Today is Saturday, May 7, the 127th day of 2011. 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 1711 (New Style calendar), Scottish philosopher David Hume was born in Edinburgh.
In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington and his wife, Martha.
In 1861, Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore was born in Calcutta.
In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.
In 1941, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo" for RCA Victor.
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 1977, Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his Triple Crown victories. (On this date in 2002, Seattle Slew died.)
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.
Ten years ago: "Great Train Robber" Ronnie Biggs, who had eluded capture for decades following his prison escape in 1965, returned to Britain, where he was jailed to complete the 28 remaining years of his sentence. (Biggs was released from prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds.) California grid operators ordered statewide rolling blackouts.
Five years ago: Iran's hard-line parliament threatened to pass legislation that would force the Tehran government to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
One year ago: A BP-chartered vessel lowered a 100-ton concrete-and-steel vault onto the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well in an unprecedented, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to stop most of the gushing crude fouling the sea. Before a record hockey crowd of 77,803, the United States lost to host Germany 2-1 in the opening game of the world ice hockey championships. Dave Fisher, lead singer of the 1960s folk group the Highwaymen, died in Rye, N.Y., at age 69.
Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., is 79. Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 72. Actress Robin Strasser is 66. Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 65. Rhythm-and-blues singer Thelma Houston is 65. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 65. Rock musician Prairie Prince is 61. Actor Robert Hegyes is 60. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 59. Actor Michael E. Knight is 52. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 50. Country musician Rick Schell is 48. Rock singer-musician Chris O'Connor (Primitive Radio Gods) is 46. Actress Traci Lords is 43. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 40. Actor Breckin Meyer is 37. Rock musician Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) is 25. Actor Taylor Abrahamse is 20.
Thought for Today: "Be a philosopher but, amid all your philosophy be still a man." _ David Hume (1711-1776).
(Above Advance for Use Saturday, May 7)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.