May 8

1819 Countdown to Infamy: The sovereign king of Hawaii, Kamehameha I, dies and his body is hidden by his wife Keopuolani and his best friend. His final resting place remains a mystery to this day. (Tabrah, Russ)

1828 Birth: Jean-Henri Dunant: Swiss merchant, humanitarian, and founder of the Red Cross:

Dunant witnessed the battle of Solferino in Lombardy in June 1859 during the Italian campaign, an experience which turned him into a leading advocate of constraints on the conduct of war. Solferino saw particularly bitter fighting between the Austrian and Franco-Piedmontese armies, resulting in almost 40, 000 casualties. Appalled by the carnage and by the sight of injured men left to die in agony, Dunant organized immediate assistance for the neglected wounded of both sides. He published his impressions of the battle in Un souvenir de Solferino (1862), and set about devising formal procedures for neutral mediation during conflict for the alleviation of the suffering of the wounded. He also established the important principle of immunity from attack for medical teams. Dunant's efforts resulted in a network of national Red Cross organizations, the creation of the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863, and the 1864 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the field. After many years in obscurity, Dunant re-emerged to public acclaim at the turn of the century and was jointly awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. (The Oxford Companion to Military History, edited by Richard Holmes, Oxford University Press)

1882 USA: Chinese Exclusion Act:

U.S. President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act into law, implementing a ban on Chinese immigration to the United States that eventually lasted for over 60 years until the 1943 Magnuson Act.

1884 Birth: Harry S. Truman in Lamar, Missouri:

The son of a farmer, Truman could not afford to go to college. He joined the army at the relatively advanced age of 33 in 1916 to fight in World War I. After the war, he opened a haberdashery in Kansas City. When that business went bankrupt in 1922, he entered Missouri politics. Truman went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1934 until he was chosen as Franklin D. Roosevelt s fourth vice president in 1945; it was during his Senate terms that he developed a reputation for honesty and integrity.

Upon FDR s death on April 12, 1945, Truman became the 33rd president of the United States, assuming the role of commander in chief of a country still embroiled in World War II. With victory in Europe imminent, Truman agonized over whether or not to use the recently developed atomic bomb to force Japan to surrender. After only four months in office, Truman authorized the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945. He and his military advisors argued that using the bomb ultimately saved American and Japanese lives, since it appeared that the Japanese would fiercely resist any conventional attempt by the Allies to invade Japan and end the war. The use of the new weapon, dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August, succeeded in forcing Japan s surrender, but also ushered in the Cold War. From that point until the late 1980s, the U.S. and Russia raced to out-spend and out-produce each other in nuclear weaponry. After the war, the long-term and deadly effects of radiation fall-out on human beings were bleakly illustrated in pictures of the Japanese who survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Images and information released after the war regarding illnesses and environmental devastation related to nuclear weapons shocked the world and earned Truman lasting criticism for ushering in the possibility of complete global annihilation through nuclear warfare.

Although best known—and reviled by some—as the only president to choose to use nuclear weapons against innocent civilians in combat, Truman s time in the executive branch was also notable in other areas. In 1941, Truman drove 10,000 miles across the country in his Dodge to investigate potential war profiteering in defense plants on the eve of World War II. After World War II, Truman helped push the Marshall Plan through Congress, which provided desperately needed reconstruction aid to European nations devastated by the war and on the verge of widespread famine. He also supported the establishment of a permanent Israeli state.

Truman was also known for his explosive temper and fierce loyalty to his family. In December 1950, his daughter Margaret gave a singing recital that was panned the following day in the Washington Post. Truman was so furious that he wrote a letter to the editor in which he threatened to give the reviewer a black eye and a broken nose. This was just one of many events that illustrated Truman s feisty, no-nonsense style, for which he was earlier given the nickname "Give 'em hell, Harry." Truman served as president for two terms from 1945 to 1953, when he and his wife Bess happily retired to Independence, Missouri, where he often referred to himself jokingly as "Mr. Citizen." He died there on December 26, 1972. (

1887 Death: Alexander Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin's brother):

On this date . . . a young revolutionary went to the gallows with four other comrades for an attempt on the life of Tsar Alexander III.

Alexander (or Aleksandr) Ilyich Ulyanov was among 15 members of Narodnaya Volya, the terroristic revolutionary organization, nabbed (in an "amateurish" scheme) trying to blow up the monarch on the anniversary of his father's assassination. The five of these who refused to plead for mercy paid for their principles with their necks. [The assassination led to widespread pogroms.‑‑Ed.]

