlin
    Irving Berlin's America-Sheet Music

  • King Gustavus I of Sweden born May 12, 1496.
  • Edward Lear, English writer and artist, born May 12, 1812.
  • Florence Nightingale, English nurse, born May 12, 1820.
  • Roald Amundsen flew over the North Pole, May 12, 1926.
  • Austrian Empress Maria Theresa born May 13, 1717.
  • Sir Arthur Sullivan, English composer, born May 13, 1842.
  • United States declared war on Mexico May 13, 1846.

  • Gabriel Fahrenheit, German physicist, born May 14, 1686.
  • Robert Owen, social reformer, born May 14, 1771.
  • Edward Jenner, a British physician, performed the first vaccination against smallpox in May 14, 1796.
  • Lewis and Clark began trip up Missouri River, May 14, 1804.

  • Israel became an independent country as the last British troops left Palestine, May 14, 1948.
  • Pierre Curie, codiscoverer of radium, born May 15,1859.
  • U.S. began first regular airmail service May 15, 1918.

  • William Seward, American statesman who arranged the purchase of Alaska, born May 16, 1801.

  • John Hopkins, American philanthropist, born May 19, 1795.

  • Homestead Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln, May 20, 1862.

  • Amelia Earhart began the first solo flight by a woman across the Atlantic Ocean May 20, 1932.

  • Albrecht Durer, German engraver, born May 21, 1471.
  • Alexander Pope, English poet, born May 21, 1688.
  • First Democratic National Convention held May 21, 1832.

  • Clara Barton founded what became the American Red Cross May 21, 1881.

  • Charles Lindbergh finished first translantic solo flight May 21, 1927.

  • Richard Wagner, German composer, born May 22,1813.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British author and creator of Sherlock Holmes, born May 22, 1859.
    Buy Books by and about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Laurence Olivier, British actor, born May 22, 1907.
  • South Carolina became the eighth state May 23, 1788

  • First permanent English settlement in America established in Jamestown, VA., May 24, 1607.

  • Brooklyn Bridge opened to traffic, May 24, 1883.

  • Constitutional Convention opened in Philadelphia with George Washington as president, May 25, 1787.

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and poet, born May 25, 1803.

  • Julia Ward Howe, American poet who wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", born May 27, 1819.

  • Jay Gould, American financier, born May 27, 1836.

  • Isadora Duncan, American dancer, born may 27, 1878.

  • Golden Gate Bridge opened at San Francisco May 27, 1937.

  • Patrick Henry, American statesman and orator, born May 29, 1736.

  • Rhode Island ratified the Constitution, becoming the 13th state, May 29, 1790.

  • Wisconsin became the 30th state, May 29, 1848.

  • John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, born in Brookline, Mass, May 29, 1917.

  • Christopher Columbus began his third voyage May 30, 1498.

  • U.S. Copyright law enacted May 31, 1790.

  • Walt Whitman, American poet, born May 31, 1819.

  • Amendment 17 to the Constitution, providing direct election of senators, proclaimed, May 31, 1913.

gold leaf bar

May Quotation

Then came fair May, the fairest maid on ground,
Deck'd all with dainties of the season's pride,
And throwing flowers out of her lap around.

Edmund Spenster

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