TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Friday, May 8, the 129th day of 2020. There are 237 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 8, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced on radio that Nazi Germany’s forces had surrendered, and that “the flags of freedom fly all over Europe.”

On this date:

In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River.

In 1846, the first major battle of the Mexican-American War was fought at Palo Alto, Texas; U.S. forces led by Gen. Zachary Taylor were able to beat back Mexican forces.

In 1973, militant American Indians who had held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered.

In 1978, David R. Berkowitz pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom to murder, attempted murder and assault in connection with the “Son of Sam” shootings that claimed six lives and terrified New Yorkers. (Berkowitz was sentenced to six consecutive life prison terms.)

In 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

In 1987, Gary Hart, dogged by questions about his personal life, including his relationship with Miami model Donna Rice, withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1996, South Africa took another step from apartheid to democracy by adopting a constitution that guaranteed equal rights for blacks and whites.

Today’s Birthdays: Naturalist Sir David Attenborough is 94. Singer Toni Tennille is 80. Actor James Mitchum is 79. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 78. Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 75. Actor Mark Blankfield is 72. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 69. Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 69. Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 67. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 67. Actor David Keith is 66. Actor Raoul Max Trujillo is 65. Sports commentator/former NFL coach Bill Cowher is 63. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is 59. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 56.

Thought for Today: “What you see is news, what you know is background, what you feel is opinion.” — Lester Markel, American editor (1894-1977).