On This Day

What Happened in May 1997

Historical Events

  • May 1 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in San Diego CA on KIOZ 105.3 FM

Election of Interest

May 1 Tony Blair elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

  • May 1 Tasmania becomes the last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality
  • May 2 Mercury Mail announces its 1 millionth internet subscriber

Film & TV History

May 2 Police arrest transsexual prostitute Atisone Seiuli with Eddie Murphy

  • May 2 Republic of Texas security chief Robert Scheidt surrenders

Film Release

May 2 "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery", starring Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley, is released

  • May 3 123rd Kentucky Derby: Gary Stevens aboard Silver Charm wins in 2:02.3

Sports History

May 3 Garry Kasparov begins chess match with IBM supercomputer Deep Blue

  • May 3 42nd Eurovision Song Contest: Katrina and the Waves for United Kingdom wins singing "Love Shine a Light" in Dublin
  • May 5 "Married With Children" final episode on Fox TV
  • May 5 Iridium-1 Delta 2 Launch, Successful
  • May 6 US Army Staff Sgt Delmar Simpson gets 25-year sentence in military prison for 18 counts of rape, and other offenses (part of the Aberdeen Scandal)
  • May 6 NHL Hartford Whalers become Carolina Hurricanes
  • May 6 Rick Pitino becomes coach of Boston Celtics
  • May 6 The Bank of England is given independence from political control, the most significant change in the bank's 300-year history

Hall of Fame

May 6 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: The Bee Gees; Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills and Nash; The Jackson Five; Joni Mitchell; Parliament-Funkadelic; The (Young) Rascals; Mahalia Jackson; Bill Monroe; and Syd Nathan

  • May 7 Expos scores 13 in 6th at Giants
  • May 7 Galileo, 4th Ganymede Flyby (Orbit 8)

Film Release

May 7 Science fiction film "The Fifth Element" written and directed by Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich is released. Then the most expensive European film ever made.

  • May 9 1st US ambassador since Saigon fell arrives in Vietnam
  • May 9 San Diego Padres retire #35 worn by pitcher Randy Jones
  • May 10 Chicago Cubs turn baseballs 68th triple play (vs SF Giants)
  • May 11 "Play On!" closes at Brooks Atkinson Theatre NYC after 61 performances
  • May 11 NY Mets C Everett & Butch Huskey are 9th to hit consecutive pinch HRs
  • May 11 Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov 3.5-2.5 in chess
  • May 12 14 North Koreans defect to South Korea
  • May 12 Angels scores 13 in 7th vs White Sox
  • May 12 Russia & Chechnya sign peace deal after 400 years of conflict
  • May 12 Australian Susie Maroney becomes first to swim from Cuba to Florida
  • May 12 Tornado narrowly misses downtown Miami

Music Single

May 12 "It's Your Love" single released by Time McGraw and Faith Hill

Sports History

May 13 Eddie Murray is 6th baseball player to play in 3,000 games

Sports History

May 14 Baseball's Executive Council suspends NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for his suing other team owners

  • May 14 FC Barcelona of Spain win 37th European Cup Winner's Cup against Paris Saint-Germain of France 1-0 in Rotterdam
  • May 15 ABC News & Starwave Corp launch ABCNEWS.com
  • May 15 STS 84 (Atlantis 19), launches, 6th Shuttle-Mir Mission
  • May 16 Atlanta Braves beat St Louis Cardinals, 1-0 in 13 innings
  • May 16 Brandi Sherwood (Miss Idaho) replaces Brook Lee as Miss USA when Brook is crowned Miss Universe
  • May 16 Brook Mehealani Lee, 26, of USA crowned 46th Miss Universe
  • May 16 MLB Montreal Expos trailing San Francisco Giants by 9 runs comeback to win 14-13
  • May 16 MLB St Louis Cardinal Gary Gaetti records his 2,000th hit
  • May 16 Final agreement creating Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) signed by project participants, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Chevron Corp and others
  • May 17 122nd Preakness: Gary Stevens aboard Silver Charm wins in 1:54
  • May 17 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Sandra Jo Shiery-Odom
  • May 17 Troops loyal to Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa.
  • May 18 "King David" opens at New Amsterdam Theater NYC

LPGA Championship

May 18 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, DuPont CC: Christa Johnson wins her only major title on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff over Leta Lindley

  • May 18 50th Cannes Film Festival: "Taste of Cherry" directed by Abbas Kiarostami and "Unagi" directed by Shohei Imamura jointly awarded the Palme d'Or

