On This Day

What Happened in May 1980

Historical Events

  • May 1 "Day in Hollywood, A Night..." opens at John Golden NYC for 588 performances
  • May 1 15th Academy of Country Music Awards: Larry Gatlin and Crystal Gayle win
  • May 1 Amer Book Award: William Styron (Sophie Choice)/T Wolfe (Right Stuff)
  • May 2 Joseph Doherty & 3 other IRA men arrested for murder

Music History

May 2 Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in Wall (Part II)" is banned in South Africa

  • May 2 Pope John Paul II begins African tour
  • May 2 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 3 106th Kentucky Derby: Jacinto Vasquez on Genuine Risk wins in 2:02

Sports History

May 3 Giants 1st baseman Willie McCovey hits his 521st & final HR

  • May 3 Texas Ranger Ferguson Jenkins becomes 4th to win 100 games in AL & NL
  • May 4 Dodgers bat out of order against Phillies in 1st inning
  • May 4 White Sox 1st baseman Mike Squires catches final inning of 11-1 loss to Brewers, becoming 1st lefty to catch since Dale Long in 1958
  • May 5 Siege at Iranian Embassy in London ends as the SAS and police storm the building
  • May 5 Konstantinos Karamanlis is elected for the first time President of Greece

Historic Event

May 7 Yugoslav President Josip Tito is buried

  • May 7 Samm-Art Williams' "Home" premieres in NYC
  • May 7 Paul Geidel Jr, American murderer, and longest-serving prison inmate in the United States, paroled after 68 years, 296 days, at the age of 86.
  • May 8 Sabres take only 15 shots, Islanders 22, in a playoff game
  • May 8 World Health Organization announces smallpox has been eradicated
  • May 8 1st non-stop trans-North American balloon flight departs Fort Baker, California. Maxie Anderson and son Kristian pilot the Kitty Hawk for five days.
  • May 9 35 motorists die when roadway collapses after Liberian freighter 'Summit Venture' rams Sunshine Skyway Bridge, during a squall (Tampa Bay, Florida)
  • May 9 Slasher horror film "Friday the 13th" is released in US cinemas
  • May 10 "Happy New Year" closes at Morosco Theater NYC after 17 performances

Baseball Record

May 11 Pete Rose, 39, steals second, third, & home in one inning for Phillies

  • May 12 1st non-stop trans-North American balloon flight lands at Sainte-Félicité, Quebec. Maxie Anderson and son Kristian piloted the Kitty Hawk for five days.
  • May 12 West Ham United wins the FA Cup, beating Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley Stadium; midfield playmaker Trevor Brooking scores winner with a rare header
  • May 13 Cincinnati Red Ray Knight hits 2 HRs in 5th inning vs NY Mets
  • May 14 "Musical Chairs" opens at Rialto Theater NYC for 15 performances
  • May 14 Department of Health & Human Services begins operation
  • May 14 Valencia of Spain wins 20th European Cup Winner's Cup against Arsenal of England 5-4 on penalties in Brussels
  • May 14 Bucky Dent hits an inside park HR, Royals walk 14 Yanks including 5 with bases loaded, Yanks win 16-3
  • May 15 Flyers score 8 goals against Islanders in playoffs
  • May 15 Shawn Weatherly of South Carolina crowned 29th Miss USA, goes on to win Miss Universe
  • May 16 34th NBA Championship: LA Lakers beat Philadelphia 76ers, 4 games to 2
  • May 16 Brian May of rock group Queen collapses on stage with hepatitis

Album Release

May 16 Paul McCartney releases "McCartney II" album

  • May 16 Former Buggles members Geoff Downes & Trevor Horn replace Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman in Yes

Sports History

May 17 105th Preakness: Puerto Rican jockey Ángel Cordero Jr., aboard Codex wins his first of 2 Pimlico classics

  • May 17 V. S. Kumar Anandan from Sri Lanka balances on one foot for 33 hours (Guinness World Record)
  • May 17 Major race riot in Miami Florida - 16 killed, 300 injured

Music History

May 17 Paul & Linda McCartney appear on "Saturday Night Live"

  • May 18 Belgium 3rd government of Martens forms
  • May 18 People's Republic of China launches 1st intercontinental rocket
  • May 18 Fernando Belaunde Terry elected president of Peru

Mount St. Helens Erupts

May 18 Mount St Helens erupts in Washington state, causing the largest landslide in history, killing 57 people and costing $1 billion in damage

  • May 18 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms
  • May 19 "Blackstone" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 104 performances

Film & TV History

May 19 Ringo & Barbara Bach are involved in a car crash

  • May 20 710 families in Love Canal area (Niagara Falls NY) are evacuated
  • May 20 Drummer Peter Criss quits rock band Kiss
  • May 20 Fire in nursing home in Kingston Jamaica, kills 157
  • May 20 In a referendum, 59.5% of Quebec voters reject separatism
  • May 21 US Coast Guard Ensign Jean Marie Butler is 1st woman to graduate from US service academy

