Today in History
May 8

1450 Jack Cade’s Rebellion–Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
1541 Hernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River which he calls Rio de Espiritu Santo.
1559 An act of supremacy defines Queen Elizabeth I as the supreme governor of the church of England.
1794 The United States Post Office is established.
1846 The first major battle of the Mexican War is fought at Palo Alto, Texas.
1862 General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson repulses the Federals at the Battle of McDowell, in the Shenendoah Valley.
1864 Union troops arrive at Spotsylvania Court House to find the Confederates waiting for them.
1886 Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton invents Coca Cola.
1895 China cedes Taiwan to Japan under Treaty of Shimonoseki.
1904 U.S. Marines land in Tangier, North Africa, to protect the Belgian legation.
1919 The first transatlantic flight by a navy seaplane takes-off.
1933 Mahatma Gandhi—actual name Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi—begins a hunger strike to protest British oppression in India.
1940 German commandos in Dutch uniforms cross the Dutch border to hold bridges for the advancing German army.
1942 The Battle of the Coral Sea between the Japanese Navy and the U.S. Navy ends.
1945 The final surrender of German forces is celebrated as VE (Victory Europe) day.
1952 Allied fighter-bombers stage the largest raid of the war on North Korea.
1958 President Dwight Eisenhower orders the National Guard out of Little Rock as Ernest Green becomes the first black to graduate from an Arkansas public school.
1967 Boxer Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing induction in U.S. Army.
1984 The Soviet Union announces it will not participate in Summer Olympics planned for Los Angeles.
1995 Jacques Chirac is elected president of France.
Born on May 8
1668 Alain Rene Lesage, French writer (The Adventures of Gil Blas, Turcaret).
1753 Miguel Hidalgo, Mexican nationalist.
1828 Jean Henri Dunant, Swiss philanthropist, founder of the Red Cross and YMCA, first recipient (jointly) of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1829 Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American pianist.
1884 Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States (1945-1953).
1895 Edmund Wilson, American critic and essayist.
1906 Roberto Rossellini, Italian film director.
1910 Mary Lou Williams, jazz pianist and composer.
1920 Sloan Wilson, American author (The man in the Gray Flannel Suit, A Summer Place).
1928 Theodore Sorensen, advisor to John F. Kennedy.
1930 Gary Snyder, beat poet.
1937 Thomas Pynchon, novelist (Gravity’s Rainbow).
1940 Peter Benchley, novelist (Jaws, The Deep).
1952 Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Crimes of the Heart).

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