Historical Events in May 1981

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 1 Tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledges a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett - becoming first prominent sportswoman to come out

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King
  • May 1 Harrison Williams (Sen-D-NJ) convicted on FBI Abscam charges
  • May 1 Radio Shack releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3
  • May 2 107th Kentucky Derby: Jorge Velasquez on Pleasant Colony wins in 2:02
  • May 2 Radio Shack re-releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3 with 2 fixes
  • May 3 "Can-Can" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • May 3 "Moony, Shapiro Songbook" opens & closes at Morosco Theater NYC
  • May 3 Sally Little wins LPGA CPC Women's Golf International
  • May 4 Rockline premieres on KLOS FM in Los Angeles
  • May 4 Silvana Cruciata runs 15k female world record (49:44.0)
  • May 4 Yankee Ron Davis strikes out 8 consecutive Angels, ran record of 13 strikeouts of last 14 faced, also saved Gene Nelsons 1st win, 4-2
  • May 5 16th & final Mayor's Trophy Game, Mets beat Yanks 4-1, hold 8-7-1 edge
  • May 5 After 66 days on hunger strike, 26 year old MP Bobby Sands dies in the Maze Prision; 9 further hunger strikers die in the next 3 months
  • May 6 "Inacent Black" opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 14 performances
  • May 6 Mariners manager Maury Wills is fired & replaced by Rene Lachemann
  • May 6 US expels Libyan diplomats
  • May 8 Ron Davis pitches 10th consecutive strike out, 1 short of record
  • May 9 Kazimiroff Blvd in Bronx named for a Bronx historian
  • May 10 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Lady Michelob Golf Tournament

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 10 Francois Mitterrand defeats Valery Giscard d'Estang for Presidency of France

21st President of France Francois Mitterrand
21st President of France
Francois Mitterrand
  • May 10 Montreal Expo Charlie Lee no-hits SF Giants, 4-0

Music releaseMusic Premiere

May 11 Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" (based on T. S. Eliot) premieres in London

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Poet, Author and Nobel Laureate T. S. Eliot
Poet, Author and Nobel Laureate
T. S. Eliot
  • May 12 "Lena Horne: Lady, Music" opens at Nederlander NYC for 333 performances
  • May 12 NY Islanders tie own record with two shorthanded playoff goals in a pd vs Minn
  • May 13 Dinamo Tbilisi wins 21st European Cup Winner's Cup against Carl Zeiss Jena of East Germany 2-1 in Düsseldorf

MurderAssassination Attempt

May 13 Pope John Paul II is shot and critically wounded by Turkish gunman Mehemet Ali Agca in St Peter's Square, Vatican City

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • May 14 35th NBA Championship: Bost Celtics beat Houston Rockets, 4 games to 2
  • May 14 NASA launches space vehicle S-192
  • May 15 "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" airs

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 15 George Harrison releases "All Those Years Ago" in UK

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison
  • May 15 Len Barker of Cleveland pitches perfect game vs Toronto
  • May 15 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC
  • May 15 Soyuz 40 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Romanian) to Salyut 6

Music release#1 in the Charts

May 16 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks

Actress Bette Davis
Bette Davis
  • May 16 106th Preakness: Jorge Velasquez aboard Pleasant Colony wins in 1:54.6
  • May 16 Houston Astro Craig Reynolds hits 3 triples beating Cubs 6-1
  • May 17 "Inacent Black" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 14 performances
  • May 17 Islanders score 5 power play goals against Flyers in a playoff
  • May 17 Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Coca-Cola Golf Classic
  • May 19 Pirate Jim Bibby gives up a leadoff single to Brave Terry Harper, then retires next 27 batters
  • May 19 5 British Army soldiers are killed when their armoured vehicle is ripped apart by a Provisional Irish Republican Army roadside bomb near Bessbrook, County Armagh
  • May 21 Francois Mitterrand becomes president of France
  • May 21 Kim Seelbrede, (Ohio), crowned 30th Miss USA
  • May 21 Stanley Cup: NY Islanders beat Minnesota North Stars, 4 games to 1

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 Reggae musician Bob Marley receives a Jamaican state funeral

Reggae Musician Bob Marley
Reggae Musician
Bob Marley
  • May 22 Soyuz 40 returns to Earth
  • May 23 Barcelona fascists take 200 people hostage
  • May 23 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 501
  • May 24 Bobby Unser wins, loses, & wins a controversial Indy 500
  • May 24 Hostage situation ends at Central Bank in Barcelona Spain
  • May 24 Kathy Hite wins LPGA Corning Golf Classic
  • May 25 Bobby Unser becomes 1st Indy 500 winner to be disqualified

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 25 Carl Yastrzemski is 4th to get 3,000 hits (Cobb, Musial & Aaron)

MLB Outfielder Carl Yastrzemski
MLB Outfielder
Carl Yastrzemski
  • May 25 Daniel Goodwin scales outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7 hours
  • May 25 Rangers' Bill Stein sets AL record with 7 consecutive pinch hits
  • May 26 Marine jet crashes on flight deck of USS Nimitz, killing 14
  • May 26 The Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his coalition cabinet resign following a scandal over membership of the pseudo-masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due).
  • May 27 John Hinckley attempts suicide by overdosing on Tylenol
  • May 27 Lenny Randle tries to blow a slow roller foul but umpire says no
  • May 27 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 27 34th Cannes Film Festival: "Man of Iron" directed by Andrzej Wajda wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 27 25th European Cup: Liverpool beats Real Madrid 1-0 at Paris
  • May 29 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 30 "Nightline" extends from 4 nights to 5 nights a week (Friday)
  • May 30 Bangladesh Pres Ziaur Rahman is shot by group of rebel officers
  • May 30 LA Dodgers are quickest to get 1,000,000 attendence (22 games)
  • May 31 Cathy Reynolds wins LPGA Golden Lights Golf Championship