Today in History – Sunday, May 8, 2016
The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, May 8, the 129th day of 2016. There are 237 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1794 – Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, is executed on the guillotine during France’s Reign of Terror.
1811 – British under Duke of Wellington defeat French at Fuentes d’Ontro in Portugal.
1846 – The first major battle of the Mexican War is fought at Palo Alto, Texas, resulting in victory for U.S. Gen. Zachary Taylor’s forces.
1852 – Integrity of Denmark is guaranteed through Treaty of London by Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden.
1886 – The first Coca-Cola, an invention of Dr. John S. Pemberton, is sold at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia.
1895 – Japan surrenders Liao Tung Peninsula and Port Arthur to China in return for huge indemnity.
1897 – Greece asks major powers to intervene in its war with the Turks.
1902 – Mount Pelee on the French West Indian island of Martinique erupts, wiping out city of St. Pierre and killing all but two of its 30,000 residents.
1916 – Forces from Australia and New Zealand arrive in France during World War I.
1921 – Sweden abolishes capital punishment.
1945 – German forces surrender to Soviets, who did not recognize the surrender to U.S. Gen. Eisenhower the previous day; World War II ends in Europe.
1973 – Militant Native Americans who held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrender.
1975 – After South Vietnam falls to Communists, U.S. President Gerald Ford reassures allies in Asia of American military support for South Korea.
1978 – David R. Berkowitz pleads guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom to the “Son of Sam” killings that had terrified New Yorkers.
1990 – Estonia declares itself a republic and drops the words “Soviet Socialist” from its name.
1992 – Some 100,000 Thais defy military orders and march in Bangkok, to protest the government.
1995 – Gigantic celebrations mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.
1997 – In defiance of a U.N. imposed flight ban, Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi flies to meet the president of Niger in Niamey.
1998 – The U.N. human rights spokesman in Rwanda is expelled by the government because of his criticism of the justice system. By July, the entire U.N. human rights mission pulls out because of lack of cooperation.
1999 – NATO bombs hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade by mistake, killing three Chinese reporters. In China, protesters retaliate attacking U.S. missions.
2000 – U.S. Navy resumes military training on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques following protests by islanders who say that decades of bombing have harmed their health and the environment.
2001 – Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who appointed a record five women to his cabinet, proposes changing the law which prohibits women from ascending to the Chrysanthemum Throne. By legend, the sovereign dates to 660 B.C. and is the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy.
2002 – At least 14 people are killed when a suicide bomber in a car sets off a blast after pulling up alongside a bus outside the Sheraton hotel in Karachi, Pakistan.
2003 – The U.S. Senate votes, 96-0, to ratify the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to include seven former communist countries in Eastern Europe.
2004 – German authorities say they arrested an 18-year-old unidentified student who confessed to creating the “Sasser” worm, which generated computer chaos across the globe as it infected hundreds of thousands of machines.
2005 – Survivors, political dignitaries and others gather inside the Mauthausen Nazi concentration camp to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of what one speaker describes as “hell on earth.”
2006 – South Africa’s former Deputy President Jacob Zuma is acquitted of rape in the country’s most politically charged trial since the end of apartheid.
2007 – Protestant leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness are elected to the top posts of the new power-sharing government for Northern Ireland.
2008 – A Chinese mountaineering team takes the Olympic flame to the top of Mt. Everest, a spectacular feat dreamed up to underscore China’s ambitions for the Beijing games.
2009 – The United States says it is renewing economic and diplomatic sanctions on Syria, even as two American envoys are in the Syrian capital exploring prospects for improved relations.
2010 – Pakistan successfully test-fires two ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads as the Islamic nation’s leader urges the world to recognize it as a legitimate nuclear power.
2011 – Relations between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians degenerate to a new low after riots overnight leave 12 people dead and a church burned, adding to the disorder of the country’s post-revolution transition to democracy.
2012 – International envoy Kofi Annan gives a bleak assessment of the crisis in Syria, saying violence remains at “unacceptable levels” and warning that his peace plan is the country’s last chance to avert a disastrous civil war.
2013 — Italian prosecutors place the captain of the Jolly Nero cargo ship under investigation for alleged manslaughter after his vessel slams into the dock at Genoa’s busy port and topples the control tower, killing at least seven people.
Edward Gibbon, English historian (1737-1794); Henri Dunant, Swiss founder of International Red Cross (1828-1910); Harry S. Truman, U.S. president (1884-1972); David Attenborough, British television producer and naturalist (1926–); Don Rickles, U.S. comedian (1926–); Thomas Pynchon, U.S. writer (1937–); Melissa Gilbert, U.S. actress (1964–); Enrique Iglesias, Latin pop singer (1975–).
Thought For Today:
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it — George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist and writer (1856-1950).
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