On This Day

What Happened in May 1977

Historical Events

  • May 1 French runner Chantal Langlacé sets female world marathon record (2:35:15.4) in Oyarzun, Spain
  • May 1 American golfer Debbie Austin wins the Birmingham Classic, the first of 5 LPGA Tour victories in a 4-month span
  • May 1 36 people are killed in Taksim Square, Istanbul, during the Labour Day celebrations.
  • May 1 American golfer Gene Littler wins the Houston Open, his 29th and final PGA title

Music Premiere

May 2 Revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "The King & I"', with Yul Brynner reprising the role he created in 1951, opens at Uris Theater, NYC; runs for 695 performances

  • May 3 1977 NFL Draft: Ricky Bell from USC first pick by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • May 4 US Catholic bishops rescind automatic excommunications for divorced and remarried Catholics (receiving communion still outlawed if the previous marriages were not annulled by Church tribunals)
  • May 6 "Beatles at Hollywood Bowl" released in UK
  • May 7 "Happy End" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 75 performances
  • May 7 103rd Kentucky Derby: Jean Cruguet on Seattle Slew wins in 2:02.2
  • May 7 22nd Eurovision Song Contest: Marie Myriam for France wins singing "L'oiseau et l'enfant" in London
  • May 9 Hotel Poland in Amsterdam destroyed by fire, 33 killed
  • May 9 Mabel Murphy Smythe confirmed as ambassador to Rep of Cameroon
  • May 9 Patty Hearst let out of jail

Sports History

May 11 Ted Turner manages an Atlanta Braves game

  • May 12 Emmy 4th Daytime Award presentation: "Ryan's Hope" and "Family Feud" win

Film & TV History

May 13 Howard Stern begins broadcasting at WRNW, Briarcliff Manor NY

  • May 14 English football international Bobby Moore retires
  • May 14 KC Royals Jim Colborn no-hits Texas Rangers, 6-0
  • May 14 Netherlands State Delta Kappa Gamma Society forms

Sports History

May 14 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Garden, Boston, MA: Jacques Lemaire scores twice as Montreal Canadiens edge Boston Bruins, 2-1 in OT for a 4 game sweep and back-to-back titles

  • May 16 5 die as NY Airway helicopter topples on Pan Am building in NYC

Boxing Title Fight

May 16 Muhammad Ali beats Alfredo Evangelist in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

  • May 16 TV drama “Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn”, starring Leigh McCloskey, follow up to "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" premieres on US network NBC, focusing on what happened to him after Dawn left L.A. to return to her hometown

Election of Interest

May 17 Menachem Begin's Likoed party wins election in Israel

  • May 18 Menachem Begin becomes Prime Minister of Israel
  • May 18 US, USSR and other nations sign the Environmental Modification Convention which prohibits weather warfare having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects

Film Premiere

May 19 Film "Smokey & the Bandit" starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason premieres in NYC

  • May 21 "Fiddler on the Roof" closes at Winter Garden NYC after 167 performances
  • May 21 102nd Preakness: Jean Cruguet aboard Seattle Slew wins in 1:54.4
  • May 21 Albert Innaurato's "Gemini" premieres in NYC
  • May 21 Fire in hotel Duc de Brabant Brussels, kills 19
  • May 21 San Diego Padres beat Mont Expos, 11-8, in 21 innings
  • May 21 Electric Light Orchestra releases "Telephone Line" in the UK; it would peak in the Top 10 in the UK and US

#1 in the Charts

May 21 Stevie Wonder's single "Sir Duke", a tribute to Duke Ellington and other musical influences of Wonder's, begins a 3-week run at #1

The Orient Express

May 22 Final European scheduled run of the Orient Express (after 94 years)

  • May 22 Red Sox (6) & Brewers (5) tie single game HR record of 11
  • May 23 Benin adopts its constitution

Music History

May 23 US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals of Watergate wrong doers H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman & John Mitchell

  • May 23 Moluccan extremists hold 105 schoolchildren & 50 others hostage on a hijacked train in Neth, children released May 27, siege ends June 11
  • May 24 USSR President Podgorny resigns
  • May 25 "Beatles Live! At Star-Club in Hamburg Germany" released

