TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Friday, May 7, the 127th day of 2021. There are 238 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims (rams), France, ending its role in World War II.

On this date:

In 1833, composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany.

In 1840, composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Russia.

In 1915, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, out of the nearly 2,000 on board.

In 1928, the minimum voting age for British women was lowered from 30 to 21 — the same age as men.

In 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.

In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces.

In 1963, the United States launched the Telstar 2 communications satellite.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford formally declared an end to the “Vietnam era.” In Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — the Viet Cong celebrated its takeover.

In 1998, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz agreed to buy Chrysler Corp. for more than $37 billion. Londoners voted overwhelmingly to elect their own mayor for the first time in history. (In May 2000, Ken Livingstone was elected.)

In 2010, a BP-chartered vessel lowered a 100-ton concrete-and-steel vault onto the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well in an unprecedented, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to stop most of the gushing crude fouling the sea.

Today’s Birthdays: R&B singer Thelma Houston is 78. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 75. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 69. Actor Michael E. Knight is 62. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 60. Actor Traci Lords is 53.