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 Interest

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

Event 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

  • 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 Crawford, 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 3 Michael Kaye, British arts director (LSO, South Bank), dies at 83
  • 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 Irena Sendler [née Krzyżanowska], Polish nurse, social worker, and WWII heroine who helped smuggle Jewish ghetto children to safety, dies at 98 [1]
  • May 12 Robert Rauschenberg, American artist (b. 1925)
  • May 13 John Phillip Law, American actor (Death Rides a Horse), dies at 70
  • May 13 Ron Stone, American television reporter (b. 1936)
  • May 13 Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Sheikh of Kuwait (b. 1930)
  • May 15 Willis Lamb, American physicist (Nobel 1955), dies at 94
  • May 18 Joseph Pevney, American television director, dies at 96
  • May 19 George Huntington Hartford II, American heir (A&P), dies at 97
  • 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 Georgette Amowitz, French choreographer and educator, dies at 78
  • May 25 J. R. Simplot, American potato farmer (b. 1909)
  • May 27 Franz Künstler, Last remaining Austro-Hungarian Empire World War I veteran (b. 1900)
  • May 28 Beryl Cook, British painter, dies at 81
  • May 28 David Mitton, Scottish-born director (b. 1938)
  • May 29 Dianne Odell, American medical figure (b. 1947)
  • May 30 Lorenzo Odone, American medical figure (b. 1978)