What Happened in May 2002

Historical Events

  • May 2 Marad massacre of eight Hindus near Palakkad in Kerala.
  • May 3 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.

Film release premierFilm Premier

May 3 "Spider-Man", starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, premieres

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 4 Barry Bonds hits his 400th home run as a Giant, leading his team to a 3-0 win over Cincinnati. Bonds is the first player to hit 400 homers for one team and 100 with another

MLB Legend Barry Bonds
MLB Legend
Barry Bonds
  • May 4 128th Kentucky Derby: Victor Espinoza aboard War Emblem wins in 2:01.13
  • May 6 Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed by an animal rights activist.
  • May 7 A China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunges into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people.
  • May 9 The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem comes to an end when the Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected militants among them deported to several different countries.
  • May 9 In Kaspiysk, Russia, a remote-controlled bomb explodes during a holiday parade killing 43 and injuring at least 130.
  • May 10 Anaheim Angels crush the Chicago White Sox 19-0. The Angels join the 1923 Indians, 1939 Yankees and 1950 Red Sox as the only teams to beat two opponents by 19 or more runs in the same season
  • May 11 Last performance of the musical Cats in London's West End.
  • May 11 Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveils the Man With Two Hats monument in Ottawa and Apeldoorn (May 2), 2000, symbolically linking both the Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout the Second World War.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter
  • May 14 Ten members of the Darwin-based Network Against Prohibition invade the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia.

Film release premierFilm Premier

May 15 "Bowling for Columbine", a documentary directed by Michael Moore has its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival

Documentary Filmmaker Michael Moore
Documentary Filmmaker
Michael Moore
  • May 15 10th UEFA Champions League Final: Real Madrid beats Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at Glasgow

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 16 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman opens in cinemas

  • May 18 127th Preakness: Victor Espinoza aboard War Emblem wins in 1:56.36
  • May 20 The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself was the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976).
  • May 22 The remains of the missing Chandra Levy are found in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
  • May 22 American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
  • May 22 37th Academy of Country Music Awards: Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride & Alan Jackson win

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 Mike Babcock is named head coach of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks

NHL Coach Mike Babcock
NHL Coach
Mike Babcock
  • May 23 The "55 parties" clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland.
  • May 24 Russia and the United States sign the Moscow Treaty.
  • May 25 A train crash in Tenga, Mozambique kills 197 people.
  • May 25 China Airlines Flight 611: A Boeing 747-200 breaks apart in mid-air and plunges into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people.
  • May 25 47th Eurovision Song Contest: Marie N for Latvia wins singing "I Wanna" in Tallinn
  • May 26 The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars.
  • May 26 Álvaro Uribe becomes President of Colombia.
  • May 26 Indianapolis 500: Hélio Castroneves wins in 3:00:10.871 (267.954 km/h)
  • May 26 55th Cannes Film Festival: "The Pianist" directed by Roman Polanski wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 28 NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance.
  • May 28 NHL Eastern Conference Final: Carolina Hurricanes beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 2
  • May 31 The New Jersey Nets defeat the Boston Celtics 96-88 in Game 6 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Championship, winning the series 4 games to 2 to advance to their first NBA Finals appearance.
  • May 31 NHL Western Conference Final: Detroit Red Wings beat Colorado Avalanche, 4 games to 3

Famous Weddings

  • May 24 Princess Martha Louise of Norway (30) weds author Ari Behn (29) in Trondheim
  • May 31 "NYPD Blue" actress Sharon Lawrence (30) weds doctor Thomas Apostle at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 John Nathan-Turner, English television producer (b. 1947)
  • May 2 W. T. Tutte, English-born codebreaker (b. 1917)
  • May 3 Barbara Castle, British politician (b. 1910)
  • May 3 Evgeny Svetlanov, Russian composer and pianist (b. 1928)
  • May 5 Hugo Banzer, Bolivian dictator (b. 1926)
  • May 5 Paul Klipsch, American engineer, noted for his loudspeaker designs. (b. 1904)
  • May 5 George Sidney, American film director (b. 1916)
  • May 6 Otis Blackwell, American pianist, singer and songwriter (b. 1932)
  • May 6 Pim Fortuyn, Dutch politician (b. 1948)
  • May 7 Seattle Slew, American racehorse (b. 1974)
  • May 7 Kevyn Aucoin, Makeup Artist and Photographer (b. 1962)
  • May 9 Dan Devine, American football coach (b. 1924)
  • May 9 Leon Stein, American composer, dies at 81
  • May 10 Lynda Lyon Block, convicted murderer (b. 1948)
  • May 10 Yves Robert, French actor, screenwriter and director (b. 1920)
  • May 11 Joseph Bonanno, Italian-born gangster (b. 1905)
  • May 11 Renaude Lapointe, French Canadian journalist and senator (b. 1912)
  • May 12 Erich Kulas, ECW Wrestler (Mass Transit)
  • May 13 Valeri Lobanovsky, Ukrainian footballer and manager (b. 1939)
  • May 13 Ruth Cracknell, Australian actress (b. 1925)
  • May 16 Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC (b. 1899)
  • May 16 Big Dick Dudley, American professional wrestler (b. 1968)
  • May 17 Dave Berg, American cartoonist (b. 1920)
  • May 17 Sharon Sheeley, American songwriter (b. 1940)
  • May 17 Ladislao Kubala, Hungarian-Spanish footballer (b. 1927)
  • May 17 James Chichester-Clark, Irish politician, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1969-71), dies at 79
  • May 18 Davey Boy Smith, English professional wrestler (b. 1962)
  • May 19 John Gorton, nineteenth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1911)
  • May 19 Walter Lord, American writer (b. 1917)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 20 Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist and popular science writer, dies of cancer at 60

Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist Stephen Jay Gould
Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist
Stephen Jay Gould
  • May 21 Niki de Saint Phalle, French artist (b. 1930)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 23 Sam Snead, American golfer (b. 1912)

Golfer Sam Snead
Sam Snead
  • May 24 Wallace Markfield, American writer (b. 1926)
  • May 25 Pat Coombs, English actress (b. 1926)
  • May 26 Mamo Wolde, Ethiopian runner (b. 1932)
  • May 28 Jean Berger [Arthur Schloßberg], German-born American composer, dies at 92
  • May 29 Mildred Benson, American writer (b. 1905)
  • May 31 Eric Boyland, English biochemist (cancer research), dies at 97