On This Day

What Happened in May 1972

Historical Events

  • May 1 "Different Times" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 24 performances
  • May 1 North Vietnamese troops occupy Quang Tri Activities Committee
  • May 1 Pulitzer prize awarded to Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
  • May 1 Radio's Mutual Black Network premieres
  • May 2 126 killed in an electrical fire in Sunshine Silver mine, Kellogg, Idaho
  • May 2 Lt General Vernon A Walters, USA, becomes deputy director of CIA
  • May 2 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 4 Vietcong forms revolutionary government in Quang Tri, South Vietnam
  • May 4 "The Don't Make A Wave Committee," a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to the "Greenpeace Foundation"
  • May 5 Alitalia DC-8 crashes west of Palermo Sicily; killing 115
  • May 6 98th Kentucky Derby: Ron Turcotte aboard Riva Ridge wins in 2:01.8
  • May 6 Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan are executed in Ankara for attempting to overthrow the Constitutional order
  • May 7 26th NBA Championship: LA Lakers beat NY Knicks, 4 games to 1
  • May 8 Sabena aircraft at Lod International Airport, Tel Aviv, captured by Palestinians
  • May 10 Overloaded South Korean bus plunges into reservoir, killing 77
  • May 10 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

  • May 10 An Irish Republican Army bomb starts a fire that destroys the Belfast Co-operative store

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 11 Giants trade Willie Mays to Mets for pitcher Charlie Williams & cash

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 11 John Lennon says his phone is tapped by FBI on Dick Cavett Show

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • May 11 Stanley Cup Final, Madison Square Garden, NYC: Wayne Cashman scores twice as Boston Bruins beat NY Rangers, 3-0 to take title, 4-2
  • May 11 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 12 Milwaukee Brewers beat Minnesota Twins, 4-3, in 22 innings (completed 5/13)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Paul McCartney & Wings release "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney
  • May 13 115 die in nightclub atop 7-story Sennichi department store (Osaka Japan)
  • May 13 Milwaukee Brewers beat Minnesota Twins, 4-3, in 22 innings (started 5/12)
  • May 13 Battle at Springmartin: following a loyalist car bombing of a Catholic-owned pub in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast, clashes erupt between PIRA, UVF and British Army
  • May 14 24th Emmy Awards: "in the Family", Carrol O'Conner & Jean Stapleton win
  • May 14 In Willie Mays 1st game as a NY Met his homer beats SF Giants, 5-4
  • May 14 14th Grammy Awards: It's Too Late, Carly Simon wins
  • May 14 A 13 year old Catholic girl is shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries in Ballymurphy, Belfast

MurderAssassination Attempt

May 15 Assassination attempt on US Governor George Wallace of Alabama by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland

Governor of Alabama and Segregationist George Wallace
Governor of Alabama and Segregationist
George Wallace
  • May 15 "Hard Job Being God" opens at Edison Theater NYC for 6 performances
  • May 15 Bus plunges into Nile River killing 50 pilgrims in Minia, Egypt
  • May 15 Ryukyu Is & Daito Is returned to Japan after 27 yrs of US control
  • May 15 The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.
  • May 16 "Don't Play Us Cheap" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC for 164 performances

  • May 16 Greg Luzinski's 500' HR hits Liberty Bell monument in Philadelphia Vet
  • May 17 Netherlands & People's Republic of China exchange ambassadors
  • May 17 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) fires on workers leaving the Mackies engineering works in west Belfast (Although the factory was sited in a Catholic area it had an almost entirely Protestant workforce)
  • May 18 "Me and The Chimp" an American TV sitcom last airs on CBS in the US
  • May 18 John Sebastian makes 63 consecutive free throws while blindfolded
  • May 19 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 19 WMAV TV channel 18 in Oxford, MS (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 19 25th Cannes Film Festival: "The Working Class Goes to Heaven" directed by Elio Petri and "The Mattei Affair" directed by Francesco Rosi jointly awarded the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • May 20 "Different Times" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 24 performances
  • May 20 "Hard Job Being God" closes at Edison Theater NYC after 6 performances
  • May 20 5th ABA Championship: Indiana Pacers beat NY Nets, 4 games to 2
  • May 20 97th Preakness: Eldon Nelson aboard Bee Bee Bee wins in 1:55.6
  • May 20 Republic of Cameroon declared as its constitution is ratified
  • May 21 "Heathen!" opens & closes at Billy Rose Theater NYC for 1 performance

