On This Day

What Happened in May 1999

Historical Events

  • May 1 125th Kentucky Derby: Chris Antley wins aboard Charismatic for his second Derby victory (1991 on Strike The Gold)

Television Debut

May 1 Animated series "SpongeBob SquarePants", created by Stephen Hillenburg, debuts on Nickelodeon

  • May 2 Panamanian election, 1999: Mireya Moscoso becomes the first woman to be elected President of Panama

Sports History

May 2 John Elway announces his retirement from the NFL

  • May 3 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is slammed by an F5 tornado killing forty-two people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado was one of 66 from the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak.
  • May 3 The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 for the first time in its history at 11,014.70.
  • May 3 World Snooker Championship, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield: Stephen Hendry of Scotland defeats Welshman Mark Williams, 18-11 for a record 7th world crown

Film Premiere

May 4 "The Mummy" film directed by Stephen Sommers starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah premieres in the US

  • May 7 Kosovo War: In Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, three Chinese citizens are killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade
  • May 7 In Guinea-Bissau, President João Bernardo Vieira is ousted in a military coup.

Papal Visit

May 7 Pope John Paul II travels to Romania becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054.

  • May 7 Jury finds "The Jenny Jones Show" and Warner Bros. liable in death of Scott Amedure, after purposely deceiving Jonathan Schmitz to appear on a same-sex crush episode. Schmitz later kills Amedure, jury awards Amedure's family $25 million
  • May 8 Nancy Mace becomes the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel military college (South Carolina)
  • May 9 45th British Academy Television Awards: "Father Ted" Best Comedy, "The Cops" Best Drama
  • May 12 Sir David Steel becomes the first Presiding Officer (speaker) of the modern Scottish Parliament.
  • May 13 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi is elected 10th President of Italy
  • May 15 124th Preakness: Chris Antley wins aboard Charismatic for the second leg of an unsuccessful Triple Crown campaign
  • May 15 Columbus Crew Stadium (now Historic Crew Stadium), the 1st Major League Soccer stadium constructed in the United States
  • May 18 "Millennium" 3rd studio album by the Backstreet Boys is released - one of the best-selling albums of all time, over 30 million copies sold

Film Release

May 19 "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace", directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson, is released in cinemas

  • May 19 Lazio of Italy win 39th European Cup Winner's Cup against Mallorca of Spain 2-1 in Birmingham
  • May 19 Andrew Motion is appointed British Poet Laureate for 10 years, the first to request a definite term

Film & TV History

May 21 All My Children star Susan Lucci finally wins a Daytime Emmy after being nominated 19 times, the longest period of unsuccessful nominations in television history

  • May 23 52nd Cannes Film Festival: "Rosetta" directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 24 Venezuela enters the Antarctic Treaty System.
  • May 25 The United States House of Representatives releases the Cox Report detailing People's Republic of China's nuclear espionage against the U.S. over prior two decades
  • May 26 7th UEFA Champions League Final: Manchester United beats Bayern Munich 2-1 at Barcelona

Historic Event

May 27 The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicts Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo

Historic Event

May 28 In Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "The Last Supper" is put back on display

  • May 28 Two Swedish police officers are murdered with their own fire arms by the bank robbers Jackie Arklöv and Tony Olsson after a dramatic car chase
  • May 29 Olusegun Obasanjo takes office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule
  • May 29 Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station.
  • May 29 44th Eurovision Song Contest: Charlotte Nilsson for Sweden wins singing "Take Me to Your Heaven" in Jerusalem
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Kenny Bräck of Sweden wins after race leader Robby Gordon runs out of fuel with just over one lap to go
  • May 30 Super Rugby Final, Carisbrook, Dunedin: Canterbury Crusaders retain title with a 24-19 win over Otago Highlanders; flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens kicks 3 penalties, a conversion & dropped goal for the winners
  • May 31 NHL Eastern Conference Final: Buffalo Sabres beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 1

Famous Birthdays

  • May 11 Sabrina Carpenter, American actress (Girl Meets World) and singer, born in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
  • May 23 James Charles [Dickinson], American internet personality and model (Cover Girl), born in Bethlehem, New York
  • May 25 Brec Bassinger, American actress (Stargirl), born in Saginaw, Texas
  • May 27 Lily-Rose Depp, French-American singer and actress (The Dancer), born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • May 28 Cameron Boyce, American actor (Mirrors, Jessie), born in North Hollywood, California (d. 2019)
  • May 30 Guanyu Zhou, Chinese racing driver (first Chinese F1 driver), born in Shanghai, China

