On This Day

What Happened in May 1985

Historical Events

  • May 1 "Communist" bomb attack kills 2 firemen in Brussels

Historic Event

May 1 US President Reagan ends embargo against Nicaragua

  • May 1 William Hoffman's "As Is" premieres in NYC
  • May 2 US performs underground nuclear test "Towanda" at Nevada Test Site, with an estimated 150 ton yield
  • May 3 Date of $5 million check in "A View To A Kill"

Sports History

May 4 111th Kentucky Derby: Puerto Rican jockey Ángel Cordero Jr.wins aboard Spend A Buck for his third Derby triumph

  • May 4 30th Eurovision Song Contest: Bobbysocks! for Norway wins singing "La det swinge" in Gothenburg
  • May 6 17th NASA Space Shuttle Mission (51-B): Challenger 7 lands at Edwards AFB

Album Release

May 6 Columbia Records releases "Rhythm & Romance", the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash; produced by husband Rodney Crowell, the album was her first to feature her songwriting on a majority of the tracks

Music Awards

May 8 20th Academy of Country Music Awards: Alabama, George Strait, and Reba McEntire win

  • May 8 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • May 10 Challenger transports back to Kennedy Space Center via Kelly AFB
  • May 11 56 die and at least 265 are injured at Bradford City football ground in the worst fire in English football history
  • May 11 Booby trap bomb kills 86 people in India

#1 in the Charts

May 11 Madonna's "Crazy For You" single goes #1

  • May 11 Pope John Paul II arrival in Netherlands marred by violent protest

Sports History

May 11 Dave Concepcion becomes 4th Cincinnati Red teammate to get 2,000 hits, others include Pete Rose, Tony Perez & Cesar Cedeno

  • May 12 Amy Eilberg is ordained in NY as 1st woman Conservative rabbi
  • May 13 Carlton Fisk becomes 5th catcher to steal 100 bases
  • May 13 Laura Elena Martinez-Herring, 21, (Texas), crowned 34th Miss USA
  • May 13 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police drop explosive device on house occupied by revolutionary Black separatist group "Move", killing 11, during stand-off after a shoot-out; ensuing fire destroys 61 homes
  • May 15 Everton of England wins 25th European Cup Winner's Cup against Rapid Wien of Austria 3-1 in Rotterdam

Sports History

May 16 Michael Jordan named NBA Rookie of Year

  • May 16 Pope John Paul II arrives in Belgium
  • May 16 NHL Prince of Wales Conference Final: Philadelphia Flyers beat Quebec Nordiques, 4 games to 2
  • May 16 NHL Clarence Campbell Conference Final: Edmonton Oilers beat Chicago Black Hawks, 4 games to 2
  • May 17 Les Anderson, catches record 97 lb 4 oz Chinook Salmon, off Alaska
  • May 18 "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head hits #3

Sports History

May 18 110th Preakness: Pat Day aboard Tank's Prospect wins in 1:53.4

  • May 18 1st remote location for "Nightline" (South Africa)
  • May 20 Dow Jones industrial avg closes above 1,300 for 1st time
  • May 20 FBI arrests John A Walker Jr, convicted of spying for USSR
  • May 20 Indians-Brewers game at Cleveland Stadium is 1st rain-out of 1985, ends record string of 458 ML games since Opening Day without a rain-out

Boxing Title Fight

May 20 Larry Holmes beats Carl Williams in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

  • May 20 US began broadcasts to Cuba on Radio Marti
  • May 20 38th Cannes Film Festival: "When Father Was Away on Business" directed by Emir Kusturica wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 21 Israel exchanges 1,150 prisoners with the PFLP-GC in return for 3 Israeli soldiers
  • May 22 Pete Rose 2,108th run passes Hank Aaron as NL run scoring leader
  • May 22 US sailor Michael L Walker arrested for spying for USSR

Film Premiere

May 22 "A View to a Kill", 14th James Bond film, last to star Roger Moore, also starring Grace Jones and Christopher Walken, premieres in San Francisco

Film & TV History

May 23 President Ronald Reagan awards Jimmy Stewart the Presidential Medal of Freedom and promotes him to Major General on the Retired List

Sports History

May 25 Allan Border scores 4th successive 1st class 100 (v Derbyshire)

  • May 25 Cyclone ravages Bangladesh; 11,000 killed

Sports History

May 26 Indianapolis 500: Danny Sullivan wins by 24 seconds from Mario Andretti after surviving famous 360° spin on lap 120

  • May 26 Explosions destroys 2 tankers off of Gibraltar, 30 die
  • May 27 Britain agrees to return Hong Kong to China in 1997
  • May 27 Inaugural bands parade for President Reagan
  • May 28 David Jacobsen taken hostage in Beirut Lebanon
  • May 28 Discovery moves to Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (Florida) for mating of STS 51-G
  • May 29 Amputee Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months
  • May 29 29th European Cup: Juventus beats Liverpool 1-0 at Brussels

