On This Day

May 1981 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 Harrison Williams (Sen-D-NJ) convicted on FBI Abscam charges
  • May 1 Radio Shack releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3
  • May 2 Radio Shack re-releases Model III TRSDOS 1.3 with 2 fixes
  • 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 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 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

Soviet UnionThe Motherland Monument

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

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The Motherland Monument in Kiev, Ukraine
The Motherland Monument in Kiev, Ukraine
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

21st President of France Francois Mitterrand
21st President of France
Francois Mitterrand

MurderAssassination 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

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • May 14 NASA launches space vehicle S-192
  • May 15 Len Barker of Cleveland pitches perfect game vs Toronto
  • May 15 Soyuz 40 carries 2 cosmonauts (1 Romanian) to Salyut 6

  • May 19 Pirate Jim Bibby gives up a leadoff single to Brave Terry Harper, then retires next 27 batters
  • 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 21 Francois Mitterrand becomes president of France
  • May 22 Soyuz 40 returns to Earth
  • May 23 Barcelona fascists take 200 people hostage
  • May 23 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 501
  • May 24 Hostage situation ends at Central Bank in Barcelona, Spain
  • 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)

Assassination AttemptRonald Reagan is Shot

May 27 John Hinckley attempts suicide by overdosing on Tylenol

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The scene moments after John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan on March 30, 1981
The scene moments after John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan on March 30, 1981
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  • May 27 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • May 29 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 30 Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman is shot by group of rebel officers

Birthdays in History

  • May 6 Edyta Sliwinska, Polish professional dancer (Dancing With The Stars), born in Warsaw, Poland

Person of interestZara Phillips

May 15 Zara Phillips, English daughter of Princess Anne, born in London

Daughter of Princess Anne Zara Phillips
Daughter of Princess Anne
Zara Phillips

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

May 8 Author John Grisham (26) weds Renee Jones

Writer John Grisham
Writer
John Grisham
  • May 16 Pretenders' Martin Chambers weds Tracy Atkinson

Deaths in History

  • May 1 Clarence A Bacote, historian/political scientist, dies at 75
  • May 5 Bobby Sands, Irish IRA activist dies in the 66th day of his hunger strike at 26
  • May 9 Nelson Algren, American novelist (Man with the Golden Arm), dies at 72
  • May 11 Hoyt J. Fuller, American editor (1st World magazine), dies at 57
  • May 11 Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist (Nobel 1969 - the study of the three-dimensional geometric structure of molecules), dies at 83
  • May 12 Benjamin Sheares, President of Singapore (1971-81), dies at 73
  • May 17 Jeannette Ridlon Piccard, 1st US woman free balloon pilot, dies
  • May 18 William Saroyan, American novelist & stagewriter (Time of your life), dies at 72
  • May 21 Patsy O'Hara, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 21 Raymond Mccreesh, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • May 23 George Jessel, American toastmaster general and entertainer (Diary of Young Comic), dies at 83
  • May 23 Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (The Blaze of Noon), dies at 70
  • May 23 David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • May 25 Fredric Warburg, British publisher (Animal Farm) and author, dies at 82
  • May 28 Stefan Wyszyński, Polish Cardinal, dies at 79
  • May 30 Ziaur Rahmen, President of Bangladesh, is assassinated
  • May 31 Giuseppe Pella, 31st Prime Minister of Italy, dies at 79