May 1980 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 Amer Book Award: William Styron (Sophie Choice)/T Wolfe (Right Stuff)
  • May 2 Joseph Doherty & 3 other IRA men arrested for murder
  • May 2 Pope John Paul II begins African tour
  • May 2 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 5 Siege at Iranian Embassy in London ends as the SAS and police storm the building
  • May 5 Konstantinos Karamanlis is elected for the first time President of Greece
  • May 7 Yugoslav President Josip Tito is buried
  • May 7 Samm-Art Williams' "Home" premieres in NYC
  • May 8 World Health Organization announces smallpox has been eradicated
  • May 8 1st non-stop trans-North American balloon flight departs Fort Baker, California. Maxie Anderson and son Kristian pilot the Kitty Hawk for five days.
  • May 9 35 motorists die as a Liberian freighter rams a Tampa Bay Bridge
  • May 12 1st non-stop trans-North American balloon flight lands at Sainte-Félicité, Quebec. Maxie Anderson and son Kristian piloted the Kitty Hawk for five days.
  • May 14 Department of Health & Human Services begins operation
  • May 14 Bucky Dent hits an inside park HR, Royals walk 14 Yanks including 5 with bases loaded, Yanks win 16-3
  • May 16 Former Buggles members Geoff Downes & Trevor Horn replace Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman in Yes
  • May 17 V. S. Kumar Anandan from Sri Lanka balances on one foot for 33 hours (Guinness World Record)
  • May 17 Major race riot in Miami Florida - 16 killed, 300 injured
  • May 18 Belgium 3rd government of Martens forms
  • May 18 People's Republic of China launches 1st intercontinental rocket
  • May 18 Fernando Belaunde Terry elected president of Peru

FireworksMount St. Helens Erupts

May 18 Mount St Helens erupts in Washington state, causing the largest landslide in history, killing 57 people and costing $1 billion in damage
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  • May 18 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms
  • May 20 710 families in Love Canal area (Niagara Falls NY) are evacuated
  • May 20 Fire in nursing home in Kingston Jamaica, kills 157
  • May 20 In a referendum, 59.5% of Quebec voters reject separatism
  • May 21 Ensign Jean Marie Butler is 1st woman to graduate from US service academy
  • May 24 Iran rejects a call to World Court to release US hostages
  • May 26 Soyuz 36 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Hungarian) to Salyut 6
  • May 27 South Korean police ends people's uprising; 2,000 killed
  • May 27 The Gwangju Massacre: South Korean airborne and army troops retake city of Gwangju from civil militias, killing at least 207 possibly many more
  • May 29 53rd National Spelling Bee: Jacques Bailly wins spelling elucubrate
  • May 29 Attempted assassination on Vernon Jordan Jr National Urban League president
  • May 29 JMW Turner's "Juliet & Her Nurse" sold for $6,400,000 in NYC
  • May 30 1st papal visit to France since 1814
  • May 30 Tiger reliever John Hiller, 37, (who had a 1971 heart attack), retires
  • May 30 Turner's painting "Juliet & Her Nurse" sells for $6.4 million
  • May 30 Twins Ken Landreaux ends his hitting streak after 31 games
  • May 31 "Love Stinks" by J. Geils Band peaks at #38
  • May 31 Police & youthful rebels battle in Zurich

Birthdays in History

  • May 1 Inês Henriques, Portuguese race walker (gold medal 50k walk World Champs 2017), born in Santarém, Portugal
  • May 3 Marcel Vigneron, American chef (Top Chef), born in Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • May 8 Benny Yau, Canadian entertainer
  • May 16 Melanie Lofton, American Journalist
  • May 17 Davor Džalto, Serbian art historian
  • May 18 Aileen Campbell, Scottish Politician
  • May 22 Steven Baker, Australian rules footballer

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

May 1 Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko (49) weds Bobi Ladawa

President of Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko
President of Zaire
Mobutu Sese Seko

HeartWedding of Interest

May 27 President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier (28) weds Michele Bennett in Haiti

President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier
President of Haiti
Jean-Claude Duvalier

Deaths in History

  • May 4 Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav communist revolutionary and leader of Yugoslavia (1943-80), dies at 87
  • May 5 Edmond Vandercammen, Belgian writer/poet (Grand Combat), dies at 79
  • May 18 Reid Blackburn, a photojournalist for National Geographic was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1952)
  • May 18 Harry Truman, victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1896)
  • May 18 David A. Johnston, a U.S. Volcanoligist was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1949)
  • May 28 Rolf Nevanlinna, Finnish mathematician (b. 1895)