On This Day in
American History:
May 8

Hernando de Soto’s discovery of The Mississippi River on May 8, 1541.

This painting by W. H. Powell is located in the U.S. Capitol building.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

The allied nations of WW2 marked Victory in Europe, or V-E Day on May 8, 1945. Here military policemen of the US Third Army read details of Germany’s surrender in the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Image from US Army Military History Institute via Wikimedia Commons, public domain in the US

May 8, 1846…General Zachary Taylor’s victory at The Battle of Palo Alto during the Mexican-American War near Brownsville, Texas…

“On the 8th of May, at noon, the garrison was nearly exhausted by the length of the bombardment, and scarcely paid attention to the shells thrown among them from Matamoras. At length the fire ceased. A long, loud, and heavy cannonading was borne on the winds from towards Point Isabel. Every breath was hushed, every ear was attentive. Again and again it sounded. They knew that General Taylor was advancing. The firing told them that he, too, had an enemy in front, and the simultaneous cheer which burst from the lips of every one showed how confident they were as to the result of the contest. The people of Matamoras heard the firing and the cheers of the garrison...”

From: Taylor and his campaigns. A biography of Major-General Zachary Taylor, published in 1848
Source says not in copyright 

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Zachary Taylor [signature]" New York Public Library Digital Collections.

On today's date May 8, 1846: American businessman, composer and theatre impresario Oscar Hammerstein I, was born in Stettin, Prussia.  Around 18 years of age he emigrated to the United States where he later built the Manhattan Opera House (now The Manhattan Center Building), The Olympia Theatre, the Philadelphia Opera House and many others. 

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, born May 8, 1895, hosted the Sunday-night “Catholic Hour” on NBC radio, then moved to television in 1952 with the popular “Live is Worth Living.” The show ran until 1957. Sheen also authored 75 books.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain in the US.

GM truck used by people in a quarry

stamp on the right says May 8, 1937

Image via NYPL, no known restrictions 

On May 8, 1886 the first glass of Coca-Cola was sold at Jacobs’ Pharmacy in Atlanta for 5 cents. 

Image from JJonahJackalope via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY SA 4.0

On May 8, 1884 WWI Veteran and 33rd President of The United States, Harry S. Truman, was born in Lamar, Missouri.

The “S.” used as his middle initial does not represent a specific middle name. 

Image of Harry S. Truman at thirteen years of age, wearing a bow tie and glasses via Wikimedia Commons, no known copyright, public domain in the US.

On May 8, 1944, the first “eye bank” used to store human eye corneas was established in New York City. 

Image: Americasroof at English Wikipedia • CC BY-SA 3.0

Applicants to Paramount Motion Picture School in May of 1925

Thirteen years earlier, on May 8, 1912, Paramount Pictures was founded. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

On May 8, 1963 the first James Bond film, Dr. No, premiered in the United States.

Image via Alamy

American Jazz pianist and composer, Mary Lou Williams, was born on May 8, 1910 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Later in her career she became a teacher at a Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. She composed the first liturgical jazz music that was commissioned by the Catholic Church. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

On May 8, 1915 a horse named “Regret” became the first filly (young female horse) to win the Kentucky Derby.

 Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

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