What Happened in May 2004

Historical Events

  • May 1 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
  • May 1 130th Kentucky Derby: Stewart Elliott aboard Smarty Jones wins in 2:04.06
  • May 2 Yelwa massacre of more than 630 nomad Muslims by Christians in Nigeria.
  • May 6 TV sitcom Friends airs season finale in 10th and final season in US (52.5 million viewers)
  • May 9 Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a land mine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya.
  • May 13 The final episode of "Frasier" on NBC is watched by 33 million people
  • May 14 The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturns the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.
  • May 15 129th Preakness: Stewart Elliott aboard Smarty Jones wins in 1:55.59

Film release premierFilm Premier

May 15 "Shrek 2" directed Andrew Adamson and Kelly Asbury, with voices by Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

  • May 15 49th Eurovision Song Contest: Ruslana for Ukraine wins singing "Wild Dances" in Istanbul
  • May 16 The Day of Mourning at Bykivnia forest, just outside of Kiev, Ukraine. Here during 1930s and early 1940s communist bolsheviks executed over 100,000 Ukrainian civilians.
  • May 17 Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
  • May 18 Arizona Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson becomes 16th pitcher to throw a perfect game (2-0 vs Atlanta)
  • May 19 NHL Western Conference Final: Calgary Flames beat San Jose Sharks, 4 games to 2
  • May 21 Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbs Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu's record from the previous year.
  • May 21 Stanislav Petrov awarded World Citizen Award for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 after correctly guessing Russian early warning system at fault
  • May 22 The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide. It also kills one local resident.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 57th Cannes Film Festival: "Fahrenheit 9/11", directed by Michael Moore wins the Palme d'Or. First documentary to win.

Documentary Filmmaker Michael Moore
Documentary Filmmaker
Michael Moore
  • May 22 NHL Eastern Conference Finals: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 3
  • May 23 Part of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 2E collapses, killing four people and injuring three others.
  • May 24 North Korea bans mobile phones.
  • May 26 The New York Times publishes admission of journalistic failings, claiming its flawed reporting and lack of skeptism during the buildup to the 2003 Iraq War helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
  • May 26 The United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • May 26 39th Academy of Country Music Awards: Toby Keith & Martina McBride win
  • May 26 12th UEFA Champions League Final: Porto beats AS Monaco 3-0 at Gelsenkirchen
  • May 28 The Iraqi Governing Council chooses Ayad Allawi, a longtime anti-Saddam Hussein exile, to become Prime Minister of Iraq's interim government.
  • May 29 The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • May 29 The Al-Khobar massacres in Saudi Arabia kill 22.
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Buddy Rice wins in 3:14:55.2395 (222.923 km/h)

Film release premierFilm Release

May 31 "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", the 3rd film based on the books by J. K. Rowling is released in UK cinemas.

Novelist J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling

Famous Birthdays

  • May 10 The Gosselin Sextuplets

Famous Weddings

  • May 9 "Underworld" director Len Wiseman (31) weds actress Kate Beckinsale (30) at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, California
  • May 14 Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (35), eldest son of Margrethe II of Denmark and heir apprent, marries Mary Elizabeth Donaldson (32), at Copenhagen Cathedral
  • May 22 Felipe, Prince of Asturias, of the Spanish Royal Family weds Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano at The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain
  • May 23 Singer-guitarist Michelle Branch (21) weds musician Teddy Landau at Isla Pardito, Mexico
  • May 29 "Party of Five" actor Scott Wolf (35) weds "Real World" cast member Kelley Limp at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Famous Divorces

  • May 12 Model and actress Ali Landry divorces (30) "Saved by the Bell" actor Mario Lopez (30) due to infidelity only less than 2 weeks after getting married

Famous Deaths

  • May 3 Anthony Ainley, British actor (b. 1932)
  • May 3 Ken Downing, British racing driver (b. 1917)
  • May 3 Darrell Johnson, American baseball player (b. 1928)
  • May 5 Ritsuko Okazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter (Kanashii Jiyū / Koi ga, Kiete Yuku), dies at 44
  • May 5 José Maceda, Filipino composer, dies at 87
  • May 6 Philip Kapleau, American Zen teacher (b. 1912)
  • May 6 Barney Kessel, American jazz guitarist (b. 1923)
  • May 7 Waldemar Milewicz, Polish reporter (b. 1956)
  • May 7 Rudi Maugeri, Canadian singer (The Crew Cuts), dies at 73
  • May 8 John Peel, British politician (C), dies at 91
  • May 9 Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechen president (b. 1951)
  • May 9 Alan King, American comedian (b. 1927)
  • May 11 John Whitehead, American singer (McFadden & Whitehead) (b. 1949)
  • May 11 Mick Doyle, Irish rugby union footballer and coach
  • May 14 Anna Lee, British actress (b. 1913)
  • May 15 Clint Warwick, [Eccles], English bassist (Moody Blues), dies at 63
  • May 17 Jørgen Nash, Danish artist (b. 1920)
  • May 17 Ezzedine Salim, leader of Iraqi Governing Council (b. 1943)
  • May 18 Elvin Jones, American jazz drummer (b. 1927)
  • May 18 Serge Turgeon, Quebec actor and union leader (b. 1946)
  • May 19 Tony Randall, actor (Felix Unger in The Odd Couple) dies aged 84
  • May 19 Mary Dresselhuys, Dutch actress (b. 1907)
  • May 20 Lord Murray of Epping Forest, British labour politician and union leader, dies of emphysema and pneumonia at 82
  • May 22 Mikhail Voronin, Russian and Soviet gymnast (1968 Olympics: 7 medals including 2 gold, 1972 Olympics: 2 silver medals), dies at 59
  • May 22 Richard Biggs, American actor (b. 1960)
  • May 23 Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (b. 1919)
  • May 24 Henry Ries, American photographer (b. 1917)
  • May 24 Milton Shulman, Canadian author and critic (b. 1913)
  • May 24 Edward Wagenknecht, American literary critic (b. 1900)
  • May 25 Roger W. Straus, Jr., American publisher (b. 1917)
  • May 26 Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, Russian astronomer (b. 1931)
  • May 26 Dullah Omar, South African lawyer (b. 1934)
  • May 28 Umberto Agnelli, Swiss-born automobile executive (b. 1934)
  • May 29 Archibald Cox, Watergate special prosecutor (b. 1912)
  • May 29 Samuel Dash, American Congressional counsel (b. 1925)
  • May 31 Robert Quine, American guitarist, dies at 61
  • May 31 Étienne Roda-Gil, French songwriter and screenwriter (b. 1941)