Lag B'Omer in Israel (לַ״ג בָּעוֹמֶר - a minor holiday that occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot. A break from the semi-mourning of the Omer, key aspects of Lag B’Omer include holding Jewish weddings (it’s the one day during the Omer when Jewish law permits them), lighting bonfires and getting haircuts)
World Melanoma Day (is recognized on the second Monday of May around the world to highlight the growing prevalence of malignant melanoma)
1997 – Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.
1972 – The United States performs a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site, which was part of the series Operation Grommet and Operation Toggle.
1943 – World War II: American troops invade Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.
1927 – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded.
1862 – American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia is scuttled in the James River northwest of Norfolk, Virginia.
1846 – President James K. Polk asked for a Declaration of War against Mexico, starting the Mexican–American War. It is approved on May 13.
1792 – Captain Robert Gray becomes the first documented white person to sail into the Columbia River.
1999 – Sabrina Carpenter, American actress. Sabrina Annlynn Carpenter (born May 11, 1999) is an American singer and actress, who is signed to Hollywood Records.
1993 – Maurice Harkless, American-Puerto Rican basketball player. John's Red Storm before being drafted 15th overall, after his freshman season, in the 2012 NBA draft.
1989 – Cam Newton, American football player. Cameron Jerrell Newton (born May 11, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL).
1988 – Jeremy Maclin, American football player. He also played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, making a Pro Bowl appearance in 2014 with the Eagles.
1983 – Matt Leinart, American football player. Matthew Stephen Leinart (born May 11, 1983) is a former American football quarterback who now works as a studio analyst for Fox Sports’ college football coverage.
1983 – Steven Sotloff, American-Israeli journalist (d. 2014). In August 2013, he was kidnapped in Aleppo, Syria, and held captive by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
1980 – Kulap Vilaysack, American actress, comedian, and writer. She was the co-host of the Who Charted? podcast on the Earwolf network from 2010 until 2018.
1975 – Francisco Cordero, Dominican-American baseball player. On June 1, 2011, Cordero recorded his 300th career save with the Reds, becoming only the 22nd player to reach that mark.
1970 – Harold Ford, Jr., American lawyer and politician. Harold Eugene Ford Jr. (born May 11, 1970) is an American financial managing director, pundit, author, and former U.S. congressman who served from 1997–2007 in the United States House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic Party from Tennessee's 9th congressional district, centered in Memphis.
1968 – Jeffrey Donovan, American actor. He played Robert F.
1965 – Greg Dulli, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He has been a member of The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers.
1964 – Bobby Witt, American baseball player. Robert Andrew Witt (born May 11, 1964), is a former professional baseball pitcher, who played all or part of sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Florida Marlins, St.
1964 – Floyd Youmans, American baseball player, coach, and manager. He is one of the players dealt by the New York Mets to the Montreal Expos for Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter.
1964 – Tim Blake Nelson, American actor, director, and screenwriter. Pendanski in Holes (2003), Daniel "Danny" Dalton Jr. in Syriana (2005), Dr.
1963 – Natasha Richardson, English-American actress (d. 2009), was an English-American actress of stage and screen. Richardson was a member of the Redgrave family, being the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave and director/producer Tony Richardson, and the granddaughter of Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.
1963 – Roark Critchlow, Canadian-American actor. Roark Grant Critchlow (born May 11, 1963) is a Canadian actor, best known for appearing on the daytime US soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1994 to 1999 as Dr.
1962 – Steve Bono, American football player. Steven Christopher Bono (/ˈboʊnoʊ/; born May 11, 1962) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League.
1961 – Luis Felipe, Cuban gang leader, founded the Latin Kings. Luis Filipe, Luis Felipe, or Luiz Felipe, can refer to:
1959 – Martha Quinn, American radio and television host. Martha Conrad Quinn (born May 11, 1959) is an actress and television personality, best known as one of the original video jockeys on MTV (along with Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and J.J.
1958 – Dan Ireland, American director and producer (d. 2016), was an American-Canadian film producer and director. Born in Portland, Oregon, he was the co-founder of the Seattle International Film Festival.
1958 – Walt Terrell, American baseball player. A starting pitcher, Terrell pitched from 1982 to 1992 for the New York Mets (1982–1984), Detroit Tigers (1985–1988), San Diego Padres (1989), New York Yankees (1989), Pittsburgh Pirates (1990), and the Tigers (1990–1992).
1955 – John DeStefano, Jr., American politician, 49th Mayor of New Haven. John DeStefano could refer to:
1952 – Frances Fisher, English-American actress. Frances Louise Fisher (born 11 May 1952) is an English-born American actress.
