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May 7, 2013

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, May 7, the 127th day of 2013. There are 238 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 7, 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. (The Ottawa Indians and other tribes then launched an all-out war with the British that came to be known as Pontiac's War.)

On this date:

  • In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington and his wife, Martha.
  • In 1824, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, had its premiere in Vienna.
  • In 1825, composer Antonio Salieri died in Vienna, Austria.
  • In 1833, composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany.
  • In 1840, composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Russia.
  • In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.
  • In 1942, U.S. Army Gen. Jonathan Wainwright went on a Manila radio station to announce the Allied surrender of the Philippines to Japanese forces during World War II.
  • In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims (rams), France, ending its role in World War II.
  • 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 1992, the latest addition to America's space shuttle fleet, Endeavour, went on its first flight. A 203-year-old proposed constitutional amendment barring Congress from giving itself a midterm pay raise received enough votes for ratification as Michigan became the 38th state to approve it.

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