On May 8:
589 Reccared summoned the Third Council of Toledo.
1450 Jack Cade’s Rebellion: Kentishmen revolted against King Henry VI.
1541 Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River and names it Río de Espíritu Santo.
1788 The French Parlement was suspended and replaced by the creation of forty-seven new courts.
1794 French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme Générale, was tried, convicted, and guillotined on the same day in Paris.
1821 Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeated the Turks at the Battle of Gravia.
1846 Mexican-American War: The Battle of Palo Alto – Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
1861 American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia was 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 opened.
1886 Pharmacist John Styth Pemberton invented a carbonated beverage that would later be named “Coca-Cola”.
1898 The first games of the Italian football league system were played.
1899 The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin opened.
1914 Paramount Pictures was founded.
1927 Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French warheroes Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli disappeared after taking off aboard The White Bird biplane.
1933 Mohandas Gandhi began a 21-day fast in protest against British oppression in India.
1942 World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebelled in the Cocos Islands Mutiny.
1945 Hundreds of Algerian civilians were killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.
1945 – World War II: V-E Day, combat ended in Europe. German forces agreed in Rheims, France, to an unconditional surrender.
1945 End of the Prague uprising, today celebrated as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
1963 Soldiers of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem opened fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, killing nine.
1970 John Rowles hit number 1 on the charts in New Zealand and 20 in Australia with Cheryl Moana Marie.
1970 The Hard Hat riot in the Wall Street area of New York City: blue-collar construction workers clashed with anti-war demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.
1972 Vietnam War – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announced 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, opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
1980 The eradication of smallpox was endorsed by the World Health Organization.
1984 Corporal Denis Lortie entered the Quebec National Assembly and opened fire, killing three and wounding 13. René Jalbert, sergeant-at-arms of the assembly, succeeds in calming him, for which he later received the Cross of Valour.
1984 Thames Barrier officially opened.
1987 The Loughgall ambush: The SAS kills 8 IRA members and 1 civilian, 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 crashed on approach into Shenzhen’s Huangtian Airport, killing 35 people.
1999 Nancy Mace became the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel military college.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia