On This Day

What Happened in May 1989

Historical Events

  • May 1 135 acre Disney's MGM studio theme park officially opens to public in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • May 1 American jockey Chris Antley's record 64-day consecutive winning streak ends when he fails with 5 mounts at Aqueduct, NY; streak includes 147 winners from 486 mounts
  • May 1 Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins: US Supreme Court rules employers have legal burden to prove non- discriminatory reasons for not hiring or promoting

Album Release

May 2 "Killin' Time" debut album by Clint Black is released (Billboard Album of the Year, 1990)

  • May 4 Junior Felix of Toronto Blue Jays becomes 53rd MLB player to hit HR on 1st at bat
  • May 4 NASA launches Magellan probe to Venus from Space Shuttle Atlantis
  • May 4 NASA launches space shuttle Atlantis (STS-30) from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Sports History

May 5 Mike Tyson gets 2nd speeding ticket for drag racing in Albany, New York

  • May 6 115th Kentucky Derby: Pat Valenzuela on Sunday Silence wins in 2:05
  • May 6 34th Eurovision Song Contest: Riva for Yugoslavia wins singing "Rock Me" in Lausanne
  • May 7 Mark Merrony (Wales) cycles for 30 mins in Nepal at 21,030 feet

Historic Event

May 7 Panamanian voters reject dictator Manuel Noriega's bid for presidency

Sports History

May 8 Paul McCartney releases remake of "Ferry Cross the Mersey" in aid of those affected by the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool football fans

  • May 8 US space shuttle STS-30 lands
  • May 9 "Saratina!" closes at Cort Theater NYC after 597 performances
  • May 9 Journalist petition Chinese government for freedom of press
  • May 9 NY Mets Kevin Elster, errors after 88 errorless games at shortstop
  • May 9 NY Mets Rick Cerone, errors after 159 errorless games as catcher
  • May 9 VP Quayle says in United Negro College Fund speech: "What a waste it is to lose one's mind" instead of "a mind is terrible thing to waste"
  • May 10 FC Barcelona of Spain win 29th European Cup Winner's Cup against Sampdoria of Italy 1-0 in Bern
  • May 10 General Manuel Noriega's Panama government nullifies country's elections, which the opposition had won by a 3-1 margin
  • May 10 NHL Clarence Campbell Conference Final: Calgary Flames beat Chicago Blackhawks, 4 games to 1
  • May 11 217th & final episode of TV soap "Dynasty" is aired
  • May 11 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • May 11 Kenya announces worldwide ban on ivory to preserve its elephant herds

Historic Event

May 11 US President George H. W. Bush orders nearly 2,000 troops to Panama

  • May 11 NHL Prince of Wales Conference Final: Montreal Canadians beat Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 2
  • May 12 "Entertainment Tonight" makes its 2,000th TV performance
  • May 12 Last graffiti covered NYC subway car retired
  • May 12 Retired British pilot Jack Mann is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists
  • May 13 Approx 2,000 students begin hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, China

Sports History

May 13 Minnesota Twin Kirby Puckett becomes 35th to hit 4 doubles in a game

  • May 13 Trinidad & Tobago ties US 1-1, in 3rd round of 1990 world soccer cup
  • May 14 1st Tour de Trump bicycle race run (Atlanta)
  • May 14 1st time since 1948 a player hit 6 consecutive doubles (Kirby Puckett)
  • May 14 Demonstration for democratic reforms in Beijing's Tiananmen square
  • May 14 Final TV episode of "Family Ties" airs on NBC with a 36 million audience
  • May 14 Moonlighting, TV Crime Drama last airs on ABC
  • May 15 "Chu Chem" closes at Ritz Theater NYC after 44 performances
  • May 15 Blue Jays fire manager Jimy Williams & replace him with Cito Gaston

Summit of Interest

May 15 Soviet President Gorbachev visits Beijing for the 1st Sino-Soviet summit in 30 years

  • May 15 US Basketball League cancels its summer schedule
  • May 15 Maxwell House coffee runs ads during "Roe vs Wade" movie despite threat of boycott by right-to-lifers
  • May 16 Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping meet in Beijing and formally end a 30-year rift
  • May 17 Longest Cab Ride Ever: 14,000 miles costs $16,000!

