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This Day In History: May 8

This Day in History

1864: Union forces under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate forces under Gen. Robert E. Lee fight inconclusively and with heavy losses at Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia, just days after the Battle of the Wilderness.
1886: The first Coca-Cola is sold in Atlanta, GA.
1902: The eruption of Mont Pelée, a volcano on the island of Martinique, destroys the city of Saint-Pierre and kills about 30,000 people.
1945: At the end of World War II , Americans celebrate Victory in Europe Day, or V-E Day.
1953: Pres. Dwight Eisenhower announces that the United States has given France $60 million for fighting the Indochina War.
1954: After a 55-day siege by Viet Minh forces, the French surrender the fortress of Dien Bien Phu in northern Vietnam.
1972: Pres. Richard Nixon announces United States will begin mining North Vietnamese ports.
1973: A standoff in South Dakota between federal authorities and American Indian Movement activists ends with the surrender of the activists.
1984: The Soviet Union announces it will not participate in the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, fearing uncontrolled anti-Soviet protests.
1987: Democrat Gary Hart pulls out of the 1988 U.S. presidential race.

Today's Birthdays

1820: William Tecumseh Sherman, U.S. general in the American Civil War (Lancaster, OH; died 1891)
1829: Louis Moreau Gottschalk, pianist/composer (New Orleans, LA; died 1869)
1884: Harry S. Truman, 33d president of the United States (Lamar, MO; died 1972)
1895: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, religious leader and radio/TV personality (El Paso, IL; died 1979). Edmund Wilson, literary/social critic (Red Bank, NJ; died 1972)
1912: Robert Johnson, blues guitarist/singer/songwriter (Hazelhurst, MS; died 1938)
1926: David Attenborough, author/naturalist (London, England). Don Rickles, comedian/actor (New York, NY)
1932: Sonny Liston, champion boxer (St. Francis County, AR; died 1970)
1937: Thomas Pynchon, novelist (Glen Cove, NY)
1940: Peter Benchley, author (New York, NY; died 2006)
1943: Toni Tennille, singer (Montgomery, AL)
1945: Keith Jarrett, jazz pianist (Allentown, PA)
1964: Melissa Gilbert, actress (Los Angeles, CA)
1975: Enrique Iglesias, singer (Madrid, Spain)
1978: Matt Davis, actor (Salt Lake City, UT)

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