On This Day

What Happened in May 2002

Historical Events

  • May 1 Padres closer Trevor Hoffman sets MLB record for saves for one team (321) in 4-3 win v Chicago Cubs in San Diego
  • May 2 Marad massacre of eight Hindus near Palakkad in Kerala
  • May 3 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.

Film Premiere

May 3 "Spider-Man", starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, premieres

Baseball Record

May 4 Barry Bonds hits his 400th home run as an SF Giant, in a 3-0 win over Cincinnati. Bonds is first player with 400 homers for one team and 100 with another (Pirates)

  • May 4 128th Kentucky Derby: Victor Espinoza aboard War Emblem wins in 2:01.13
  • May 4 English FA Cup Final, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (73,963): Arsenal beats Chelsea, 2-0 for 8th title

Election of Interest

May 5 Jacques Chirac wins the French Presidential election for a second term defeating Jean-Marie Le Pen leader of the far-right National Front

  • May 6 Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed by an animal rights activist

Historic Event

May 6 Entrepreneur Elon Musk founds SpaceX

  • May 6 "The Good Stuff" single released by Kenny Chesney (Billboard Song of the Year 2002)
  • May 7 A China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunges into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people.
  • May 9 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem comes to an end when Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected militants among them deported
  • May 9 In Kaspiysk, Russia, a remote-controlled bomb explodes during a holiday parade killing 43 and injuring at least 130
  • May 10 Anaheim Angels crush the Chicago White Sox 19-0. The Angels join the 1923 Indians, 1939 Yankees and 1950 Red Sox as the only teams to beat two opponents by 19 or more runs in the same season
  • May 11 Last performance of the musical Cats in London's West End
  • May 11 Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveils the Man With Two Hats monument in Ottawa and Apeldoorn (May 2), 2000, symbolically linking both the Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout the Second World War.

Historic Event

May 12 Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.

  • May 14 Ten members of the Darwin-based Network Against Prohibition invade the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia.

Laureus Awards

May 14 Laureus World Sports Awards, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco: Sportsman: Michael Schumacher; Sportswoman: Jennifer Capriati; Team: Australian Men's National Cricket team

Film Premiere

May 15 "Bowling for Columbine", a documentary directed by Michael Moore has its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival

  • May 15 10th UEFA Champions League Final: Real Madrid beats Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at Glasgow

Film Release

May 16 "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, opens in cinemas

  • May 18 127th Preakness: Victor Espinoza aboard War Emblem wins in 1:56.36
  • May 18 Micky Ward beats Arturo Gatti by majority decision in a junior welterweight boxing bout in Uncasville, Connecticut; 'The Ring' Fight of the Year; first fight in their legendary trilogy
  • May 20 The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself was the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976)
  • May 22 The remains of missing Chandra Levy are found in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
  • May 22 American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church

Music Awards

May 22 37th Academy of Country Music Awards: Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride & Alan Jackson win

Appointment of Interest

May 22 Mike Babcock is named head coach of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks

  • May 23 The "55 parties" clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland
  • May 24 Russia and the United States sign the Moscow Treaty.
  • May 25 A train crash in Tenga, Mozambique, kills 197 people
  • May 25 China Airlines Flight 611: A Boeing 747-200 breaks apart in mid-air and plunges into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people
  • May 25 47th Eurovision Song Contest: Marie N for Latvia wins singing "I Wanna" in Tallinn
  • May 25 Super Rugby Final, Jade Stadium, Christchurch: Crusaders win 4th title with a 31-13 thumping of the ACT Brumbies; flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens boots 3 penalties, 2 conversions and a dropped goal for the winners
  • May 26 The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars
  • May 26 Álvaro Uribe becomes President of Colombia
  • May 26 Indianapolis 500: Defending champion Hélio Castroneves of Brazil becomes fifth driver in Indy 500 history to win back-to-back races for his second of 4 race victories

Cannes Film Festival

May 26 55th Cannes Film Festival: "The Pianist" directed by Roman Polanski wins the Palme d'Or

Album Release

May 26 Eminem releases his 4th studio album “The Eminem Show” (2002 Billboard Album of the Year, Grammy Award Best Rap Album 2003)

  • May 28 NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance.
  • May 28 NHL Eastern Conference Final: Carolina Hurricanes beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 2
  • May 31 The New Jersey Nets defeat the Boston Celtics 96-88 in Game 6 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Championship, winning the series 4 games to 2 to advance to their first NBA Finals appearance.
  • May 31 NHL Western Conference Final: Detroit Red Wings beat Colorado Avalanche, 4 games to 3

Famous Birthdays

  • May 15 Au/Ra [Jamie Lou Stenzel], Antiguan-German singer-songwriter (Concrete Jungle), born in Ibizia, Spain

Famous Weddings

  • May 24 Princess Martha Louise of Norway (30) weds author Ari Behn (29) in Trondheim

