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May 7, 2013

Today in History for Tuesday, May 7, 2013

-- — 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 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, 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 1992, the latest addition to America’s space shuttle fleet, Endeavour, went on its first flight.

Ten years ago

President George W. Bush ordered the lifting of sanctions against Iraq, and called on members of the U.N. Security Council to do the same. The White House announced President Bush had chosen New Mexico oilman Colin R. McMillan to be secretary of the Navy and Air Force Secretary James Roche to replace the dismissed secretary of the Army, Thomas White. (However, McMillan died in an apparent suicide in July 2003, while Roche’s nomination languished in Congress before being withdrawn in March 2004.)

Five years ago

President George W. Bush, addressing the Council of Americas, said Cuba’s post-Fidel Castro leadership had made only “empty gestures at reform” as he rejected calls for easing U.S. restrictions on the communist island. Dmitry Medvedev was sworn in as Russia’s president.

One year ago

Education Secretary Arne Duncan broke ranks with the White House, stating his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage one day after Vice President Joe Biden suggested on NBC that he supported gay marriage as well.

Vladimir Putin took the oath of office as Russia’s president in a brief but regal Kremlin ceremony.

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