This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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May 8 is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 237 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1973, A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, site of the infamous massacre of 300 Sioux by the U.S. 7th Cavalry in 1890, ends with the surrender of the militants.
AIM was founded in 1968 by Russell Means, Dennis Banks, and other Native-American leaders as a militant political and civil rights organization.
Their actions were acclaimed by many Native Americans, but on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Oglala Sioux Tribal President Dick Wilson had banned all AIM activities. AIM considered his government corrupt and dictatorial, and planned the occupation of Wounded Knee as a means of forcing a federal investigation of his administration. By taking Wounded Knee, The AIM leaders also hoped to force an investigation of other reservations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and broken Indian treaties.
The Wounded Knee occupation lasted for a total of 71 days, during which time two Sioux men were shot to death by federal agents. One federal agent was paralyzed after being shot. On May 8, the AIM leaders and their supporters surrendered after White House officials promised to investigate their complaints.
In 1975, two FBI agents and a Native-American man were killed in a massive shoot-out between federal agents and AIM members and local residents. In a controversial trial, AIM member Leonard Peltier was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
The U.S. government took no steps to honor broken Indian treaties, but in the courts some tribes won major settlements from federal and state governments in cases involving tribal land claims.
589 – Reccared summons the Third Council of Toledo
1450 – Jack Cade’s Rebellion: Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
1541 – Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River and names it Río de Espíritu Santo.
1788 – The French Parlement is suspended to be replaced by the creation of forty-seven new courts.
1794 – Branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror by revolutionists, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme Générale, is tried, convicted, and guillotined all on the same day in Paris.
1821 – Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeat the Turks at the Battle of Gravia.
1846 – Mexican-American War: The Battle of Palo Alto – Zachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
1861 – American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia is named the capital of the Confederate States of America.
1877 – At Gilmore’s Gardens in New York City, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens.
1886 – Pharmacist John Styth Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named “Coca-Cola” as a patent medicine.
1898 – The first games of the Italian football league system are played.
1899 – The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin opens.
1902 – In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the blast.
1914 – Paramount Pictures is founded.
1919 – Edward George Honey first proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, which later results in the creation of Remembrance Day. In the United States it was called Armistice Day and is now Veterans Day.
1927 – Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli disappeared after taking off aboard The White Bird biplane.
1933 – Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest against British oppression in India.
1941 – The German Luftwaffe launch a bombing raid on Nottingham and Derby
1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacking and sinking the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington. The battle marks the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.
1942 – World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebel in the Cocos Islands Mutiny. Their mutiny is crushed and three of them are executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.
1945 – Hundreds of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.
1945 – World War II: V-E Day, combat ends in Europe. German forces agree in Rheims, France, to an unconditional surrender.
1945 – End of the Prague uprising, today celebrated as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
1963 – South Vietnamese soldiers of Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, killing nine.
1967 – The Philippine province of Davao is split into three: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.
1970 – The Hard Hat riot occurs in the Wall Street area of New York City as blue-collar construction workers clash with demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.
1972 – Vietnam War – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announces his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.
1973 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota ends with the surrender of the militants.
1976 – The rollercoaster Revolution, the first steel coaster with a vertical loop, opens at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
1978 – First ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.
1980 – The eradication of smallpox is endorsed by the World Health Organization.
1984 – The Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.
1984 – Corporal Denis Lortie enters the Quebec National Assembly and opens fire, killing three and wounding 13. René Jalbert, sergeant-at-arms of the assembly, succeeds in calming him, for which he will later receive the Cross of Valour.
1984 – Thames Barrier officially opened.
1987 – The Loughgall Ambush: The SAS kills eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and a civilian during an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.
1988 – A fire at Illinois Bell’s Hinsdale Central Office triggers an extended 1AESS network outage once considered the ‘worst telecommunications disaster in US telephone industry history’ and still the worst to occur on Mother’s Day.
1997 – A China Southern Airlines Boeing 737 crashes on approach into Bao’an International Airport, killing 35 people.
* Christian Feast Day:
Apparition of Saint Michael
Arsenius the Great (Eastern Orthodox Church)
Catherine de Saint-Augustin
Julian of Norwich (Anglican, Lutheran)
Peter of Tarentaise
May 8 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Earliest day on which Mother’s Day can fall, while May 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Sunday of May. (United States and others)
* Earliest day on which State Flag and State Emblem Day can fall, while May 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Sunday of May. (Belarus)
* Earliest day on which World Fair Trade Day can fall, while May 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Sunday of May. (International)
* Miguel Hidalgo’s birthday (Mexico)
* Parents’ Day (South Korea)
* Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, continues to May 9 (International)
* Truman Day (Missouri)
* Victory in Europe Day (Europe)
* White Lotus Day (Theosophy)
* World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (International)