Today in 1792, the military draft was first established.
Today in 1846, the Battle of Palo Alto – first major battle of the Mexican War – was fought…in Palo Alto, Texas.
Today in 1858, John Brown held a secret antislavery convention.
Today in 1879, George Selden applied for the first automobile patent. His application included not only the engine, but its use in a four-wheeled car. He then filed a series of amendments to his application, which stretched out the legal process resulting in a delay of 16 years before the patent was granted on November 5, 1895.
Today in 1886, pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton invented what is now known as “Coca-Cola.” Coca-Cola is the largest nonalcoholic beverage company in the world and sold in more than 200 countries. More than 1.8-billion glasses of Coke are served every day. Pemberton originally intended the drink as a medicinal syrup to alleviate headaches and fatigue and the original recipe contained nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. Unfortunately for him, the drink was not well known by the time he died. If only he knew what he created… Asa Candler bought his recipe for $2,300 and founded the Coca-Cola Company. Now May 8th is annually known as Have A Coke Day!
Today in 1915,P. Whitney's Regret became the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby.
Today in 1945, President Harry Truman announced that World War II had ended in Europe and that “the flags of freedom fly all over Europe.” The president and Prime Minister Churchill declared victory in Europe, celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany. Many people gathered in crowds, dressing in red, white and blue outside of Buckingham Palace in London and cheered on the King, Queen and two Princesses as they walked out onto the balcony.
Today in 1958, President Eisenhower ordered the National Guard out of Little Rock as it was announced that Ernest Green of the “Little Rock Nine,” became the first African-American to graduate from Little Rock Central High School. Who were the “Little Rock Nine?” Nine teenagers in Little Rock, Arkansas that the president had called in troops to protect – for wanting nothing more than to go to school. The Little Rock Nine, as the teens came to be known, were black students who sought to attend Little Rock Central High School in the fall of 1957. The Supreme Court had ruled segregated schools unconstitutional in its landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling; three years later, states in the South finally began to face the reality of federally mandated integration. It was historic, intense – and for a time, profoundly ugly. And it wasn’t without a fight. For example, rather than permit desegregation, Governor Faubus (who was reelected in 1958) closed all of Little Rock’s schools. Many programs that subsidized white students’ attendance at private segregated academies - which were not covered by the Supreme Court’s decision – popped up. In Little Rock? Central High School didn’t reopen with a desegregated student body until 1960.
Today in 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru.
Today in 1973, American Indians who had held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered. It had begun as the American Indian's stood against government atrocities, and ended in an armed battle with US Armed Forces. The Siege at had come to an end with the government making nearly 1200 arrests. But this would only mark the beginning of what was known as the "Reign of Terror" instigated by the FBI and the BIA. During the three years following Wounded Knee, 64 tribal members were unsolved murder victims, 300 harassed and beaten, and 562 arrests were made, and of these arrests only 15 people were convicted of any crime. A large price to pay for 71-days as a free people on the land of one's ancestors.
Today in 1978, David Berkowitz – aka Son of Sam – withdrew an insanity plea and pleaded guilty, admitting to six Son of Sam killings in court. Berkowitz was sentenced to six consecutive life prison terms.
Today in 1980, the World Health Organization announced smallpox had been eradicated.
Today in 1984, the USSR announced it was boycotting the Olympic Games blaming the commercialization of the games and lack of security. Most of the Eastern Bloc countries followed suit except Romania and 14 countries boycotted.
Today in 1988, Stella Nickell was convicted on two counts of murder that resulted from her tampering with Excedrin capsules. She had poisoned her husband’s meds as well as five bottles that she placed on store shelves in the Seattle area. Nickell was given two 90-year sentences for the murders of her husband and Susan Snow. She’ll be eligible for parole in 2018.
Today in 1999, Nancy Mace became the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel military college. She followed Shannon Faulkner, who had been admitted in 1995, but left after a week citing isolation and stress. Faulkner’s admission had been fiercely contested by The Citadel and the state of South Carolina. Mace’s experience wasn’t much different. She had entered the Citadel in 1996 with three other women. Only she and another – Petra Lovetinska (class of 2000) – would make it. The others quit citing abuse, harassment and hazing.
Today in 2012, the American author of the popular children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” Maurice Sendak died at 83 after complications due to a stroke. He won many awards including the Caldecott Medal and the Hans Christian Andersen medal for illustration.
Today in 2013, an Arizona jury 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).
Today in 2018, President Trump pulled the US out of the multilateral Iran nuclear deal.
Today in 2018, the largest-ever wave recorded in the South Hemisphere – at more than 78-feet tall – was seen at Campbell Island, New Zealand.
Today in 2019, Iran announced it would stop complying with parts of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Today in 2020, 11-year old Brazilian skateboarder Gui Khury set a world record by performing first 1080 degree turn on a vertical ramp. See it HERE.