Television Finale

May 25 "Brady Bunch Hour" last airs on ABC-TV

  • May 25 Dutch social democratic party wins parliamentary election
  • May 25 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Film Release

May 25 Original "Star Wars" movie (Episode IV – A New Hope), directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, first released

  • May 25 21st European Cup: Liverpool beats Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 at Rome
  • May 26 George Willig climbs the South Tower of NYC's World Trade Center, famously fined 1 cent for each of 110 stories he climbed
  • May 27 30th Cannes Film Festival: "Padre Padrone" directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani wins the Palme d'Or

Music History

May 27 The Sex Pistols release "God Save the Queen", sparking major controversy and leading to a ban on the song by the BBC

  • May 28 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Southgate, Kentucky kills 168

Sports History

May 29 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt. becomes first driver to win Indy 500 four times; last time winning car built entirely within US; Janet Guthrie first female to qualify, lasts 27 laps

  • May 29 NBC News & Information Service (24 hr news) ends on radio
  • May 29 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 29 Australian Sue Prell first female golfer to hit consecutive holes-in one; 13th and 14th holes at Chatswood Golf Club, Sydney
  • May 30 Cleveland Indian Dennis Eckersley no-hits California Angels, 2-0
  • May 31 "Beatlemania" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 920 performances
  • May 31 Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani becomes heir apparent to throne of Qatar
  • May 31 Trans-Alaska oil pipeline completed, one of the world's largest pipeline systems

