On This Day

May 1979 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 Home rule introduced to Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland)
  • May 1 Marshall Islands (in Pacific) become self-governing
  • May 2 "Quadrophenia" premieres in London
  • May 3 Martin Sherman's "Bent" premieres in London

Election of Interest

May 4 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

  • May 4 NASA launches Fltsatcom-2
  • May 5 Masterpiece Radio Theater begins broadcasting
  • May 5 Voyager 1 passes Jupiter
  • May 6 Louis LaRusso II's "Knockout" premieres in NYC
  • May 6 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 7 5th UNCTAD-conference opens in Manila
  • May 8 Radio Shack releases TRSDOS 2.3
  • May 9 Iranian-Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian is the 1st Jew executed by the Islamic government firing squad in Tehran, prompting the mass exodus of the once 100,000-strong Jewish community of Iran
  • May 10 Federated States of Micronesia becomes self-governing
  • May 10 Vivekananda (Sri Lanka) completes nonstop cycle ride of 187 hrs, 28 min, around Vihara Maha Devi Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka [From May 2]
  • May 13 "Utter Glory... Morrissey Hall" opens & closes at Mark Hellinger NYC

Historic Event

May 13 Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and family sentenced to death in Tehran

  • May 17 Coldest temperature ever recorded in Hawaii - 12°F (-11°C), on top of Mauna Kea

White Night Riots

May 21 Dan White convicted of the voluntary manslaughter of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and openly gay councilor Harvey Milk. The conviction on a lesser charge outraged the gay community and led to the White Night riots.

  • May 21 National Volksraad installed in Namibia

Election of Interest

May 22 Canadians elect conservatives, Joseph Clark replaces Pierre Trudeau as the 16th Prime Minister of Canada

  • May 22 Commencement of 1st ICC Trophy (PNG v East Africa & Singapore v Argentina)
  • May 23 West-Germany elects Karl Carstens president
  • May 24 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 25 American Airlines DC-10 crashes on takeoff from Chicago killing 273 including 2 on the ground
  • May 25 Israel begins to return Sinai to Egypt
  • May 25 Raul Gonzales of Mexico completes 50,000 m walk in record 3:41:38.4

Historic Event

May 27 Pope John Paul II ordains John J O'Connor as a bishop

  • May 28 European Market accepts Greece as member
  • May 29 Bishop Abel Muzorewa is sworn in as Zimbabwe's 1st black Prime Minister
  • May 29 Radio's 1st rock network "Source" premieres
  • May 30 Pat Underwood makes his pitching debut for Detroit beats brother Tom
  • May 30 Percom Data Company Inc release Microdos for Radio Shack's TRS-80
  • May 30 Ted Coombs begins a 5,193 mile roller skate from LA to NYC

Birthdays in History

  • May 6 Nikki Hayes, Irish radio personality
  • May 13 Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
  • May 21 James Clancy Phelan, Australian novelist, born in Melbourne, Australia
  • May 21 Jamie Hepburn, Scottish politician, Member of the Scottish Parliament, born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • May 25 Carlos Bocanegra, American sports executive and footballer, born in Alta Loma, California
  • May 29 Casey Sheehan, American soldier; son of Cindy Sheehan (d. 2004)

Weddings in History

Edward W. Brooke

May 12 US Senator Edward W. Brooke (59) weds second wife Anne Lee Fleming

Deaths in History

  • May 2 Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
  • May 8 Talcott Parsons, American sociologist, dies at 76

Cyrus Eaton

May 9 Cyrus Eaton, Canadian-American financier, industrialist and steel magnate, dies at 95

  • May 10 John Cameron Andrieu Bingham Morton, satirist (Beachcomber), dies
  • May 10 Louis Paul Boon, Flemish writer (Eros & the Lonely Man), dies at 67
  • May 14 Paul van 't Veeer, Dutch journalist/writer (Vrije Volk), dies at 57
  • May 16 A. Philip Randolph, American labor leader (Railroad Porter's Union) dies at 90
  • May 23 Hubert van Doorne, auto manufacturer (DAF Trucks), dies at 79
  • May 25 John Arthur Spenkelink, American murderer (b. 1949)
  • May 29 John H. Wood, Jr., American federal judge (b. 1916)