This Day in History — May 7 2019

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

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Today is the 127th day of 2019. There are 238 days left in the year.


1429: Seventeen-year-old Joan of Arc leads French forces to lift the English siege of Orleans, turning the Hundred-Year War to France's favour. The English retreat the next day, but Joan of Arc refuses to pursue them on a Sunday.


1104: The Seljuq Turks capture Baldwin of Bourg, First Crusade leader, in Edessa, Turkey. He is ransomed in 1108 and later becomes king of Jerusalem.

1727: Jews are expelled from Ukraine by decree of Catherine I of Russia.

1821: Sierra Leone, Gambia and Gold Coast are taken over by the British government to form British West Africa.

1915: Nearly 1,200 people die when a German torpedo sinks the British liner Lusitania off the Irish coast.

1920: Soviet Union recognises independence of Georgia.

1926: French Army and Air Force bombard sections of Damascus during an Arab revolt.

1939: Germany and Italy announce a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.

1943: Allied forces take Tunis and Bizerte, and Germans retire to Cap Bon Peninsula in World War II.

1945: Germany signs an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, to take effect the following day, ending the European conflict of World War II.

1954: Vietnamese forces overrun Dien Bien Phu, held by the French. A resulting ceasefire divides the country into North and South.

1960: Leonid Brezhnev replaces Marshal Kliment Voroshilov as president of the Supreme Soviet.

1971: United States removes all controls on use of dollars in US transactions with China.

1975: US President Gerald Ford declares an end to the “Vietnam era”. In Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, the Viet Cong celebrate its takeover.

1984: A $180-million out-of-court settlement is announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who claimed they suffered injury from exposure to the defoliant.

1991: Storms disrupt the aid effort and cause more casualties in Bangladesh following a cyclone that killed 125,000.

1994: Legislators in Johannesburg take oaths of office and blacks and whites sit down together for the first time to govern South Africa.

1995: Jacques Chirac, conservative mayor of Paris, wins France's presidency.

1996: The first international war crimes proceeding since Nuremberg opens at The Hague in The Netherlands. Serbian police officer Dusan Tadic goes on trial for murder and torture charges and later is convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

1997: Mobutu Sese Seko, 66-year old dictator of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), flies to Gabon to attend a regional leaders' meeting denying that he was fleeing, Laurent Kabila's approaching rebel forces.

1998: Germany's Daimler-Benz agrees to buy Chrysler Corp in a $38-billion deal; Londoners vote overwhelmingly to elect their own mayor for the first time in history.

1999: Pope John Paul II arrives in Romania, becoming the first pope to visit an Orthodox country since Christianity split into Orthodox and Catholic denominations in 1054.

2000: Rebels in Sierra Leone use civilians as shields while fighting UN forces.

2001: A self-proclaimed International Court for Animal Rights in Geneva holds a mock trial and finds Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and 40 other Germans guilty of merciless, organised persecution of certain dog breeds. The German government had tightened restrictions on some dogs following several fatal maulings.

2002: Canadian soldiers say they found a mass grave in the Tora Bora region of eastern Afghanistan that might contain the bodies of senior members of Afghanistan's ousted Taliban militia or the al-Qaeda terrorist network who were killed by US-led forces in December 2001.

2003: Teams of US customs agents working with US soldiers in Iraq recover about 700 artifacts and 39,400 ancient manuscripts that had disappeared from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad during US-led war.

2004: Army Pfc Lynndie England, shown in photographs smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, is charged by the military with assaulting the detainees and conspiring to mistreat them. Six soldiers have already been charged with crimes in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and seven were reprimanded.

2005: Three explosions rock Myanmar's capital, killing at least three people and wounding dozens more, one of a string of attacks launched by ethnic rebels in the military-ruled country.

2006: Israeli police remove dozens of Jewish squatters from a Palestinian-owned home in the West Bank, demonstrating the resolve of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government to confront extremist settlers.

2007: US photographer Spencer Tunick photographs a group of 105 naked women resembling Mexican artist Frida Kahlo a day after photographing more than 18,000 people who stripped down on the tiles of the Zocalo plaza in Mexico City.

2008: Dmitry Medvedev is inaugurated as Russia's president, pledging to an audience in a vast Kremlin hall that he will bolster civil rights and push the economic development transforming the country.

2009: Alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk loses his bid to get the US Supreme Court to stop his deportation to Germany, where an arrest warrant accuses him of 29,000 counts of accessory to murder during World War II. The legal case spans more than three decades.

2010: Britain's inconclusive election turns into high political drama, with the Conservative and Labour parties wooing the same potential ally, the Liberal Democrats, while the markets press for results and a public accustomed to clearer outcomes watches transfixed.

2011: The Taliban unleash a major assault on government buildings throughout Afghanistan's main southern city, Kandahar, an attack that cast doubt on how successful the US-led coalition has been in its nearly year-long military campaign to establish security and stability in the former Taliban stronghold.

2012: The CIA thwarts a plot by al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a US-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

2013: The Dow Jones industrial average closes above 15,000 for the first time, another milestone in the market's epic assent of 2013.


Robert Browning, English poet (1812-1899); Johannes Brahms, German composer (1833-1897); Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer (1840-1893); Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet, Nobel laureate (1861-1941); Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav president (1892-1980); Eva Peron, Argentine popular leader (1919-1952); Tim Russert, US journalist (1950-2008)

— AP

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