Music History

May 21 "Star Wars Episode V - Empire Strikes Back", produced by George Lucas opens in cinemas in UK and North America

  • May 23 ABC Masters Bowling Tournament won by Neil Burton

Cannes Film Festival

May 23 33rd Cannes Film Festival: "All That Jazz" directed by Bob Fosse and "Kagemusha" directed by Akira Kurosawa jointly awarded the Palme d'Or

Film Release

May 23 Horror film "The Shining" released directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, based on book by Stephen King

  • May 24 "Rock Lobster" by B-52s hits #56
  • May 24 Iran rejects a call to World Court to release US hostages
  • May 24 Stanley Cup Final, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY: In first Finals appearance, NY Islanders beat Philadelphia Flyers, 5-4 in OT for a 4 games to 2 series win
  • May 25 "Musical Chairs" closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 15 performances
  • May 25 Jacek Wszoka of Poland sets high jump record (7'8")
  • May 25 Indianapolis 500: Johnny Rutherford wins from pole position for his third Indy victory; sixth driver to win the race three times
  • May 26 Dietmar Mogenburg of West Germany ties high jump record at 7'8"
  • May 26 Soyuz 36 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Hungarian) to Salyut 6
  • May 27 South Korean police ends people's uprising; 2,000 killed
  • May 27 The Gwangju Massacre: South Korean airborne and army troops retake city of Gwangju from civil militias, killing at least 207 possibly many more
  • May 28 2 Oakland A's steal home in 1st inning
  • May 28 Joe Darby does a standing long jump of 12'5"
  • May 28 24th European Cup: Nottingham Forest beats Hamburg 1-0 at Madrid
  • May 29 John MacLachlan Gray's musical "Billy Bishop Goes to War" opens at Morosco Theater, NYC; runs for 12 performances, then moves to Off-Broadway
  • May 29 53rd National Spelling Bee: Jacques Bailly wins spelling elucubrate
  • May 29 Attempted assassination on Vernon Jordan Jr National Urban League president

Historic Event

May 29 JMW Turner's "Juliet & Her Nurse" sold for $6,400,000 in NYC

Sports History

May 29 Larry Bird beats out Magic Johnson for NBA rookie of year

  • May 30 1st papal visit to France since 1814
  • May 30 Tiger reliever John Hiller, 37, (who had a 1971 heart attack), retires
  • May 30 Turner's painting "Juliet & Her Nurse" sells for $6.4 million
  • May 30 Twins Ken Landreaux ends his hitting streak after 31 games
  • May 31 "Love Stinks" by J. Geils Band peaks at #38
  • May 31 Police & youthful rebels battle in Zurich

