On This Day

What Happened in May 2001

Historical Events

  • May 3 The United States loses its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947.
  • May 4 The Milwaukee Art Museum addition, the first Santiago Calatrava-designed structure in the United States, opens to the public
  • May 5 127th Kentucky Derby: Jorge Chavez aboard Monarchos wins in 1:59.97

Historic Event

May 6 During a trip to Syria, Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to enter a mosque

  • May 9 Accra Sports Stadium Disaster: 129 Ghanaian football fans die in a stampede caused by the firing of teargas by police following a decision by the referee in a crucial match between arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko
  • May 12 46th Eurovision Song Contest: Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL for Estonia wins singing "Everybody" in Copenhagen
  • May 12 English FA Cup Final, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (72,500): Liverpool beats Arsenal, 2-1 with Michael Owen scoring twice for the Reds

Music Concert

May 12 Ringo Starr's seventh All-Starr Band debuts in concert; members include: Roger Hodgson, Ian Hunter, Howard Jones, Greg Lake, Sheila E., and Mark Rivera

  • May 13 Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing "House of Freedoms" coalition wins the Italian general election
  • May 13 47th British Academy Television Awards: "Da Ali G Show" Best Comedy, "Clocking Off" Best Drama

Music Single

May 15 "Fiesta" single released by R. Kelly featuring Jay-Z and Boo & Gotti (Billboard Song of the Year 2001)

Film Premiere

May 16 "Mulholland Drive", directed by David Lynch, starring Justin Theroux and Naomi Watts, premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

Historic Event

May 17 US President George W. Bush calls for reduced regulations to encourage more oil, gas, and nuclear production

  • May 18 101-year-old Harold Stilson becomes oldest golfer to record a hole-in-one when he aces the 108-yard, par-3, 16th hole at Deerfield CC, FL

Film & TV History

May 18 DreamWorks Pictures "Shrek", starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz in voice-over roles, debuts

  • May 18 Saudi Arabia selects the eight foreign companies to take part in its "Gas Initiative," three core venture gas projects that have an anticipated worth of $25 billion
  • May 19 126th Preakness: Gary Stevens aboard Point Given wins in 1:55.40
  • May 19 Manchester United lose 3-1 to Tottenham at White Hart Lane but win English Premier League title for the 3rd consecutive season
  • May 21 French Taubira law officially recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.
  • May 21 The Enron Corporation's power generating venture in India, the Dabhol Power Company, serves formal notice that it will terminate its power supply contract and pull out
  • May 21 NHL Western Conference Final: Colorado Avalanche beat St. Louis Blues, 4 games to 1
  • May 22 NHL Eastern Conference Final: New Jersey Devils beat Pittsburgh Penguins, 4 games to 1

Laureus Awards

May 22 Laureus World Sports Awards, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco: Sportsman: Tiger Woods; Sportswoman: Cathy Freeman; Team: French Men's National Football team

  • May 23 9th UEFA Champions League Final: Bayern Munich beats Valencia (1-1, 5-4 on penalties) at Milan
  • May 23 Marco Siffredi becomes the first person to snowboard down Mount Everest via the Norton Couloir (some share record accreditation with Stefan Gatt)
  • May 24 Mountain climbing: 15-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.
  • May 24 The Versailles wedding hall disaster in Jerusalem, Israel, kills 23 and injures over 200 in Israel's worst-ever civil disaster.
  • May 24 The Democrats gain control of the US Senate for the first time since 1994 when Senator James Jeffords of Vermont abandons the Republican Party and declares himself an independent
  • May 25 32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest
  • May 25 54th Cannes Film Festival: "The Son's Room" directed by Nanni Moretti wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 26 Super Rugby Final, Canberra: Fullback Andrew Walker kicks 5 penalties & 3 conversions as the ACT Brumbies win their first title; beat Coastal Sharks (Durban), 36-6
  • May 27 Indianapolis 500: race rookie Hélio Castroneves of Brazil leads for the final 52 laps to win first of 4 Indy 500s; Penske Racing sweeps 1st-2nd with Gil de Ferran the runner-up

Sports History

May 27 Senior PGA Championship Men’s Golf, Ridgewood CC, NJ: 5-time British Open champion Tom Watson wins first of 6 Champions Tour major titles with a 1 stroke win over Jim Thorpe

  • May 29 U.S. Supreme Court rules that disabled golfer Casey Martin can use a cart to ride in tournaments
  • May 29 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers inaugurated.
  • May 29 Natural gas futures plunge 6% to a 10-month low on speculation that growing US inventories will help power plants meet summer demand for air-conditioning

