On This Day

What Happened in May 2004

Historical Events

  • May 1 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
  • May 1 130th Kentucky Derby: Stewart Elliott wins aboard Smarty Jones. North American wagering records smashed ($142m on 12-race card)

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 1 Giants outfielder Barry Bonds sets MLB record for being intentionally walked 4 times in a 9-inning game during 6-3 defeat of Florida in SF

MLB Legend Barry Bonds
MLB Legend
Barry Bonds
  • May 2 Yelwa massacre of more than 630 nomad Muslims by Christians in Nigeria

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 6 TV sitcom "Friends" airs season finale in 10th and final season in US (52.5 million viewers)

  • May 9 Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a land mine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya
  • May 13 The final episode of "Frasier" on NBC is watched by 33 million people
  • May 14 The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturns the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun
  • May 15 129th Preakness: Stewart Elliott aboard Smarty Jones wins in 1:55.59

Film release premierFilm Premier

May 15 "Shrek 2" directed Andrew Adamson and Kelly Asbury, with voices by Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

  • May 15 49th Eurovision Song Contest: Ruslana for Ukraine wins singing "Wild Dances" in Istanbul
  • May 16 Day of Mourning at Bykivnia forest, just outside of Kiev, Ukraine where during 1930s and early 1940s communist bolsheviks executed over 100,000 Ukrainian civilians
  • May 17 Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
  • May 18 Arizona Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson becomes 16th pitcher to throw a perfect game (2-0 vs Atlanta)
  • May 19 NHL Western Conference Final: Calgary Flames beat San Jose Sharks, 4 games to 2
  • May 21 Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbs Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu's record from the previous year.

  • May 21 Stanislav Petrov awarded World Citizen Award for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 after correctly guessing Russian early warning system at fault
  • May 22 Manmohan Singh becomes the 13th Prime Minister of India
  • May 22 The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide. It also kills one local resident.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 57th Cannes Film Festival: "Fahrenheit 9/11", directed by Michael Moore wins the Palme d'Or. First documentary to win.

Documentary Filmmaker Michael Moore
Documentary Filmmaker
Michael Moore
  • May 22 NHL Eastern Conference Final: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 3
  • May 22 Super Rugby Final, Canberra: ACT Brumbies claim their 2nd title with a 47-38 win over Canterbury Crusaders; Brumbies wingers Mark Gerrard (3) and Joe Roff (2) combine for 5 tries

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 English FA Cup Final, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (71,350): Manchester United beats Millwall, 3-0; Ruud van Nistelrooy scores 2 and Cristiano Ronaldo 1 in Red Devils' 11th title win

Football Star Cristiano Ronaldo
Football Star
Cristiano Ronaldo
  • May 23 Part of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 2E collapses, killing four people and injuring three others.
  • May 24 North Korea bans mobile phones.
  • May 26 The New York Times publishes admission of journalistic failings, claims its flawed reporting and lack of skeptism during buildup to 2003 Iraq War helped promote belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
  • May 26 The United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • May 26 39th Academy of Country Music Awards: Toby Keith & Martina McBride win
  • May 26 12th UEFA Champions League Final: Porto beats AS Monaco 3-0 at Gelsenkirchen
  • May 28 The Iraqi Governing Council chooses Ayad Allawi, a longtime anti-Saddam Hussein exile, to become Prime Minister of Iraq's interim government
  • May 29 The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • May 29 The Al-Khobar massacres in Saudi Arabia kill 22
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Buddy Rice wins in 3:14:55.2395 (222.923 km/h)

Film release premierFilm Release

May 31 "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", the 3rd film based on the books by J. K. Rowling is released in UK cinemas

Actor Rupert Grint
Actor
Rupert Grint
Novelist J. K. Rowling
Novelist
J. K. Rowling
Actor and Comedian Robbie Coltrane
Actor and Comedian
Robbie Coltrane
  • May 31 British children's cartoon "Peppa Pig" created by Astley Baker Davies premieres on Channel 5

Famous Birthdays

  • May 10 The Gosselin Sextuplets

Famous Weddings

  • May 9 "Underworld" director Len Wiseman (31) weds actress Kate Beckinsale (30) at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, California
  • May 14 Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (35), eldest son of Margrethe II of Denmark and heir apprent, marries Mary Elizabeth Donaldson (32), at Copenhagen Cathedral