Historic Event

May 17 Nelson Mandela receives a BA from University of South Africa

  • May 19 Dow Jones Avg passes 2,500 mark for 1st time, closes at 2,501.1

TV Show Appearance

May 19 Sue Ellen's (Linda Gray) last appearance on TV show "Dallas"

Film Premiere

May 19 "Do the Right Thing", directed by Spike Lee, starring Danny Aiello and Ossie Davis premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

  • May 20 114th Preakness: Pat Valenzuela aboard Sunday Silence wins in 1:53.8
  • May 20 China declares martial law in Beijing

Film & TV History

May 20 Toonces The Cat takes the wheel on "Saturday Night Live"

  • May 20 Walter McConnel, 57, is oldest to reach 27,000' Mt Everest top

Film Premiere

May 20 Premiere of sports fantasy drama film "Field of Dreams", based on W. P. Kinsella's novel "Shoeless Joe", starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster in his final film role

LPGA Championship

May 21 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, Jack Nicklaus GC: Nancy Lopez wins her 3rd LPGA C'ship by 3 strokes from Ayako Okamoto of Japan

  • May 23 3rd American Comedy Award: Paula Poundstone
  • May 23 Angela Visser, 22, of Holland, crowned 38th Miss Universe
  • May 23 Lincoln Square in Bronx named
  • May 23 Cleve loses & drop to 21-22, this is the latest a sub .500 team is in 1st place (AL East)

Cannes Film Festival

May 23 42nd Cannes Film Festival: "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" directed by Steven Soderbergh wins the Palme d'Or

Film Premiere

May 24 "Indiana Jones & Last Crusade", directed by Stephen Spielberg, and produced by George Lucas premieres

  • May 24 French war criminal Paul Touvier arrested in monastery in Nice

Sports History

May 24 NHL's NY Rangers fire GM & coach Phil Esposito

Music Recording

May 24 Weird Al Yankovic records three tracks for his UHF soundtrack

  • May 24 NY Yankee hurler Lee Gutterman sets record of pitching 30-2/3 innings before giving up his 1st run of season
  • May 24 Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of the Yorkshire Ripper, is awarded £600,000 in damages after winning a libel action against satirical magazine Private Eye (later reduced to £60,000 on appeal).
  • May 24 33rd European Cup: Milan beats Steaua Bucuresti 4-0 at Barcelona
  • May 25 Eastern Airlines graduates it 1st class of non-union pilots
  • May 25 Mariners trade Mark Langston to Montreal for Randy Johnson
  • May 25 Mikhail Gorbachev elected Executive President in the Soviet Union
  • May 25 Stanley Cup Final, Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec: Calgary Flames beat Montreal Canadiens, 4-2 to win series 4 games to 2; Flames' first SC title
  • May 25 Weird Al Yankovic records parody song "She Drives Like Crazy"
  • May 26 American radio broadcasters go silent for 30 seconds at 7:42 am to honor the radio industry
  • May 26 Danish parliament allows same-sex marriage
  • May 26 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 28 Indianapolis 500: Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil first foreign winner since 1966; completes final lap under caution after crashing with Al Unser Jr

Sports History

May 29 Philadelphia Phillies 12-time All Star 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt retires from MLB at 39

Goddess of Democracy

May 29 Student pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, China construct a replica of the Statue of Liberty, naming it the Goddess of Democracy

Film & TV History

May 30 Margaret Ray pleads guilty to breaking into David Letterman's house

  • May 31 "Rambling with Gambling" 20,000th radio program on WOR-AM (NYC)
  • May 31 1st International Rock Awards in the US
  • May 31 Speaker of US House of Representatives Jim Wright resigns

Famous Birthdays

  • May 4 Rory McIlroy, Irish golfer (US Open 2011, British Open 2014, PGA C'ship 2012, 14; FedEx Cup 2016, 19), born in Holywood, Northern Ireland

Chris Brown

May 5 Chris Brown, American R&B singer, born in Tappahannock, Virginia

  • May 6 Dominika Cibulková, Slovakian tennis player (WTA Finals champion 2016), born in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • May 9 C418 [Daniel Rosenfeld], German ambient musician, and video game and soundtrack composer (Minecraft; Beyond Stranger Things), born in Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany (now Chemnitz, Germany)
  • May 10 Lindsey Shaw, American actress (Paige McCullers-Pretty Little Liars), born in Lincoln, Nebraska
  • May 11 Giovani dos Santos, Mexican footballer
  • May 11 Cam Newton, American football quarterback (Heisman Trophy 2010, Auburn; NFL MVP 2015; Pro Bowl 2011, 13, 15; Carolina Panthers), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 11 Ashleigh Buhai, South African golfer (British Women's Open 2022), born in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • May 12 Megan Lovell, American singer and guitarist (Larkin Poe), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • May 22 Christian Sands, American jazz pianist and composer, born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • May 24 Tara Correa-McMullen, American actress (Judging Amy), born in Westminster, Vermont (d. 2005)
  • May 24 G-Eazy [Gerald Earl Gillum], American rapper ("Me, Myself & I"; "No Limit"), born in Oakland, California
  • May 29 Riley Keough, American actress and model, grand daughter of Elvis Presley, born in Santa Monica, California
  • May 29 Ezekiel Ansah, Ghanaian NFL defensive end (Pro Bowl 2015, Seattle Seahawks), born in Accra, Ghana
  • May 29 Sanah Kadoura, Lebanese-Canadian jazz drummer and percussionist, born in Calgary, Alberta
  • May 30 Kevin Covais, American singer (American Idol) and actor, born in Levittown, New York
  • May 31 Marco Reus, German football player (Borussia Dortmund, German national team), born in Dortmund, West Germany