Famous Weddings

  • May 1 "Dixie Chicks" singer Emily Erwin (26) weds singer-songwriter Charlie Robison (34) at Lone Star State in Texas
  • May 1 "As Good As It Gets" actor Greg Kinnear (35) weds British model Helen Labdon (29)
  • May 8 "ER" actor Goran Visnjic (34) weds Croatian artist Ivana Vrdoljak
  • May 14 "Sunset Beach" actor Clive Robertson (33) weds actress Libby Purvis (30) at sunset on Necker Island

Deion Sanders

May 21 NFL legend Deion Sanders (31) weds model Pilar Biggers in Paradise Island, Bahamas

Richard Dreyfuss

May 30 "The Goodbye Girl" actor Richard Dreyfuss (51) weds accountant Janelle Lacey in Los Angeles


Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Oliver Reed, English actor (b. 1938)
  • May 3 Joe Adcock, American baseball utility, manager (Milwaukee Braves; 2-time MLB All Star), dies of Alzheimer's disease at 71
  • May 3 Steve Chiasson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1967)
  • May 3 Godfrey Evans, English cricket wicket-keeper (91 Tests; 219 dismissals; Kent), dies at 78
  • May 4 Brinsley Ford, British art historian and CEO (National Art Collections Fund), dies at 90
  • May 6 Dennis Riley, American composer (Masques (for wind quintet)), dies at 55
  • May 6 Johnny Morris, British broadcaster and actor (Once in a Lifetime), dies at 82
  • May 8 Dirk Bogarde [Derek van den Bogaerde] British writer and actor (Death in Venice, Servant), dies at 78
  • May 8 Ed Gilbert, American actor (The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries), dies at 67
  • May 8 Dana Plato, American actress (Kimberly-Diff'rent Strokes), dies at 34
  • May 9 Ivan M. Niven, Canadian-American mathematician, dies at 83
  • May 10 Shel Silverstein, American writer and cartoonist (Now Here's My Plan: A Book of Futilities; The Giving Tree) and songwriter ("A Boy Named Sue"; "The Cover Of The Rolling Stone"), dies at 68
  • May 12 Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia 1993-1999 (b. 1910)
  • May 12 Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist and illustrator (The New Yorker), dies at 84
  • May 12 Penny Santon [Pierina Burlando], American actress (Fletch, Roll Out, Matt Houston), dies at 82
  • May 13 Gene Sarazen, American golfer (7 x major titles including Career Grand Slam; 38 PGA Tour event wins), dies of pneumonia at 97
  • May 13 Meg Greenfield, American Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer (Washington Post; Newsweek), dies of cancer at 68
  • May 17 Bruce Fairbairn, Canadian musician and record producer (Loverboy; Bon Jovi; Aerosmith) dies at 49
  • May 17 Henry Jones, American actor (Vertigo, Phyllis, Falcon Crest, Gun Shy), dies from complications from a fall at 86
  • May 18 Augustus Pablo, Jamaican musician (King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown), dies at 44
  • May 18 Betty Robinson, American runner, dies at 87
  • May 18 Freddy Randall, English jazz trumpeter, dies at 78
  • May 19 James Blades, British classical percussionist, and educator, dies at 97
  • May 19 Jonathan "Candy" Candido, American actor and radio performer (Peter Pan; The Great Mouse Detective), dies at 85
  • May 20 Robert Rhodes James, British politician historian (Gallipoli), dies at 66
  • May 21 Karnail "Bugz" Pitts, American rapper (D12), killed in a picnic dispute at 21
  • May 21 Vanessa Brown [Smylla Brind], Austrian-born American actress (My Favorite Husband), dies at 71
  • May 22 Alfred Kubel, German politician, dies at 89
  • May 23 Owen Hart, Canadian-American professional wrestler, dies at 34
  • May 25 Hillary Brooke, American film actress (The Abbott and Costello Show), dies at 84
  • May 26 Paul Sacher, Swiss conductor and entrepreneur, dies at 93
  • May 26 Waldo Semon, American inventor (polyvinyl chloride), dies at 100
  • May 27 Alice Adams, American author (Beautiful Girl), dies at 72
  • May 28 Henry Carlsson, Swedish soccer (Olympic gold 1948), dies at 81