1899 Birth: Friedrich Hayek: Austrian economist and political philosopher, noted for his defense of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought in the mid-20th century. Widely regarded as one of the most influential members of the Austrian School of economics, he also made significant contributions in the fields of jurisprudence and cognitive science. He shared the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics with ideological rival Gunnar Myrdal. Unwilling to return to Austria after its annexation to Nazi Germany, Hayek became a citizen of the United Kingdom in 1938, a status he held for the remainder of his life.

1915 World War I: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment occupy a position, at Fromelles (pictured above in a drawing by Hitler), which is on a level field with water channels, willow trees and willow stalks, in the distance towards the enemy lines lie an insignificant wood with barbed wire entanglements. Under the direction of their defense-minded commander, Lieutenant General Gustav Scanzoni von Lichtenfels, the regiment works ceaselessly day and night in the subsequent weeks, to further fortify their position at Fromelles. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 World War I: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler endures trench warfare in Flanders (Artois) with 3 Company, 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment. [For further details, Click here.]

1917 World War I: Various:

List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment, 3 Company, participate in the Arras action, being redeployed east of Vimy Ridge. [For further details, Click here.]

From the regimental diary of the16th RIR:

The English artillery shakes and hammers the whole territory . . . . All dispatches advise that the English have systematically zeroed-in on approach paths, cross roads, and quarters. By evening, the impression exists in the division that an attack is imminent. This impression is reported to OHL. [For further details, Click here.]

Aleksandr Kerensky is appointed minister of war and soon responds to pressure from the alarmed Allies by ordering Brusilov, now commander in chief, to mount an offensive on the Galician front.

1918 World War I: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR is sent back to hold a sector near an earlier position at Laon. [For further details, Click here.]

1919 New celebration of Armistice Day proposed:

On May 8, 1919, Edward George Honey, a journalist from Melbourne, Australia, living in London at the time, writes a letter to the London Evening News proposing that the first anniversary of the armistice ending World War I—concluded on November 11, 1918—be commemorated by several moments of silence.

Honey, who briefly served in the British army during World War I before being discharged with a leg injury, had been concerned by the way people in London had celebrated on the streets on the actual day of the armistice. In his letter to the newspaper the following May, he wrote that a silent commemoration of the sacrifices made and the lives lost during the war would be a far more appropriate way to mark the first anniversary of its end.

Five little minutes only, Honey wrote. Five silent minutes of national remembrance. A very sacred intercession. Communion with the Glorious Dead who won us peace, and from the communion new strength, hope and faith in the morrow. Church services, too, if you will, but in the street, the home, the theatre, anywhere, indeed, where Englishmen and their women chance to be, surely in this five minutes of bitter-sweet silence there will be service enough."

Though Honey's letter did not immediately bring about a change, a similar suggestion was made to Sir Percy Fitzpatrick that October and reached King George V, who on November 17, 1919, made an official proclamation that at the hour when the Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead." Though it is not officially recorded that the king read and was influenced by Honey's letter, the journalist was invited by the king to a palace rehearsal of the two minutes of silence, a tradition which is still honored in much of the former British empire. (

1919 Weimar: Versailles Treaty—publicly branded by Provisional President Friedrich Ebert and the German government as "unrealizable and unbearable." (THP)

After refusing to sign the treaty, the German delegation takes it with them back to Berlin for further government consideration. Chancellor Philipp Scheidemann (above) also denounces the treaty. The Allies, however, continue to maintain their naval blockade of Germany, and thousands of German civilians continue starving to death. Note: It soon becomes obvious that Germany has no choice but to sign. The suffering and misery the German people are forced to endure creates a hatred so deep and instinctive that it will haunt the German national psyche for decades to come. See: June 28. (THP)

1920 The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Recent English translation The most respectable British newspaper, The Times, publishes a long article, entitled "A Disturbing Pamphlet: A Call for Enquiry," and says in part: "What are these Protocols? Are they authentic? If so, what malevolent assembly concocted these plans, and gloated over their exposition? Are they a forgery? If so, whence comes the uncanny note of prophecy, prophecy in parts fulfilled, in parts far gone in the way of fulfillment?... Have we, by straining every fibre of our national body, escaped a 'Pax Germanica' only to fall into a 'Pax Judaica'?" (Morais)

1924 Memelland: Lithuania signs the Klaipeda Convention with the nations of the Conference of Ambassadors, taking the Klaipeda Region (German: Memelland) from East Prussia and making it into an autonomous region under unconditional sovereignty of Lithuania. [For further information, click here.]

1936 Death: Oswald Spengler in Munich: renowned German historian and philosopher, best known for his pessimistic philosophy of history.