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 Amy D'Entremont, American figure skater (1995 NE Jr champ), born in Stoneham, Massachusetts
  • May 2 Jenna Von Oy, American actress (Blossom - "Seven"), born in Danbury, Connecticut
  • May 2 Fredrik Malm, Swedish politician, Member of Parliament for the Liberal People's Party, born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 2 Luke Hudson, American MLB baseball pitcher, 2002-07 (Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals), born in Fountain Valley, California
  • May 3 Mashima Hiro, Japanese Mangaka of Rave Master and Fairy Tail, born in Nagano, Japan
  • May 3 Ryan Dempster, Canadian baseball player, born in Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada
  • May 3 Maryam Mirzakhani, Iranian mathematician, born in Tehran, Iran (d. 2017)
  • May 3 Tyronn Lue, American basketball coach (NBA Championship 2016 Cleveland), born in Mexico, Missouri
  • May 4 Emily Perkins, Canadian actress (Hiccups), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • May 4 Mariano Pernía, Argentine-Spanish footballer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • May 5 Tiffany Roberts, American soccer midfielder (Olympics 1996), born in Petaluma, California
  • May 5 Choi Kang-hee, South Korean actress (Sweet Buns), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • May 5 Zolani Marali, South African boxer (IBO World Super Bantamweight title 2003–04; IBO Super Featherweight title 2009), born in Mdantsane, South Africa (d. 2022)
  • May 6 Shannon Shakespeare, Canadian 100m swimmer (Olympics 1996), born in Mission, British Columbia
  • May 6 Trent Steed, Australian swimmer (Olympics 1996), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • May 6 Christophe Brandt, Belgian cyclist
  • May 7 Marko Milic, NBA guard (Phoenix Suns)
  • May 7 Elton Flatley, Australian rugby union fly-half (38 caps; 187 points; Queensland Reds 114 games, 609 points), born in Tamworth, NSW
  • May 8 Joe Bonnamassa, American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Dust Bowl"; "Redemption"), born in New Hartford, New York
  • May 9 Dan Regan, American ska trombonist (Reel Big Fish), and craft brewer, born in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • May 9 Choi Jeong-yoon, South Korean actress
  • May 9 Maggie Dixon, American college basketball coach (d. 2006)
  • May 9 Iñigo Landaluze, Spanish cyclist
  • May 10 Amanda Borden, American gymnast (World silver 1994, Olympic gold 1996), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • May 10 Henri Camara, Senegalese footballer
  • May 10 Nick Heidfeld, German Formula 1 driver
  • May 10 Chas Licciardello, Australian comedian, member of The Chaser
  • May 11 Janne Ahonen, Finnish ski jumper
  • May 11 Gonzalo Colsa, Spanish footballer
  • May 11 Pablo García, Uruguayan footballer
  • May 11 Victor Matfield, South African rugby union footballer
  • May 11 Matthew Newton, Australian actor
  • May 12 Monique de Bruin, American fencer-foil (Olympics 1996), born in Portland, Oregon
  • May 12 Graeme Dott, Scottish snooker player (World C'ship 2006; world #2 2007-08), born in Larkhall, Scotland
  • May 12 Rebecca Herbst, American actress (General Hospital), born in Encino, California
  • May 13 Diane Halber, American figure skater (1996 National Collegiate champ), born in Torrance, California
  • May 13 Sara DeCosta, American ice hockey goalie (USA, Olympics 1998), born in Warwick, Rhode Island
  • May 13 Ilse DeLange, Dutch singer-songwriter, born in Almelo, Netherlands
  • May 13 Neil Hopkins, American actor (Lost), born in Trenton, New Jersey
  • May 13 Samantha Morton, English actress (Sweet and Lowdown, Longford), born in Nottingham, England
  • May 13 Robby Hammock, American baseball player (Arizona Diamondbacks), born in Macon, Georgia
  • May 13 Pusha T [Terrence LeVarr Thornton], American rapper and record executive (Daytona), born in New York City
  • May 14 Anca Barna, Cluj Romania, tennis star (semifinals 1995 ITF Poland)
  • May 14 Jayna Hefford, ice hockey forward (Canada, Olympics 1998)
  • May 14 Sophie Anderton, English model and television personality
  • May 14 Roy Halladay, American Baseball HOF pitcher (8 x MLB All-Star, Cy Young Award 2003, 10; perfect game 2010; postseason no-hitter 2010; Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies), born in Denver Colorado (d. 2017)
  • May 14 Ada Nicodemou, Australian actress
  • May 16 Dolcenera [Emanuela Trane], Italian singer-songwriter, born in Galatina, Italy
  • May 16 Jean-Sébastien Giguère, Canadian ice hockey player
  • May 16 Emilíana Torrini, Icelandic singer and songwriter ("Jungle Drum"; "Gollum's Song"), born in Kópavogur, Iceland
  • May 16 Melanie Lynskey, New Zealand actress (Yellowjackets), born in New Plymouth, New Zealand
  • May 17 Jere Michael, Aspen Colo, figure skater (1994 National Jr champ)
  • May 18 Lee Hendrie, English footballer, born in Solihull, England
  • May 18 Danny Mills, English footballer (Leeds United), born in Norwich, England
  • May 19 Manuel Almúnia, Spanish footballer
  • May 19 Brandon Inge, American baseball player
  • May 20 Angela Goethals, American actress (VI Warshawski, Heartbreak Hotel), born in NYC, New York
  • May 20 Leonardo Noeren Franco, Argentine footballer
  • May 20 Matt Czuchry, American actor
  • May 20 Chad Muska, American Skateboarder for Element Skateboards
  • May 20 Miriam Parrish, American television actress
  • May 21 Quinton Fortune, South African footballer, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • May 21 Ricky Williams, American College Football Hall of Fame running back (Heisman Trophy 1998, U of Texas; Pro Bowl 2002, Miami Dolphins), born in San Diego, California
  • May 22 Vinnie Potestivo, American TV Producer
  • May 22 Alastair Ralphs, Canadian professional wrestler
  • May 22 Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Irish hurler
  • May 22 Dre Bly, American Football Player
  • May 23 Richard Ayoade, English comedian, actor and director (The IT Crowd), born in London, England
  • May 24 Kym Valentine, Australian actress (Neighbours), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • May 25 Giel Beelen, Dutch radio DJ (a Guinness World Record for the longest radio DJ marathon ever, lasting 198 hours of non-stop broadcasting), born in Haarlem, Netherlands
  • May 26 Raina Telgemeier, American cartoonist (Smile), born in San Francisco, California
  • May 26 Luca Toni, Italian soccer striker (47 caps; Palermo, Fiorentina, Bayern Munich), born in Pavullo nel Frignano, Italy
  • May 26 Mark Hunter, American musician (Chimaira)
  • May 27 Abderrahmane Hammad, Algerian athlete
  • May 27 Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lankan cricketer
  • May 28 Ashley Ryan Ruiz Offord, singer (Menudo-Cannonball), born in Miami, Florida
  • May 28 Elisabeth Hasselbeck, American television panelist (The View)
  • May 28 Jeremy Borash, American professional wrestling announcer
  • May 29 Danny Gerard, American actor (Alan Silver-Brooklyn Bridge), born in Mt Vernon, New York
  • May 29 Massimo Ambrosini, Italian soccer midfielder (Italy 35 caps, AC Milan), born in Pesaro, Italy
  • May 29 António Lebo-Lebo, Angolan soccer defender (Angola 15 caps), born in Malanje, Angola
  • May 29 Marco Cassetti, Italian soccer defender (Italy 5 caps, Roma, Watford), born in Brescia, Italy
  • May 30 Akwá, Angolan footballer
  • May 30 Rachael Stirling, British actress
  • May 31 Joachim Olsen, Danish shot putter and politician, born in Aalborg, Denmark
  • May 31 Moses Sichone, Zambian footballer, born in Mufulira, Zambia
  • May 31 Eric Christian Olsen, American actor (NCIS: Los Angeles), born in Eugene, Oregon
  • May 31 Theodoros Baev, Bulgarian-born Greek volleyball player
  • May 31 Scott Klopfenstein, American ska and rock trumpeter and guitarist (Reel Big Fish, 1995-2011), born in Garden Grove, California
  • May 31 Phil Devey, Canadian baseball player
  • May 31 Domenico Fioravanti, Italian swimmer
  • May 31 Greg Leeb, Canadian ice hockey player
  • May 31 Joel Ross, British disc jockey
  • May 31 June Sarpong, British television presenter (Loose Women), born in London, England

