Historical Events in May 1981

  • May 1 Harrison Williams (Sen-D-NJ) convicted on FBI Abscam charges
  • May 1 Radio Shack releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3

Sports History

May 1 Tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledges a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett - becoming first prominent sportswoman to come out

  • May 2 107th Kentucky Derby: Jorge Velásquez on Pleasant Colony wins in 2:02
  • May 2 Radio Shack re-releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3 with 2 fixes
  • May 3 "Can-Can" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • May 3 "Moony, Shapiro Songbook" opens & closes at Morosco Theater NYC
  • May 4 Rockline premieres on KLOS FM in Los Angeles
  • May 4 Silvana Cruciata runs 15k female world record (49:44.0)
  • May 4 Yankee Ron Davis strikes out 8 consecutive Angels, ran record of 13 strikeouts of last 14 faced, also saved Gene Nelsons 1st win, 4-2
  • May 5 16th and final MLB pre-season Mayor's Trophy Game prior to inter-league play; NY Mets beat NY Yankees, 4-1 to hold 8-7-1 edge
  • May 5 After 66 days on hunger strike, 26 year old Provisional IRA member and British MP Bobby Sands dies in the Maze Prision. Nine more hunger strikers die in the next 3 months.
  • May 6 "Inacent Black" opens at Biltmore Theater NYC for 14 performances
  • May 6 US expels Libyan diplomats
  • May 8 Ron Davis pitches 10th consecutive strike out, 1 short of record
  • May 9 Kazimiroff Blvd in Bronx named for a Bronx historian

The Motherland Monument

May 9 The Motherland Monument at 62 m (203 ft) high is opened in Kyiv, Ukraine in ceremony attended by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev

Historic Event

May 10 François Mitterrand defeats Valery Giscard d'Estang for Presidency of France

  • May 10 Montreal Expo Charlie Lee no-hits SF Giants, 4-0

Music Premiere

May 11 Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" (based on poetry by T. S. Eliot) directed by Trevor Nunn first premieres in the West End, London

  • May 12 "Lena Horne: Lady, Music" opens at Nederlander, NYC: runs for 333 performances
  • May 12 NY Islanders tie their own record with two shorthanded playoff goals in a period vs Minnesota North Stars
  • May 13 Dinamo Tbilisi wins 21st European Cup Winner's Cup against Carl Zeiss Jena of East Germany 2-1 in Düsseldorf

Assassination Attempt

May 13 Pope John Paul II is shot and critically wounded by Turkish gunman Mehemet Ali Agca in St Peter's Square, Vatican City

  • May 14 35th NBA Championship: Bost Celtics beat Houston Rockets, 4 games to 2
  • May 14 NASA launches space vehicle S-192

Sports History

May 15 "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" airs

Music Single

May 15 George Harrison releases single "All Those Years Ago" in UK: the song was a tribute to John Lennon, and featured Ringo Starr on drums, and Paul and Linda McCartney on backing vocals

  • May 15 Len Barker of Cleveland pitches perfect game vs Toronto
  • May 15 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC
  • May 15 Soyuz 40 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Romanian) to Salyut 6

#1 in the Charts

May 16 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks

  • May 16 106th Preakness: Jorge Velásquez aboard Pleasant Colony wins in 1:54.6
  • May 16 Houston shortstop Craig Reynolds hits 3 triples as Astros beat Chicago Cubs, 6-1
  • May 17 "Inacent Black" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 14 performances
  • May 17 Islanders score 5 power play goals against Flyers in a playoff
  • May 19 5 British Army soldiers are killed when their armoured vehicle is ripped apart by a Provisional Irish Republican Army roadside bomb near Bessbrook, County Armagh
  • May 19 Pirate Jim Bibby gives up a leadoff single to Brave Terry Harper, then retires next 27 batters
  • May 21 François Mitterrand becomes president of France
  • May 21 Kim Seelbrede, (Ohio), crowned 30th Miss USA

Music History

May 21 Reggae musician Bob Marley receives a Jamaican state funeral

  • May 21 Stanley Cup Final, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY: NY Islanders win back-to-back titles; beat Minnesota North Stars, 5-1 for 4 games to 1 series win
  • May 22 Soyuz 40 returns to Earth
  • May 23 Barcelona fascists take 200 people hostage
  • May 23 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 501

Murder of Interest

May 23 Peter Sutcliffe is convicted for the "Yorkshsire Ripper" murders of 13 women at the Old Bailey in London and sentenced to life sentences for each

Sports History

May 23 Puerto Rican boxer Wilfred Benítez (22) becomes the youngest 3-division world champion in history by knocking out WBC World Super Welterweight champion Maurice Hope in 12 rounds in Las Vegas

  • May 24 Hostage situation ends at Central Bank in Barcelona, Spain
  • May 24 Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser crosses finish line ahead of Mario Andretti; Unser disqualified for pit lane infraction, later reinstated for his 3rd race victory

Baseball Record

May 25 Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski (41) is 4th to play 3,000 MLB baseball games (Cobb, Musial & Aaron)

  • May 25 Daniel Goodwin scales outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7 hours
  • May 25 Rangers' Bill Stein sets AL record with 7 consecutive pinch hits
  • May 26 Marine jet crashes on flight deck of USS Nimitz, killing 14
  • May 26 The Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his coalition cabinet resign following a scandal over membership of the pseudo-masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due)
  • May 27 25th European Cup: Liverpool beats Real Madrid 1-0 at Paris
  • May 27 34th Cannes Film Festival: "Man of Iron" directed by Andrzej Wajda wins the Palme d'Or
  • May 27 Lenny Randle tries to blow a slow roller foul but umpire says no
  • May 27 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 29 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 30 "Nightline" extends from 4 nights to 5 nights a week (Friday)
  • May 30 Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman is shot by group of rebel officers
  • May 30 LA Dodgers are quickest to get 1,000,000 attendance in a season in only 22 games