Famous Weddings

Moises Alou

May 16 MLB player Moisés Alou (22) weds Austria Melo

  • May 28 Delta Burke (Designing Women) weds Gerald McRaney (Major Dad)

Famous Divorces

Darryl Strawberry

May 18 Lisa Strawberry files for divorce from husband and MLB player Darryl Strawberry (they eventually divorce 1993)

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 David Webster, South African white anti-apartheids activist, murdered
  • May 1 Douglass Watson, American actor (Satan Murders, Another World), dies at 68
  • May 1 Marion Mack, actress (General), dies
  • May 1 Sally Kirkland, American fashion editor (Vogue magazine) and manager (Lord & Taylor), dies at 76
  • May 2 Giuseppe Siri, Italian Catholic Cardinal (b. 1906)
  • May 2 Veniamin Kaverin, Russian writer (b. 1902)
  • May 3 Christine Jorgensen, 1st transsexual, dies at 62
  • May 3 Muriel Ostriche, American silent film actress dies at 92
  • May 3 Edward Ochab, Polish Communist politician (b. 1906)
  • May 4 Evelle Jansen Younger, American prosecutor (Charles Manson; Sirhan Sirhan), dies at 70
  • May 5 Frank Easton, cricket wicket-keeper (NSW 1933-39), dies
  • May 9 Keith Whitley, American country music singer ("Don't Close Your Eyes"), dies of alcohol poisoning at 33
  • May 10 Woody Shaw, American jazz trumpeter (Rosewood), dies from complications after being stuck by a subway train at 44
  • May 11 Jitka Snížková, Czech composer, music educator and musicologist, dies at 64
  • May 12 Joe Valdez Caballero, American creator of hard taco, shell, dies at 81
  • May 12 Marcelle de Manziarly, French pianist and composer, dies at 89
  • May 14 Joe Primeau, Canadian NHL center (Toronto Maple Leafs), dies at 83
  • May 15 Johnny Green, American singer (Body and Soul) and film score composer who won 5 Academy Awards, dies at 80
  • May 16 Hassan Khaled, sheik of Lebanon, murdered
  • May 17 Dan Alderson, American scientist (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and sci-fi fandom figure, dies of diabetes at 47
  • May 19 Abel Herzberg, Russian-Dutch Jewish lawyer (Eichmann in Jerusalem), dies at 95
  • May 19 Robert Webber, American actor (12 Angry Men, Moonlighting, 79 Park Avenue), dies of Lou Gehrig's disease at 64
  • May 20 Erzsébet Galgoczi, Hungarian writer, dies at 58
  • May 20 Anton Diffring [Alfred Pollack], German character actor (Assignment Vienna), dies at 70
  • May 20 Gilda Radner, American comedian and actress (SNL, 1975-80; Haunted Honeymoon), dies of ovarian cancer at 42
  • May 20 John R. Hicks, English economist (Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences 1972), dies at 85
  • May 22 Steven DeGroote, South African classical pianist, dies from multiple organ failure due to AIDS at 36
  • May 23 Georgy Tovstonogov, Russian theatre director (b. 1915)
  • May 23 Lindembergue Cardoso, Brazilian composer, and music educator (Brazilian Contemporary Music Ensemble), dies at 49
  • May 24 Herwig Hensen [Flor Mielants], Flemish dramatist/poet, dies at 72
  • May 26 Don Revie, English soccer forward (6 caps; Leicester City, Hull City, Manchester City, Sunderland, Leeds) and manager (Leeds, England, UAE), dies from MND at 61
  • May 27 Jack Starrett, director/actor (Chase, Nightwish, 1st Blood), dies
  • May 27 Arseny Tarkovsky, Russian poet (b. 1907)
  • May 29 John Cipollina, American rock guitarist (Quicksilver Messenger Service), dies from a longterm lung disease at 45
  • May 30 Zinka Milanov, Croatian soprano (Ljublama Opera 1927, NY Metropolitan Opera), dies of a stroke at 83
  • May 30 Claude Pepper, American politician (Rep-D-FL, 1963-89), dies at 88
  • May 31 C. L. R. James [Cyril Lionel Robert James], Trinidadian historian (The Black Jacobins), journalist, intellectual and socialist, dies at 88 [1]
  • May 31 Charles A. Hufnagel, American surgeon (artificial heart valve pioneer), dies at 72
  • May 31 Terry Drinkwater, American CBS news correspondent, dies at 53 of cancer