1952 – Mike Lupica, American sports journalist. Michael Lupica (/ˈluːpɪkə/; born May 11, 1952) is an author and former American newspaper columnist, best known for his provocative commentary on sports in the New York Daily News and his appearances on ESPN.
1952 – Shohreh Aghdashloo, Iranian-American actress. Her next film was Shatranje Bad (Chess of the Wind), directed by Mohammad Reza Aslani, which screened at several film festivals.
1952 – Warren Littlefield, American businessman. Littlefield (born May 11, 1952) is an American television executive.
1947 – Butch Trucks, American drummer (d. 2017). He was best known as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.
1946 – Robert Jarvik, American cardiologist, developed the Artificial heart. Robert Koffler Jarvik, M.D. (born May 11, 1946) is an American scientist, researcher and entrepreneur known for his role in developing the Jarvik-7 artificial heart.
1945 – Floyd Adams Jr., American publisher and politician, 63rd Mayor of Savannah, Georgia (d. 2014), was an American politician from the U.S state of Georgia, and a former Mayor of Savannah, Georgia. He was a Democrat.
1943 – Clarence Ellis, American computer scientist and academic (d. 2014). Clarence Ellis (born February 11, 1950) is a former American football safety with the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League (NFL).
1936 – Carla Bley, American pianist, composer, and bandleader. An important figure in the free jazz movement of the 1960s, she is perhaps best known for her jazz opera Escalator over the Hill (released as a triple LP set), as well as a book of compositions that have been performed by many other artists, including Gary Burton, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Art Farmer, John Scofield and her ex-husband Paul Bley.
1934 – Jim Jeffords, American captain, lawyer, and politician (d. 2014), was an American politician who served as a U.S. Senator from Vermont.
1933 – Louis Farrakhan, American religious leader. Louis Farrakhan Sr. (/ˈfɑːrəkɑːn/; born Louis Eugene Walcott; May 11, 1933), formerly known as Louis X, is an American minister who is the leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI), which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes as a black nationalist and black supremacist group.
1932 – Valentino Garavani, Italian fashion designer, founded Valentino SpA. Valentino.
1930 – Stanley Elkin, American novelist, short story writer, and essayist (d. 1995). His extravagant, satirical fiction revolves around American consumerism, popular culture, and male–female relationships.
1927 – Gene Savoy, American explorer, author, and scholar (d. 2007), was an American explorer, author, religious leader, and theologian. He served as Head Bishop of the International Community of Christ, Church of the Second Advent from 1971 until his death.
1927 – Mort Sahl, Canadian-American comedian and actor. Morton Lyon Sahl (born May 11, 1927) is an American comedian, actor, and social satirist, considered the first modern stand-up comedian since Will Rogers.
1925 – Edward J. King, American football player and politician, 66th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 2006), was an American politician who served as the 66th Governor of Massachusetts from 1979 to 1983. A member of the Democratic Party until 1985, he then became a member of the Republican Party.
1924 – Eugene Dynkin, Russian-American mathematician and theorist (d. 2014), was a Soviet and American mathematician. He made contributions to the fields of probability and algebra, especially semisimple Lie groups, Lie algebras, and Markov processes.
1920 – Denver Pyle, American actor and director (d. 1997), was an American film and television actor. He was well-known for a number of TV roles from the 1960s through the 1980s, including his portrayal of Briscoe Darling Jr. in several episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, as Jesse Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard during 1979–1985, as Mad Jack in the NBC television series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, as well as the titular character's father, Buck Webb, in CBS's The Doris Day Show.
1918 – Richard Feynman, American physicist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1988), was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga.
1912 – Foster Brooks, American actor and comedian (d. 2001), was an American actor and comedian best known for his portrayal of a lovable drunk in nightclub performances and television programs.
1911 – Phil Silvers, American actor and comedian (d. 1985), was an American entertainer and comedic actor, known as "The King of Chutzpah". He starred in The Phil Silvers Show, a 1950s sitcom set on a U.S.
1909 – Ellis R. Dungan, American director and producer (d. 2001), was an American film director, who was well known for working in Indian films, predominantly in Tamil cinema, from 1936 to 1950. He was an alumnus of the University of Southern California and moved to India in 1935.
1907 – Rip Sewell, American baseball player and coach (d. 1989), was a right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played 13 years in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers (1932) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1938–49). Sewell was selected four times to the National League All Star team (1943–46) and is credited with inventing the "Eephus pitch."
