By the Associated Press
Today is Thursday, May 8, the 128th day of 2014. There are 237 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 8, 1944, the first “eye bank” designed to preserve corneal tissues for transplants was established at New York Hospital.
On this date:
In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River.
In 1794, Antoine Lavoisier (lah-vwahz-YAY’), the father of modern chemistry, was executed on the guillotine during France’s Reign of Terror.
In 1884, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born in Lamar, Mo.
In 1914, Paramount Pictures was incorporated by W.W. Hodkinson.
In 1921, Sweden’s Parliament voted to abolish the death penalty.
In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced on radio that Nazi Germany’s forces had surrendered, and that “the flags of freedom fly all over Europe.”
In 1958, Vice President Richard 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 1972, President Richard Nixon announced that he had ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor during the Vietnam War.
In 1973, militant American Indians who’d held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for ten weeks surrendered.
In 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
In 1999, The Citadel, South Carolina’s formerly all-male military school, graduated its first female cadet, Nancy Ruth Mace. British actor Sir Dirk Bogarde died in London at age 78.
Ten years ago: Former Iraq hostage Thomas Hamill returned home to a chorus of cheering family and friends in Macon, Miss. (Hamill, a truck driver, was wounded and captured when his convoy was ambushed April 9, 2004; he escaped May 2 from a farmhouse about 50 miles north of Baghdad.)
Five years ago: White House aide Louis Caldera resigned for his role in a $328,835 photo-op flyover by an Air Force One jet above New York City that sparked panic and flashbacks to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Dominic DiMaggio, the Boston Red Sox center fielder and brother of Joe, died in Marion, Mass., at age 92.
One year ago: A jury in Phoenix convicted Jodi Arias of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander. George Karl was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for leading the Denver Nuggets to a team-record 57-win regular season. An apparent game-tying homer by Oakland’s Adam Rosales was ruled a double by umpires in the ninth inning, and the Cleveland Indians held on to beat the Athletics 4-3. Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who’d played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on “The Young and the Restless,” died in Los Angeles at age 84.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Don Rickles is 88. Naturalist Sir David Attenborough is 88. Singer Toni Tennille is 74. Actor James Mitchum is 73. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 72. Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 69. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 63. Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 63. Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 61. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 61. Actor David Keith is 60. Actor Stephen Furst is 60. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 50. Rock musician Dave Rowntree (Blur) is 50. Country musician Del Gray is 46. Rock singer Darren Hayes is 42. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 39. Actor Matt Davis is 36. Singer Ana Maria Lombo (Eden’s Crush) is 36. Actor Domhnall Gleeson is 31. Actress Julia Whelan (WAY’-lan) is 30.
Thought for Today: “The biggest big business in America is not steel, automobiles, or television. It is the manufacture, refinement and distribution of anxiety.” — Eric Sevareid, American news commentator (1912-1992).