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May 7, 2014

Today in History for Wednesday, May 7, 2014

-- — Today is Wednesday, May 7, the 127th day of 2014. There are 238 days left in the year.

Highlight in History

On May 7, 1789, America’s first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington, who’d taken the oath of office a week earlier. (His wife, Martha, did not attend; she was back in Virginia, attending to family business.)

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 1824, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, had its premiere in Vienna.

In 1889, the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore opened its doors.

In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.

In 1928, the minimum voting age for British women was lowered from 30 to 21 — the same age as men.

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 1964, Pacific Air Lines Flight 773, a Fairchild F27, crashed near San Ramon, Calif., after a passenger apparently shot both pilots, then himself, killing all 44 people on board.

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 charged they’d suffered injury from exposure to the defoliant.

In 1994, Norway’s most famous painting, “The Scream” by Edvard Munch (muhnk), was recovered almost three months after it had been stolen from an Oslo museum.

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