On This Day

Historical Events in May 1977

  • May 1 French runner Chantal Langlacé sets female world marathon record (2:35:15.4) in Oyarzun, Spain
  • May 1 American golfer Debbie Austin wins the Birmingham Classic, the first of 5 LPGA Tour victories in a 4-month span
  • May 1 36 people are killed in Taksim Square, Istanbul, during the Labour Day celebrations.
  • May 1 American golfer Gene Littler wins the Houston Open, his 29th and final PGA title

Music Premiere

May 2 Revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical "The King & I"', with Yul Brynner reprising the role he created in 1951, opens at Uris Theater, NYC; runs for 695 performances

  • May 3 1977 NFL Draft: Ricky Bell from USC first pick by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • May 4 US Catholic bishops rescind automatic excommunications for divorced and remarried Catholics (receiving communion still outlawed if the previous marriages were not annulled by Church tribunals)
  • May 6 "Beatles at Hollywood Bowl" released in UK
  • May 7 "Happy End" opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 75 performances
  • May 7 103rd Kentucky Derby: Jean Cruguet on Seattle Slew wins in 2:02.2
  • May 7 22nd Eurovision Song Contest: Marie Myriam for France wins singing "L'oiseau et l'enfant" in London
  • May 9 Hotel Poland in Amsterdam destroyed by fire, 33 killed
  • May 9 Mabel Murphy Smythe confirmed as ambassador to Rep of Cameroon
  • May 9 Patty Hearst let out of jail

Sports History

May 11 Ted Turner manages an Atlanta Braves game

  • May 12 Emmy 4th Daytime Award presentation: "Ryan's Hope" and "Family Feud" win

Historic Event

May 13 Howard Stern begins broadcasting at WRNW, Briarcliff Manor NY

  • May 14 English football international Bobby Moore retires
  • May 14 KC Royals Jim Colborn no-hits Texas Rangers, 6-0
  • May 14 Netherlands State Delta Kappa Gamma Society forms

Sports History

May 14 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Garden, Boston, MA: Jacques Lemaire scores twice as Montreal Canadiens edge Boston Bruins, 2-1 in OT for a 4 game sweep and back-to-back titles

  • May 16 5 die as NY Airway helicopter topples on Pan Am building in NYC

Boxing Title Fight

May 16 Muhammad Ali beats Alfredo Evangelist in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

  • May 16 TV drama “Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn”, starring Leigh McCloskey, follow up to "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" premieres on US network NBC, focusing on what happened to him after Dawn left L.A. to return to her hometown

Election of Interest

May 17 Menachem Begin's Likoed party wins election in Israel

  • May 18 Menachem Begin becomes Prime Minister of Israel
  • May 18 US, USSR and other nations sign the Environmental Modification Convention which prohibits weather warfare having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects

Film Premiere

May 19 Film "Smokey & the Bandit" starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason premieres in NYC

  • May 21 "Fiddler on the Roof" closes at Winter Garden NYC after 167 performances
  • May 21 102nd Preakness: Jean Cruguet aboard Seattle Slew wins in 1:54.4
  • May 21 Albert Innaurato's "Gemini" premieres in NYC
  • May 21 Fire in hotel Duc de Brabant Brussels, kills 19
  • May 21 San Diego Padres beat Mont Expos, 11-8, in 21 innings
  • May 21 Electric Light Orchestra releases "Telephone Line" in the UK; it would peak in the Top 10 in the UK and US

#1 in the Charts

May 21 Stevie Wonder's single "Sir Duke", a tribute to Duke Ellington and other musical influences of Wonder's, begins a 3-week run at #1

The Orient Express

May 22 Final European scheduled run of the Orient Express (after 94 years)

  • May 22 Red Sox (6) & Brewers (5) tie single game HR record of 11
  • May 23 Benin adopts its constitution

Historic Event

May 23 US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals of Watergate wrong doers H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman & John Mitchell

  • May 23 Moluccan extremists hold 105 schoolchildren & 50 others hostage on a hijacked train in Neth, children released May 27, siege ends June 11
  • May 24 USSR President Podgorny resigns
  • May 25 "Beatles Live! At Star-Club in Hamburg Germany" released

Television Finale

May 25 "Brady Bunch Hour" last airs on ABC-TV

  • May 25 Dutch social democratic party wins parliamentary election
  • May 25 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Film Release

May 25 Original "Star Wars" movie (Episode IV – A New Hope), directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, first released

  • May 25 21st European Cup: Liverpool beats Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 at Rome
  • May 26 George Willig climbs the South Tower of NYC's World Trade Center, famously fined 1 cent for each of 110 stories he climbed
  • May 27 30th Cannes Film Festival: "Padre Padrone" directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani wins the Palme d'Or

Music History

May 27 The Sex Pistols release "God Save the Queen", sparking major controversy and leading to a ban on the song by the BBC

  • May 28 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Southgate, Kentucky kills 168

Sports History

May 29 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt. becomes first driver to win Indy 500 four times; last time winning car built entirely within US; Janet Guthrie first female to qualify, lasts 27 laps

  • May 29 NBC News & Information Service (24 hr news) ends on radio
  • May 29 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 29 Australian Sue Prell first female golfer to hit consecutive holes-in one; 13th and 14th holes at Chatswood Golf Club, Sydney
  • May 30 Cleveland Indian Dennis Eckersley no-hits California Angels, 2-0
  • May 31 "Beatlemania" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 920 performances
  • May 31 Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani becomes heir apparent to throne of Qatar
  • May 31 Trans-Alaska oil pipeline completed, one of the world's largest pipeline systems