May 1981 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 Harrison Williams (Sen-D-NJ) convicted on FBI Abscam charges
  • May 1 Radio Shack releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3
  • May 2 Radio Shack re-releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3 with 2 fixes
  • May 3 "Moony, Shapiro Songbook" opens & closes at Morosco Theater NYC
  • 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 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

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

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 NASA launches space vehicle S-192
  • May 15 "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" airs
  • May 15 Len Barker of Cleveland pitches perfect game vs Toronto
  • May 15 Soyuz 40 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Romanian) to Salyut 6
  • 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 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 Hostage situation ends at Central Bank in Barcelona Spain
  • 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 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

Birthdays in History

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 15 Zara Phillips, English daughter of Princess Anne, born in London

Daughter of Princess Anne Zara Phillips
Daughter of Princess Anne
Zara Phillips
  • May 19 Georges St. Pierre, Mixed Martial Arts Fighter

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

May 8 Author John Grisham (26) weds Renee Jones

Writer John Grisham
John Grisham
  • May 16 Pretenders' Martin Chambers weds Tracy Atkinson

Deaths in History

  • May 1 Clarence A Bacote, historian/political scientist, dies at 75
  • May 5 Bobby Sands, IRA activist/terrorist dies in the 66th day of his hunger strike aged 26
  • May 9 Nelson Algren, US writer (Man with the Golden Arm), dies at 72
  • May 11 Hoyt J Fuller, editor (1st World magazine), dies at 57
  • May 12 Benjamin Sheares, President of Singapore (1971-81), dies at 73
  • May 17 Jeannette Ridlon Piccard, 1st US woman free balloon pilot, dies
  • May 18 William Saroyan, US stagewriter (Time of your life), dies at 72
  • May 21 Patsy O'Hara, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 21 Raymond Mccreesh, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 23 George Jessel, US comic/toastmaster (Diary of Young Comic), dies at 83
  • May 23 Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (d. 1911)
  • May 23 David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • May 25 Fredric Warburg, British publisher and author (b. 1898)
  • May 28 Stefan Wyszynski, Polish Cardinal, dies
  • May 30 Ziaur Rahmen, President of Bangladesh, is assassinated