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 "Lost in the Stars" based on the novel "Cry the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 39 performances

Author and Apartheid Activist Alan Paton
Author and Apartheid Activist
Alan Paton

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal

Sculptor and Painter Michelangelo
Sculptor and Painter
Michelangelo
  • May 21 The Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) kidnaps and shoots dead William Best (19), a soldier in the Royal Irish Rangers stationed in Germany whilst on leave at home
  • May 22 Ceylon becomes Republic of Sri Lanka as its constitution is ratified
  • May 22 Ton Sijbrands becomes world checkers champion
  • May 22 US President Nixon begins visit to Moscow
  • May 22 Over 400 women in Derry attack the offices of Official Sinn Féin in Derry, North Ireland, following the shooting of William Best by the Official Irish Republican Army
  • May 24 Glasgow Rangers of Scotland win 12th European Cup Winner's Cup against Dynamo Moscow 3-2 of the Soviet Union 3-2 in Barcelona
  • May 24 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

May 25 Heavyweight Joe Frazier KOs Ron Stander

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Joe Frazier
  • May 25 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 26 Joe Frazier TKOs Ron Stander in 5 for heavyweight boxing title

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 26 US President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign SALT accord

Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev
Soviet General Secretary
Leonid Brezhnev
37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • May 26 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 26 The British state-owned travel firm Thomas Cook & Son is sold to a consortium of private businesses headed by the Midland Bank
  • May 26 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) plant a bomb in Oxford Street, Belfast, killing a 64 year old woman
  • May 26 In the Republic of Ireland, the Special Criminal Court is re-instituted to deal with crimes arising out of the Northern Ireland conflict; as part of the measures trial by jury is suspended
  • May 27 "Applause" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 900 performances
  • May 27 Jimmy Castor Bunch's "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" hits #6
  • May 27 Indianapolis 500: Mark Donohue wins in 3:04:23.851 (262.262 km/h)
  • May 28 White House "plumbers" first break in at the Democratic National Headquarters at Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C.
  • May 28 Four Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and four civilians killed when a bomb they were preparing exploded prematurely at a house in Belfast

Sport awardGolf Tournament

May 29 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Southern Pines CC: Sandra Palmer wins first of 2 majors by a massive 10 strokes from Judy Rankin and Mickey Wright

LPGA Golfer Mickey Wright
LPGA Golfer
Mickey Wright
  • May 29 The Official IRA announce a ceasefire
  • May 30 3 Japanese PFL terrorists kills 24, wound 72 at Tel Aviv's Lod Intl airport
  • May 30 The Angry Brigade goes on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout Britain.
  • May 31 16th European Cup: Ajax beats Internazionale 2-0 at Rotterdam

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Bobby Chouinard, Filipino baseball pitcher (first Filipino to play MLB), born in Manilla, Phillipines
  • May 2 Erik Maes, Dutch soccer player (MVV)
  • May 2 Jill Savery, American synchronized swimmer (Olympic gold 1996), born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • May 2 Peter Ogilvie, Canadian 100m sprinter (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia

Person of interestThe Rock

May 2 Dwayne Johnson [The Rock], American pro wrestler (WCW C'ship x 2; WWE C'ship x 8; Royal Rumble 2000), actor and producer (Baywatch, Jumanji) born in Hayward, California

