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 Konstantinos Karamanlis is elected for the first time President of Greece
  • May 5 Siege at Iranian Embassy in London ends as the SAS and police storm the building
  • May 7 Paul Geidel Jr, American murderer, and longest-serving prison inmate in the United States, paroled after 68 years, 296 days, at the age of 86.
  • May 7 Samm-Art Williams' "Home" premieres in NYC

Event of Interest

May 7 Yugoslav President Josip Tito is buried

  • 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 8 World Health Organization announces smallpox has been eradicated
  • May 9 35 motorists die when roadway collapses after Liberian freighter 'Summit Venture' rams Sunshine Skyway Bridge, during a squall (Tampa Bay, Florida)
  • 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 16 Former Buggles members Geoff Downes & Trevor Horn replace Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman in Yes
  • May 17 Major race riot in Miami Florida - 16 killed, 300 injured
  • May 17 V. S. Kumar Anandan from Sri Lanka balances on one foot for 33 hours (Guinness World Record)
  • May 18 Belgium 3rd government of Martens forms
  • May 18 Fernando Belaunde Terry elected president of Peru
  • May 18 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms

Mount 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

  • May 18 People's Republic of China launches 1st intercontinental rocket
  • May 20 710 families in Love Canal area of Niagara Falls, New York are evacuated due to linger effects of prior use as chemical waste disposal site [1]
  • 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 US Coast Guard 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

Event of Interest

May 26 Soyuz 36 carries cosmonauts Valery Kubasov and 1st Hungarian in space Bertalan Farkas 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

Event of Interest

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 Police & youthful rebels battle in Zurich

Birthdays in History

  • May 3 Marcel Vigneron, American chef (Top Chef), born in Bainbridge Island, Washington

Rishi SunakRishi Sunak (42 years old)

May 12 British politician (British Chancellor 2020-22; Prime Minister, 2022-present), born in Southampton, England

  • May 16 Melanie Lofton, American Journalist
  • May 17 Davor Džalto, Serbian art historian
  • May 22 Steven Baker, Australian rules footballer

Weddings in History

Mobutu Sese Seko

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

John McCain

May 17 Navy Liaison and future politician John McCain marries second wife teacher Cindy Lou Hensley

Jean-Claude Duvalier

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

Deaths in History

  • May 2 Alioune Diop, Senegalese writer & editor (Présence africaine), dies at 70

Josip Broz TitoJosip Broz Tito (1892-1980)

May 4 Yugoslav communist revolutionary and leader of Yugoslavia (1943-80), dies at 87

  • May 5 Edmond Vandercammen, French-Belgian painter and poet (Grand Combat), dies at 79
  • May 18 David A. Johnston, American volcanologist, dies in Mount St. Helens eruption at 30
  • May 18 Harry Truman, American victim of Mount St. Helens eruption, dies at 83
  • May 18 Reid Blackburn, American photojournalist for National Geographic & victim of Mount St. Helens eruption, dies at 28
  • May 28 Rolf Nevanlinna, Finnish mathematician (b. 1895)