Sports History

May 30 Stanley Cup Final, Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton, AL: Edmonton Oilers take back-to-back titles; beat Philadelphia Flyers, 8-3 for a 4-1 series victory; Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri each post a goal and 3 assists

  • May 31 Guatemala adopts constitution
  • May 31 New Orleans Saints are sold for $70,204,000
  • May 31 Tornado outbreak in the United States and Canada sees 41 tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, leaving 90 dead
  • May 31 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) became a Schedule I drug in the United States

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Drew Sidora, American actress

Kyle Busch

May 2 Kyle Busch, American auto racer, (NASCAR Cup Series Champion 2015), born in Las Vegas, Nevada

Lily Allen

May 2 Lily Allen, English singer-songwriter ("It's Not Me, It's You") and TV presenter (Lily Allen and Friends), born in London

  • May 2 Sarah Hughes, American figure skater, born in Great Neck, New York
  • May 2 David Nugent, English footballer, born in Huyton, England
  • May 2 Jarrod Saltalamacchia, American baseball player, born in West Palm Beach, Florida
  • May 3 Greg Raposo, American singer and actor, born in New York
  • May 4 Anthony Fedorov, Ukranian-American singer (7th Heaven), born in Yalta, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
  • May 4 Ravi Bopara, English cricketer, born in Forest Gate, London
  • May 5 Shoko Nakagawa, Japanese actress and media personality, born in Tokyo
  • May 5 Terrence Wheatley, American football player (New England Patriots), born in Walnut Creek, California
  • May 5 P. J. Tucker, American basketball player (Houston Rockets), born in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • May 6 Chris Paul, American basketball point guard (9-time NBA All Star), born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • May 7 Drew Neitzel, American college basketball player, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • May 7 J Balvin [José Álvaro Osorio Balvín], Colombian reggaeton singer ("I Like It"), born in Medellín, Colombia
  • May 8 Mashio Miyazaki, Japanese actress (Kids War)
  • May 9 Jake Long, American football player
  • May 10 Ryan Getzlaf, Canadian ice hockey player
  • May 11 Sifow (Shiho Fujita), Japanese pop star and business woman, born in Chiba, Japan
  • May 12 Tally Hall, American soccer player, born in SeaTac, Washington
  • May 12 Jeroen Simaeys, Belgian footballer, born in Mechelen, Belgium
  • May 13 Travis Zajac, Canadian ice hockey player (New Jersey Devils), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • May 14 Sally Martin, American actress
  • May 15 Cristiane, Brazilian footballer
  • May 16 Anja Mittag, German footballer
  • May 16 Stanislav Ianevski, Bulgarian actor
  • May 16 Corey Perry, Canadian ice hockey player
  • May 17 Matt Ryan, American football player
  • May 17 Derek Hough, American dancer and singer
  • May 19 (Marcellous) "Tyrell" Johnson, American NFL football safety, 2008-12 (Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Tigers), born in Rison, Arkansas
  • May 19 Aleem Khan, English director (After Love), born in Kent, England

Chris Froome

May 20 Chris Froome, British road cyclist (Tour de France 2013, 15, 16, 17; Giro d'Italia 2018; Vuelta a España 2011, 17; Olympic bronze time trial 2012, 16), born in Nairobi, Kenya

  • May 21 Frustaci Septuplets, four boys and three girls (daughter Christina stillborn, three more die later) born to Patricia Frustaci, first known septuplets born in the US
  • May 21 Andrew Miller, American MLB baseball pitcher, 2006-present (Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, and 5 other teams), born in Gainesville, Florida
  • May 21 Kano [Robinson], English rapper and actor, born in London, England
  • May 21 Mutya Buena, British pop singer (Sugababes - "Push the Button"), born in London, England
  • May 21 Marco Carta, Italian pop singer, born in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
  • May 21 Mark Cavendish MBE, British road cyclist (UCI Road World C'ships 2011; Points classification winner Tour de France 2011, 21; Giro d'Italia 2013; Vuelta a España 2010), born in Douglas, Isle of Man
  • May 22 Tranquillo Barnetta, Swiss footballer
  • May 22 Caridee English, American Model
  • May 22 Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Canadian ice hockey player
  • May 23 Ross Wallace, Scottish footballer
  • May 24 Tim Bridgman, British racing driver, born in Harlow, England
  • May 24 Yasushi Gonjo, Japanese jazz double bassist (Gingerbread Boys), born in Yamaguchi, Japan
  • May 25 Luciana Abreu, Portuguese singer and actress (Floribella), born in Massarelos, Porto, Portugal
  • May 25 Roman Reigns [Joe" Anoaʻi], American professional wrestler (WWE Champion), born in Pensacola, Florida
  • May 25 Demba Ba, French footballer (played for Senegal), born in Sèvres, France
  • May 27 Chien-Ming Chiang, Taiwanese baseball player
  • May 28 Colbie Caillat, American folk-pop singer-songwriter ("Breakthrough"; " Bubbly"; "Brighter Than the Sun"), born in Malibu, California
  • May 31 Ian Vouyoukas, Greek basketball player (Panathinaikos), born in London, England
  • May 31 Jordy Nelson, American NFL player (Green Bay Packers), born in Manhattan, Kansas

