On This Day

What Happened in May 2011

Historical Events

Beatification

May 1 Pope John Paul II is beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI

Historic Event

May 2 Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and the FBI's most wanted man is killed by US special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan

  • May 2 The 2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak strikes Europe, mostly in Germany, leaving more than 30 people dead and many others sick from the bacteria outbreak.

Music History

May 2 Flavor Flav is arrested on four outstanding misdemeanor warrants for various driving offenses

  • May 6 The US Department of Labor states that 244,000 jobs were created in April, with 235,000 added in February and 221,000 in March, but unemployment continues to grow, reaching 9%
  • May 7 137th Kentucky Derby: John Velazquez aboard Animal Kingdom wins in 2:02.04

Film Premiere

May 7 "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", directed by Rob Marshall, starring Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz, premieres in - opening weekend makes $350.6m

  • May 8 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, Shoal Creek G&CC: Tom Lehman wins second of 3 Champions Tour majors with par on 2nd playoff hole against Australian Peter Senior

Album Release

May 10 Christina Perri releases her debut studio album, "lovestrong"

  • May 13 Portugal slips into double-dip recession after the economy contracts by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2011, with a 0.6% contraction in the last quarter of 2010, it is reported today
  • May 13 Romania officially leaves the recession after 2 years following economic growth of an annualised 1.6% in the first quarter
  • May 14 56th Eurovision Song Contest: Ell & Nikki for Azerbaijan wins singing "Running Scared" in Dusseldorf
  • May 14 English FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London (88,643): Manchester City beats Stoke City, 1-0; Yaya Touré scores 74' winner; Citizens' 5th title

Film Premiere

May 15 "The Artist" directed by Michel Hazanavicius and starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo premieres at the Cannes Film festival (Best Picture 2012)

  • May 15 PGA Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass: K. J. Choi of South Korea defeats David Toms on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win $1.71 million winner's cheque
  • May 16 Space shuttle Endeavour launches on its final commission in space

Historic Event

May 19 Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, project to search for dark matter, led by Samuel C. C. Ting, installed on the International Space Station

  • May 21 136th Preakness: Jesús Castañón aboard Shackleford wins in 1:56.47
  • May 22 An EF5 Tornado strikes the US city of Joplin, Missouri killing at least 158 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950

Music Awards

May 22 19th Billboard Music Awards: Eminem, Recovery win

  • May 22 64th Cannes Film Festival: "The Tree of Life" directed by Terrence Malick wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 22 57th British Academy Television Awards: "Harry & Paul" Best Comedy, "Sherlock" Best Drama
  • May 24 NHL Western Conference Finals: Vancouver Canucks beat San Jose Sharks, 4 games to 1

Historic Event

May 25 Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, ending her twenty five year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show

  • May 27 NHL Eastern Conference Finals: Boston Bruins beat Tampa Bay Lightning, 4 games to 3
  • May 28 UEFA Champions League Final, London: FC Barcelona beats Manchester United, 3-1; 4th title for Barça
  • May 28 IPL Cricket Final, M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai: Chennai Super Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 58 runs; Murali Vijay 95 (52), Ravichandran Ashwin 3/16
  • May 29 Indianapolis 500: 2005 champion Dan Wheldon of England wins his 2nd Indy 500; 4 months later he is killed in a race accident in Las Vegas

Historic Event

May 29 Hong Kong student activist group Scholarism started by Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam

Sports History

May 29 Senior PGA Championship Men’s Golf, Valhalla GC: Tom Watson wins his 6th and final Champions Tour major title with a birdie on the first playoff hole against David Eger


Famous Birthdays

  • May 20 Doug the Pug, American internet celebrity dog, born in Ohio

Famous Weddings

  • May 7 "The Amazing Race" winners Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney marry at the Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego
  • May 12 Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge (25) weds Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followill (29) at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California

Wedding of Interest

May 14 Country singer Blake Shelton (34) weds singer Miranda Lambert (27) at Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas

  • May 15 Actress Tamera Mowry (32) weds Fox News Correspondent Adam Housley (39) at Villagio Inn & Spa in Napa, California
  • May 20 Actor Doug Hutchison (51) weds country singer Courtney Stodden (16) in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • May 21 TV actress Sara Rue (33) weds Kevin Price (35) at Bel Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades, California
  • May 22 American R&B singer Keyshia Cole (28) weds NBA Cleveland Cavaliers Daniel Gibson (25) in Cleveland, Ohio; divorce in 2017
  • May 28 Former American beauty queen Candice Crawford (24) weds Dallas Cowboys football quarterback Tony Romo (31) at Arlington Hall in Dallas, Texas
  • May 28 Actress and former "Clean House" host Niecy Nash (41) weds electrical engineer Jay Tucker at the Church Estate Vineyard in Malibu

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Ted Lowe, English snooker commentator (Pot Black, BBC), dies at 90
  • May 1 Henry Cooper, English boxer (British, European, C'wealth heavyweight champion; famous defeats to Muhammad Ali 1963, 66), dies of heart failure at 76

Osama bin Laden

May 2 Osama bin Laden, Islamic militant and founder of al-Qaeda, shot and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by navy seals during Operation Neptune Spear at 54

