Today's History Trivia for May 8
1992 Infertility doctor Cecil Jacobson, is sentenced to five years in prison for inseminating women with his sperm, and fooling others into believing they were pregnant.
1987 Gary Hart The Presidential candidate drops out of the race after a photo of 29-year-old model Donna Rice sitting in his lap was published.
1980 First disease eradicated by man Existing only as laboratory specimens, smallpox is certified as obsolete. So far, it has been the only disease eradicated by man.
1978 Son of Sam David Berkowitz pleads guilty to killing six people in New York. He claimed he was acting under orders of his neighbor's dog.
1963 James Bond Dr. No premiers in the U.S., first in the James Bond series, it starred Sean Connery as 007.
1945 VE (Victory in Europe) Day British and Americans celebrate Germany's unconditional surrender the previous day.
1919 First transatlantic flight by two Navy seaplanes, from New York arriving in Nova Scotia May 27.
1915 Kentucky Derby First filly to win the Kentucky Derby, J. Nutter rides Regret to win the 41st running of the Kentucky Derby.
1914 National Holidays Mother's Day is established by Congress as the second Sunday in May.
1912 First airplane take-off from the deck of a moving ship, Lt. Samson from the HMS Hibernia.
1886 Coca-Cola The soft drink is invented by John S. Pemberton. He called it "Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage."
1794 U.S. Post Office is permanently established by Congress.
1541 Ferdinand de Soto discovers the Mississippi River.
Today's Birthdays for May 8
1964 Melissa Gilbert American actress. TV: Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls).
1953 Alex Van Halen Dutch-born American drummer, Eddie's older brother. Music: Runnin' With the Devil (1976) and Jump (1984, #1).
1951 Philip Bailey American singer, with Earth, Wind & Fire. Music: Shining Star (1975, #1, Grammy), Best of My Love (1977, #1), and After the Love has Gone (1979, #2, Grammy).
1940 Toni Tennille American singer, with Captain and Tennille. Music: Love Will Keep Us Together (1975, #1) and Muskrat Love (1976).
1940 Rick Nelson d. 1985 (Eric Hilliard Nelson), American actor, singer, teen-idol. TV: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (playing himself). Music: Poor Little Fool (1958, #1) and Hello Mary Lou (1961, #1).
1940 Peter Bradford Benchley d. 2006 American author, journalist, Jaws (1974).
1926 Don Rickles American comedian, famous for his insults. TV: C.P.O. Sharkey (title role) and Daddy Dearest (title role). Film: Toy Story (1995, voice of Mr. Potato Head).
1919 Lex Barker d. 1973 (Alexander Crichlow Barker), American actor. Film: played Tarzan in five of the movies between 1949 and 1953.
1915 John Archer d. 1999 (Ralph Bowman), American actor. Film: I Saw What You Did (1965).
1912 Ruth Gilbert d. 1993 actress. TV: Milton Berle Show (Max the scatterbrained secretary; Her plea, "Let's not fight this, Mil-l-ton, it's bigger than both of us," became a nation catchphrase). Film: Alice in Wonderland (1931 - the first sound version of the classic, Alice).
1911 Rudolf Flesch d. 1986 Austrian-born American author, Why Johnny Can't Read (1955) in which he advocated the use of phonics to sound out words. His book inspired Dr. Seuss to write The Cat in the Hat (1957).
1895 Fulton J. Sheen d. 1979 (Peter John Sheen), American Emmy-winning Catholic evangelist. TV: Life Is Worth Living. He was the first TV preacher of note. He won an Emmy as Most Outstanding TV Personality (1952). Actor Martin Sheen took his stage name from him.
1829 Louis Moreau Gottschalk d. 1869 American pianist, composer. He was the first internationally recognized U.S. pianist.
1828 Jean Henri Dunant d. 1910 Swiss philanthropist. He founded the International Red Cross (1864) and was co-winner of the first Nobel Peace Prize (1901).
1737 Edward Gibbon d. 1794 English author. Writings: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Deaths for May 8
1904 Eadweard James Muybridge b. 1830 (Edward James Muggeridge), English-born pioneer in motion photography. His photographic studies of animal motion laid the foundation for modern motion pictures. (click to view animation).
2016 William Schallert b. 1922 American actor. President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG, 1979-81). TV: The Patty Duke Show (Patty's father), The Nancy Drew Mysteries (Nancy's father), and The New Gidget (Gidget's father).
2008 Eddy Arnold b. 1918 American Hall of Fame country-western singer. Known as "The Tennessee Plowboy," he is the all-time best-selling country singer, selling over 85 million records. Music: Bouquet of Roses (1948, #1) and I Really Don't Want to Know (1954, #1).
1999 Dana Plato b. 1964 (Dana Michelle Strain), American actress. In 1991 she robbed a video store with a pellet gun (see event). She was one of the first celebrities to star in a video game (1992, Night Trap). She died of a drug overdose that was ruled a suicide. TV: Diff'rent Strokes (1978-86, Kimberly Drummond).
1994 George Peppard b. 1928 American actor. Film: Pork Chop Hill (1959) and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). TV: Banacek (title role), Doctors' Hospital and The A-Team (Hannibal Smith).
1992 Nila Wacaser b. ???? American murderess. She killed her two sons in 1987, claiming the sleeping drug Halcion had caused her to do it. She committed suicide after being convicted of first-degree murder earlier in the day.
1988 Robert Anson Heinlein b. 1907 American science fiction author, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961). He won an unprecedented four Hugo awards.
1984 Lila Bell Acheson Wallace b. 1889 American publisher. She and her husband DeWitt founded Reader's Digest (1921). It obtained the largest magazine circulation in the world.
1967 LaVerne Andrews b. 1911 American singer, with the Andrews sisters.
1915 Henry McNeal Turner b. 1834 American Methodist clergyman. He was the first black chaplain commissioned in the U.S. Army (1863). Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1903 Paul Gauguin b. 1848 French post-impressionist painter and sculpture, known for his broad flat tones, bold colors, and use of distortion.
1880 Gustave Flaubert b. 1821 French author. Writings: Madame Bovary.
1794 Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier b. 1743 French chemist, founder of modern chemistry. He identified air as containing two principle elements (1778), one of which he named "oxygen," established the law of conservation of matter (1782), and showed that respiration was essentially a slow combustion of organic material using inhaled oxygen.. He was guillotined by the Revolutionary Tribunal for his association with the farmers general.
1655 Edward Winslow b. 1595 American colonist, Mayflower pilgrim. He was the first person married in New England (May, 1621), brought the first cattle to New England (1624), and was governor the Plymouth Colony (1633-34, 36-37, 44-45).
685 Saint Benedict II b. ???? Italian religious leader, 81st Pope (684-685).
615 Saint Boniface IV b. ???? religious leader, 67th Pope (608-615).
535 John II b. ???? (Mercury), Italian religious leader, 56th Pope (532-535). He was the first pope to change his name.