On This Day

What Happened in May 1964

Historical Events

  • May 1 1st BASIC program runs on a computer (Dartmouth)
  • May 2 90th Kentucky Derby: Bill Hartack aboard Northern Dancer wins in 2:00
  • May 2 Beatles' "Beatles' 2nd Album" goes #1 & stays #1 for 5 weeks
  • May 2 Mad Dog Vachon beats Verne Gagne in Omaha, to become NWA champ
  • May 2 First ascent of Shishapangma the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and lowest of the Eight-thousanders
  • May 4 "Another World" premieres on TV in the US
  • May 4 70 GATT-countries confer in Geneva
  • May 4 KIII TV channel 3 in Corpus Christi, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • May 4 Pulitzer prize awarded to Richard Hofstadter (Anti-intellectualism)
  • May 5 Separatists riot in Quebec
  • May 6 Joe Orton's play "Entertaining Mr Sloan" premieres in London

Historic Event

May 9 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visits Egypt

  • May 12 Italian diplomat and politician Manlio Brosio chosen as secretary-general of NATO
  • May 14 17th Cannes Film Festival: "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" directed by Jacques Demy wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • May 15 Sporting Portugal win 4th European Cup Winner's Cup against MTK Budapest of Hungry 1-0 at Antwerp (replay)
  • May 15 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 16 89th Preakness: Bill Hartack aboard Northern Dancer wins in 1:56.8
  • May 16 USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 16 Verne Gagne beats Mad Dog Vachon in Omaha, to become NWA champ
  • May 17 Phillies triple play Houston Colt .45s

Sports History

May 17 First Tim Horton's coffee and donut shop opens in Hamilton, Ontario by NHL player Tim Horton

Music History

May 18 David Frost interviews Paul McCartney on BBC

  • May 18 US Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional to deprive naturalized citizens of citizenship if they return to home country for more than 3 years
  • May 19 US diplomats find at least 40 secret microphones in Moscow embassy
  • May 20 Buster Mathis beats future world heavyweight champion Joe Frazer on points at trials in Flushing, NY to qualify for US Olympic boxing team; Mathis injures thumb, replaced by Frazier who wins gold medal
  • May 21 1st nuclear-powered lighthouse begins operations (Chesapeake Bay)
  • May 21 Fire in Belgian resort kills 19
  • May 21 US begin intelligence flights above Laos

Historic Event

May 22 LBJ presents "Great Society"

  • May 23 Dale Greig runs female marathon world record (3:27:45)
  • May 24 18th Tony Awards: Luther & Hello Dolly win

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

May 24 The Beatles' 4th appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show", features an interview and pre-recorded performance of "You Can't Do That"

Sports History

May 24 Longest HR (471') in Baltimore Memorial Stadium (Harmon Killebrew, Minnesota Twins)

  • May 24 Panic in Lima Peru soccer stadium, kills 300

Theater Premiere

May 25 Frank Gilroy's dramatic play "The Subject Was Roses", starring Jack Albertson and Martin Sheen, opens at Royale Theatre, NYC; runs for 832 performances; wins Pulitzer Prize, and 2 Tony Awards

  • May 25 Ground is broken for new Busch Memorial Stadium in St Louis; opens in 1966, demolished in 2005
  • May 25 US Supreme Court rules closing schools to avoid desegregation is unconstitutional
  • May 26 "Fade Out-Fade In" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 199 performances
  • May 27 European Cup Final, Praterstadion, Vienna: Internazionale beats Real Madrid, 3-1 for their first title

Music History

May 28 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 9th String quartet

  • May 28 Palestine National Congress forms the PLO in Jerusalem
  • May 28 Unmanned Apollo 2 Saturn test launched into Earth orbit
  • May 30 "Beyond the Fringe" closes at John Golden Theater NYC after 673 performances
  • May 30 Beatles 1961 record of "Cry for a Shadow" is #1 in Australia
  • May 30 The Beatles' "Love Me Do" single goes #1 in the United States
  • May 30 Giants sweep Mets 5-3 & 8-6 in 23 inn, records include elapsed time of 9:50, 47 strikeouts, 7:22 for 2nd game & NY's 22 K's in 2nd games

Sports History

May 30 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt wins but race primarily remembered for fiery 7-car accident resulting in deaths of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald; last race won by a front-engined "roadster"

  • May 30 French Championships Men's Tennis: Manuel Santana beats Nicola Pietrangeli (6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5)

French Open Women's Tennis

May 30 French Championships Women's Tennis: Margaret Court of Australia wins her second French singles crown; beats Maria Bueno of Brazil 5-7, 6-1, 6-2

