May 2020 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 Armed protesters against stay-at-home-orders gather at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, as Governor Gretchen Whitmer reinstates State of Emergency

Historic Event

May 1 Canadian PM Justin Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 types of assault-style weapons in response to recent Nova Scotia shooting

  • May 1 Prison riot leaves more than 40 dead and many injured at Los Llanos jail, near Guanare city, Venezuela

Historic Event

May 1 Tweets by Elon Musk saying Tesla's share price is too high wipe $14 billion off the carmaker's value

  • May 3 Brazilian confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 100,000 with the death toll at 7,025, the 9th country to do so

Historic Event

May 3 Investor Warren Buffett dumps his holdings in four major US airlines saying "the world has changed" for aviation, reflecting an increasingly bleak outlook for the industry

COVID-19 Pandemic

May 3 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says China responsible for the spread and severity of COVID-19 and should be held accountable

  • May 4 Countries in Europe begin cautious reopening after COVID-19 lockdown, Italy restarts construction and takeaways, Germany reopens schools
  • May 4 India begins lifting some restrictions in regions with fewer COVID-19 cases
  • May 4 World leaders pledge $8 billion to research treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, with the US and Russia not taking part
  • May 5 Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 reach 3.65 million, US cases pass 70,000 while the UK becomes the most affected in Europe with 29,427 known deaths
  • May 5 São Luis, in Maranhão state becomes the first Brazilian city to enter lockdown because of COVID-19 as its health services struggle to cope
  • May 6 At least 90,000 healthcare workers worldwide infected by COVID-19, more than 260 nurses have died according to International Council of Nurses
  • May 6 Former intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi sworn in as new Iraqi Prime Minister, 3rd to be nominated in six months
  • May 6 Irish organization repays a 170 year old favor, raising over $2 million (to date) for US Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation badly affected by COVID-19. In 1840s Choctaw Nation sent $170 to aid Irish potato famine.

COVID-19

May 6 UK becomes the first European country to report over 30,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

  • May 7 Toxic leak at Indian chemical factory near Visakhapatnam kills at least 13 and injures many when it tried to reopen after lockdown
  • May 7 UK economy heading for its worst crash in 300 years (-14%), since 1706, according to Bank of England forecast
  • May 7 US Father and son arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, after video of the killing surfaces
  • May 7 US unemployment claims hit 33.3 million or 20% of the workforce, vs two months ago unemployment 3.5%, a 50-year low
  • May 8 Two US White House staffers test positive for COVID-19 and three members of the coronavirus task force go into self-isolation after possible exposure to the virus
  • May 10 Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise above 4 million with death toll above 270,000, according to Johns Hopkins
  • May 11 Colombian airline Avianca, and world's 2nd oldest, becomes 1st major airline to file for bankruptcy due to Covid-19
  • May 11 World Health Organization warns “extreme vigilance” needed as many countries begin easing lockdowns

Historic Event

May 12 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a $260 million economic rescue package, worth 10% of GDP

  • May 12 Militants storm a hospital and a funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, shooting an estimated 40 people dead including new mothers and their babies

COVID-19 Pandemic

May 12 Russia's confirmed cases of COVID-19 reach 232,000, 2nd highest in the world, a day after President Vladimir Putin eased the country's lockdown

  • May 12 US coronavirus task force testifies to the Senate that the US "is not out of the woods yet" that the pandemic is not under control and risks surge in cases if reopens too soon
  • May 12 Wuhan, epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, draws up plans to test all 11 million residents after it records a new cluster of 6 cases
  • May 13 Every African country now has cases of COVID-19 as The Kingdom of Lesotho becomes the last country on the continent to record a case
  • May 14 Former pandemic agency head Rick Bright testifies to a US House Committee "without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history"
  • May 14 Global death toll from COVID-19 passes 300,000 with 4.4 million confirmed infections
  • May 15 Germany, Europe's largest economy, officially in recession due to COVID-19, as figures show economy shrank 2.2% 1st 3 months of 2020

Historic Event

May 16 118-year old American department store JC Penney files for bankruptcy

Historic Event

May 17 Former US President Barack Obama criticizes the US government's handling of the pandemic during an online address to graduates, saying officials "aren't even pretending to be in charge"