Actor & Professional Wrestler The Rock
Actor & Professional Wrestler
The Rock
  • May 2 Pandora Boxx [Michael Steck], American drag queen, comedian and TV personality (RuPaul's Drag Race), born in Jamestown, New York
  • May 3 Brett Hayman, Australian rower (Olympics 1996), born in Melbourne
  • May 3 Vyacheslav Kozlov, Russian ice hockey NHL forward (Detroit Red Wings), born in Voskresensk, Russia
  • May 3 Shonie Carter, American MMA fighter, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 4 Ethan Watts, American volleyball middle blocker (Olympics 1996), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 4 Gretchen Ulion, American ice hockey forward (USA, Olympics 1998), born in Marlborough, Connecticut

Person of interestMike Dirnt

May 4 Mike Dirnt [Michael Ryan Pritchard], American musician (Green Day), born in Berkeley, California

Bassist Rocker Mike Dirnt
Bassist Rocker
Mike Dirnt
  • May 5 Brigitta Boccoli, Italian actress (Manhattan Baby), born in Milan, Italy
  • May 5 Mikael Renberg, Swedish NHL right wing (Philadelphia Flyers, TB Lightning), born in Piteå, Sweden
  • May 5 Ronald Snook, Australian rower (Olympics bronze 1996), born in Dalwallinu, Western Australia
  • May 5 Rushia Brown, American WNBA forward & center (Cleveland Rockers), born in New York
  • May 5 Travis Jervey, American NFL running back (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31), born in Columbia, South Carolina
  • May 5 Žigmund Pálffy, Slovak NHL right wing (NY Islanders), born in Skalica, Czechoslovakia
  • May 5 James Cracknell, British rowing champion (Olympic gold 2000, 04), born in Sutton, London

Person of interestMartin Brodeur

May 6 Martin Brodeur, NHL goalie (NJ Devils, Team Canada), born in Montreal, Quebec