Claudia Schiffer

May 25 German supermodel Claudia Schiffer (31) weds British film director Matthew Vaughn (31) in Suffolk, England

  • May 31 "NYPD Blue" actress Sharon Lawrence (30) weds doctor Thomas Apostle at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 John Nathan-Turner, English television producer (b. 1947)
  • May 2 W. T. Tutte, English-born codebreaker (b. 1917)
  • May 3 Barbara Castle, British politician (b. 1910)
  • May 3 Evgeny Svetlanov, Russian conductor (USSR State Symphony, 1965-2000; Residentie Orchestra 1992-2000), pianist, and composer (Siberian Fantasy), dies at 73
  • May 4 Dane Škerl, Slovene conductor, composer (Rhapsodic Symphony), and teacher, dies at 70
  • May 5 Hugo Banzer, Bolivian dictator (b. 1926)
  • May 5 Paul Klipsch, American engineer, noted for his loudspeaker designs, dies at 98
  • May 5 George Sidney, American film director (b. 1916)
  • May 6 Otis Blackwell, American songwriter ("Fever"; "Don't Be Cruel"; "Great Balls Of Fire"; All Shook Up"), dies of a heart attack at 70
  • May 6 Pim Fortuyn, Dutch politician (b. 1948)
  • May 6 Saleh Selim, Egyptian football player and 10th president of the Egyptian Al-Ahly Sporting Club, dies at 71
  • May 6 Murray Adaskin, Canadian violinist, composer, conductor (Saskatoon Symphony), and teacher (University of Saskatchewan), dies at 96
  • May 7 Seattle Slew, American racehorse (b. 1974)
  • May 7 Kevyn Aucoin, Makeup Artist and Photographer (b. 1962)
  • May 9 Dan Devine, American football coach, dies at 77
  • May 9 Leon Stein, American composer, dies at 81
  • May 10 Lynda Lyon Block, convicted murderer (b. 1948)
  • May 10 Yves Robert, French actor, screenwriter and director (b. 1920)
  • May 11 Joseph Bonanno, Italian-American mafioso & crime boss of the Bonanno crime family, dies of heart failure at 97
  • May 11 Renaude Lapointe, French Canadian journalist & senator, dies at 90
  • May 12 Erich Kulas, ECW Wrestler (Mass Transit), dies after surgery at 22
  • May 13 Valeri Lobanovsky, Ukrainian footballer and manager (b. 1939)
  • May 13 Ruth Cracknell, Australian actress (Mother and Son), dies at 76
  • May 14 Derek Birley, English founding Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster and sports writer, dies at 75
  • May 16 Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC (b. 1899)
  • May 16 Big Dick Dudley, American professional wrestler (b. 1968)
  • May 17 Dave Berg, American cartoonist (The Lighter Side of...), dies at 81
  • May 17 Sharon Sheeley, American songwriter (Somethin' Else), dies of complications following a cerebral hemorrhage at 62 (b. 1940)
  • May 17 László Kubala, Hungarian soccer striker (3 caps Hungary, 6 Czechoslovakia, 19 Spain, 4 Catalonia; FC Barcelona 186 games) and manager (Spain 1969–80), dies at 74

James Chichester-Clark

May 17 James Chichester-Clark, Irish politician, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1969-71), dies at 79

  • May 17 Joe Black, American Negro League and MLB player, dies at 78
  • May 18 David "Davey Boy" Smith, English professional wrestler (WWF Intercontinental Championship; British Bulldogs), dies of a heart attack at 39
  • May 19 John Gorton, Australian politician, 19th Prime Minister of Australia (1968-71), dies at 90
  • May 19 Walter Lord, American author (A Night to Remember), dies at 84

Stephen Jay Gould

May 20 Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist and popular science writer, dies of cancer at 60

  • May 21 Niki de Saint Phalle, French sculptor, dies at 71
  • May 22 Curnick Muzuvukile Ndlovu, South Africian worker's union leader, and African National Congress Leader, dies at 70

Sam Snead

May 23 Sam Snead, American golfer ((7 PGA Tour major titles; US Masters 1949, 52, 54), dies of a stroke at 89

  • May 24 Wallace Markfield, American writer (b. 1926)
  • May 25 Patricia "Pat" Coombs, British comedienne and actress (Carry On Again Doctor, Cranford), dies at 75
  • May 26 Mamo Wolde, Ethiopian marathoner (Olympic gold 1968), dies at 69
  • May 28 Jean Berger [Arthur Schloßberg], German-born American composer, dies at 92
  • May 29 Mildred Benson, American writer (b. 1905)
  • May 31 Eric Boyland, English biochemist (cancer research), dies at 97
  • May 31 Subhash "Fergie" Gupte, Indian cricketer (brilliant Indian leg-spinner), dies at 72