On This Day … 08 May

Events

  • 453 BC – Spring and Autumn period: The house of Zhao defeats the house of Zhi, ending the Battle of Jinyang, a military conflict between the elite families of the State of Jin.
  • 413 – Emperor Honorius signs an edict providing tax relief for the Italian provinces Tuscia, Campania, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Lucania and Calabria, which were plundered by the Visigoths.
  • 1429 – Joan of Arc lifts the Siege of Orléans, turning the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.
  • 1450 – Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
  • 1516 – A group of imperial guards, led by Trịnh Duy Sản, murdered Emperor Lê Tương Dực and fled, leaving the capital Thăng Long undefended.
  • 1541 – Hernando de Soto stops near present-day Walls, Mississippi, and sees the Mississippi River (then known by the Spanish as Río de Espíritu Santo, the name given to it by Alonso Álvarez de Pineda in 1519).
  • 1794 – Branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme générale, is tried, convicted and guillotined in one day in Paris.
  • 1821 – Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeat the Turks at the Battle of Gravia Inn.
  • 1846 – Mexican-American War: American forces led by Zachary Taylor defeat a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
  • 1886 – Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named “Coca-Cola” as a patent medicine.
  • 1919 – Edward George Honey proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate the Armistice of 11 November 1918 which ended World War I.
  • 1927 – Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and François Coli disappear after taking off aboard The White Bird biplane.
  • 1941 – World War II: The German Luftwaffe launches a bombing raid on Nottingham and Derby.
  • 1942 – World War II: The German 11th Army begins Operation Trappenjagd (Bustard Hunt) and destroys the bridgehead of the three Soviet armies defending the Kerch Peninsula.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacking and sinking the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington.
  • 1942 – World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebel in the Cocos Islands Mutiny.
    • Their mutiny is crushed and three of them are executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.
  • 1945 – World War II: The German Instrument of Surrender signed at Reims comes into effect.
  • 1945 – End of the Prague uprising, celebrated now as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
  • 1945 – Hundreds of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.
  • 1945 – The Halifax riot starts when thousands of civilians and servicemen rampage through Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • 1957 – South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem began a state visit to the United States, his regime’s main sponsor.[6]
  • 1946 – Estonian schoolgirls Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel blow up the Soviet memorial which preceded the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn.
  • 1963 – South Vietnamese soldiers under the Roman Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, killing nine and sparking the Buddhist crisis.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon announces his order to place naval mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.
  • 1984 – Corporal Denis Lortie enters the Quebec National Assembly and opens fire, killing three people and wounding 13.
    • René Jalbert, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Assembly, succeeds in calming him, for which he will later receive the Cross of Valour.
  • 1987 – The SAS kills eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and a civilian during an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.
  • Liberation Day (Czech Republic).
  • Veterans Day (Norway).
  • Victory in Europe Day, and its related observances (Europe):
    • Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, continues to 09 May.
  • World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (International).

People (Births)

  • 1508 – Charles Wriothesley, English Officer of Arms (d. 1562).
  • 1629 – Niels Juel, Norwegian-Danish admiral (d. 1697).
  • 1632 – Heino Heinrich Graf von Flemming, German field marshal and politician (d. 1706).
  • 1653 – Claude Louis Hector de Villars, French general and politician, French Minister of Defence (d. 1734).
  • 1670 – Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, English soldier and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire (d. 1726).
  • 1753 – Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Mexican priest and rebel leader (d. 1811).
  • 1825 – George Bruce Malleson, English-Indian colonel and author (d. 1898).
  • 1828 – Henry Dunant, Swiss businessman and activist, co-founded the Red Cross, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1910).
  • 1856 – Pedro Lascuráin, Mexican politician, president for 45 minutes on 13 February 1913. (d. 1952).
  • 1884 – Harry S. Truman, American colonel and politician, 33rd President of the United States (d. 1972).
  • 1920 – Barbara Howard, Canadian sprinter and educator (d. 2017).
  • 1934 – David Williamson, Baron Williamson of Horton, English soldier and politician (d. 2015).
  • 1939 – Paul Drayton, American sprinter (d. 2010).
  • 1947 – John Reid, Baron Reid of Cardowan, Scottish historian and politician, Secretary of State for Defence.
  • 1955 – Mladen Markač, Croatian general.
  • 1974 – Marge Kõrkjas, Estonian swimmer.
  • 1981 – Tatyana Dektyareva, Russian hurdler.
  • 1983 – Bershawn Jackson, American hurdler.
  • 1986 – Galen Rupp, American runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 1785 – Étienne François, duc de Choiseul, French general and politician, Prime Minister of France (b. 1719).
  • 1822 – John Stark, American general (b. 1728).
  • 1837 – Alexander Balashov, Russian general and politician, Russian Minister of Police (b. 1770).
  • 1842 – Jules Dumont d’Urville, French admiral and explorer (b. 1790).
  • 1893 – Manuel González Flores, Mexican general and president, 1880-1884 (b. 1833).
  • 1907 – Edmund G. Ross, American soldier and politician, 13th Governor of New Mexico Territory (b. 1826).
  • 1942 – Nikolai Reek, Estonian general and politician, 11th Estonian Minister of War (b. 1890).
  • 1943 – Mordechai Anielewicz, Polish commander (b. 1919).
  • 1945 – Frank Bourne, British soldier, last survivor of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift (b. 1854).
  • 1945 – Wilhelm Rediess, German SS officer (b. 1900).
  • 1945 – Bernhard Rust, German lieutenant and politician (b. 1883).
  • 1945 – Josef Terboven, German lieutenant and politician (b. 1898).
  • 1980 – Geoffrey Baker, English Field Marshal and Chief of the General Staff of the British Army (b. 1920).
  • 1993 – Avram Davidson, American soldier and author (b. 1923).
  • 1996 – Beryl Burton, English cyclist (b. 1937).
  • 2014 – Roger L. Easton, American scientist, co-invented the GPS (b. 1921).
  • 2015 – Atanas Semerdzhiev, Bulgarian soldier and politician, 1st Vice President of Bulgaria (b. 1924).
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