Iris Day in Belgium (The Festival of Irises a regional holiday and a weekend in the Brussels-capital region in honor of the flowering period of Iris pseudacorus, which is a symbol of the region. It is also Victory Day over the Nazis during World War II and the feast of the Archangel Saint-Michel, the patron saint of Brussels)
World Melanoma Day (is recognized on the second Monday of May around the world to highlight the growing prevalence of malignant melanoma)
Yerkrap Day in Armenia (state professional holiday of all members of Yerkrap, created in 1993 - the Union of Volunteers in the Republic of Armenia, established on January 6, 2001)
1978 – The first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.
1976 – The rollercoaster The New Revolution, the first steel coaster with a vertical loop, opens at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
1973 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota ends with the surrender of the militants.
1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacking and sinking the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington. The battle marks the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.
1927 – Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and François Coli disappear after taking off aboard The White Bird biplane.
1912 – Paramount Pictures is founded.
1899 – The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin produced its first play.
1898 – The first games of the Italian football league system are played.
1886 – Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named "Coca-Cola" as a patent medicine.
1877 – At Gilmore's Gardens in New York City, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens.
1861 – American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia is named the capital of the Confederate States of America.
1846 – Mexican–American War: The Battle of Palo Alto: Zachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
1990 – Kemba Walker, American basketball player. Kemba Hudley Walker (born May 8, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1987 – Felix Jones, American football player. Felix Jones Jr. (born May 8, 1987) is a former American football running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.
1986 – Galen Rupp, American runner. In London he won the silver medal in the men's 10,000 meters, and in Rio de Janeiro he won the bronze medal in the men's marathon.
1985 – Tommaso Ciampa, American wrestler. Tommaso Whitney (born May 8, 1985) is an American professional wrestler who performs under the ring name Tommaso Ciampa.
1985 – Usama Young, American football player. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
1983 – Bershawn Jackson, American hurdler. Jackson (born May 8, 1983) is an American athlete, who mainly competes in the 400 m hurdles, but also is a 400 m runner.
1983 – Lawrence Vickers, American football player. He played college football for the University of Colorado Buffaloes.
1982 – Adrian Gonzalez, American baseball player. Adrián González Savín (born May 8, 1982), also known by his nicknames "A-Gon" and "Titán", is an American-Mexican former professional baseball first baseman.
1981 – John Maine, American baseball player. He batted and threw right-handed.
1981 – Manny Gamburyan, Armenian-American mixed martial artist. A professional competitor since 1999, he was a cast member of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter 5, and also competed in the WEC and for King of the Cage.
1980 – Keyon Dooling, American basketball player. Keyon Latwae Dooling (born May 8, 1980) is an American former professional basketball guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1977 – Joe Bonamassa, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Joe Bonamassa (born May 8, 1977) is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.
1976 – Gonçalo Abecasis, Portuguese-American biochemist and academic. Gonçalo Rocha Abecasis (born 1976) is a Portuguese American biomedical researcher at the University of Michigan and chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health.
1976 – Martha Wainwright, Canadian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She was raised in a musical family along with her older brother, Rufus Wainwright, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1975 – Enrique Iglesias, Spanish-American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor. Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler (Spanish pronunciation: ; born 8 May 1975) is a Spanish-Filipino singer, songwriter, actor and record producer who is widely regarded as the King of Latin Pop.
1974 – Korey Stringer, American football player (d. 2001), was an American professional football player who was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for six seasons. He played college football for Ohio State University and was recognized as an All-American.
1971 – Candice Night, American singer-songwriter. Candice Night (born May 8, 1971) is an American vocalist/lyricist, multi-instrumentalist for the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night since its origins in 1997, and wife of British guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
1971 – Chuck Huber, American voice actor, director, and screenwriter. He is best known for his roles as Hiei in Yu Yu Hakusho, Dr.
1969 – Akebono Tarō, American-Japanese sumo wrestler, the 64th Yokozuna. Akebono Tarō (曙 太郎, Akebono Tarō, born Chadwick Haheo Rowan; 8 May 1969) is an American-born Japanese professional wrestler and former sumo wrestler from Waimānalo, Hawaii.
1964 – Bobby Labonte, American race car driver. He and his older brother, Terry Labonte, are one of only two pairs of brothers to have both won the Cup championships (along with Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch).
1964 – Melissa Gilbert, American actress and director. Melissa Ellen Gilbert (born May 8, 1964) is an American actress and television director.
1963 – Rick Zombo, American ice hockey player and coach. Richard James Zombo (born May 8, 1963) is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 12 seasons between 1984 and 1996.
