Today In History: May 7, Nazi Germany Surrenders

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, May 7, the 128th day of 2024. There are 238 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 7, 1945, Nazi 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 2012, Vladimir Putin took the oath of office as Russia’s president for the next six years in a brief but regal Kremlin ceremony.

In 2013, movie special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen died in London at age 92.

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.)

In 2022, 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.

In 2023, Vida Blue, a hard-throwing left-hander who became one of baseball’s biggest draws in the early 1970s and helped lead the Oakland A’s to three straight World Series titles before his career was derailed by drug problems, died at age 73.

Today’s Birthdays: R&B singer Thelma Houston is 81. Actor Robin Strasser is 79. Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 78. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 78. Former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is 77. Rock musician Prairie Prince is 74. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 72. Actor Michael E. Knight is 65. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 63. Actor Traci Lords is 56. Actor Morocco Omari is 54. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 53. Actor Breckin Meyer is 50. Rock musician Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) is 38. Actor-comedian Aidy Bryant is 37. Actor Taylor Abrahamse is 33. Actor Alexander Ludwig is 32. Actor Dylan Gelula is 30.