By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 7, the 127th day of 2019. 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 1763, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa Indians, attempted to lead a sneak attack on British-held Fort Detroit, but was foiled because the British had been tipped off in advance.
In 1789, America’s first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington, who had taken the oath of office a week earlier.
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 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.
In 1945, the 1944 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded; winners included John Hersey for his novel “A Bell for Adano,” Mary Chase for her play “Harvey,” and Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal for his picture of the Iwo Jima flag-raising.
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 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who said they’d been injured by exposure to the defoliant.
In 1992, the latest addition to America’s space shuttle fleet, Endeavour, went on its first flight.
In 1998, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz agreed to buy Chrysler Corp. for more than $37 billion. Londoners voted overwhelmingly to elect their own mayor for the first time in history. (In May 2000, Ken Livingstone was elected.)
In 2004, Army Pfc. Lynndie England, shown in photographs smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, was charged by the military with assaulting the detainees and conspiring to mistreat them. (England was later convicted of conspiracy, mistreating detainees and committing an indecent act, and sentenced to 36 months; she served half that term.)
Ten years ago: A federal jury in Paducah, Kentucky, convicted a former soldier, Steven Dale Green, of raping and fatally shooting a 14-year-old girl after killing her parents and younger sister while he was serving in Iraq. (Green was sentenced to life without possibility of parole; he hanged himself in prison in February 2014.) Former Illinois police Sgt. Drew Peterson was indicted for murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.