1961 – Bill de Blasio, American politician, 109th Mayor of New York City. A member of the Democratic Party, he was New York City's public advocate from 2010 to 2013.
1961 – David Winning, Canadian-American director, producer, and screenwriter. Although Winning has worked in numerous film and TV genres, his name is most commonly associated with science fiction, thrillers and drama.
1960 – Eric Brittingham, American bass player. Eric Brittingham (born May 8, 1960) is an American bass guitarist best known for playing in the band Cinderella.
1959 – Ronnie Lott, American football player and sportscaster, was a cornerback, free safety, and strong safety in the National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons during the 1980s and 1990s.
1958 – Brooks Newmark, American-English businessman and politician, Lord of the Treasury. Brooks Phillip Victor Newmark (born 8 May 1958) is a homelessness campaigner and member of the Rough Sleeper’s Advisory Committee that advises the Home Office.
1958 – Lovie Smith, American football player and coach. Lovie Lee Smith (born May 8, 1958) is an American football coach who serves as the head coach of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Fighting Illini football team.
1957 – Bill Cowher, American football player and coach. William Laird Cowher (born May 8, 1957) is a former professional American football coach and player in the National Football League (NFL).
1955 – Stephen Furst, American actor and director, was an American actor and film and television director. After gaining attention with his featured role as Kent "Flounder" Dorfman in the comedy film National Lampoon's Animal House and its spin-off television series Delta House, he went on to be a regular as Dr.
1954 – David Keith, American actor and director. The positive reception for this role led to leading parts in the films The Lords of Discipline (1983), Firestarter (1984) and White of the Eye (1987).
1954 – John Michael Talbot, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. John Michael Talbot (born May 8, 1954) is an American Roman Catholic singer, songwriter, guitarist, author, television presenter and founder of a monastic community known as the Brothers and Sisters of Charity.
1954 – Pam Arciero, American puppeteer and voice actress. In addition to performance work, she worked as a director on the Nickelodeon series Oobi, which featured both writers and performers of Sesame Street.
1953 – Alex Van Halen, Dutch-American drummer. Alexander Arthur van Halen (, born May 8, 1953 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch-American musician who is the drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.
1953 – Billy Burnette, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor, was part of the band Fleetwood Mac from 1987 to 1995. Burnette also had a brief career in acting.
1951 – Chris Frantz, American drummer and producer. In 2002, Frantz was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Talking Heads.
1951 – Mike D'Antoni, American basketball player and coach. Michael Andrew D'Antoni (born May 8, 1951) is an American-Italian professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach of the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1951 – Philip Bailey, American singer-songwriter, drummer, and actor. Philip James Bailey (born May 8, 1951) is an American R&B, soul, gospel and funk singer, songwriter and percussionist best known as an early member, and one of the two lead singers (along with group founder Maurice White) of the band Earth, Wind & Fire.
1950 – Robert Mugge, American director and producer. Robert Mugge (born May 8, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois, United States) is an American documentary film maker.
1948 – Stephen Stohn, American-Canadian lawyer and producer. Until 2018 he was the president of Epitome Pictures Inc., which he and his wife Linda Schuyler founded and which was sold to DHX Media in 2014.
1947 – H. Robert Horvitz, American biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. Gary Ruvkun Yishi Jin Andrew Chisholm
1945 – Keith Jarrett, American pianist and composer. Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945) is an American jazz and classical music pianist and composer.
1945 – Mike German, Baron German, Welsh educator and politician, Deputy First Minister for Wales. Michael James "Mike" German, Baron German, OBE (born 8 May 1945) is a British politician, serving currently as a member of the House of Lords and formerly as a member of the National Assembly for Wales for the South Wales East region.
1943 – Danny Whitten, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1972), was an American musician and songwriter best known for his work with Neil Young's backing band Crazy Horse, and for the song "I Don't Want To Talk About It", a hit for Rod Stewart and Everything but the Girl.
1941 – Bill Lockyer, American academic and politician, 30th Attorney General of California. William Westwood Lockyer (born May 8, 1941) is a veteran California politician, who held elective office from 1973 to 2015, as State Treasurer of California, California Attorney General, and President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate.
1941 – James Traficant, American lawyer and politician (d. 2014), was a Democratic, and later independent, politician and member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. He represented the 17th Congressional District, which centered on his hometown of Youngstown and included parts of three counties in northeast Ohio's Mahoning Valley.
1941 – John Fred, American singer-songwriter (d. 2005), was an American blue-eyed soul, swamp pop, rock and roll, and R&B performer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, best known for the 1967 hit song "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)".
1940 – Peter Benchley, American author and screenwriter (d. 2006), was an American author, screenwriter, and ocean activist. He wrote the bestselling novel Jaws and co-wrote its film adaptation with Carl Gottlieb.
