On This Day

What Happened in May 2020

Historical Events

  • May 1 Prison riot leaves more than 40 dead and many injured at Los Llanos jail, near Guanare city, Venezuela

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 1 Canadian PM Justin Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 types of assault-style weapons in response to recent Nova Scotia shooting

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Justin Trudeau

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 1 Tweets by Elon Musk saying Tesla's share price is too high wipe $14 billion off the carmaker's value

Entrepreneur Elon Musk
Entrepreneur
Elon Musk
  • May 1 Armed protesters against stay-at-home-orders gather at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, as Governor Gretchen Whitmer reinstates State of Emergency
  • May 2 Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the Icelandic actor who played Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in Game of Thrones, sets a world deadlifting record by lifting 501kg (1,104lb)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 3 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says China responsible for the spread and severity of COVID-19 and should be held accountable

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 3 Investor Warren Buffett dumps his holdings in four major US airlines saying "the world has changed" for aviation, reflecting an increasingly bleak outlook for the industry

Investor Warren Buffett
Investor
Warren Buffett
  • May 3 Brazilian confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 100,000 with the death toll at 7,025, the 9th country to do so
  • May 4 Countries in Europe begin cautious reopening after COVID-19 lockdown, Italy restarts construction and takeaways, Germany reopens schools
  • May 4 World leaders pledge $8 billion to research treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, with the US and Russia not taking part
  • May 4 India begins lifting some restrictions in regions with fewer COVID-19 cases
  • May 5 Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 reach 3.65 million, US cases pass 70,000 while the UK becomes the most affected in Europe with 29,427 known deaths
  • May 5 São Luis, in Maranhão state becomes the first Brazilian city to enter lockdown because of COVID-19 as its health services struggle to cope

PandemicCOVID-19

May 6 UK becomes the first European country to report over 30,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

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Burial of a coronavirus victim in Iran during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
Burial of a coronavirus victim in Iran during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
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  • May 6 Irish organisation repays a 170 year old favor, raising over $2 million (to date) for US Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation badly affected by COVID-19. In 1840s Choctaw Nation sent $170 to aid Irish potato famine.
  • May 6 At least 90,000 healthcare workers worldwide infected by COVID-19, more than 260 nurses have died according to International Council of Nurses

  • May 6 Former intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi sworn in as new Iraqi Prime Minister, 3rd to be nominated in six months
  • May 7 UK economy heading for its worst crash in 300 years (-14%), since 1706, according to Bank of England forecast
  • May 7 US Father and son arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, after video of the killing surfaces
  • May 7 Toxic leak at Indian chemical factory near Visakhapatnam kills at least 13 and injures many when it tried to reopen after lockdown
  • May 7 US unemployment claims hit 33.3 million or 20% of the workforce, vs two months ago unemployment 3.5%, a 50-year low
  • May 8 Two US White House staffers test positive for COVID-19 and three members of the coronavirus task force go into self-isolation after possible exposure to the virus
  • May 8 11-year old Brazilian skateboarder Gui Khury creates world record by performing 1st 1080 degree turn on a vertical ramp
  • May 10 Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise above 4 million with death toll above 270,000, according to Johns Hopkins
  • May 11 Colombian airline Avianca, and world's 2nd oldest, becomes 1st major airline to file for bankruptcy
  • May 11 World Health Organization warns “extreme vigilance” needed as many countries begin easing lockdowns

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Russia's confirmed cases of COVID-19 reach 232,000, 2nd highest in the world, a day after President Vladimir Putin eased the country's lockdown

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President
Vladimir Putin
  • May 12 Militants storm a hospital and a funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, shooting an estimated 40 people dead including new mothers and their babies
  • May 12 US coronavirus task force testifies to the Senate that the US "is not out of the woods yet" that the pandemic is not under control and risks surge in cases if reopens too soon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a $260 million economic rescue package, worth 10% of GDP

15th Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
15th Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi
  • May 12 Wuhan, epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, draws up plans to test all 11 million residents after it records a new cluster of 6 cases
  • May 13 Every African country now has cases of COVID-19 as Lesotho becomes the last county on the continent to record a case
  • May 14 Former pandemic agency head Rick Bright testifies to a US House Committee "without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history"
  • May 14 Global death toll from COVID-19 passes 300,000 with 4.4 million confirmed infections
  • May 15 Germany, Europe's largest economy, officially in recession due to COVID-19, as figures show economy shrank 2.2% 1st 3 months of 2020

