Today in History: May 7, Germany's surrender

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Today in History

Today is Saturday, May 7, the 127th day of 2022. There are 238 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims (rams), France, ending its role in World War II.

On this date:

In 1889, the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore opened its doors.

In 1915, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, out of the nearly 2,000 on board.

In 1928, the minimum voting age for British women was lowered from 30 to 21 — the same age as men.

In 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.

In 1941, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded “Chattanooga Choo Choo” for RCA Victor.

In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces.

In 1963, the United States launched the Telstar 2 communications satellite.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford formally declared an end to the “Vietnam era.” In Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — the Viet Cong celebrated its takeover.

In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his Triple Crown victories.

In 2010, a BP-chartered vessel lowered a 100-ton concrete-and-steel vault onto the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well in an unprecedented, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to stop most of the gushing crude fouling the sea.

In 2019, two students opened fire inside a charter school in a Denver suburb not far from Columbine High School, killing a fellow student, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, who authorities said had charged at the shooters to protect classmates. (Both attackers would be sentenced to life in prison; one who was 16 at the time of the shooting could be eligible for parole after about 20 years.)

In 2020, Georgia authorities arrested a white father and son and charged them with murder in the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man they had pursued in a truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood near the port city of Brunswick. (The two men and a third white man would be convicted of murder in state court, and hate crimes in federal court.)

Ten years ago: Vladimir Putin took the oath of office as Russia’s president for the next six years in a brief but regal Kremlin ceremony. Education Secretary Arne Duncan broke ranks with the White House, stating his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage a day after Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC that he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples marrying. (Two days later, President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage, a position he had previously stopped short of embracing.)

Five years ago: French voters elected independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, 39, as the country’s youngest president, delivering a resounding victory to the pro-European former investment banker and dashing the populist dream of far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

One year ago: A federal grand jury indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death, accusing them of willfully violating the constitutional rights of the Black man as he was restrained face-down on the pavement, gasping for air. (Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murder in state court, pleaded guilty in the federal case; the three others were convicted in February 2022 and also await sentencing.) Palestinian worshippers clashed with Israeli police at the famed Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City as weeks-long tensions between Israel and the Palestinians soared; as many as 53 people were injured in the violence. State officials announced that California’s population had declined in 2020 for the first time since they began measuring it. Tawny Kitaen, who appeared in rock music videos during the heyday of MTV and starred opposite Tom Hanks in the 1984 comedy “Bachelor Party,” died at her California home at 59.

Today’s Birthdays: R&B singer Thelma Houston is 79. Actor Robin Strasser is 77. Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 76. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 76. Former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is 75. Rock musician Prairie Prince is 72. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 70. Actor Michael E. Knight is 63. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 61. Rock singer-musician Chris O’Connor (Primitive Radio Gods) is 57. Actor Traci Lords is 54. Actor Morocco Omari is 52. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 51. Actor Breckin Meyer is 48. Rock musician Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) is 36. Actor-comedian Aidy Bryant is 35. Actor Taylor Abrahamse is 31. Actor Alexander Ludwig is 30. Actor Dylan Gelula is 28.