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 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru.
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 1993, the Muslim-led government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and rebel Bosnian Serbs signed an agreement for a nationwide cease-fire.
In 1996, South Africa took another step from apartheid to democracy by adopting a constitution that guaranteed equal rights for Blacks and whites.
Ten years ago
Relations between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians reached a new low after overnight riots left 12 people dead and a church burned. Fox television announced that Paula Abdul would be one of the judges on “The X Factor,” reuniting her with former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell (however, Abdul’s stint did not last beyond the premiere season of the new talent show).
Five years ago
London’s newly elected Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, paid respect to the millions of Jews slain in the Holocaust as his first public engagement in office, and received a hero’s welcome from London’s Jewish community at the end. William Schallert, a veteran TV performer and Hollywood union leader who played Patty Duke’s father — and uncle — on television, died in Pacific Palisades, California at age 93.
One year ago
The White House said Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary and the wife of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, had tested positive for the coronavirus. The unemployment level surged to 14.7%, a level last seen when the country was in the throes of the Great Depression; the government reported that 20 million Americans had lost their jobs in April amid the economic fallout from the pandemic. A federal judge in Kentucky said the governor’s temporary ban on mass gatherings could not apply to in-person religious services. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state would send every voter a mail-in ballot for the November election. Magician Roy Horn of the famed Las Vegas act Siegfried & Roy died in a Las Vegas hospital at the age of 75 as a result of complications from the coronavirus.
Singer Toni Tennille, 81.
Actor James Mitchum, 80.
Actor David Keith, 67.
Actor Melissa Gilbert, 57.
Singer Enrique Iglesias, 46.