Film Premiere

May 19 "The Lost World: Jurassic Park", directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Moore, premieres in the US

  • May 20 Cosmos Zenit-2 Launch (Russia), Failed
  • May 20 Thor-2A Delta 2 Launch (Norway/USA), Successful
  • May 20 White Sox Frank Thomas reaches base safely for 15th straight time

Historic Event

May 20 US President Clinton signs an executive order barring new US investment in Burma (also known as Myanmar), effective May 21 and renewable annually

Sports History

May 21 Blue Jays pitcher Roger Clemens beats the Yankees for his 200th win

Daytime Emmy Awards

May 21 Emmy 24th Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 17th time

  • May 22 Kelly Flinn, US Air Force's first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepts a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial
  • May 22 "Closer" play by Patrick Marber starring Clive Owen, opens at the Royal National Theatre in London
  • May 23 "King David" closes at New Amsterdam Theater NYC
  • May 23 Mel Karmazin replaces Peter Lund as CEO of CBS TV

Film & TV History

May 24 Actor Tim Allen arrested for drunk driving in Michigan

  • May 24 STS 84 (Atlantis 19), lands
  • May 24 Telstar-5 Proton Launch, Successful

Sports History

May 25 Minnesota Twins retire Kirby Puckett's uniform #

  • May 25 Todd and Mel Stottlemyre become 1st father and son to win 100 games of baseball
  • May 25 A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah
  • May 25 NHL Eastern Conference Final: Philadelphia Flyers beat New York Rangers, 4 games to 1

Baseball Record

May 26 Sammy Sosa (Cubs) & Tony Womack (Pirates) hit inside the park HRs

  • May 26 NHL Western Conference Final: Detroit Red Wings beat Colorado Avalanche, 4 games to 2
  • May 27 1st all female (20 British women) team reach the North Pole
  • May 27 Indianapolis 500: Dutchman Arie Luyendyk wins from pole position for his second Indy victory; Treadway Racing finishes 1-2 with Luyendyk's teammate Scott Goodyear runner-up
  • May 27 Judge finds Pamela Lee not guilty of breaking a contract
  • May 27 Major league revenue sharing begins, NY Yanks pay out most $28M
  • May 27 Marv Albert pleads innocent to charges of sexual assault

Treaty of Interest

May 27 Russian President Boris Yeltsin signs a historic treaty with NATO

Music History

May 28 Bob Dylan hospitalized in England with histoplasmosis (fungal lung infection)

  • May 28 Linda Finch completes Amelia Earhart attempted around-the-world flight
  • May 28 Tornado in Jarrell, Texas kills at least 28
  • May 28 Wallace Berg, 42, is 4th American to scale Mt Everest for 3rd time
  • May 28 5th UEFA Champions League Final: Borussia Dortmund beats Juventus 3-1 at Munich
  • May 29 70th National Spelling Bee: Rebecca Sealfon wins spelling euonym
  • May 29 Jesse Timmedequas found guilty of rape and murder of Megan Kanka, 7
  • May 29 Span scientists announce new human species in 780,000 year old fossil

Historic Event

May 30 Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X, set on fire by 12-year old grandson

Sports History

May 30 Ken Dryden becomes president of NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs

  • May 31 The Confederation Bridge opens, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick
  • May 31 Super Rugby Final, Eden Park, Auckland: Blues win second straight title with a 23-7 victory over ACT Brumbies; fullback Adrian Cashmore lands 3 penalties & 2 conversions for the winners

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Ariel Gade, American actress
  • May 8 [Xiaoyu] Bruce Liu, Chinese-Canadian classical pianist (International Chopin Piano Competition, 2021), born in Paris, France
  • May 11 Lana Condor, American actress (To All the Boys I've Loved Before), born in Cần Thơ , Vietnam
  • May 11 Coi Leray [Collins], American rapper (No More Parties), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 12 Frenkie de Jong, Dutch football player (Barcelona), born in Gorinchem, Netherlands
  • May 18 Alana Etheridge, American actress, born in San Diego, California
  • May 20 Omar Apollo, American singer-songwriter (Ivory), born in Hobart, Indiana
  • May 20 Alexandre Kantorow, French concert pianist (International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2019), born in Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • May 24 Exzavier Whitley, American folk singer ("Finally Happy"), born in Omaha, Nebraska