1903 – Charlie Gehringer, American baseball player and manager (d. 1993), was an American professional baseball second baseman, coach, general manager, and team vice president, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers, for 19 seasons (1924–1942). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1949.
1901 – Gladys Rockmore Davis, American painter (d. 1967), was an American artist who worked in both commercial and fine arts, and gave up a career in advertising art to work in creative painting. Her work in pastels ranks with her oils, and her chief subjects are children, nudes and still lifes.
1895 – William Grant Still, American composer and conductor (d. 1978), was an American composer of more than 150 works, including five symphonies and eight operas.
1894 – Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer (d. 1991), was an American modern dancer and choreographer. Her style, the Graham technique, reshaped American dance and is still taught worldwide.
1890 – Willie Applegarth, English-American sprinter (d. 1958), was a British track and field athlete, and winner of a gold medal in the 4 × 100 metres relay at the 1912 Summer Olympics.
1888 – Irving Berlin, Belarusian-American pianist and composer (d. 1989), was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. His music forms a great part of the Great American Songbook.
1888 – Willis Augustus Lee, American admiral (d. 1945). Willis Augustus "Ching" Lee Jr. (May 11, 1888 – August 25, 1945) was a vice admiral of the United States Navy during World War II.
1881 – Theodore von Kármán, Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, and engineer (d. 1963), was a Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer, and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. He is responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization.
1875 – Harriet Quimby, American pilot and screenwriter (d. 1912), was an early American aviator and a movie screenwriter. In 1911, she was awarded a U.S. pilot's certificate by the Aero Club of America, becoming the first woman to gain a pilot's license in the United States.
1871 – Frank Schlesinger, American astronomer and author (d. 1943). His work concentrated on using photographic plates rather than direct visual studies for astronomical research.
1861 – Frederick Russell Burnham, American soldier and adventurer (d. 1947), was an American scout and world-traveling adventurer. He is known for his service to the British South Africa Company and to the British Army in colonial Africa, and for teaching woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell in Rhodesia.
1852 – Charles W. Fairbanks, American journalist and politician, 26th United States Vice President (d. 1918), was an American politician who served as a senator from Indiana from 1897 to 1905 and the 26th vice president of the United States from 1905 to 1909. He was also the Republican vice presidential nominee in the 1916 presidential election.
1811 – Chang and Eng Bunker, Thai-American conjoined twins (d. 1874). Chang and Eng Bunker (May 11, 1811 – January 17, 1874) were Siamese-American conjoined twin brothers whose fame propelled the expression "Siamese twins" to become synonymous for conjoined twins in general.
1801 – Henri Labrouste, French architect and academic, designed the Sainte-Geneviève Library (d. 1875), was a French architect from the famous École des Beaux-Arts school of architecture. After a six-year stay in Rome, Labrouste established an architectural training workshop, which soon became known for rationalism.
1799 – John Lowell, Jr., American businessman and philanthropist, founded Lowell Institute (d. 1836), was a delegate to the Congress of the Confederation, a Judge of the Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture under the Articles of Confederation, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit.
2012 – Jack Benaroya, American businessman and philanthropist (b. 1921)
2011 – Maurice Goldhaber, Ukrainian-American physicist and academic (b. 1911)
2011 – Robert Traylor, American basketball player (b. 1977)
2010 – Doris Eaton Travis, American dancer and vaudevillian (b. 1904)
2006 – Floyd Patterson, American boxer and actor (b. 1935)
2002 – Bill Peet, American animator and screenwriter (b. 1915)
2002 – Joseph Bonanno, Italian-American mob boss (b. 1905)
1994 – Timothy Carey, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1928)
1986 – Fritz Pollard, American football player and coach (b. 1894)
1985 – Chester Gould, American cartoonist, created Dick Tracy (b. 1900)
1979 – Lester Flatt, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1914)
1976 – Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect, designed Finlandia Hall and Paimio Sanatorium (b. 1898)
1967 – James E. Brewton, American painter (b. 1930)
1963 – Herbert Spencer Gasser, American physiologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1888)
1960 – John D. Rockefeller Jr., American businessman and philanthropist (b. 1874)
1929 – Jozef Murgaš, Slovak-American priest, architect, botanist, and painter (b. 1864)
1920 – James Colosimo, Italian-American mob boss (b. 1878)
1920 – William Dean Howells, American novelist, literary critic, and playwright (b. 1837)
1889 – John Cadbury, English businessman and philanthropist, founded the Cadbury Company (b. 1801)
1779 – John Hart, American lawyer and politician (b. 1711)
1708 – Jules Hardouin-Mansart, French architect, designed the Château de Dampierre and Grand Trianon (b. 1646)