Famous Weddings

Bruce Springsteen

May 13 American rock singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen (35) weds American actress Julianne Phillips (25) at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Oswego, Oregon; divorce in 1989

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 George Pravda, Czech actor, dies at 68
  • May 2 Hal LeRoy [John LeRoy Schotte], American vaudeville, Broadway and film dancer (Ziegfeld's Follies of 1931), dies at 71 after surgery
  • May 2 Milton S Eisenhower, US diplomat, dies at 85
  • May 2 Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader, dies at 75
  • May 2 Bridget D'Oyly Carte, British theater & hotel director, dies of lung cancer at 77
  • May 4 Clarence Wiseman, the 10th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1907)
  • May 5 Sir Donald Bailey, British civil engineer (b. 1901)
  • May 6 Julie Vega, Filipina child actress and singer, dies at 16
  • May 6 Pete Desjardins, American platform and springboard diver (Olympic gold 1928), dies at 78
  • May 7 Dawn Addams, British actress (A King in New York, Star Maidens) who married the Prince of Roccasecca, dies of cancer at 54
  • May 8 Adolphus "Dolph" Sweet, American actor (Gimme a Break, Which Way is Up), dies of cancer at 64
  • May 8 Redmond "Edmond" O'Brien, American actor (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sam Benedict, Johnny Midnight), dies of Alzheimer's at 69
  • May 8 Karl Marx, German composer and conductor, dies at 87
  • May 9 Reginald Dixon, British theatre organist, dies at 80
  • May 11 Chester Gould, American cartoonist (Dick Tracy), dies at 84
  • May 11 Garmt Stuiveling, Dutch writer & poet (Ego & Echo), dies at 77
  • May 11 Jorja Curtright, American actor (Whistle Stop), dies of a heart attack at 89
  • May 12 Jean Dubuffet, French painter and sculptor (Landscape with 2 Personages), dies at 83
  • May 13 Leatrice Joy, silent screen star, dies in Riverdale (Bronx) NYC at 91
  • May 13 Selma Diamond, Canadian-American comedy writer (Your Show Of Shows), and actress (Night Court, 1984-85 - "Selma"), dies of lung cancer at 64
  • May 13 Revaz Dogonadze, Georgian scientist (one of the founders of Quantum electrochemistry), dies at 53
  • May 14 Mohammed Munir, Indonesian worker's union leader, executed
  • May 15 Jackie Curtis, actor (Underground USA), dies of a drug overdose at 38

Margaret Hamilton

May 16 Margaret Hamilton, American character actress (The Wizard of Oz), dies of a heart attack at 82

  • May 17 Bobby Ewing, (Patrick Duffy) killed off on Dallas
  • May 17 Hugh Burden, actor (Night of Laughing Dead), dies at 72
  • May 17 Abe Burrows [Borowitz], American Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning songwriter, composer, and writer, dies from Alzheimer's disease at 74
  • May 18 Tex Terry, American actor (Apache Rose, Timberjack), dies at 82
  • May 18 Stojan Daskalov, Bulgarian writer (A Farm), dies at 75
  • May 18 Harald Andersson, Swedish discus thrower (world record 52.42m 1934), dies at 78
  • May 20 George Memmoli, actor (Earl-Hello Larry), dies at 46
  • May 24 Joe Darensbourg, Cajun-American dixieland-style jazz clarinetist (Jelly Roll Morton; Louis Armstrong), dies at 78
  • May 25 Harold Hecht, American choreographer, dies at 77 of cancer
  • May 25 Robert Nathan, American poet and novelist (Portrait of Jennie), dies at 91
  • May 27 Kay Campbell, actress (All My Children), dies at 80
  • May 27 (Clifton) "Skeeter" Best, American jazz guitarist (Erskine Hawkins; Earl Hines; Oscar Pettiford; Ray Charles; Milt Jackson), dies at 70
  • May 29 39 people die in a confrontation at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium when Juventus and Italian fans are crushed against a wall escaping a breach by Liverpool fans
  • May 29 Madge West, American actress (McLean Stevenson Show), dies at 93