  • May 3 Thanasis Veggos, Greek actor (b. 1927)
  • May 3 Jackie Cooper, American actor and director (Skippy, Superman), dies at 88
  • May 3 Sergo Kotrikadze, Georgian footballer (b. 1936)
  • May 4 Sada Thompson, American actress (Family, Pursuit of Happiness), dies at 83
  • May 4 Mary Murphy, American actress (A Man Alone, Maggie-Investigators), dies at 80
  • May 5 Yosef Merimovich, Israeli football player, 1948-58, and manager, 1958-89, dies at 86
  • May 5 Claude Choules, British-Australian sailor and last surviving combat veteran of both World War I and World War II, dies at 110
  • May 5 Dana Wynter, German-English actress (Airport; Invasion of the Body Snatchers), dies at 79
  • May 5 Arthur Laurents, American playwright (West Side Story: Gypsy), and screenwriter (Rope; Anastasia), dies at 93

Seve Ballesteros

May 7 Seve Ballesteros, Spanish golfer (British Open 1979, 84, 88, US Masters 1980, 83), dies of brain cancer at 54

  • May 7 Allyson Hennessy, Trindadian television presenter
  • May 7 "Big" George Webley, British broadcaster, composer, bandleader and musician, dies of a heart attack at 53
  • May 7 John Walker [Maus], American rock vocalist (Walker Brothers - "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)"), dies of liver cancer at 67
  • May 8 Lionel Rose, Australian boxer (WBA, WBC, The Ring bantamweight title 1968-69; first Indigenous Australian to win a world title), dies at 62
  • May 8 Cornell Dupree, American jazz and R&B session guitarist (Atlantic Records - Aretha Franklin), dies of emphysema at 68
  • May 9 Wouter Weylandt, Belgian cyclist, dies at 26
  • May 11 (Eugene) "Snooky" Young, American jazz trumpeter who mastered the plunger mute, dies at 92
  • May 12 Harry Danielsen, Norwegian educator and politician, dies at 74
  • May 13 Jack Richardson, Canadian record producer (The Guess Who), dies at 81
  • May 13 Derek Boogaard, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1982)
  • May 13 Bruce Ricker, American jazz and blues documentarian (Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser), dies at 68
  • May 13 Bernard Greenhouse, American cellist (Beaux Arts Trio), dies at 95
  • May 15 Bob Flannigan, American jazz singer (The Four Freshmen), dies at 84
  • May 16 Bob Davis, Australian rules footballer (b. 1928)
  • May 16 Bill Skiles, American comic (b. 1931)
  • May 16 Edward Hardwicke, British actor (Sherlock Holmes), dies at 78
  • May 19 Garret FitzGerald, Irish politician and former Taoiseach (b. 1926)
  • May 19 Phyllis Avery, American actress (Ruby Gentry, George Gobel Show, Mr Novak), dies at 88
  • May 19 Kathy Kirby, English singer (Secret Love), dies at 72
  • May 20 "Macho Man" Randy Savage, American pro wrestler (WWF/SMW/ICW; WWE Hall of Fame), dies of a heart attack at 58
  • May 22 Ze'ev Wolfgang Steinberg, Israeli violist and composer, dies at 92
  • May 24 Huguette Clark, Heiress of the Clark Copper fortune, life-long reclusion from society. (b. 1906)
  • May 25 Paul Splittorff, American MLB pitcher and broadcaster (KC Royals), dies of oral cancer at 64
  • May 25 Terry Jenner, Australian cricket spin bowler (9 Tests, 24 wickets; WA CA, SA CA), dies from a heart attack at 66
  • May 25 Leonora Carrington, British-Mexican Surrealist artist dies aged 94
  • May 26 Arisen Ahubudu, Sri Lankan scholar, author and playwright (b. 1920)
  • May 26 Ben Roberts, British industrial relations expert (London School of Economics), dies at 93
  • May 27 Jeff Conaway, American actor and singer (Taxi - "Bobby"; Grease - "Kenickie"; Babylon 5 - "Zack"), dies of pneumonia and sepsis at 60
  • May 27 Margo Dydek, Polish basketball player (b. 1974)
  • May 27 Gill Scott-Heron, American writer, poet and singer ("Whitey on the Moon"), dies at 62
  • May 29 Ferenc Mádl, Hungarian politician, President of Hungary (b. 1931)
  • May 29 Bill Clements, American politician, Governor of Texas (1987-91), dies at 94
  • May 29 Sergei Bagapsh, Abkhazian president (b. 1949)
  • May 29 William "Bill" Roycroft, Australian equestrian 3 day (Olympic bronze 1976), dies at 96
  • May 29 Simon Brint, British comic actor, musician, and television composer (French and Saunders; A Bit of Fry & Laurie; Monarch of the Glen), takes his own life at 60
  • May 30 Clarice Taylor, American actress (Nurse Bailey-Nurse), dies at 93
  • May 30 Rosalyn Yalow, American medical physicist (Nobel 1977), dies at 89
  • May 30 Giorgio Tozzi, American operatic bass (dubbed vocals of Emile de Becque for "South Pacific" film), dies at 88
  • May 31 Andy Robustelli, American NFL defensive end (LA Rams, NY Giants), dies at 85
  • May 31 Pauline Betz Addie, American tennis player (5 Grand Slam singles titles), dies of complications from Parkinson's disease at 91