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- The Associated Press
Wednesday May 08, 2002

Today is Wednesday, May 8, the 128th day of 2002. There are 237 days left in the year. 



On May 8, 1945, President Truman announced in a radio address that World War II had ended in Europe. 


On this date: 

In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River. 

In 1846, the first major battle of the Mexican War was fought at Palo Alto, Texas, resulting in victory for Gen. Zachary Taylor’s forces. 

In 1884, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born near Lamar, Mo. 

In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented the flavor syrup for “Coca-Cola.” 

In 1958, Vice President Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru. 

In 1962, the musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” opened on Broadway. 

In 1970, construction workers broke up an anti-war protest on New York’s Wall Street. 

In 1973, militant American Indians who’d held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered. 

In 1978, David R. Berkowitz pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom to the “Son of Sam” killings that had terrified New Yorkers. 

In 1987, Gary Hart, dogged by questions about his personal life, including his relationship with Miami model Donna Rice, withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. 


Ten years ago:  

President George H.W. Bush wound up two emotional days in riot-ravaged Los Angeles, promising to work harder in Washington to enact a “common-sense agenda” of conservative proposals to help urban America. 


Five years ago:  

President Clinton assured Central American leaders during a summit in Costa Rica that they need not fear mass deportations of immigrants who’d sought refuge in the United States during U.S.-backed conflicts. After months of railing against Democrats for taking foreign money, the Republican Party announced it had returned $122,400 in contributions from a Hong Kong company. 


One year ago:  

China protested the resumption of U.S. surveillance flights off its coast and said it would refuse to let the United States fly out a crippled Navy spy plane. Pope John Paul II began the final leg of a historic pilgrimage as he arrived in the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. 


Today’s Birthdays:  

Comedian Don Rickles is 76. Environmentalist Sir David Attenborough is 76. Author Peter Benchley is 62. Singer John Fred (John Fred and His Playboy Band) is 61. Actor James Mitchum is 61. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 60. Jockey Hall-of-Famer Angel Cordero Jr. is 60. Singer Toni Tennille is 59. Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 57. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 51. Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 51. Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 49. Actor David Keith is 48. Actor Stephen Furst is 48. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 47. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 38. Rock musician Dave Rowntree (Blur) is 38. Country musician Del Gray is 34. Rock singer Darren Hayes is 30. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 27. Singer Ana Maria Lombo (Eden’s Crush) is 24. Actress Julia Whelan (“Once and Again”) is 17.