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Today in history: May 8

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, May 8, the 128th day of 2005. There are 237 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.

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

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 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 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 1970, construction workers broke up an anti-war protest on New York’s Wall Street.

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, N.Y., courtroom to the “Son of Sam” killings that had terrified New Yorkers.

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.

Ten years ago: Fifty years after Nazi Germany’s capitulation in World War II, leaders representing the victorious powers gathered in Berlin to remember the dead and pledge peace for the future. A monster storm began dumping 18 inches of rain on southeast Louisiana, flooding homes and killing five people.

Five years ago: The remains of Cardinal John O’Connor were entombed inside New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral after a funeral Mass that drew thousands of mourners, including President Clinton. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban discrimination based on weight or height.

One year ago: Former Iraq hostage Thomas Hamill returned home to a chorus of cheering family and friends in Mississippi.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Don Rickles is 79. Environmentalist Sir David Attenborough is 79. Author Peter Benchley is 65. Actor James Mitchum is 64. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 63. Singer Toni Tennille is 62. Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 60. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 54. Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 54. Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 52. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 52. Actor David Keith is 51. Actor Stephen Furst is 51. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 41. Rock musician Dave Rowntree (Blur) is 41. Country musician Del Gray is 37. Rock singer Darren Hayes is 33. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 30. Singer Ana Maria Lombo (Eden’s Crush) is 27. Actress Julia Whelan is 20.

Thought for Today: “All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother.” — Abraham Lincoln, American president (1809-1865).