May 2002 in History

Events in History

  • May 2 Marad massacre of eight Hindus near Palakkad in Kerala
  • May 3 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.
  • May 6 Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed by an animal rights activist

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 6 Entrepreneur Elon Musk founds SpaceX

Entrepreneur Elon Musk
Elon Musk
  • May 7 A China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunges into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people.
  • May 9 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem comes to an end when Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected militants among them deported
  • May 9 In Kaspiysk, Russia, a remote-controlled bomb explodes during a holiday parade killing 43 and injuring at least 130
  • May 11 Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveils the Man With Two Hats monument in Ottawa and Apeldoorn (May 2), 2000, symbolically linking both the Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout the Second World War.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter
  • May 14 Ten members of the Darwin-based Network Against Prohibition invade the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia.
  • May 20 The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself was the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976).
  • May 22 American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
  • May 23 The "55 parties" clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland.
  • May 24 Russia and the United States sign the Moscow Treaty.
  • May 25 A train crash in Tenga, Mozambique kills 197 people.
  • May 25 China Airlines Flight 611: A Boeing 747-200 breaks apart in mid-air and plunges into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people.
  • May 26 The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars.
  • May 26 Álvaro Uribe becomes President of Colombia.
  • May 28 NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance.

Weddings in History

  • May 24 Princess Martha Louise of Norway (30) weds author Ari Behn (29) in Trondheim

Deaths in History

  • May 2 W. T. Tutte, English-born codebreaker (b. 1917)
  • May 3 Barbara Castle, British politician (b. 1910)
  • May 5 Hugo Banzer, Bolivian dictator (b. 1926)
  • May 5 Paul Klipsch, American engineer, noted for his loudspeaker designs. (b. 1904)
  • May 6 Pim Fortuyn, Dutch politician (b. 1948)
  • May 7 Kevyn Aucoin, Makeup Artist and Photographer (b. 1962)
  • May 10 Lynda Lyon Block, convicted murderer (b. 1948)
  • May 11 Joseph Bonanno, Italian-born gangster (b. 1905)
  • May 11 Renaude Lapointe, French Canadian journalist and senator (b. 1912)
  • May 16 Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC (b. 1899)
  • May 17 Dave Berg, American cartoonist (b. 1920)
  • May 17 James Chichester-Clark, Irish politician, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1969-71), dies at 79
  • May 19 John Gorton, nineteenth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1911)
  • May 19 Walter Lord, American author (A Night to Remember), dies at 84

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 20 Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist and popular science writer, dies of cancer at 60

Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist Stephen Jay Gould
Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist
Stephen Jay Gould
  • May 21 Niki de Saint Phalle, French artist (b. 1930)
  • May 24 Wallace Markfield, American writer (b. 1926)
  • May 29 Mildred Benson, American writer (b. 1905)
  • May 31 Eric Boyland, English biochemist (cancer research), dies at 97