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Saturday, May 08, 2004


Today is Saturday, May 8th.

The 129th day of 2004.

There are 237 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On May 8, 1945, President Truman announced in a radio address that World War II had ended in Europe.


On this date:

In 1429, During the Hundred Years' War, the siege of Orléans ends when French troops led by 17-year-old Joan of Arc drive the English from the city.

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

In 1618, Johannes Kepler announced his rules governing the motion of the planets.

In 1642, Paul de Chomedy de Maisonneuve founds and becomes the first governor of Ville-Marie, the first permanent European settlement in Canada and the future city of Montreal.

In 1794, the U.S. Post Office was established.

In 1794, Antoine Lavoisier, French scientist who is considered the founder of modern chemistry, is guillotined by the revolutionary authorities in Paris, France.

In 1846, The first major battle of the Mexican War was fought at Palo Alto, Texas, resulting in victory for Gen. Zachary Taylor's forces.

In 1847, Robert W. Thompson of England patented the rubber tire (first called "air wheels").

In 1866, Australian Rules Football is created

In 1877, the Westminister Dog Show was first held.

In 1884, The 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born near Lamar, Mo.

In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola.

In 1940, Actor/Singer Eric Hilliard "Ricky" Nelson (Ozzie & Harriet's son, David's brother, Tracy's dad, Kris Harmon's husband, Tom Harmon's son-in-law, Mark Harmon's brother-in-law) was born in Teaneck, NJ. He died December 31, 1985 at the age of 45.

In 1943, The Germans suppressed a revolt by Polish Jews and destroyed the Warsaw Ghetto.

In 1952, Mad Magazine debuts in newsstands. The face of Alfred E Neuman predates Mad Magazine by at least 50 years. He appeared often in the various EC publications before Mad was started. Originally he had no name, but writers occasionally attached some name to this ubiquitous face. Two names that were often used were Melvin Coznowski (multiple spellings) and Alfred E Neuman. Mad was originally a comic book. Though William Gaines was instrumental in the founding of the Comics Code Authority, he dropped out over a rule dispute. He dumped all of his comics except Mad, which he renamed Mad Magazine and changed to a not-quite-a-comic-book satirical format.

In 1953, President Eisenhower announced $60 million in military aid for the French effort in Vietnam.

In 1958, Vice President Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru.

In 1962, The musical comedy "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" opened on Broadway.

In 1963, "Dr No" premieres in US

In 1967, World heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army for religious reasons.

In 1970, Construction workers broke up an anti-war protest on New York's Wall Street.

In 1972, President Nixon orders the mining of Haiphong harbor and massive bombing raids over North Vietnam in an effort to force the communists to end the Vietnam War.

In 1973, Militant American Indians who'd held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered.

In 1978, David R. Berkowitz pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom to the "Son of Sam" killings that had terrified New Yorkers.

In 1984, Joanie (Erin Moran) and Chachi (Scott Baio) got married on ABC-TV's "Happy Days."

In 1984, The Soviet Union announced it would not participate in the Summer Olympics planned for Los Angeles.

In 1985, "New Coke" was released to the public on the 99th anniversary of Coca-Cola.

In 1986, Reporters were told that 84,000 people had been evacuated from areas near the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Soviet Ukraine.

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 2002, FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate committee an FBI memo from Phoenix warning that several Arabs were suspiciously training at a U.S. aviation school wouldn't have led officials to the Sept. 11 hijackers even if they'd followed up the warning with more vigor.

Ten years ago (1994):

President Clinton announced a shift in U.S. policy toward Haitian refugees, saying there would be offshore screening of boat people seeking political asylum.

Actor George Peppard died at age 65.

Five years ago (1999):

NATO expressed regret for a mistaken attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, but pledged to pursue the bombing campaign. Demonstrators in Beijing retaliated by throwing rocks and smashing cars at the U.S. Embassy.

The Citadel, South Carolina's formerly all-male military school, graduated its first female cadet, Nancy Ruth Mace.

British actor Sir Dirk Bogarde died in London at age 78.

One year ago (2003):

The Senate unanimously endorsed adding to NATO seven former communist nations: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

A federal grand jury indicted Katrina Leung on charges that she'd illegally taken, copied and kept secret documents obtained from an FBI agent.

A Russian-built cargo plane lost a door over Congo, hurling more than 100 Congolese soldiers and their families to their deaths.

The Michigan Wolverines were barred from the next postseason and put on three and a-half years' probation by the NCAA for a booster's payments to players dating to the Fab Five era.


Today's Birthdays:

Comedian Don Rickles is 78.

Environmentalist Sir David Attenborough is 78.

Author Peter Benchley is 64.

Singer John Fred (John Fred and His Playboy Band) is 63.

Actor James Mitchum is 63.

Country singer Jack Blanchard is 62.

Singer Toni Tennille is 61.

Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 59.

Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 53.

Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 53.

Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 51.

Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 51.

Actor David Keith is 50.

Actor Stephen Furst is 50.

Actress Melissa Gilbert is 40.

Rock musician Dave Rowntree (Blur) is 40.

Country musician Del Gray is 36.

Rock singer Darren Hayes is 32.

Singer Enrique Iglesias is 29.

Singer Ana Maria Lombo (Eden's Crush) is 26.

Actress Julia Whelan is 19.


Thought for Today:

"What you see is news, what you know is background, what you feel is opinion." -

- Lester Markel, American editor (1894-1977).