TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Saturday, May 8, the 128th day of 2021. There are 237 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 8, 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

On this date:

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

In 1660, the British Parliament moved to restore the monarchy by declaring that Charles II had been the country’s lawful king since the execution of his father, Charles I, in 1649.

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 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton began selling the original version of Coca-Cola, which he’d invented.

In 1915, Regret became the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby.

In 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.”

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 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 95. Singer Toni Tennille is 81. Actor James Mitchum is 80. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 70. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 68. Actor David Keith is 67. Sports commentator/former NFL coach Bill Cowher is 64. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is 60. Actor Melissa Gilbert is 57. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 46. Blues singer-musician Joe Bonamassa is 44.