May 25, 1926 – Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis born.
May 26, 1961 – Marvin Cook named ambassador to Niger Republic; first black envoy to an African nation named by Kennedy Administration.
May 27, 1919 – Madame C.J. Walker, cosmetics manufacturer and first black female millionaire, died.
May 28, 1948 – National Party wins whites-only election in South Africa and begins to institute policy of apartheid.
May 29, 1901 – Granville T. Woods patents overhead conducting system for the electric railway.
May 30, 1965 – Vivian Malone becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama.
May 31, 1870 – Congress passes the first Enforcement Act, providing stiff penalties for those who deprive others of their civil rights.