Famous Birthdays

  • May 3 Rachel Zegler, American actress, singer and YouTuber (West Side Story), born in Hackensack, New Jersey
  • May 22 Emma Chamberlain, American influencer (YouTube), born in San Mateo, California
  • May 25 Chloe Lukasiak, American dancer and TV personality (Dance Moms), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • May 31 Iga Świątek, Polish tennis player (French Open 2020, 22), born in Warsaw, Poland

Famous Weddings

Billie Piper

May 6 Actress-singer Billie Piper (18) weds media mogul Chris Evans (35) at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas

  • May 11 Actress Suzanne Pleshette (64) weds actor Tom Poston (79) at Manhattan's City Hall
  • May 12 American actor Eddie Cibrian (28) weds TV personality Brandi Glanville (28) at the beachfront Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles
  • May 17 Fourth line of succession to the Dutch throne Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands (31) weds Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (35) in The Hague, Netherlands

Famous Divorces

Divorce of Interest

May 22 Actress and former fitness guru Jane Fonda (63) divorces CNN founder Ted Turner (62) due to irretrievably broken marriage 10 years after getting married

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Ted Rogers, British comedian and game show host (3-2-1), dies after emergency open-heart surgery at 65
  • May 2 Gina Mastrogiacomo, American actress (Goodfellas), dies at 39
  • May 3 Billy Higgins, American jazz drummer, dies at 64
  • May 4 Bonnie Lee Bakley, American murder victim (b. 1956)
  • May 5 Cliff Hillegass, American publisher (Cliffsnotes), dies at 83
  • May 7 Simon Slåttvik, Norwegian cross country ski jumper (Olympic gold 1952), dies at 83
  • May 9 James E. Myers, American songwriter (Rock Around the Clock) & producer, dies at 81
  • May 9 William T. Stearn, British botanist, dies at 90
  • May 10 Deborah Walley, American actress (b. 1943)

Douglas Adams

May 11 Douglas Adams, English author (Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy), dies of myocardial infarction and a fatal cardiac arrhythmia at 49

  • May 11 Klaus Schlesinger, German writer, dies at 64
  • May 12 (Pierino) Perry Como, American singer ("Catch A Falling Star") and TV personality (The Perry Como Show) dies at 89
  • May 12 Alexei Tupolev, Russian aircraft designer (b. 1925)
  • May 12 Didi (Waldyr Pereira), Brazilian soccer midfielder (68 caps; Fluminense), dies at 72

R.K. Narayan

May 13 R.K. Narayan, Indian novelist (Malguidi Days), dies at 94

  • May 13 Jason Miller, American actor and writer (Exorcist, Light of Day), dies at 62
  • May 14 Gil Langley, Australian cricketer (Australian wicket-keeper 1951-56), dies at 81
  • May 16 Brian Pendleton, English musician (The Pretty Things) (b. 1944)
  • May 17 Frank G. Slaughter, American novelist and physician (b. 1908)
  • May 17 Ikuma Dan, Japanese composer (Yūzuru), dies at 77
  • May 19 Susannah McCorkle, American singer (b. 1946)
  • May 19 Mike Sammes, British arranger, session, pop and easy-listening vocalist (The Mike Sammes Singers; Disneyland;, The Beatles; Olivia Newton-John), dies at 73
  • May 20 Renato Carosone, Italian canzone napoletana singer, pianist, songwriter ("Tu vuò fà l'americano" - "You Want to Be American"), and accordionist, dies at 81
  • May 22 Jack Watling, British actor (Nanny, Adventure for 2, Naked Heart), dies at 78
  • May 22 Whitman Mayo, American actor (Grady Wilson-"Sanford & Son"), dies at 70
  • May 22 Lorez Alexandria, American jazz and gospel singer (Alexandria the Great), dies at 71
  • May 23 Tommy Eyre, British touring and session keyboardist, and musical director (Joe Cocker, Gerry Rafferty, Wham!), dies of esophageal cancer at 51
  • May 26 Vittorio Brambilla, Italian racing driver (b. 1937)
  • May 26 Anne Haney, American actress (Mrs. Doubtfire - "Mrs. Sellner"; Liar Liar - "Greta"), dies of congestive heart failure at 67
  • May 26 Moven Enock Mahachi, Defence Minister of Zimbabwe (b. 1952)
  • May 27 Ramon Bieri, American actor (Badlands, The Andromeda Strain), dies at 71
  • May 27 Victor Kermit Kiam II, American businessman (Remington shavers) and NFL owner (Patriots), dies at 74
  • May 28 Francisco Varela, Chilean biologist and philosopher (b. 1946)
  • May 28 Joe Moakley, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts (1973-2001), dies at 74
  • May 28 Vulimiri Ramalingaswami, Indian medical scientist, dies at 79
  • May 30 Tony Ashton, British musician (Ashton, Gardner & Dyke), dies of cancer at 55
  • May 31 Arlene Francis, American actress and radio and television personality (What's My Line?), dies at 93