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Ana Claudia Talancón, Mexican actress
  • May 1 Zaz [Isabelle Geffroy], French singer-songwriter (Je veux), born in Tours, France
  • May 1 Inês Henriques, Portuguese race walker (World C'ships gold 50k walk 2017), born in Santarém, Portugal
  • May 2 Tim Borowski, German footballer, born in Neubrandenburg, East Germany
  • May 2 Miloš Glogovac, Serbian football player, born in Serbia
  • May 2 Pierre-Luc Gagnon, Canadian skateboarder, born in Boucherville, Quebec, Canada
  • May 2 Zat Knight, English footballer, born in Solihull, England
  • May 2 Troy Murphy, American basketball player, born in Morristown, New Jersey
  • May 2 Brad Richards, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • May 2 (Elizabeth) "Ellie" Kemper, American actress (The Office -"Erin"; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • May 3 Marcel Vigneron, American chef (Top Chef), born in Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • May 4 Andrew Raycroft, Canadian ice hockey goalie, born in Belleville, Ontario
  • May 5 Yossi Benayoun, Israeli footballer (Israel national team captain), born in Dimona, Israel
  • May 5 DerMarr Johnson, American basketball player, born in Washington, D.C.
  • May 6 Brooke Bennett, American swimmer (3 Olympic golds), born in Tampa, Florida
  • May 6 Kasumi Takahashi, Australian rhythmic gymnast (Olympics 1996), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • May 6 Ricardo Oliveira, Brazilian footballer (Clube Atlético Mineiro), born in São Paulo, Brazil
  • May 6 Scott Colton, American professional wrestler
  • May 6 Mario Stojić, Croatian basketball player
  • May 6 Taebin, Korean singer (1TYM)
  • May 6 Kelly van der Veer, Dutch reality TV star
  • May 7 Johan Kenkhuis, Dutch swimmer
  • May 7 Kate Lawler, English reality television personality and disc jockey (won 1st Big Brother), born in London, England
  • May 8 Michelle McManus, Scottish pop singer ("All This Time"), born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • May 8 Benny Yau, Canadian TV presenter (What's On), born in Hong Kong
  • May 9 Angela Nikodinov, Spartanburg SC, figure skater (1997 Pacif Sr champ)
  • May 9 Tony Schmidt, German racing driver
  • May 9 Cho Hyeon Jae, South Korean actor, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • May 9 Grant Hackett, Australian swimmer (Olympicss - gold, 2000 & 2004), born in Southport, Queensland
  • May 12 Rishi Sunak, British politician (British Chancellor 2020-22), born in Southampton, England
  • May 13 Waka Inoue, Japanese gravure idol and actress
  • May 13 Mau Marcelo, Filipina-American soul and R&B singer, born in Lucena, Philippines
  • May 14 Eugene Martineau, Dutch decathlete
  • May 14 Hugo Southwell, Scottish rugby union footballer
  • May 14 Zdeněk Grygera, Czech footballer
  • May 15 Josh Beckett, American baseball player
  • May 15 Rocky Marquette, American actor
  • May 16 Michael Ryan, American ice hockey player and coach (Springfield Thunderbirds), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 16 Melanie Lofton, American Journalist
  • May 17 Davor Džalto, Serbian art historian
  • May 17 Dallas Taylor, American Christian metal singer (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Underoath), born in Ocala, Florida
  • May 17 Stéphane Robert, French professional tennis player, born in Montargis, France
  • May 18 Ali Zafar, Pakistani singer and model (Channo), born in Lahore, Pakistan
  • May 19 Drew Fuller, American actor/model
  • May 19 Tony Hackworth, English footballer
  • May 20 Austin Kearns, American Baseball player
  • May 21 Chris Raab, American television personality, born in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
  • May 21 Gotye [Wouter De Backer], Belgian-Australian rock singer-songwriter ("Someone That I Used to Know"), born in Bruges, Belgium
  • May 22 Rhett Fisher, American actor and musician, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • May 22 Steven Baker, Australian rules footballer
  • May 22 Chad Tracy, American baseball player
  • May 22 Nazanin Boniadi, British actress and activist (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, born in Tehran, Iran
  • May 23 Sarah Louise Catherwood, 4x200m swimmer (Olympics 1996), born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • May 23 Theofanis Gekas, Greek footballer
  • May 23 Lane Garrison, American actor
  • May 23 Chrisl Gethard, American comedian, writer, talk show host and podcaster (Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People), born in West Orange, New Jersey
  • May 24 Billy L. Sullivan, American actor (Will Pacino-Something So Right), born in Long Island, New York
  • May 24 Cecilia Cheung, Hong Kong-Australian actress (Fly Me To Polaris) and cantopop singer, born in Hong Kong
  • May 25 Jae Hee, South Korean actor (Sassy Girl Chun-hyang), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • May 25 David Navarro, Spanish footballer, born in Sagunto, Spain
  • May 27 Jessica Deglau, 200m butterfly (Olympics 1996), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • May 28 Miguel Pérez, Spanish footballer
  • May 28 Mark Feehily, Irish pop singer (Westlife - "Flying Without Wings"), born in Sligo, Ireland
  • May 30 Steven Gerrard, English footballer
  • May 31 Andy Hurley, American drummer (Fall Out Boy - "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race"), born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Famous Weddings

John McCain

May 17 Navy Liaison and future politician John McCain marries second wife teacher Cindy Lou Hensley

  • May 22 American actress Marlo Thomas (42) weds American TV talk host Phil Donahue (44)

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Clarrie Grimmett, Australian cricket spin bowler (37 Tests; 216 wickets @ 24.21; ICC Cricket Hall of Fame), dies at 88
  • May 2 George Pál, Hungarian-born film director (b. 1908)
  • May 2 Alioune Diop, Senegalese writer & editor (Présence africaine), dies at 70

Josip Broz Tito

May 4 Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav communist revolutionary and leader of Yugoslavia (1943-80), dies at 87

  • May 4 Kay Hammond, British actress (Blithe Spirit, 5 Golden Hours), dies at 71
  • May 5 Edmond Vandercammen, French-Belgian painter and poet (Grand Combat), dies at 79
  • May 12 Lillian Roth [Rutstein], American singer and actress (Animal Crackers; Alice Sweet Alice), dies at 69
  • May 14 Hugh Griffith, Welsh actor (Ben-Hur, Mutiny on the Bounty, Oliver!), dies from a heart attack at 67
  • May 14 Wilhelm Weismann, German composer, dies at 79
  • May 18 Ian Curtis, English rock vocalist (Joy Division), commits suicide at 23
  • May 18 Reid Blackburn, American photojournalist for National Geographic & victim of Mount St. Helens eruption, dies at 28
  • May 18 Harry Truman, American victim of Mount St. Helens eruption, dies at 83
  • May 18 David A. Johnston, American volcanologist, dies in Mount St. Helens eruption at 30
  • May 21 Ida Kamińska, Polish stage and screen actress, director, and writer (The Shop on Main Street; Mother Courage and Her Children), dies at 80
  • May 28 Rolf Nevanlinna, Finnish mathematician (b. 1895)
  • May 30 Carl Radle, American bass guitarist (Derek and the Dominoes), dies of a kidney infection at 37