  • May 31 Charles Schmid kills first Pied Piper victim
  • May 31 SF Giants beat NY Mets, 8-6, in 23 innings (2nd game) (7 hrs 32 mins)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Ruth Picardie, journalist
  • May 1 Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of princess Margaret & Lord Snowdon

Yvonne van Gennip

May 1 Yvonne van Gennip, Dutch speed skater (Olympic gold 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m 1988), born in Haarlem, Netherlands

Ron Hextall

May 3 Ron Hextall, Canadian NHL goalie (Philadelphia Flyers, 1986-92, 94-99; NY Islanders), Vezina & Conn Smyth winner (1987), scored 2 goals, born in Brandon, Manitoba

  • May 4 Goran Prpić, Croatian tennis star, born in Zagreb, Croatia
  • May 4 Zsuzsa Mathe, Hungarian painter and visual artist, founder of transrealism
  • May 5 Heike Henkel, German world record indoor high jumper (Olympic gold 1992), born in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein
  • May 5 Lorraine McIntosh, Scottish pop singer (Deacon Blues) and actress, born in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland
  • May 6 Dana Hill [Goetz], American actress (2 of Us, Shoot the Moon), born in Van Nuys California,
  • May 6 Kim Oden, US Olympic volleyball player (NCAA Play of Decade-80s), born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • May 6 Mike McGruder, American NFL cornerback (Tampa Bay Bucs), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 7 Leslie O'Neal, NFL defensive end and 6x Pro-Bowl selection (San Diego Chargers, St Louis Rams), born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • May 7 Mustapha Zerqti, Moroccan Dutch writer (Ihtidaar hub fi el-mahd)
  • May 7 Ronnie Harmon, NFL running back (San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Oilers), born in Queens, New York
  • May 8 Cheryl Richardson, American actress (Jennie-General Hospital), born in Palo Alto, California
  • May 8 Melissa Gilbert, American actress (Little House on the Prairie), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 8 Dave Rowntree, British drummer (Blur - "Country House"; Coffee &TV"), and politician, born in Colchester, Essex, England

Miloslav Mecir

May 9 Miloslav Mecir, Czech tennis player (Olympic gold 1988), born in Bojnice, Czechoslovakia

  • May 11 Bobby Witt, American MLB pitcher, 1986-2001 (Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, and 5 other teams), born in Arlington, Virginia
  • May 11 Floyd Youmans, American MLB baseball pitcher, 1985-89 (Montreal Expos, Philadelphia Phillies), born in Tampa, Florida
  • May 11 Jeff Sellers, American MLB baseball pitcher, 1985-88 (Boston Red Sox), born in Compton, California
  • May 11 John Parrott, British snooker player, born in Liverpool, England
  • May 11 Katie Wagner, American TV personality, model, entertainment reporter (MTV), and daughter of actor Robert Wagner, born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 11 Tim Blake Nelson, American actor (O Brother, Where Art Thou?; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Watchmen), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • May 12 Joy Ellen Kitzmiller, US badminton player (Olympic-92), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 12 José Casanova, Peruvian soccer midfielder (10 caps; Alianza Lima), born in Lima, Peru (d. 1987)
  • May 13 Sara Gomer, English tennis player, born in Torquay, England

Stephen Colbert

May 13 Stephen Colbert, American comedian and TV host (The Colbert Report, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), born in Washington, D.C.

