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May 7, 2013

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, May 7, the 127th day of 2013. There are 238 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On May 7, 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. (The Ottawa Indians and other tribes then launched an all-out war with the British that came to be known as Pontiac’s War.)

On this date:

In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington and his wife, Martha.

In 1824, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, had its premiere in Vienna.

In 1825, composer Antonio Salieri died in Vienna, Austria.

In 1833, composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany.

In 1840, composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Russia.

In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.

In 1942, U.S. Army Gen. Jonathan Wainwright went on a Manila radio station to announce the Allied surrender of the Philippines to Japanese forces during World War II.

In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, ending its role in World War II.

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 1992, the latest addition to America’s space shuttle fleet, Endeavour, went on its first flight. A 203-year-old proposed constitutional amendment barring Congress from giving itself a midterm pay raise received enough votes for ratification as Michigan became the 38th state to approve it.

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