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.

Election of Interest

May 5 Jacques Chirac wins the French Presidential election for a second term defeating Jean-Marie Le Pen leader of the far-right National Front

  • May 6 Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed at close range with an illegally purchased pistol by an animal rights activist upset with Fortuyn's policies

Event of Interest

May 6 Entrepreneur Elon Musk founds SpaceX

  • 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 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.

  • 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 22 The remains of missing Chandra Levy are found in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
  • 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 Álvaro Uribe becomes President of Colombia
  • May 26 The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars
  • 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, dies at 98
  • May 6 (Whilhelmus) "Pim" Fortuyn, Dutch writer, politician, academic, and founder of right-wing political party (Lijst Pim Fortuyn or LPF), assassinated at 54
  • May 7 Kevyn Aucoin, American makeup artist and photographer, dies of the effects of acetaminophen toxicity at 40
  • May 10 David Riesman, American sociologist (Lonely Crowd), dies at 92
  • May 10 Lynda Lyon Block, American convicted murderer (shot a police officer), executed at 54
  • May 11 Joseph Bonanno, Italian-American mafioso & crime boss of the Bonanno crime family, dies of heart failure at 97
  • May 11 Renaude Lapointe, French Canadian journalist and senator, dies at 90
  • May 14 Derek Birley, English founding Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster and sports writer, dies at 75
  • May 16 Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC (b. 1899)
  • May 17 Dave Berg, American cartoonist (The Lighter Side of...), dies at 81

James Chichester-Clark (1923-2002)

May 17 Irish politician, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (1969-71), dies at 79

  • May 19 John Gorton, Australian politician, 19th Prime Minister of Australia (1968-71), dies at 90
  • May 19 Walter Lord, American author (A Night to Remember), dies at 84

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)

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

  • May 21 Niki de Saint Phalle, French sculptor, dies at 71
  • May 22 Curnick Muzuvukile Ndlovu, South Africian worker's union leader, and African National Congress Leader, dies at 70
  • 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