Famous Deaths

  • May 5 Ludwig Erhard, German minister of Economic Affairs (CDU), dies at 80
  • May 5 Sam Lanin, American sweet jazz arranger and bandleader (Roseland Orchestra; The Ipana Troubadors), dies at 85
  • May 7 Irwin Fischer, American composer and organist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), dies at 73
  • May 9 James Jones, American novelist (Bad Blood, From Here to Eternity), dies at 55
  • May 9 Walter Kraft, German organist & composer, dies at 71

Joan Crawford

May 10 Joan Crawford [Lucille Le Sueur], American actress (Mildred Pierce), dies of a heart attack between 69 and 74 [year of birth disputed]

  • May 12 Luc van Brabant, Flemish writer and erotic poet, dies at 67
  • May 15 Modibo Keïta, 1st President of Mali (1960-68), dies at 61
  • May 16 Edouard Van Remoortel, Belgian conductor (St Louis Symphony, 1958-62), dies at 50
  • May 22 Gijs van Hall, Dutch politician and Mayor of Amsterdam (1957-67), dies at 73
  • May 22 Marius Monnikendam, Dutch choir composer, dies at 80
  • May 25 Yevgenia Ginzburg, Russian writer, dies at 72
  • May 26 Jim Boles, American actor (The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, One Man's Family), dies of cardiac arrest at 63
  • May 26 William Powell, American R&B singer (O'Jays - "Love Train"; "Backstabbers"), dies of cancer at 35
  • May 28 Jiří Reinberger, Czech organist and composer, dies at 63
  • May 29 Goddard Lieberson, English composer and President of Columbia Records, dies at 66
  • May 29 Ba Maw, Burmese politician (b. 1893)
  • May 30 Claire Goll, German-French writer, dies at 86
  • May 30 Paul Desmond, American jazz alto saxophonist (Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five), dies of lung cancer at 52
  • May 30 Marinus Adam, Dutch conductor and composer, dies at 76
  • May 31 William Castle, American film director (b. 1914)