May 5, 1988 – Eugene Marino becomes first African American installed as a Roman Catholic archbishop in the U.S.
May 6, 1991 – The Smithsonian Institution approves the creation of the National African American Museum.
May 7, 1878 – Joseph R. Winters patents first fire escape ladder.
May 8, 1983 – Lena Horne awarded the Spingarn Medal for distinguished career in the field of entertainment.
May 9, 1899 – John Albert Burr patents lawn mower.
May 10, 1950 – Boston Celtics select Chuck Cooper first Black player drafted to play in the NBA.
May 11, 1895 – Composer William Grant Still, the first African American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, born.