  • May 13 Ronnie Coleman, American bodybuilder
  • May 13 Tom Verica, American actor, director and producer (How to Get Away with Murder, Bridgerton), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 14 James M. Kelly, Capt USAF/astronaut, born in Burlington, Iowa
  • May 14 Nancy Sorel, actress (Generations, Black Foix)
  • May 14 Suzy Kolber, American sportscaster
  • May 15 Pierre Trentin, French 1K time trials (Olympic gold 1968)
  • May 16 John Salley, NBA star (Detroit Pistons)
  • May 16 Boyd Tinsley, American violinist and mandolin player (Dave Matthews Band, 1992-2018; Crystal Garden, 2015-), born in Charlottesville, Virginia
  • May 17 Menno Oosting, Dutch tennis player (d. 1999)
  • May 18 Will Wolford, American NFL tackle (Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • May 20 Earl Charles Spencer, English peer, brother of Princess Diana, born in London, England
  • May 20 Jeff Schwarz, American baseball pitcher (California Angels, Chicago White Sox)
  • May 20 Joseph Sinnott Edwards, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 20 Paul W Richards, astronaut, born in Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • May 21 Annabel Schofield, Welsh actress (Laurel Ellis-Dallas), born in Llanelli, Wales
  • May 21 Tommy Albelin, Swedish NHL defenceman (Calgary Flames), born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 21 Nancy Daus, American professional wrestler (d. 2007)
  • May 21 Carolyn Lawrence, American actress and voice actress (SpongeBob SquarePants), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • May 23 Kenny Gattison, NBA forward (Orlando Magic)
  • May 23 Staci Greason, actress (Isabella Toscando-Days of Our Lives), born in Denver, Colorado
  • May 23 Ruth Metzler-Arnold, member of the Swiss Federal Council
  • May 24 Adrian Moorhouse, British 100m breaststroker (Olympic gold 1988), born in Bradford, England
  • May 24 Elizabeth McColgan, British running star (world record 5 km indoor), born in Dundee, Scotland
  • May 24 Pat Verbeek, Canadian NHL forward, 1982-2002 (New Jersey Devils, Hartford Whalers, and 3 other teams; Team Canada), and executive (Detroit Red Wings) born in Sarnia, Ontario
  • May 25 David Shaw, Canadian NHL defenseman, 1982-98 (Quebec Nordiques, New York Rangers, and 4 other teams), born in St. Thomas, Ontario
  • May 25 Ivan Bella, Slovak cosmonaut (first Slovak citizen to fly in space), born in Brezno, Czechoslovakia
  • May 26 Kevin Kennedy, baseball manager (Texas Rangers)

Lenny Kravitz

May 26 Lenny Kravitz, American musician who holds the record for most Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance (1999-2002), born in Manhattan, New York

  • May 27 Adam Carolla, American comedian and television personality
  • May 28 Armon Gilliam, NBA forward (Milwaukee Bucks, NJ Nets)
  • May 28 Beth Herr, tennis star, born in Middletown, Ohio
  • May 28 Jeff Fenech, Australian boxer
  • May 30 Nhi Lan Le, Vietnam, US fencer-foil (Olympics 1996)
  • May 30 Wynonna Judd [Christina Ciminella], American country singer (The Judds), born in Ashland, Kentucky

Tom Morello

May 30 Tom Morello, American guitarist (Audioslave; Rage Against the Machine), born in NYC, New York

  • May 30 Andrea Montermini, Italian racing driver
  • May 31 Darryl "DMC" Matthews McDaniels, American Hip Hop musician (Run-DMC), born in NYC, New York
  • May 31 Scotti Hill [Mulvehill], American rock guitarist (Skid Row - "18 And Lie": "I Remember You"), born in Manhasset, New York
  • May 31 Leonard Asper, Canadian businessman (CanWest), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Famous Weddings

Roy Campanella

May 5 Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella (41) weds long-time friend Roxie Joynes


Famous Deaths

Nancy Astor

May 2 Nancy Astor, American born British politician, 1st female MP in UK House of Commons, dies at 84

  • May 3 Diana Wynyard, British stage and film actress (Cavalcade), dies of renal disease at 58
  • May 6 Harold Morris, American pianist and composer, dies at 74
  • May 10 Carol Haney, dancer (Pantomime Quiz), dies at 35
  • May 10 Ignace Lilien, Dutch-Austrian composer, dies at 66
  • May 10 Mikhail Larionov, Russian painter (b. 1881)
  • May 15 Cornelis H Edelman, Dutch geologist, dies at 61
  • May 15 Vladko Maček, Kingdom of Yugoslavia deputy prime minister (b. 1879)
  • May 17 Otto V. Kuusinen, Finnish politician (founder of the Finnish Communist Party), dies at 82
  • May 17 Steve Owen, American Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle (NY Giants) and coach (NFL C'ship 1927, 34, 38; NY Giants), dies at 66
  • May 20 Rudy Lewis, American pop vocalist (The Drifters - "Up On The Roof"; "On Broadway), dies of a probable drug overdose at 27
  • May 21 James Franck, German-born American physicist (Nobel Prize for Physics 1925), dies at 81
  • May 25 Vasily Andreyevich Zolotaryov, Russian composer (Rhapsodie hébraïque; Prince Lake), and teacher, dies at 92

Jawaharlal Nehru

May 27 Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Prime Minister of India (1947-64) and important leader of the Indian independence movement, dies of an assumed heart attack at 74

  • May 28 John Finley Williamson, American choral conductor (Westminster Choir College, 1920-58), dies at 76

Leó Szilárd

May 30 Leo Szilard, Hungarian-German-American nuclear physicist (Manhattan Project) and peace activist, dies at 66

  • May 30 Eddie Sachs, American auto racer (b. 1927)
  • May 30 Dave MacDonald, American auto racer (b. 1936)