NHL Goalie Martin Brodeur
NHL Goalie
Martin Brodeur
  • May 7 John Holecek, NFL linebacker (Buffalo Bills)
  • May 7 Frank Trigg, American Mixed Martial Arts Fighter, born in Kendall, New York
  • May 7 Asghar Farhadi, Iranian film director (The Salesman, A Separation), born in Khomeyni Shahr, Iran
  • May 8 Chris Sanders, NFL wide receiver (Tennessee/Houston Oilers)
  • May 9 Dan Hollander, figure skater (1996 Great Lakes champ), born in Royal Oak, Michigan
  • May 9 Simon Hollingsworth, Australian 400m hurdler (Olympics 1992, 96)
  • May 9 Megumi Odaka, Japanese actress and artist
  • May 9 Daniela Silivaș, Romanian gymnast (3 Olympic gold 1988), born in Deva, Romania
  • May 10 Emma Ridley, American actress (Return to Oz, Boy Meets World), born in Hampstead, England
  • May 10 Farrell Duclair, CFL fullback (Calgary Stampeders)
  • May 10 Stuart Carlisle, cricketer (Zimbabwe Test batsman 1995-)
  • May 10 Radosław Majdan, Polish footballer
  • May 11 Hicham El-Mashtoub, NFL center (Houston Oilers)
  • May 11 Stefen Reid, CFL linebacker (Montreal Alouettes)
  • May 11 Anita Hegh, Australian actress
  • May 11 Concha Buika [María Concepción Balboa Buika], Spanish singer (Niña de Fuego), born in Palma de Mallorca
  • May 12 Jason Kyle, NFL linebacker (Seattle Seahawks)
  • May 12 Paul Stout, Saugus California, actor (Phillip-Scarecrow & Mrs King)
  • May 13 Josh Taves, American football defensive end (New England Patriots), born in Watsonville, California
  • May 13 Darryl Sydor, Edmonton, NHL defenseman (Dallas Stars)
  • May 13 Stefaan Maene, Belgian swimmer
  • May 14 Chad Cascadden, NFL linebacker (NY Jets)
  • May 14 Gabriel Mann, American actor
  • May 14 Mark Ruskell, England-born Scottish politician
  • May 15 David Charvet, actor (Melrose Place)
  • May 15 Patrick Pothuizen, soccer player (Vitesse)
  • May 15 Troy Drake, NFL tackle (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • May 16 Keith Burns, American NFL linebacker (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32), born in Greeleyville, South Carolina
  • May 16 Matthew Hart, cricketer (NZ lefty spinner 1994- )
  • May 16 Khary Payton, American actor
  • May 16 Andrzej Duda, Polish politician, President of Poland (2015-), born in Kraków, Poland
  • May 17 Elena Wagner, Sofia Bulgaria, tennis star (1996 ITF/Redbridge-GBR)
  • May 17 John Burrough, NFL defensive tackle (Atlanta Falcons)
  • May 18 Turner Stevenson, Prince George, NHL right wing (Montreal Canadiens)
  • May 19 Ronald Williams, CFL running back (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)
  • May 19 Jenny Berggren, Swedish singer (Ace of Base)
  • May 20 Michael Cox, Hannibal Missouri, 1.5k runner
  • May 21 Liliko Ogasawara, middleweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Englewood, New Jersey
  • May 21 Adriano Cintra, Brazilian musician (CSS)
  • May 21 The Notorious B.I.G. [Christopher Wallace], American rapper (Life After Death), born in NYC, New York (d. 1997)
  • May 22 Alison Eastwood, daughter of actor Clint/actress (Tightrope)
  • May 22 Mike Hollis, NFL kicker (Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • May 22 Rich Owens, NFL defensive end (Washington Redskins)
  • May 22 Anna Belknap, American actress (CSI NY), born in Damariscotta, Maine
  • May 22 Annabel Chong, Singapore actress
  • May 23 Isabelle Fijalkowski, WNBA center/forward (Cleveland Rockers)
  • May 23 Marco van Hoogdalem, Dutch soccer player (Roda JC)
  • May 23 Rene Ingoglia, running back (Buffalo Bills)
  • May 23 Shannon Brown, NFL defensive tackle (Atlanta Falcons)
  • May 23 Rubens Barrichello, Brazilian formula one driver
  • May 24 Danny Bautista, Dominican baseball outfielder (Atlanta Braves), born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • May 24 Petra Schwarz-Ritter, Austrian tennis star (1988 Futures-Bari-ITA), born in Vienna, Austria
  • May 24 Tito Paul, American NFL defensive back (Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals), born in Kissimmee, Florida
  • May 24 Viktor Ujčík, Czech hockey player (Team Czech Rep), born in Jihlava, Czechoslovakia
  • May 24 Greg Berlanti, American television writer and producer (Everwood), born in Rye, New York
  • May 25 Antonio Lang, American NBA forward (Cleveland Cavaliers), born in Columbia, South Carolina
  • May 25 Tony Ronaldson, Australian basketball forward (Olympics 1996), born in Adelaide, South Australia
  • May 26 Patsy Palmer [Julie Merkell] , British actress (Eastenders), born in London, England
  • May 27 Antonio Freeman, NFL wide receiver (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31)
  • May 27 Karen Hecox, US 1500m runner
  • May 27 Troy Sienkiewicz, NFL tackle/guard (San Diego Chargers)
  • May 27 Ivete Sangalo, Brazilian singer
  • May 28 Cheryl Demkowski, dance skater (& Gregory Maddalone), born in Syracuse, New York
  • May 28 Michael Boogerd, Dutch cyclist
  • May 28 Guidoni Junior Doriva, Brazilian footballer
  • May 29 Közi, Japanese visual kei artist
  • May 29 Stanislas Renoult, French singer
  • May 30 Allen Aldridge, NFL linebacker (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32)
  • May 30 Anthony Cook, NFL defensive end/defensive tackle (Tenn Oilers)
  • May 30 Jeff Jones, NFL tackle (Detroit Lions)
  • May 30 Manny Ramirez, Dominican-American outfielder (Cleveland Indians), born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • May 30 Renita Farrell, Townsville Qld Aust, field hockey midfielder (Olympics 1996)
  • May 30 Soichiro Hoshi, Japanese seiyuu
  • May 31 John Godina, American shot putter (World C'ship gold 1995, 97, 01; Olympic silver 1996), born in Fort Still, Oklahoma
  • May 31 Bryan Walker, safety (Washington Redskins)
  • May 31 Eileen Richetelli, Milford Conn, diver (Olympics 1996)
  • May 31 Karl Geary, Irish actor
  • May 31 Dave Roberts, American baseball player