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 16 118-year old American department store JC Penney files for bankruptcy

Department Store Founder James Cash Penney
Department Store Founder
James Cash Penney

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 17 Israel swears in a new government led by both Benny Gantz, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 510 days

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel
Benjamin Netanyahu

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 17 Michael Jordan's autographed Air Nike 1s trainers from 1985 sell for a record $560,000 in an online auction

Basketball Superstar Michael Jordan
Basketball Superstar
Michael Jordan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 17 Barack Obama criticizes the US government's handling of the pandemic during an online address to graduates, saying officials "aren't even pretending to be in charge"

44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 18 US President Donald Trump confirms he is taking controversial drug hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • May 19 WHO member states agree to set up an inquiry into the global response to the pandemic, including looking at the WHO itself
  • May 19 Greenhouse gas emissions dropped 17% worldwide in April 2020 when world was in lockdown, in study published in "Nature Climate Change"
  • May 19 Two dams on Tittabawassee River in central Michigan breached by floodwaters, forcing evacuation of thousands of residents
  • May 20 WHO reports most new cases in a single day - 106,000 worldwide of COVID-19
  • May 20 Cyclone Amphan comes ashore in West Bengal, East India and Bangladesh, with winds of 185 km per hour (115 mph) killing at least 84 people
  • May 22 China unveils new national security legislation against Hong Kong at its annual legislative session
  • May 22 Pakistan International Airlines flight crashes near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi killing 97 with just two survivors
  • May 24 The New York Times prints front page with nearly 1,000 names of people who have died from COVID-19, as the US toll nears 100,000
  • May 24 Millions of cicadas in a once in 17-year event about to emerge from the earth in the US south posing crop danger and noise issues, according to scientists from Virginia Tech

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 24 British PM Boris Johnson refuses to sack his senior aide Dominic Cummings, after it is revealed he broke the country's lockdown rules to drive across the country

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister
Boris Johnson

MurderMurder of Interest

May 25 Video of African American George Floyd's arrest and murder while restrained in Minneapolis police custody shows he was pinned to the ground by police officer Derek Chauvin's knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, ignites widespread condemnation and nationwide protests

Victim of Police Brutality George Floyd
Victim of Police Brutality
George Floyd
  • May 26 Costa Rica becomes the first county in Central America to legalize same-sex marriage
  • May 26 US restricts travel from Brazil as the country posts world's second highest number of recorded cases of COVID-19

Book releaseHistoric Publication

May 26 J. K. Rowling begins publishing children's story "The Ickabog" online in installments

Novelist J. K. Rowling
Novelist
J. K. Rowling
  • May 26 Twitter adds warning labels to warn about inaccuracies in US President Donald Trump's tweets for the first time
  • May 27 America's COVID-19 death toll passes 100,000 (Johns Hopkins figures) equal to number of US servicemen and women killed in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan put together
  • May 27 Spain begins 10 days of mourning for victims of COVID-19 with death toll just under 27,000
  • May 27 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Hong Kong no longer has autonomy from China, doesn't merit special trade relationship, in note to Congress
  • May 27 Locust swarms in western and central India worst since 1993 after spreading from Pakistan and Iran and due to extreme weather
  • May 28 Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declares State of Emergency in Minneapolis and activates the Minnesota National Guard after protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 28 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calls for new protections for women after the 'honor killing' of a 14-year old by her father

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani
President of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
  • May 30 Record number of COVID-10 cases reported worldwide 134,064, driven by hot spots in Brazil, Peru, Egypt, South Africa and Bangladesh
  • May 30 SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches carrying the Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station. First private company to launch astronauts into space.

