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On May 8th...
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1541 Hernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi River.
1587 Three ships set sail from England, bound for Roanoke Island, Virginia.
1639 William Coddington founded Newport, Rhode Island.
1660 The English Parliament declared Charles Stuart to be King Charles II.
1721 Michelangiolo dei Conti became Pope Innocent XIII.
1737 Historian Edward Gibbon was born.
1792 George Vancouver sighted and named Mount Rainier.
1794 Chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier died.
1819 King Kamehameha I of Hawaii died.
1823 "Home! Sweet Home!" by John Howard Payne was first sung in London, England.
1828 Jean-Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, was born.
1835 The first installment of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales was published in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1840 Alexander Wolcott patented a photographic process.
1842 Fire on a Versailles-to-Paris, France, train killed 50 persons.
1846 The Battle of Palo Alto (Texas) was fought.
1847 Scott Robert Thompson patented the rubber tire.
1858 John Brown held an antislavery convention.
1861 Richmond, Virginia, was named capital of the Confederate States of America.
1864 The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse (Virginia) began.
1873 Philosopher John Stuart Mill died.
1877 The first Westminster Dog Show was held.
1879 George Selden applied for a patent for a gasoline-driven automobile.
1884 Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States, was born.
1886 Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, sold the first Coca-Cola.
1895 Televangelist Fulton J. Sheen was born.
1899 Ernest Rutherford published his discovery of two different kinds of radiation.
1902 Mount Pelee erupted, wiping out St Pierre, Martinique, and killing 30,000 people.
1903 Painter Paul Gauguin died.
1904 Eadweard Muybridge, pioneer in the field of "stop-action" photography, died.
1907 Tommy Burns defeated Jack
O'Brien in 20 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.
1912 Paramount Pictures was founded.
1915 Joe Notter rode Regret to victory in the Kentucky Derby.
1916 A German munitions bunker at Fort Douaumont, France, exploded, killing 679 German soldiers.
1919 Edward George Honey first proposed the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate the Armistice of the First Wold War.
1920 Ted Rice rode Paul Jones to victory in the Kentucky Derby.
1921 Sweden abolished capital punishment.
1926 Naturalist David Attenborough
1932 Boxer Sonny Liston was born.
1933 Mohandas Gandhi began a fast to protest British oppression in India.
1937 Charley Kurtsinger rode War Admiral to victory in the Kentucky Derby.
1940 Author Peter Benchley was born.
1942 The Battle of the Coral Sea ended in an Allied victory.
1945 The Allies declared victory in Europe (V-E Day).
1952 The first issue
of Mad Magazine was published.
1953 Drummer Alex Van Halen was born.
1955 Actor Stephen Furst was born.
1958 U. S.
Vice-President Richard Nixon and his wife were met with
catcalls and stone throwing while on a goodwill visit to
1959 An estimated 200
persons were drowned during a Sabbath excursion cruise on
the Nile River when the riverboat Dandarah
capsized within a few feet of shore.
1961 A 7-hour cyclonic storm claimed the lives of 430 persons in East Pakistan.
1962 The world's largest submarine, the U.S.S. Lafayette, was christened.
1963 The James Bond movie Dr. No premiered in the United States.
1964 Actress Melissa
Gilbert was born.
1966 Frank Robinson became the only player ever to hit a baseball completely out of Baltimore's Memorial Park.
1967 Singer LaVerne Andrews died.
1970 Hundreds of
construction workers and anti-war demonstrators clashed
in the Wall Street area of New York City, New York.
1972 Edward VIII, King of Great Britain, died.
1975 Singer Enrique Iglesias was
1976 M. B. Skaggs, founder of Safeway, died.
1978 David Berkowitz pleaded guilty to six of the "Son of Sam" killings.
1980 The World Health Organization announced that smallpox had been eradicated.
1982 Auto racer Gilles Villeneuve was killed in a crash while qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
1984 The Thames Barrier in London,
England, was officially completed.
1985 Actor Edmond O'Brien died.
1988 Author Robert A. Heinlein died.
1991 Composer Jean Langlais died.
1993 16-year-old Keron Thomas
disguised himself as a motorman and took a New York City,
New York, subway train and 2,000 passengers on a 3-hour
1994 Actor George Peppard died.
1996 South Africa's Constitutional
Convention adopted a permanent post-apartheid
1998 Banker Bebe Rebozo died.
1999 Nancy Mace became the first
female to graduate from The Citadel military college.
2005 Auto racer Nicolás Vuyovich died.
2008 Singer Eddy Arnold died.
2013 An overloaded bus fell into a
river in Himachal Pradesh, India, killing 33 persons.
2014 Roger L. Easton, principal inventor of GPS, died.
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This page was last updated on June 28, 2018.