What Happened in May 2008

Historical Events

  • May 1 The London Agreement on translation of European patents, concluded in 2000, enters into force in 14 of the 34 Contracting States to the European Patent Convention.
  • May 2 Cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Myanmar killing over 130,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless.

Film release premierFilm Release

May 2 The critically acclaimed "Iron Man", starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, is released

  • May 3 134th Kentucky Derby: Kent Desormeaux aboard Big Brown wins in 2:01.82

AgreementAgreement of Interest

May 4 Seth MacFarlane reaches an agreement worth $100 million with Fox to keep "Family Guy" and "American Dad" on television until 2012, making MacFarlane the world's highest paid television writer

  • May 6 Chaiten Volcano erupts in Chile, forcing the evacuation of more than 4,500 people.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 7 Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as the 3rd President of the Russian Federation

Russian politician Dmitry Medvedev
Russian politician
Dmitry Medvedev

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 8 Dmitry Medvedev appoints Vladimir Putin as Russian Prime Minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President
Vladimir Putin
Russian politician Dmitry Medvedev
Russian politician
Dmitry Medvedev

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 10 Philippine court acquits Imelda Marcos in a 17-year-old case of 32 counts of illegal transfer of wealth totaling $863 million in Swiss bank accounts.

First Lady and Politican Imelda Marcos
First Lady and Politican
Imelda Marcos
  • May 12 2008 Wenchuan earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people
  • May 15 California becomes the second U.S. state after Massachusetts in 2004 to legalize same-sex marriage after the state's own Supreme Court rules a previous ban unconstitutional.
  • May 17 133rd Preakness: Kent Desormeaux aboard Big Brown wins in 1:54.80
  • May 18 NHL Eastern Conference Final: Pittsburgh Penguins beat Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 1

Music awardsMusic Awards

May 18 43rd Academy of Country Music Awards: Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, and Carrie Underwood win

  • May 19 NHL Western Conference Final: Detroit Red Wings beat Dallas Stars, 4 games to 2
  • May 21 16th UEFA Champions League Final: Manchester United beats Chelsea (1-1, 6-5 on penalties) at Moscow
  • May 23 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.
  • May 24 53rd Eurovision Song Contest: Dima Bilan for Russia wins singing "Believe" in Belgrade
  • May 25 Indianapolis 500: Scott Dixon wins in 3:28:57.6792 (231.049 km/h)
  • May 25 61st Cannes Film Festival: "The Class" directed by Laurent Cantet wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 28 The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty.

Sports record brokenWorld Record

May 31 Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7m/s) 9.72 seconds.

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt
Olympic Sprinter
Usain Bolt

Famous Weddings

  • May 10 President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush (26) weds Henry Hager (30) at the Bush family ranch in Texas
  • May 17 Singer-songwriter and actress Ashlee Simpson (26) weds rock band Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz (31) in Encino, California
  • May 19 Film actress Jessica Alba (31) weds film/TV producer Cash Warren (33) at the Beverly Hills Courthouse in Beverly Hills, California

HeartWedding of Interest

May 30 Film actor Charlie Sheen (42) weds socialite Brooke Mueller (30) at a private estate in Los Angeles, California

  • May 31 "Law & Order" actress Alana De La Garza (31) weds writer Michael Roberts in Orlando, Orange County, Florida

Famous Divorces

  • May 9 "The View" former co-host Star Jones (46) divorces investment banker Al Reynolds (39) after three-and-a-half years of marriage
  • May 16 "24" actor Kiefer Sutherland (37) divorces former model Elizabeth Kelly Winn (42) due to irreconcilable differences after nearly 8 years of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Anthony Mamo, Malta's first President (b. 1909)
  • May 1 Deborah Jeane Palfrey, American escort owner, commits suicide at 52
  • May 2 Beverlee McKinsey, American actress (b. 1940)
  • May 3 Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, Spanish former Primer Minister (b. 1926)
  • May 3 Uroš Krek, Slovenian composer, dies at 85
  • May 5 Irv Robbins, Canadian-American entrepreneur (b. 1917)
  • May 8 Eddy Arnold, Country music star (b. 1918)
  • May 8 François Sterchele, Belgian football player (b. 1982)
  • May 9 Jack Gibson, Australian rugby league footballer and coach (b. 1929)
  • May 9 Nuala O'Faolain, Irish journalist (b. 1942)
  • May 10 Leyla Gencer, Turkish soprano (b. 1928)
  • May 10 Jessie Jacobs, Australian Actress (b. 1990)
  • May 11 Dottie Rambo, American gospel singer (b. 1934)
  • May 11 John Rutsey, Canadian drummer, formerly for Canadian progressive rock band Rush (b.1953)
  • May 11 Bruno Neves, portuguese cyclist that died in competition (b.1981)
  • May 12 Robert Rauschenberg, American artist (b. 1925)
  • May 12 Irena Sendler, Polish social worker, WWII heroine (b. 1910)
  • May 13 Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Sheikh of Kuwait (b. 1930)
  • May 13 Ron Stone, American television reporter (b. 1936)
  • May 15 Alexander Courage, composer of original Star Trek theme (b. 1919)
  • May 15 Tommy Burns, Scottish footballer (b. 1956)
  • May 15 Robert Dunlop, Northern Irish motorcycle racer, younger brother of Joey Dunlop (b. 1960)
  • May 18 Joseph Pevney, American television director
  • May 19 Vijay Tendulkar, Indian playwright, (b. 1928)
  • May 20 Hamilton Jordan, former Carter White House Chief of Staff (b. 1944)
  • May 22 Robert Asprin, American author (b. 1946)
  • May 23 David Mitton, British television director (b. 1939)
  • May 24 Dick Martin American comedian (b. 1922)
  • May 25 J. R. Simplot, American potato farmer (b. 1909)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 26 Sydney Pollack, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (Out of Africa, Tootsie) dies at 73

Film Director, Producer and Actor Sydney Pollack
Film Director, Producer and Actor
Sydney Pollack
  • May 27 Franz Künstler, Last remaining Austro-Hungarian Empire World War I veteran (b. 1900)
  • May 28 David Mitton, Scottish-born director (b. 1938)
  • May 28 Robert Justman, American television producer (b. 1926)
  • May 29 Luc Bourdon, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1987)
  • May 29 Harvey Korman, American actor (Carol Burnett Show, Blazing Saddles), dies at 81
  • May 29 Dianne Odell, American medical figure (b. 1947)
  • May 30 Lorenzo Odone, American medical figure (b. 1978)