Today is Monday, May 7, the 128th day of 2012. There are 238 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 7, 1812, English poet Robert Browning was born in London.
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 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 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 (rams), 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 1977, Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his Triple Crown victories.
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.
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.
Ten years ago: Authorities arrested 21-year-old college student Luke J. Helder in a series of rural mailbox bombings that left six people wounded in Illinois and Iowa. (Helder was later found incompetent to stand trial, but remains incarcerated.) A China Northern Airlines jetliner crashed into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people; Chinese authorities later blamed a saboteur who'd set a fire on board. An EgyptAir jetliner with 62 people aboard crashed in Tunisia, killing 14. Fifteen Israelis were killed by a suicide bomber at a pool hall in suburban Tel Aviv. Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew died at age 28, 25 years to the day after his victory in the Kentucky Derby.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush welcomed Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to the White House, drawing laughter when he mistakenly started to say that the queen had helped the U.S. celebrate its bicentennial in "1776," then quickly corrected himself to say "1976." Six Muslim immigrants from the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East were arrested and accused of plotting to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. (Five were later convicted in federal court of conspiring to kill military personnel; the sixth was charged only with gun offenses, and pleaded guilty.) Yahweh Ben Yahweh, a former cult leader in Miami linked to nearly two dozen gruesome killings in the 1980s, died at age 71.
One year ago: The U.S. released a handful of videos seized from Osama bin Laden's hideout showing the terrorist leader watching newscasts of himself amid shabby surroundings. The Taliban unleashed a major assault on government buildings throughout Kandahar, Afghanistan. Animal Kingdom sped past the leaders in the turn at Churchill Downs and roared down the middle of the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby. Justin Verlander threw his second career no-hitter, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 9-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. World Golf Hall of Famer Seve Ballesteros, 54, died in Pedrena, Spain. Former General Motors Chairman and CEO Robert Stempel, 77, died in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., is 80. Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 73. Actress Robin Strasser is 67. Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Thelma Houston is 66. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 66. Rock musician Prairie Prince is 62. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 60. Actor Michael E. Knight is 53. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 51. Country musician Rick Schell is 49. Rock singer-musician Chris O'Connor (Primitive Radio Gods) is 47. Actress Traci Lords is 44. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 41. Actor Breckin Meyer is 38. Rock musician Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) is 26. Actor Taylor Abrahamse is 21.
Thought for Today: "There are those who believe something, and therefore will tolerate nothing; and on the other hand, those who tolerate everything, because they believe nothing." -- Robert Browning (1812-1889).