Today in History: May 7

The four-stack British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, is shown in this undated photo. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat of the southern coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915 and sank in 18 minutes. Date and location are unknown. (AP Photo)

In 1915, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, out of the nearly 2,000 on board.

The four-stack British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, is shown in this undated photo. (AP Photo)

The military Alliance of the Rome-Berlin Axis was signed, in the new Reichs Chancellery at Berlin. 
German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his Italian guests appeared on the balcony of the new Reichs Chancellery, Berlin, on May 22, 1939, after the signing of the pact. From left to right are German Navy Chief Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano, German Army chief General Walter Von Brauchtisch, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and Field Marshal Hermann Goering. (AP Photo)

In 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.

In this 1939 photo, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his Italian guests appeared on the balcony of the new Reichs Chancellery, Berlin after the signing of the pact. From left to right are German Navy Chief Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano, German Army chief General Walter Von Brauchtisch, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and Field Marshal Hermann Goering. (AP Photo)

In this May 7, 1945 file photo, Gen. Alfred Jodl, center, signs the unconditional surrender of all armed German forces imposed by the Allied Powers, at Supreme Commander Eisenhowers headquarters in Rheims, France. He is flanked by Gen. Wilhelm Oxenius, Commander of the German Luftwaffe, left, and General Admiral and Commander in Chief of the German fleet, Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, right. (AP Photo/File)

In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, ending its role in World War II. (AP Photo/File)

Soldiers of the French-Indochinese Union army, defending the French garrison and stronghold of Dien Bien Phu, are under heavy attack by the Communist Viet Minh forces firing from their positions in the mountains across, on March 24, 1954.  (AP Photo)

In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces.

In this 1954 photo, soldiers of the French-Indochinese Union army, defending the French garrison and stronghold of Dien Bien Phu, are under heavy attack by the Communist Viet Minh forces firing from their positions in the mountains across. (AP Photo)

On this date in 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted a "full, free, and absolute pardon" to former President Richard Nixon covering his entire term in office. Here, Ford tells newsmen, Sept. 8, 1974, in his White House office about the pardon.  Ford then signed the document.  (AP Photo)

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. (AP Photo)

Ed Kienle

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 this 2015 photo, retired Air Force reserve tech Sgt. Ed Kienle, 73, shows his Rickenbacker Air Force base hat, the same base were he was exposed to Agent Orange in his barn in Wilmington, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, center, holds up his glass during a dinner hosted by Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (Mick Tsikas/Pool Photo via AP)
In 2017, French voters elected independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, 39, as the country’s youngest president, delivering a resounding victory to the pro-European former investment banker and dashing the populist dream of far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, center, holds up his glass during a dinner hosted by Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (Mick Tsikas/Pool Photo via AP)

Gilbert Stuart's 1796 oil on canvas portrait of George Washington on display at Washington's National Portrait Gallery.  (AP Photo)
In 1789, America’s first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington, who had taken the oath of office a week earlier.

Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 oil on canvas portrait of George Washington on display at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery. (AP Photo)

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The four-stack British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, is shown in this undated photo. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat of the southern coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915 and sank in 18 minutes. Date and location are unknown. (AP Photo)
The military Alliance of the Rome-Berlin Axis was signed, in the new Reichs Chancellery at Berlin. 
German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his Italian guests appeared on the balcony of the new Reichs Chancellery, Berlin, on May 22, 1939, after the signing of the pact. From left to right are German Navy Chief Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano, German Army chief General Walter Von Brauchtisch, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and Field Marshal Hermann Goering. (AP Photo)
In this May 7, 1945 file photo, Gen. Alfred Jodl, center, signs the unconditional surrender of all armed German forces imposed by the Allied Powers, at Supreme Commander Eisenhowers headquarters in Rheims, France. He is flanked by Gen. Wilhelm Oxenius, Commander of the German Luftwaffe, left, and General Admiral and Commander in Chief of the German fleet, Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, right. (AP Photo/File)
Soldiers of the French-Indochinese Union army, defending the French garrison and stronghold of Dien Bien Phu, are under heavy attack by the Communist Viet Minh forces firing from their positions in the mountains across, on March 24, 1954.  (AP Photo)
On this date in 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted a "full, free, and absolute pardon" to former President Richard Nixon covering his entire term in office. Here, Ford tells newsmen, Sept. 8, 1974, in his White House office about the pardon.  Ford then signed the document.  (AP Photo)
Ed Kienle
President of France, Emmanuel Macron, center, holds up his glass during a dinner hosted by Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (Mick Tsikas/Pool Photo via AP)
Gilbert Stuart's 1796 oil on canvas portrait of George Washington on display at Washington's National Portrait Gallery.  (AP Photo)

Today is Tuesday, May 7, the 127th day of 2019. There are 238 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims (rams), France, ending its role in World War II.

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 1789, America’s first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington, who had taken the oath of office a week earlier.

In 1915, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, out of the nearly 2,000 on board.

In 1939, Germany and Italy announced a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.

In 1945, the 1944 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded; winners included John Hersey for his novel “A Bell for Adano,” Mary Chase for her play “Harvey,” and Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal for his picture of the Iwo Jima flag-raising.

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 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 said they’d been injured by exposure to the defoliant.

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

In 1998, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz agreed to buy Chrysler Corp. for more than $37 billion. Londoners voted overwhelmingly to elect their own mayor for the first time in history. (In May 2000, Ken Livingstone was elected.)

In 2004, Army Pfc. Lynndie England, shown in photographs smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, was charged by the military with assaulting the detainees and conspiring to mistreat them. (England was later convicted of conspiracy, mistreating detainees and committing an indecent act, and sentenced to 36 months; she served half that term.)

Ten years ago: A federal jury in Paducah, Kentucky, convicted a former soldier, Steven Dale Green, of raping and fatally shooting a 14-year-old girl after killing her parents and younger sister while he was serving in Iraq. (Green was sentenced to life without possibility of parole; he hanged himself in prison in February 2014.) Former Illinois police Sgt. Drew Peterson was indicted for murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. (Peterson was convicted of murdering Savio, and was sentenced to 38 years in prison.) Mickey Carroll, one of the last surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” died in Crestwood, Missouri, at age 89.

Five years ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin softened his tone in a confrontation with the West, declaring that he had pulled his troops away from the Ukrainian border. The Nation’s Report Card said America’s high school seniors lacked critical math and reading skills for an increasingly competitive global economy. The International Olympic Committee awarded the exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to NBC for an additional six games in a record $7.75 billion deal.

One year ago: First lady Melania Trump unveiled what she called the “Be Best” public awareness campaign to help children, focusing on childhood well-being, social media use and opioid abuse. Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the Marine at the center of the Iran-Contra affair in the Reagan administration, was named president of the National Rifle Association. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he would be resigning from office after he was accused of physical violence by women with whom he had been involved; Schneiderman had been a high-profile advocate for women’s issues.

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