This Day In History : May 19

1930 South Africa

White women win voting rights in South Africa

On May 19, 1930, White South African women gained the right to vote. This significant development was tied to denying the vote to Black men in the Cape Province.

Also on This Day in History May 19

Discover what happened on May 19 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, May 19
  • 1795 Johns Hopkins

    American businessman and philanthropist who founded Johns Hopkins University

  • 1925 Malcolm X

    American minister, human rights activist

  • 1890 Ho chi Minh

    1st President of Vietnam

  • 1861 Nellie Melba

    Australian operatic soprano and face of the Australian 100 dollar note

  • 1942 Gary Kildall (1942-1994)

    American computer scientist and entrepreneur who created the CP/M operating system

Deaths on This Day, May 19
  • 1898 William Ewart Gladstone

    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

  • 1864 Nathaniel Hawthorne

    American author (House of 7 Gables, The Scarlet Letter)

  • 2002 John Gorton

    Australian politician, 19th Prime Minister of Australia (1968-71)

  • 1994 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

    American 1st lady (1961-63)

  • 1907 Benjamin Baker (1840-1907)

    English civil engineer who designed the bridge over the Firth of Forth, Scotland and the London underground


The U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act

The U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act on May 19, 1921. The act was one of the first major restrictions on immigration in U.S. history and aimed to reduce the influx of immigrants from certain regions.

Napoleon Bonaparte founds the Legion of Honour

The National Order of the Legion of Honour, was established by Napoleon Bonaparte on May 19, 1802. It is the highest French order of merit, recognizing both military and civilian achievements.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs into law the Firearm Owners Protection Act

The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on May 19, 1986. This federal law revised several provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Tariff of Abominations

U.S. President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828/Tariff of Abominations into law to protect industry in the North
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