May Almanac

May 2 - Leonardo Da Vinci dies in France in 1519.

May 3 - Political theorist and historian Niccolo Macchiavelli is born in 1469. America's Founding Fathers based much of our political system on Macchiavelli's writings. He believed that human nature does not change.
- Rock singer Franki Valli of the Four Seasons is born in 1937.

May 4 - Inventor of the piano (pianoforte), Bartolomeo Cristofari, is born in 1655.

May 6 - Italian-American financier Amadeo Giannini is born in San Jose, CA in 1870. He founded the Bank of America and TransAmerica. He first developed branch banking and financed the Golden Gate bridge and Disney's first feature, Snow White.

May 8 - The world's first published health enthusiast, Luigi Cornaro, dies in 1566 at age 98. At one point in his long life he recommended a diet of just one egg a day.

May 9 - In 1936, Italian forces under General Badoglio entered Addis Ababa to end the Italo-Abyssinian War after a nine month conflict.
- American aviator Cesare Sabelli dies in 1984. He is credited with the first airborne radio transmission in 1928. Fittingly, the call was made to Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the wireless, then in London.

May 11 - Giuseppe Garibaldi and his 1000 Red Shirts land in Sicily to free the island from 400 years of Spanish-Neapolitan rule.

May 12 - Italic general Napoleon of France ends the 1100-year independence of the Republic of Venice in 1797. The city was founded by Romans escaping barbarians in the 6th century.
- Often quoted Yankee catcher Yogi Berra is born in 1925.

May 16 - Actor Henry Fonda, is born in 1905. The Fonda family were Italian Protestants who fled to Holland during the 17th century.

May 18 - Filmmaker Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life) is born in 1897.
- Crooner Perry Como is born in 1913.

May 21 - Anatomist Girolamo Fabricius dies in 1619. He founded the science of embryology.

May 23 - Religious reformer Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake in 1498 in Florence. He predated Martin Luther.

May 29 - The first Italian-American detective on the New York City police force, Joseph Petrosino, is born in 1860. He was assassinated in Sicily by the Black Hand. The movies Black Hand and Pay or Die are based on his crime fighting.

May 31 - Prince Ranier III of Monaco is born in 1923. His Grimaldi family dynasty was founded in the year 1017.

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