Famous Weddings

  • May 3 "Port Charles" soap opera actor Jon Lindstrom (39) weds "The Young and The Restless" actress Eileen Davidson (38) in Cambria, California

Dwayne Johnson

May 3 Actor The Rock [Dwayne Johnson] (25) weds producer Dany Garcia (28)

  • May 6 "The X-Files" actor David Duchovny (36) weds actress Tea Leoni (31) in the garden of the Grace Church School

Wedding of Interest

May 19 Film and stage actor Matthew Broderick (35) weds Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker (32) in New York


Famous Divorces

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Bebe, AKA Flipper, dolphin, dies at 40
  • May 2 Paulo Freire, Brazilian educator and philosopher (critical pedagogy), dies at 75
  • May 2 Queen Mother Moore, African-American civil rights activist and humanitarian, dies at 98
  • May 3 Narciso Yepes, Spanish classical guitarist (b. 1927)
  • May 3 Sébastien Enjolras, French racing driver, killed in a practice crash at 21
  • May 4 Alvin "Alvy" Moore, American comic actor (Green Acres, Scream, Intruder), dies of heart failure at 75
  • May 4 Vijayananda Dahanayake, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1959-60), dies
  • May 5 Tolia Nikiprowetzky, French composer, ethno-musicologist and broadcaster of Russian heritage, dies at 80
  • May 5 Walter Gotell, German actor (James Bond, From Russia With Love), dies at 73
  • May 8 Kai-Uwe Von Hassel, German President of Bundestag (CDU 1969-72), dies at 84
  • May 8 Brian Wenham, British journalist (BBC), and media consultant, dies at 60
  • May 9 Willy Hess, Swiss musicologist, composer and famous Beethoven scholar, dies at 90
  • May 9 Marco Ferreri, Italian film director, dies at 68
  • May 9 Bob Devaney, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (National C'ship, University of Nebraska 1970, 71; University of Wyoming; career record 136–30–7), dies at 82
  • May 10 Joan [Joanie] Weston, American roller derby queen (Bay Bombers), dies at 61
  • May 11 Brenda Carlin, American television producer & wife of comedian George Carlin, dies at 57
  • May 13 Laurie Lee, English poet and author (I Can't Stay Long), dies at 82
  • May 14 Harry Blackstone, Jr., American stage magician (Blackstone Book of Magic & Illusion), dies of cancer at 62
  • May 14 Princess Caradja-Kretzulesco, descendant of Dracula, dies at 76
  • May 14 Thelma Carpenter, American radio and jazz band singer (Coleman Hawkins; Count Basie) and stage and screen actress (Barefoot In The Park), dies of cardiac arrest at 76
  • May 16 Elbridge Durbrow, American diplomat (b. 1903)
  • May 16 Horace "Bones" McKinney, American basketball forward, coach and broadcaster (Washington Capitols, Wake Forest), dies at 78
  • May 18 Bridgette Andersen, American actress, dies at 21
  • May 19 Millie, dog of US President George H. W. Bush (Millie's Book), dies at 12
  • May 20 Virgilio Boat, president of Colombia (1986-90), dies
  • May 22 A. D. Hershey, American biologist, worked with bacteriophages (Nobel 1969), dies at 88
  • May 23 Lovie Lee [Edward Lee Watson], American electric blues pianist, singer, and songwriter, dies at 88
  • May 24 Edward Mulhare, Irish actor (Knight Rider), dies of lung cancer at 74
  • May 25 Muhammad Fadhel, Iraqi politician, Prime Minister of Iraq (1953-54), dies at 94
  • May 25 Jay Hebert, American golfer (PGA Championship 1960), dies at 74
  • May 26 Manfred Von Ardenne, German scientific pioneer, dies at 90
  • May 26 Jack Jersey, Indonesian-Dutch singer and producer, dies at 55
  • May 29 George Fenneman, American radio and TV announcer (You Bet Your Life), dies at 77
  • May 29 Jeff Buckley, American musician and singer ("Hallelujah"), drowns at 30
  • May 29 John Sengstacke, publisher (Defender), dies at 84
  • May 30 West Arkeen, American musician, best known for co-writing several Guns N' Roses songs (It's So Easy, The Garden), dies of a drug overdose at 36
  • May 31 Rosie Will Monroe, WW II icon (Rosie the riveter), dies at 76
  • May 31 James Bennett Griffin, American archaeologist, dies at 92
  • May 31 Anton Zischka, Austrian writer (Lebendiges Europa), dies at 92