German historian and philosopher whose interests also included mathematics, science, and art. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes), which puts forth a cyclical theory of the rise and decline of civilizations. After Decline was published in 1918, Spengler produced his Prussianism and Socialism in 1920, in which he argued for an organic version of socialism and authoritarianism. He wrote extensively throughout World War I and the interwar period, and supported German hegemony in Europe. The National Socialists held Spengler as an intellectual precursor but he was ostracised after 1933 for his pessimism about Germany and Europe's future, his refusal to support Nazi ideas of racial superiority, and his critical work The Hour of Decision. [For further details, Click here.]

1939 Spain withdraws from the League of Nations.

1939 Holocaust: Mauthausen, which had initially served as a strictly-run prison camp for common criminals, prostitutes, and other categories of "Incorrigible Law Offenders", is converted to a labor camp intended to be used mostly for the incarceration of political prisoners. (THC) [See: How Widespread Was Guilty Knowledge of the Holocaust.]

1940 World War II: Various:

Neville Chamberlain resigns as prime minister and chooses Winston Churchill to replace him: the first time in British history that it is known that a British prime minister has chosen his own successor. Chamberlain stays on in Churchill's cabinet. Note: Horace Wilson, a shadowy figure who served as Chamberlain's chief advisor, returns to obscurity.

Norway: The Polish Podhalanska Brigade, part of an Allied expeditionary force, lands on the Norwegian island of Hinnoy and prepares to attack German occupied Narvik.

The new Polish government in France immediately began to form Polish armed forces on French soil. Those who escaped to France from Poland - volunteers from Polish communities in France, Britain and throughout the world - provided manpower for the organized formations. On April 8, 1940, the Germans attacked Denmark and Norway. On May 8, the Polish Podhalanska (Mountain) Brigade, together with the British 24th Guards Brigade, two French battalions and one Norwegian battalion, landed on the Norwegian island of Hinnoy and prepared to attack Narvik, which had already been occupied by the Germans. Although Narvik was taken by the expeditionary forces on May 29, an order was received on June 3 for the allies to evacuate to France and then to England. The Polish brigade lost one hundred men killed in the fighting. Also, the Polish submarine Orze was lost in Norwegian waters, with six officers and forty-nine seamen aboard. [For further details, Click here.]

1942 World War II: Various:

Cocos Island Mutiny: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebel. Their mutiny is crushed and three of them are executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.

Barbarossa: Operation BLUE begins: Germany's summer offensive to the south. Hitler's goal for this offensive is to capture the urgently needed oil fields of the Caucasus. (THP)

The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end: the first time in the naval history where two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.

Finally, with dawn searches on May 8, the main carrier forces located one another, and launched maximum effort raids, which passed each other in the air. Hidden by rain, Zuikaku escaped detection, but Shokaku was hit three times by bombs. Listing, and on fire, Shokaku was unable to land her aircraft, and effectively, was put out of action. Both American carriers were hit by the Japanese strike: Yorktown by a bomb; the larger, less maneuverable Lexington, by both bombs and torpedoes. Although she survived the immediate damage, and was thought to be repairable, leaking aviation fuel exploded a little over an hour later. The Lexington had to be abandoned and torpedoed, to prevent her capture. [For further details, Click here.]

1943 World War II: Various:

Naliboki: Soviet partisans rob and murder 128 inhabitants of the village, allegedly in conjunction with Jewish partisan Pobieda Brigade and Bielski Brigade. The Polish Institute for National Remembrance will investigate the massacre and although official findings are still awaited in 2009, researchers have stated publicly that the Bielski partisans were not involved.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The Germans reach the Jewish underground headquarters in the Warsaw ghetto. Mordecai Anielewicz, the underground leader, and 100 of his fighters die in the battle. (THP) [See: Jewish War Heroes.]

1944 World War II: A Czech-Soviet agreement is signed—dealing with possible entry of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia.

1945 World War II: Various:

Czechoslovakia: German forces in Prague surrender.

Norway: Crown Prince Olaf, accompanied by British and Norwegian troops, lands in Norway.

Latvia: German Army Group Kurland, long cut off in Latvia, surrenders to Soviet forces.

General Wilhelm Keitel surrenders to Russian Marshal Zhukov near Berlin.

King Leopold of Belgium is freed by the US 7th Army.

Truman to Stalin:

Now that the Soviet-Anglo-American forces have beaten the armies of the Fascist aggressors into unconditional surrender, I wish to express to you and through you to your heroic armies the fervent congratulations of our people and their Government. We fully appreciate the magnificent contribution made by the mighty Soviet Union to the cause of civilization and liberty. You have demonstrated the ability of a freedom-loving and supremely courageous people to crush the evil forces of barbarism, however powerful. On this occasion of our common victory, we salute the people and armies of the Soviet Union, and their superlative leadership. I will be pleased if you wish to transmit these sentiments to your appropriate commanders in the field.