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 Matt Keough, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1978; Oakland A's), dies at 64
  • May 1 Chung Hae-Won, South Korean soccer striker (58 caps; Daewoo Royals), dies from liver cancer at 60
  • May 1 Georgios Zaimis, Greek sailor (Olympic gold dragon class 1960), dies at 82
  • May 3 Frederick Charles Tillis, American jazz and classical composer, dies at 90
  • May 3 Dave Greenfield, British rock keyboardist, and songwriter (The Stranglers - "Golden Brown"), dies of complications from Covid-19 at 71

Person of interestDon Shula

May 4 Don Shula, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (Super Bowl 1972, 73; Miami Dolphins; Baltimore Colts; NFL Coach of the Year 1964, 67, 68, 72), dies at 90

NFL Head Coach Don Shula
NFL Head Coach
Don Shula
  • May 4 Alan Sutherland, New Zealand rugby union number 8 (10 caps; Marlborough), dies at 76
  • May 5 Hillard "Sweet Pea" Atkinson, American R&B singer (Was (Not Was)) dies of a heart attack at 74 [1]
  • May 6 Millie Small, Jamaican ska singer, and songwriter ("My Boy Lollipop"), dies of a stroke at 72
  • May 6 Steve Blackmore, Welsh rugby union prop (4 caps; Cardiff RFC), dies from a brain tumour at 58
  • May 6 Brian Howe, British rock singer (Bad Company, 1986-93 - "This Love"; "Holy Water"), dies of a heart attack at 66
  • May 7 Brian Bolus, English cricket batsman (7 Tests @ 41.33; Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire), dies at 86
  • May 7 Mike Storen, American sports executive (Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks; ABA Commissioner 1973-76), dies from cancer at 84
  • May 8 Roy Horn [Uwe Ludwig Horn], German-American Las Vegas entertainer (Siegfried & Roy), dies of COVID-19 at 75
  • May 9 Pedro Pablo León, Peruvian soccer forward (49 caps; Alianza Lima), dies from pneumonia and kidney failure at 76

Person of interestLittle Richard

May 9 Little Richard [Wayne Penniman], American singer-songwriter and rock 'n' roll pioneer (Tutti Frutti), dies at 87

Singer-Songwriter and Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer Little Richard
Singer-Songwriter and Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer
Little Richard
  • May 10 Betty Wright [Bessie Norris], American R&B singer-songwriter ("Clean Up Woman"), dies at 66
  • May 10 John Teerlinck, American NFL defensive end (SD Chargers) and coach (annual award for NFL best defensive line coach named after him), dies at 69

Person of interestJerry Stiller

May 11 Jerry Stiller, American comedian (Frank Constanza-Seinfeld, Stiller & Meara), dies of natural causes at 92

Comedian Jerry Stiller
Comedian
Jerry Stiller
  • May 11 Francisco Aguilar, Spanish soccer forward (3 caps; Real Madrid), dies at 71
  • May 11 John "Moon" Martin, American rockabilly singer-songwriter and guitarist ("Bad Case Of Loving You"), dies at 74
  • May 12 Astrid Kirchherr, German photographer, helped establish The Beatles image, dies at 81
  • May 13 Rolf Hochhuth, German playwright (Der Stellvertreter), dies at 89
  • May 14 Pepper Rodgers, American football coach (University of Kansas, UCLA, Georgia Tech; USFL: Memphis Showboats), dies at 88
  • May 14 Bob Watson, American baseball utility (MLB All Star 1973, 75; Houston Astros) and sports executive (GM NY Yankees, World Series 1996), dies from kidney disease at 74
  • May 14 Phyllis George, Miss America (1971) sportscaster (CBS) 1st Lady of Kentucky(1979-83, dies of a blood disorder at 70
  • May 15 Fred Willard, American comedian and actor (Best In Show, Everyone Loves Raymond), dies at 86
  • May 15 Phil May, English rocker (Pretty Things), dies at 75
  • May 16 Michael McCaskey, American NFL executive (Chicago Bears president 1983-98; chairman 1999-2011), dies from cancer at 76
  • May 16 Arthur Summons, Australian rugby union fly-half (10 Tests; Gordon RFC) and rugby league five-eighth (9 Tests; Western Suburbs RLFC), dies at 84
  • May 16 Tony Yates, American college basketball point guard (National C'ship 1961, 62; Cincinnati Bearcats) and head coach (Cincinnati 1983-89), dies at 82
  • May 16 Donn Trenner, American jazz pianist, arranger, and orchestra leader (Steve Allen's Westinghouse Show), dies at 93
  • May 17 Shad Gaspard, American professional wrestler (WWE), bodyguard, and actor, drowns at 39
  • May 18 Marko Elsner, Slovenian soccer defender (14 caps Yugoslavia, 2 Slovenia; Red Star Belgrade), dies at 60
  • May 19 Richard Anuszkiewicz, American artist 'new wizard of op', dies at 89
  • May 20 Stephen A. DiMauro, American thoroughbred racing jockey, trainer, breeder and owner (Eclipse Award 1975; Lady Pitt, Dearly Precious, Nassipour, Wajima), dies from cancer at 87
  • May 21 Gerhard Strack, German soccer defender (10 caps; 1. FC Köln, FC Basel, Fortuna Düsseldorf), dies of a heart attack at 64
  • May 21 Oliver Williamson, American economist (Nobel Prize for Economics 2009), dies at 87
  • May 22 Jerry Sloan, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (Utah Jazz 1988-2011) and shooting guard (NBA All-Star 1967, 69; Chicago Bulls), dies from Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia at 78

