May 1971

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The following events occurred in May 1971:

May 1, 1971 (Saturday)

May 2, 1971 (Sunday)

  • In Ceylon, left-wing guerillas launch a series of assaults against public buildings.
  • In the UK, the Daily Mail, first published in 1896, is relaunched as a tabloid.
  • Died: Olaf Barda, 61, first Norwegian International Master in chess; John Horne Blackmore, Canadian teacher, 81, first leader of the Social Credit Party of Canada

May 3, 1971 (Monday)

May 4, 1971 (Tuesday)

  • Four home-made bombs are found in the vicinity of Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, UK. The authorities at first thought these belonged to the Angry Brigade [3] but were more likely to be the work of students who devised improvised bombs as an experiment on a school trip to Norway in 1970.

May 5, 1971 (Wednesday)

May 6, 1971 (Thursday)

May 7, 1971 (Friday)

May 8, 1971 (Saturday)

May 9, 1971 (Sunday)

May 10, 1971 (Monday)

May 11, 1971 (Tuesday)

May 12, 1971 (Wednesday)

May 13, 1971 (Thursday)

  • The state funeral of Former Taoiseach Seán Lemass takes place at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Churchtown, Dublin.
  • Karl Schiller replaces Alex Möller as Minister of Finance in the German federal government.
  • Born: Espen Lind, Norwegian songwriter, producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, in Tromsø
  • Joseph Andrew Hubbard was born in Gadsden, AL, USA at 15:32

May 14, 1971 (Friday)

May 15, 1971 (Saturday)

  • Three members of the Turkish Liberation Army, an underground militant organization linked to the PLO, kidnapped and executed Israeli consul-general Efraim Elrom in Ankara.[5]
  • Died: Sir Tyrone Guthrie, 70, Anglo-Irish theatrical director

May 16, 1971 (Sunday)

  • A coup attempt is exposed and foiled in Egypt.
  • Died: Sir Collier Cudmore, 85, Australian lawyer, politician and Olympic champion rower

May 17, 1971 (Monday)

May 18, 1971 (Tuesday)

  • The U.S. Congress formally votes to end funding for the American Supersonic Transport program.
  • The Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in Chicago with a game 7 victory. It was only the second time in Stanley Cup history that the away team won game 7.

May 19, 1971 (Wednesday)

May 20, 1971 (Thursday)

  • Boeing announces the cancellation of the SST project.[8]

May 21, 1971 (Friday)

May 22, 1971 (Saturday)

  • An earthquake lasting 20 seconds destroys most of Bingöl, Turkey – more than 1,000 are killed, 10,000 made homeless.

May 23, 1971 (Sunday)

May 24, 1971 (Monday)

  • Hurricane Agatha makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale within 45 miles (75 km) of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. The village of Playa Azul is hard-hit by the storm. Up to half of the village's homes are destroyed, along with much of the banana, mango and coconut crop.
  • Gerhard Stoltenberg becomes Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein, retaining the position until 1982.

May 25, 1971 (Tuesday)

  • The body of Efraim Elrom, Israeli ambassador to Turkey, is found in Istanbul.
  • A suitcase containing a blast bomb is thrown into the lobby of Springfield Road RUC station by the Provisional IRA. Sgt Michael Willetts shelters two civilians as 30 lbs of explosives detonate, seriously injuring him. Seven RUC officers, two British soldiers and eighteen civilians are injured in the attack.
  • Died: Michael Willetts, 35, English soldier, one of the first to be killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the recipient of a posthumous George Cross.

May 26, 1971 (Wednesday)

  • Austria and the People's Republic of China establish diplomatic relations.
  • Qantas agrees to pay $500,000 to bomb hoaxer-extortionist Mr. Brown (Peter Macari), who is later arrested.
  • Died: Laurence Wild, 81, American former basketball player, soldier, and Governor of American Samoa

May 27, 1971 (Thursday)

  • Dahlerau train disaster: 46 people are killed in a collision between two trains in West Germany; 41 of the victims are pupils of the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule in Radevormwald.[9]
  • Six armed passengers hijack a Romanian passenger plane and force it to fly to Vienna.
  • Christie's auctions a diamond known as Deepdene; it is later found to be artificially colored.
  • Born: Paul Bettany, English actor, in Shepherd's Bush, London; Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, American entertainer, in Philadelphia (d. 2002)
  • Died: Chips Rafferty, 62, Australian actor, of a heart attack while walking along a street in Sydney, shortly after being offered a role in The Day the Clown Cried.

May 28, 1971 (Friday)

  • Portugal resigns from UNESCO.
  • A Berlin-based CV-990A operated by Modern Air Transport, with 45 passengers on board, is unexpectedly denied permission to enter Bulgarian airspace, as a result of a new policy adopted by that country's then communist government to deny any aircraft whose flight had originated or was going to terminate at a West Berlin airport the right to take off and land at any of its airports. The plane lands safely back at Berlin's Tegel Airport.[10]
  • Died: Audie Murphy, 45, American actor, killed when his private plane crashes into Brush Mountain, near Catawba, Virginia. The pilot and four other passengers are also killed.

May 29, 1971 (Saturday)

  • The 1971 Indianapolis 500 is won by Al Unser the second year in a row. The race is marred by a spectacular crash in which a pace car skids into a temporary grandstand packed with photographers. 22 people are injured, some seriously.
  • Died: Rodd Redwing, 66, Native American actor and world’s greatest quick-draw artist.

May 30, 1971 (Sunday)

May 31, 1971 (Monday)

  • The birth of Bangladesh is declared by the government in exile, in territory formerly part of Pakistan.


  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  2. ^ John Pike. "3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division". Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  3. ^ Bombs listed as being possibly the result of the Angry Brigade Archived 2010-11-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ ""1971: Britain's oldest tabloid closes", BBC On This Day". BBC News. 1971-05-11. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1973-74
  7. ^ Pravda, May 18, 1971
  8. ^ Global
  9. ^ "Aktuelle Stunde - So wars: 1971 - Zugunglück in Radevormwald". Westdeutscher Rundfunk. 2006-05-27. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  10. ^ Detour via Schönefeld (translated article title), Aviation (translated section title), Der Spiegel (German news magazine), vol. 29, 1971, 12 July 1971, p. 41 (German language only) Archived 24 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
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