Historic Event

May 17 Israel swears in a new government led by both Benny Gantz, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 510 days

COVID-19 Pandemic

May 18 US President Donald Trump confirms he is taking controversial drug hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19

  • May 18 WHO member states agree to set up an inquiry into the global response to the pandemic, including looking at the WHO itself
  • May 19 Greenhouse gas emissions dropped 17% worldwide in April 2020 when world was in lockdown, in study published in "Nature Climate Change"
  • May 19 Two dams on Tittabawassee River in central Michigan breached by floodwaters, forcing evacuation of thousands of residents
  • May 20 Cyclone Amphan comes ashore in West Bengal, East India and Bangladesh, with winds of 185 km per hour (115 mph) killing at least 84 people
  • May 20 WHO reports most new cases in a single day - 106,000 worldwide of COVID-19
  • May 22 China unveils new national security legislation against Hong Kong at its annual legislative session
  • May 22 Pakistan International Airlines flight crashes near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi killing 97 with just two survivors

Historic Event

May 24 British PM Boris Johnson refuses to sack his senior aide Dominic Cummings, after it is revealed he broke the country's lockdown rules to drive across the country

  • May 24 Millions of cicadas in a once in 17-year event about to emerge from the earth in the US south posing crop danger and noise issues, according to scientists from Virginia Tech
  • May 24 The New York Times prints front page with nearly 1,000 names of people who have died from COVID-19, as the US toll nears 100,000

Murder of Interest

May 25 Video of African American George Floyd's arrest and murder while restrained in Minneapolis police custody shows he was pinned to the ground by police officer Derek Chauvin's knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, ignites widespread condemnation and nationwide protests

  • May 26 Costa Rica becomes the first county in Central America to legalize same-sex marriage

Historic Publication

May 26 J. K. Rowling begins publishing children's story "The Ickabog" online in installments

  • May 26 Twitter adds warning labels to warn about inaccuracies in US President Donald Trump's tweets for the first time
  • May 26 US restricts travel from Brazil as the country posts world's second highest number of recorded cases of COVID-19
  • May 27 America's COVID-19 death toll passes 100,000 (Johns Hopkins figures) equal to number of US servicemen and women killed in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan put together
  • May 27 Locust swarms in western and central India worst since 1993 after spreading from Pakistan and Iran and due to extreme weather
  • May 27 Spain begins 10 days of mourning for victims of COVID-19 with death toll just under 27,000
  • May 27 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Hong Kong no longer has autonomy from China, doesn't merit special trade relationship, in note to Congress

Historic Event

May 28 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calls for new protections for women after the 'honor killing' of a 14-year old by her father

  • May 28 Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declares State of Emergency in Minneapolis and activates the Minnesota National Guard after protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody
  • May 30 Record number of COVID-19 cases reported worldwide 134,064, driven by hot spots in Brazil, Peru, Egypt, South Africa and Bangladesh
  • May 30 SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches carrying the Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station. First private company to launch astronauts into space.

Deaths in History

  • May 8 Roy Horn [Uwe Ludwig Horn], German-American Las Vegas entertainer (Siegfried & Roy), dies of COVID-19 at 75
  • May 13 Rolf Hochhuth, German playwright (Der Stellvertreter), dies at 89
  • May 19 Richard Anuszkiewicz, American artist 'new wizard of op', dies at 89
  • May 20 Howard Curtis Nielson, American politician (Rep-R-UT, 1983-91), dies at 95
  • May 21 Oliver Williamson, American economist (Nobel Prize for Economics 2009), dies at 87
  • May 23 Saturn, American-born alligator that escaped Berlin Zoo during WWII, dies at about 84 in Moscow Zoo (Moscow, Russia)

George FloydGeorge Floyd (1973-2020)

May 25 African American bouncer, murdered at 46 while restrained in police custody by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who placed his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds causing mechanical asphyxia

  • May 26 Stanley Ho, Chinese casino tycoon who transformed Macao, dies at 98
  • May 27 Larry Kramer, American playwright and AIDS activist, dies at 84
  • May 29 Ron Johnston, English geographer (electoral geography), dies at 79
  • May 31 Christo [Javacheff], Bulgarian artist and wrapper (Running Fence), dies at 84