1940 – Ricky Nelson, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (d. 1985), was an American pop star, musician, and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
1940 – Toni Tennille, American singer-songwriter and keyboard player. Cathryn Antoinette "Toni" Tennille (born May 8, 1940) is an American singer-songwriter and keyboardist, best known as one-half of the 1970s duo Captain & Tennille with her former husband Daryl Dragon; their signature song is "Love Will Keep Us Together".
1937 – Mike Cuellar, Cuban-American baseball player (d. 2010), was a Cuban professional baseball player. He played for fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball as a pitcher in 1959 and from 1964 through 1977, most notably as a member of the Baltimore Orioles dynasty that won three consecutive American League pennants from 1969 to 1971 and, won the World Series in 1970.
1937 – Thomas Pynchon, American novelist. His fiction and non-fiction writings encompass a vast array of subject matter, genres and themes, including history, music, science, and mathematics.
1930 – Doug Atkins, American football player (d. 2015), was an American professional football player who was a defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers under legendary head coach Robert Neyland.
1930 – Gary Snyder, American poet, essayist, and translator. He has been described as the "poet laureate of Deep Ecology".
1929 – Miyoshi Umeki, Japanese-American actress and singer (d. 2007), was a Japanese-American singer and actress. She was best known for her Oscar-winning role as Katsumi in the film Sayonara (1957), as well as Mei Li in the Broadway musical and 1961 film Flower Drum Song, and Mrs.
1928 – Ted Sorensen, American lawyer, 8th White House Counsel (d. 2010), was an American lawyer, writer, and presidential adviser. He was a speechwriter for President John F.
1926 – Don Rickles, American comedian and actor (d. 2017), was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author, known especially for his insult comedy. His film roles included Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) with Clark Gable and Kelly's Heroes (1970) with Clint Eastwood, and beginning in 1976 he enjoyed a two-year run starring in the NBC television sitcom C.P.O.
1922 – Mary Q. Steele, American naturalist and author (d. 1992), was a noted American author and naturalist. She wrote over twenty books: some adult-style, but mostly children's books.
1920 – Saul Bass, American graphic designer and director (d. 1996), was an American graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his design of motion-picture title sequences, film posters, and corporate logos.
1920 – Sloan Wilson, American author and poet (d. 2003), was an American writer.
1919 – Lex Barker, American actor (d. 1973), was an American actor best known for playing Tarzan of the Apes and leading characters from Karl May's novels.
1915 – Milton Meltzer, American historian and author (d. 2009), was an American historian and author best known for his nonfiction books on Jewish, African-American, and American history. Since the 1950s, he was a prolific author of history books in the children's literature and young adult literature genres, having written nearly 100 books.
1913 – Bob Clampett, American animator, director, and producer (d. 1984), was an American animator, producer, director, and puppeteer best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros., and the television shows Time for Beany and Beany and Cecil. Clampett was born and raised not far from Hollywood, and early on expressed an interest in animation and puppetry.
1911 – Robert Johnson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1938), was an American blues singer, songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.
1910 – Andrew E. Svenson, American author and publisher (d. 1975). Under a variety of pseudonyms, many shared with other authors, Svenson authored or coauthored more than 70 books for children, including books for the Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, and Honey Bunch series.
1910 – Mary Lou Williams, American pianist and composer (d. 1981), was an American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements and recorded more than one hundred records (in 78, 45, and LP versions).
1905 – Red Nichols, American cornet player, composer, and bandleader (d. 1965), was an American jazz cornettist, composer, and jazz bandleader.
1901 – Turkey Stearnes, American baseball player (d. 1979), was an African American outfielder in the Negro leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
1899 – Arthur Q. Bryan, American actor, voice actor, comedian and radio personality (d. 1959), was an American actor, voice actor, comedian and radio personality, best remembered for his longtime recurring role as well-spoken, wisecracking Dr. Gamble on the radio comedy Fibber McGee and Molly and for creating the voice of the Warner Brothers cartoon character Elmer Fudd.
1895 – Edmund Wilson, American critic, essayist, and editor (d. 1972), was an American writer and critic who explored Freudian and Marxist themes. He influenced many American authors, including F.
1895 – Fulton J. Sheen, American archbishop (d. 1979), was an American bishop (later archbishop) of the Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923.
1895 – James H. Kindelberger, American businessman (d. 1962), was an American aviation pioneer. He led North American Aviation from 1934 until 1960.
1893 – Edd Roush, American baseball player and coach (d. 1988). He played in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, Chicago White Sox, Newark Peppers and Indianapolis Hoosiers from 1913 to 1931.
