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: President Barack Obama and South Korea’s new leader, Park Geun-hye (goon-hay), met at the White House, where they projected a united front as they warned North Korea against further nuclear provocations. Twenty-four people were killed by a gas tanker-truck explosion on the outskirts of Mexico City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time, ending the day at 15,056.20, up 87.31 points. Movie special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, 92, died in London.
Five years ago: First lady Melania Trump unveiled what she called the “Be Best” public awareness campaign to help children, focusing on childhood well-being, social media use and opioid abuse. Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the Marine at the center of the Iran-Contra affair in the Reagan administration, was named president of the National Rifle Association. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he would be resigning from office after he was accused of physical violence by women with whom he had been involved; Schneiderman had been a high-profile advocate for women’s issues.
One year ago: Russian forces fired cruise missiles at the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa and bombarded a steel mill in Mariupol housing Ukrainian civilians and fighters, hoping to complete their conquest of the port city in time for Victory Day celebrations. Ukraine announced that all women, children and elderly had been evacuated from the steel plant, a key Russian war objective that has long been under siege. Relatives of the missing in Cuba’s capital desperately searched for victims of an explosion at one of Havana’s most luxurious hotels that killed more than 40 people. Rich Strike, an 80-1 long shot, won the Kentucky Derby in the second biggest upset in the 148-year history of America’s best-known horse race.
Today’s Birthdays: R&B singer Thelma Houston is 80. Actor Robin Strasser is 78. Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 77. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 77. Former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is 76. Rock musician Prairie Prince is 73. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 71. Actor Michael E. Knight is 64. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 62. Rock singer-musician Chris O’Connor (Primitive Radio Gods) is 58. Actor Traci Lords is 55. Actor Morocco Omari is 53. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 52. Actor Breckin Meyer is 49. Rock musician Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) is 37. Actor-comedian Aidy Bryant is 36. Actor Taylor Abrahamse is 32. Actor Alexander Ludwig is 31. Actor Dylan Gelula is 29.