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Fernand Ansseau, Belgian operator (Orfeo), dies at 82
  • May 2 Hugo Hartung, writer, dies at 69

Person of interestJ. Edgar Hoover

May 2 J. Edgar Hoover, first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1924-72) dies at 77

First Director of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover
First Director of the FBI
J. Edgar Hoover
  • May 3 Bruce Cabot, actor (Diamonds are Forever), dies at 68
  • May 3 Les Harvey, rocker, dies
  • May 4 Edward Calvin Kendall, American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1886)
  • May 5 [Reverend] Gary Davis, American blues and folk guitarist (A Little More Faith), dies of a heart attack at 76
  • May 6 Deniz Gezmiş, Turkish Left-wing Political Activist (b. 1947)
  • May 10 Rhys Gemmell, Australian tennis player (Australasian C'ships singles & doubles 1921), dies at 76
  • May 13 Dan Blocker, American actor (Tiny-Cimarron City, Hoss-Bonanza), dies of a pulmonary embolism at 43
  • May 15 Nigel Green, South African-born British character actor (Zulu, Skull, Tobruk, Ipcress File), dies of an accidental barbiturate overdose at 47
  • May 16 Maxime Dumoulin, composer, dies at 79
  • May 17 Sir Gordon Lowe, British tennis player, Member of Parliament (Australasian C'ship 1915), dies at 87
  • May 18 Eero Sipilä, Finnish composer, dies at 53
  • May 18 Daniel Ray "Danny" Whitten, American musician & songwriter (Crazy Horse, Rod Stewart- "I Don't Want To Talk About It"), dies of a methaqualone overdose at 29
  • May 20 Cornelis Jakob van der Klauw, Dutch biologist and zoologist, dies at 78
  • May 20 Walter Winchell, columnist/narrator (Untouchables), dies at 75
  • May 22 Margaret Rutherford, English actress (Murder Ahoy, VIP's), dies at 80
  • May 22 Cecil Day-Lewis, Irish poet (British Poet Laureate 1968-72) and detective writer (Nicholas Blake), dies of cancer at 68
  • May 24 Asta Nielsen, actress (Joyless Street), dies at 88
  • May 24 Gavin Muir, American actor (Mary of Scotland, Johnny Trouble), dies at 71
  • May 24 Ismail Yasseen, Egyptian comedian and actor (Isamil Yassine as Tarzan, Ibn Hamidu), dies of a heart attack at 59

Person of interestEdward VIII

May 28 Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire and Emperor of India (Jan 20th, 1936 until his abdication on Dec 11th, 1936), dies at 77

King of the United Kingdom Edward VIII
King of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII
  • May 29 Moe Berg, American baseball player and spy (b. 1902)
  • May 29 Stephen Timoshenko, Ukrainian-born mechanical engineer (b. 1878)
  • May 29 Margaret Ruthven Lang, American composer (Irish Love Song), dies at 104
  • May 30 Margaret Ruthven Lang, composer, dies at 104
  • May 31 Walter Freeman, American physician (developer and practitioner of psychiatric surgery transorbital lobotomy), dies