Person of interestAshley Cooper

May 22 Ashley Cooper, Australian tennis player (Australian C'ships 1957-58, Wimbledon, US C'ships 1958), dies at 83

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Ashley Cooper
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Ashley Cooper
  • May 22 Luigi Simoni, Italian soccer midfielder (Napoli, Torino, Juventus, Brescia, Genoa) and manager (UEFA Cup 1998, Inter; Genoa, Torino, Napoli), dies from effects of a stroke at 81
  • May 22 Mory Kanté, Guinean singer and kora harp player (Yé ké yé ké), dies at 70
  • May 23 Saturn, American-born alligator that escaped Berlin Zoo during WWII, dies at about 84 in Moscow Zoo (Moscow, Russia)
  • May 23 Eddie Sutton, Basketball Hall of Fame coach (Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State; first coach to take 4 schools to NCAA tournament), dies at 84
  • May 24 [Wilbur James] Jimmy Cobb, American jazz drummer (Miles Davis' First Great Sextet), dies of lung cancer at 91
  • May 25 Marcelino Campanal, Spanish soccer defender (11 caps; Real Avilés CF, Sevilla FC, Deportivo de La Coruña), dies at 88
  • May 25 Marvin Luster, American CFL Hall of Fame defensive back (6 x CFL All Star; Toronto Argonauts, Montreal Alouettes), dies at 82
  • May 25 Balbir Singh Snr., Indian field hockey centre forward (Olympic gold 1948, 52, 56) and coach (World Cup gold 1975), dies at 96

MurderGeorge Floyd

May 25 George Floyd, African American bouncer, murdered at 46 while restrained in police custody by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who placed his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds causing mechanical asphyxia

Victim of Police Brutality George Floyd
Victim of Police Brutality
George Floyd
  • May 26 Stanley Ho, Chinese casino tycoon who transformed Macao, dies at 98
  • May 27 Liesbeth Migchelsen, Dutch soccer defender (97 caps; FFC Heike Rheine, SV Fortuna Wormerveer, AZ Alkmaar), dies from cancer at 49
  • May 27 Larry Kramer, American playwright and AIDS activist, dies at 84
  • May 28 Lennie Niehaus, American jazz saxophonist and film composer (Clint Eastwood films), dies at 90
  • May 29 Curtis Cokes, American boxer (WBA/WBC world welterweight champion 1966-69), dies of heart failure at 82
  • May 29 Roosevelt Taylor, American NFL safety (Pro Bowl 1963, 68; First Team All-Pro 1963; Chicago Bears, SF 49ers, Washington Redskins), dies at 82
  • May 29 Célio Taveira, Brazilian soccer striker (3 caps; Vasco da Gama, Nacional, Corinthians), dies from COVID-19 at 79
  • May 29 Ron Johnston, English geographer (electoral geography), dies at 79
  • May 30 Bobby Dimond, Australian rugby league winger (24 Tests; NSW, Western Suburbs), dies at 89
  • May 30 Bobby Morrow, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay 1956), dies at 84
  • May 30 Bob Hammond AM, Australian rules key defender (AFL Hall of Fame; North Adelaide; SA) and coach (Sydney Swans 1984), dies from Parkinson's disease at 78
  • May 30 [Nicolas] Michael Angelis, English actor (Thomas & Friends, Boys from the Black Stuff), dies of a heart attack at 76
  • May 31 Bob Bennett, American College Baseball Hall of Fame coach (Fresno State 1970-2002; record 1,302-759-4), dies at 86
  • May 31 Christo [Javacheff], Bulgarian artist and wrapper (Running Fence), dies at 84