LoveWedding of Interest

May 22 Felipe (later Felipe VI), Prince of Asturias, of the Spanish Royal Family weds Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano at The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain

King of Spain Felipe VI
King of Spain
Felipe VI
  • May 23 Singer-guitarist Michelle Branch (21) weds musician Teddy Landau at Isla Pardito, Mexico
  • May 29 "Party of Five" actor Scott Wolf (35) weds "Real World" cast member Kelley Limp at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Famous Divorces

  • May 12 Model and actress Ali Landry divorces (30) "Saved by the Bell" actor Mario Lopez (30) due to infidelity only less than 2 weeks after getting married

Famous Deaths

  • May 3 Anthony Ainley, British actor (Doctor Who), dies at 71
  • May 3 Ken Downing, British racing driver, dies at 86
  • May 3 Darrell Johnson, American baseball player, dies at 75
  • May 5 Ritsuko Okazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter (Kanashii Jiyū / Koi ga, Kiete Yuku), dies at 44
  • May 5 José Maceda, Filipino composer, dies at 87
  • May 6 Philip Kapleau, American Zen teacher and founder (Rochester Zen Center in New Haven), dies at 91
  • May 6 Barney Kessel, American jazz guitarist (b. 1923)
  • May 7 Waldemar Milewicz, Polish reporter (b. 1956)
  • May 7 Rudi Maugeri, Canadian singer (The Crew Cuts), dies at 73
  • May 8 John Peel, British politician (C), dies at 91
  • May 9 Akhmad Kadyrov, 1st President of Chechnya, dies at 52
  • May 9 Alan King [Irwin Kniberg], American comedian and actor (Anderson Tapes, Memories of Me), dies at 76
  • May 11 John C. Whitehead, American singer (McFadden & Whitehead), dies at 92
  • May 11 Mick Doyle, Irish rugby union footballer and coach
  • May 12 John LaPorta, American musician and composer, dies at 84
  • May 14 Anna Lee [Joan Boniface Winnifrith], British actress (General Hospital, How Green Was My Valley), dies of pneumonia at 91
  • May 15 Clint Warwick [Albert Eccles], English bassist (Moody Blues), dies at 63
  • May 16 June Taylor, American choreographer, dies at 86
  • May 17 Jørgen Nash, Danish artist (b. 1920)
  • May 17 Ezzedine Salim, leader of Iraqi Governing Council (b. 1943)
  • May 18 Elvin Jones, American jazz drummer (b. 1927)
  • May 18 Serge Turgeon, Quebec actor and union leader (b. 1946)
  • May 18 Lincoln Kilpatrick, American actor (BJ-Leslie Uggams Show), dies at 72
  • May 19 Tony Randall [Leonard Rosenberg], American actor (The Odd Couple) dies aged 84
  • May 19 Mary Dresselhuys, Dutch actress (b. 1907)
  • May 20 Lord Murray of Epping Forest, British labour politician and union leader, dies of emphysema and pneumonia at 82
  • May 22 Mikhail Voronin, Russian and Soviet gymnast (1968 Olympics: 7 medals including 2 gold, 1972 Olympics: 2 silver medals), dies at 59
  • May 22 Richard Biggs, American actor (b. 1960)
  • May 23 Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (b. 1919)
  • May 24 Henry Ries, American photographer (b. 1917)
  • May 24 Milton Shulman, Canadian author and critic (b. 1913)
  • May 24 Edward Wagenknecht, American literary critic (b. 1900)
  • May 24 Captain Stubby [Tom Fouts], American author and comedian (Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers), dies of a stroke at 85
  • May 25 Roger W. Straus, Jr., American publisher (b. 1917)
  • May 26 Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, Russian astronomer (b. 1931)
  • May 26 Dullah Omar, South African attorney and UDF-leader, dies at 69
  • May 27 Denis ApIvor, British composer, dies at 88
  • May 28 Umberto Agnelli, Swiss-born automobile executive (b. 1934)
  • May 29 Archibald Cox, American lawyer and special prosecutor (Watergate), dies at 92
  • May 29 Samuel Dash, American Congressional counsel (b. 1925)
  • May 31 Robert Quine, American guitarist, dies at 61
  • May 31 Étienne Roda-Gil, French songwriter and screenwriter, dies at 62