1893 – Francis Ouimet, American golfer (d. 1967), was an American amateur golfer who is frequently referred to as the "father of amateur golf" in the United States. He won the U.S.
1884 – Harry S. Truman, American colonel and politician, 33rd President of the United States (d. 1972). Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D.
1879 – Wesley Coe, American shot putter, discus thrower, and tug of war competitor (d. 1926), was an American track and field athlete who competed principally in the shot put and also in the hammer throw, discus throw, and tug of war.
1853 – Dan Brouthers, American baseball player and manager (d. 1932), was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball whose career spanned the period from 1879 to 1896, with a brief return in 1904. Nicknamed "Big Dan" for his size, he was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and weighed 207 pounds (94 kg), which was large by 19th-century standards.
1850 – Ross Barnes, American baseball player and manager (d. 1915), was one of the stars of baseball's National Association (1871–75) and the early National League (1876–81), playing second base and shortstop. He played for the dominant Boston Red Stockings teams of the early 1870s, along with Albert Spalding, Cal McVey, George Wright, Harry Wright, Jim O'Rourke, and Deacon White.
1846 – Oscar Hammerstein I, American businessman and composer (d. 1919), was a German-born businessman, theater impresario, and composer in New York City. His passion for opera led him to open several opera houses, and he rekindled opera's popularity in America.
1829 – Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American pianist and composer (d. 1869), was an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano works. He spent most of his working career outside of the United States.
1828 – Henry Dunant, Swiss businessman and activist, co-founded the Red Cross, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1910), was a Swiss humanitarian, businessman and social activist. He was the visionary, promoter and co-founder of the Red Cross.
1821 – William Henry Vanderbilt, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1885). He was the eldest son of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, an heir to his fortune and a prominent member of the Vanderbilt family.
1815 – Edward Tompkins, American lawyer and politician (d. 1872). He is best known for endowing a chair at the University of California where he had been elected to the board of regents.
2016 – Tom M. Apostol, American analytic number theorist (b. 1923)
2016 – William Schallert, American actor; president (1979–81) of the Screen Actors Guild (b. 1922)
2014 – Joseph P. Teasdale, American lawyer and politician, 48th Governor of Missouri (b. 1936)
2014 – Nancy Malone, American actress, director, and producer (b. 1935)
2014 – R. Douglas Stuart Jr., American businessman and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Norway (b. 1916)
2014 – Roger L. Easton, American scientist, co-invented the GPS (b. 1921)
2013 – Hugh J. Silverman, American philosopher and theorist (b. 1945)
2013 – Jeanne Cooper, American actress (b. 1928)
2012 – Everett Lilly, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1924)
2012 – Jerry McMorris, American businessman (b. 1941)
2012 – Maurice Sendak, American author and illustrator (b. 1928)
2012 – Roman Totenberg, Polish-American violinist and educator (b. 1911)
2012 – Stacy Robinson, American football player (b. 1962)
2009 – Bud Shrake, American journalist and author (b. 1931)
2009 – Dom DiMaggio, American baseball player (b. 1917)
2008 – Eddy Arnold, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1918)
2007 – Carson Whitsett, American keyboard player, songwriter, and producer (b. 1945)
2007 – Philip R. Craig, American author and poet (b. 1933)
2000 – Henry Nicols, American activist (b. 1973)
1999 – Dana Plato, American actress (b. 1964)
1999 – Ed Gilbert, American actor (b. 1931)
1998 – Charles Rebozo, American banker and businessman (b. 1912)
1996 – Garth Williams, American illustrator (b. 1912)
1996 – Larry Levis, American poet, author, and critic (b. 1946)
1994 – George Peppard, American actor and producer (b. 1928)
1993 – Avram Davidson, American soldier and author (b. 1923)
1992 – Joyce Ricketts, American baseball player (b. 1933)
1988 – Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction writer and screenwriter (b. 1907)
1985 – Dolph Sweet, American actor (b. 1920)
1985 – Theodore Sturgeon, American author and critic (b. 1918)
1984 – Lila Bell Wallace, American publisher, co-founded Reader's Digest (b. 1890)
1983 – John Fante, American author and acreenwriter (b. 1909)
1982 – Neil Bogart, American record producer, co-founded Casablanca Records (b. 1943)
1975 – Avery Brundage, American businessman and art collector (b. 1887)
1969 – Remington Kellogg, American zoologist and paleontologist (b. 1892)
1947 – Harry Gordon Selfridge, American-English businessman, founded Selfridges (b. 1858)
1907 – Edmund G. Ross, American soldier and politician, 13th Governor of New Mexico Territory (b. 1826)