On This Day

May 2008 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 The London Agreement on translation of European patents, concluded in 2000, enters into force in 14 of the 34 Contracting States to the European Patent Convention.
  • May 2 Cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Myanmar killing over 130,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless
  • May 6 Chaiten Volcano erupts in Chile, forcing the evacuation of more than 4,500 people.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 7 Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as the 3rd President of the Russian Federation

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 8 Dmitry Medvedev appoints Vladimir Putin as Russian Prime Minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President
Vladimir Putin
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 10 Philippine court acquits Imelda Marcos in a 17-year-old case of 32 counts of illegal transfer of wealth totaling $863 million in Swiss bank accounts

First Lady and Politician Imelda Marcos
First Lady and Politician
Imelda Marcos
  • May 12 Wenchuan earthquake, measuring 7.8 in magnitude occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 87,000, injuring 374,643 and leaving homeless between 4.8 million and 11 million people
  • May 15 California becomes the second U.S. state after Massachusetts in 2004 to legalize same-sex marriage after the state's own Supreme Court rules a previous ban unconstitutional.
  • May 23 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.
  • May 28 The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty.

Weddings in History

  • May 10 President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush (26) weds Henry Hager (30) at the Bush family ranch in Texas
  • May 17 Eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, Peter Phillips (30) weds management consultant Autumn Kelly (30) at St. George’s chapel in Windsor Castle
  • May 24 Prince Joachim of Denmark (38) weds second wife Marie Cavallier (32) at Møgeltønder Church in Denmark

Divorces in History

  • May 9 "The View" former co-host Star Jones (46) divorces investment banker Al Reynolds (39) after three-and-a-half years of marriage

Deaths in History

  • May 1 Anthony Mamo, Malta's first President (b. 1909)
  • May 1 Deborah Jeane Palfrey, American escort owner, commits suicide at 52
  • May 3 Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, Spanish former Primer Minister (b. 1926)
  • May 5 Irv Robbins, Canadian-American entrepreneur (co-founded the Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor chain), dies at 90
  • May 9 Nuala O'Faolain, Irish journalist, dies at 68
  • May 12 Robert Rauschenberg, American artist (b. 1925)
  • May 12 Irena Sendler, Polish social worker, WWII heroine (b. 1910)
  • May 13 Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Sheikh of Kuwait (b. 1930)
  • May 13 Ron Stone, American television reporter (b. 1936)
  • May 15 Willis Lamb, American physicist (Nobel 1955), dies at 94
  • May 18 Joseph Pevney, American television director, dies at 96
  • May 19 Vijay Tendulkar, Indian playwright, (b. 1928)
  • May 20 Ali Sadikin, Indonesian politician and governor of Jakarta (1966-77), dies at 79
  • May 20 Hamilton Jordan, former Carter White House Chief of Staff (b. 1944)
  • May 21 Brian Keenan, Irish Provisional IRA member who played a key role in Northern Ireland's peace process (1998), dies of cancer at 66
  • May 22 Robert Asprin, American author (b. 1946)
  • May 23 David Mitton, British television director (b. 1939)
  • May 25 J. R. Simplot, American potato farmer (b. 1909)
  • May 25 Georgette Amowitz, French choreographer and educator, dies at 78
  • May 27 Franz Künstler, Last remaining Austro-Hungarian Empire World War I veteran (b. 1900)
  • May 28 David Mitton, Scottish-born director (b. 1938)
  • May 28 Beryl Cook, British painter, dies at 81
  • May 29 Dianne Odell, American medical figure (b. 1947)
  • May 30 Lorenzo Odone, American medical figure (b. 1978)