Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Today is Tuesday, May 8, the 128th day of 2018. There are 237 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 8, 1978, David R. Berkowitz pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom to murder, attempted murder and assault in connection with the “Son of Sam” shootings that claimed six lives and terrified New Yorkers. (Berkowitz was sentenced to six consecutive life prison terms.)

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On this date:

In 1429, the Siege of Orleans during the Hundred Years’ War ended as English troops withdrew after being defeated by French forces under Joan of Arc.

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

In 1660, the British Parliament moved to restore the monarchy by declaring that Charles II had been the country’s lawful king since the execution of his father, Charles I, in 1649.

In 1794, Antoine Lavoisier (lah-vwahz-YAY’), the father of modern chemistry, was executed on the guillotine during France’s Reign of Terror.

In 1884, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born in Lamar, Missouri.

In 1921, Sweden’s Parliament voted to abolish the death penalty.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced on radio that Nazi Germany’s forces had surrendered, and that “the flags of freedom fly all over Europe.”

In 1958, Vice President Richard 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 1973, militant American Indians who had held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for ten weeks surrendered.

In 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

In 1996, South Africa took another step from apartheid to democracy by adopting a constitution that guaranteed equal rights for blacks and whites.

Ten years ago: During the 2008 race for the White House, Sen. Barack Obama got a front-runner’s welcome back at the U.S. Capitol, where he was surrounded on the House floor by well-wishers calling him “Mr. President” and reaching out to pat him on the back or shake his hand. Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in as Italy’s premier. Country music star Eddy Arnold died in Nashville at age 89, a week before his 90th birthday.

Five years ago: A jury in Phoenix convicted Jodi Arias of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander (Arias was later sentenced to life in prison). George Karl was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for leading the Denver Nuggets to a team-record 57-win regular season. An apparent game-tying homer by Oakland’s Adam Rosales was ruled a double by umpires in the ninth inning, and the Cleveland Indians held on to beat the Athletics 4-3. Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who had played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on “The Young and the Restless,” died in Los Angeles at age 84.

One year ago: A suspect was arrested in a string of serial killings that terrified a Phoenix neighborhood, a huge break in a case that involved nine deaths and a dozen separate shootings; Aaron Juan Saucedo, 23, faces 26 felony counts of homicide, aggravated assault and drive-by-shooting.

Today’s Birthdays: Naturalist Sir David Attenborough is 92. Singer Toni Tennille is 78. Actor James Mitchum is 77. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 76. Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 73. Actor Mark Blankfield is 70. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 67. Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 67. Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 65. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 65. Actor David Keith is 64. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is 57. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 54. Rock musician Dave Rowntree (Blur) is 54. Country musician Del Gray is 50. Rock singer Darren Hayes is 46. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 43. Blues singer-musician Joe Bonamassa is 41. Actor Matt Davis is 40. Singer Ana Maria Lombo (Eden’s Crush) is 40. Actor Elyes Gabel is 35. Actor Domhnall Gleeson is 35. Neo-soul drummer Patrick Meese (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 35. Actress Julia Whelan (WAY’-lan) is 34. Actress Nora Anezeder is 29.