VE Day: Harry S. Truman: At 9:00 AM, on the morning of his 61st birthday, broadcasts to the American people the welcome news.

THIS IS a solemn but a glorious hour. I only wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly over all Europe. For this victory, we join in offering our thanks to the Providence which has guided and sustained us through the dark days of adversity. Our rejoicing is sobered and subdued by a supreme consciousness of the terrible price we have paid to rid the world of Hitler and his evil band. Let us not forget, my fellow Americans, the sorrow and the heartache which today abide in the homes of so many of our neighbors-neighbors whose most priceless possession has been rendered as a sacrifice to redeem our liberty. We can repay the debt which we owe to our God, to our dead and to our children only by work—by ceaseless devotion to the responsibilities which lie ahead of us. If I could give you a single watchword for the coming months, that word is—work, work, and more work. We must work to finish the war. Our victory is but half-won. The West is free, but the East is still in bondage to the treacherous tyranny of the Japanese. When the last Japanese division has surrendered unconditionally, then only will our fighting job be done.

We must work to bind up the wounds of a suffering world—to build an abiding peace, a peace rooted in justice and in law. We can build such a peace only by hard, toilsome, painstaking work—by understanding and working with our allies in peace as we have in war. The job ahead is no less important, no less urgent, no less difficult than the task which now happily is done. I call upon every American to stick to his post until the last battle is won. Until that day, let no man abandon his post or slacken his efforts. [For the full text, Click here.]

VE Day: Winston Churchill announces the defeat of Nazi Germany before the British House of Commons.

Yesterday morning at 2:41 a.m. at Headquarters, General Jodl, the representative of the German High Command, and Grand Admiral Doenitz, the designated head of the German State, signed the act of unconditional surrender of all German Land, sea, and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Force, and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command. General Bedell Smith, Chief of Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Francois Sevez signed the document on behalf of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Susloparov signed on behalf of the Russian High Command.

To-day this agreement will be ratified and confirmed at Berlin, where Air Chief Marshal Tedder, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General de Lattre de Tassigny will sign on behalf of General Eisenhower. Marshal Zhukov will sign on behalf of the Soviet High Command. The German representatives will be Field-Marshal Keitel, Chief of the High Command, and the Commanders-in- Chief of the German Army, Navy, and Air Forces. Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight to-night (Tuesday, May 8), but in the interests of saving lives the "Cease fire" began yesterday to be sounded all along the front, and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed to-day.

The Germans are still in places resisting the Russian troops, but should they continue to do so after midnight they will, of course, deprive themselves of the protection of the laws of war, and will be attacked from all quarters by the Allied troops. It is not surprising that on such long fronts and in the existing disorder of the enemy the orders of the German High Command should not in every case be obeyed immediately. This does not, in our opinion, with the best military advice at our disposal, constitute any reason for withholding from the nation the facts communicated to us by General Eisenhower of the unconditional surrender already signed at Rheims, nor should it prevent us from celebrating to-day and to-morrow (Wednesday) as Victory in Europe days.

To-day, perhaps, we shall think mostly of ourselves. To-morrow we shall pay a particular tribute to our Russian comrades, whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to the general victory. The German war is therefore at an end. After years of intense preparation, Germany hurled herself on Poland at the beginning of September, 1939; and, in pursuance of our guarantee to Poland and in agreement with the French Republic, Great Britain, the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, declared war upon this foul aggression. After gallant France had been struck down we, from this Island and from our united Empire, maintained the struggle single-handed for a whole year until we were joined by the military might of Soviet Russia, and later by the overwhelming power and resources of the United States of America. Finally almost the whole world was combined against the evil-doers, who are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts in this Island and throughout the British Empire.

We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued. The injury she has inflicted on Great Britain, the United States, and other countries, and her detestable cruelties, call for justice and retribution. We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance, Britannia! Long live the cause of freedom! God save the King!

Death: Bernhard Rust: joined NSDAP in 1922 and became provincial party boss of Hanover. Minister of science, education and popular development, 1934-1935. This mentally disturbed ex-schoolteacher commits suicide this day.

V-E Day is celebrated in American and Britain:

On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.

The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark—the German surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.

The main concern of many German soldiers was to elude the grasp of Soviet forces, to keep from being taken prisoner. About 1 million Germans attempted a mass exodus to the West when the fighting in Czechoslovakia ended, but were stopped by the Russians and taken captive. The Russians took approximately 2 million prisoners in the period just before and after the German surrender.

Meanwhile, more than 13,000 British POWs were released and sent back to Great Britain.

Pockets of German-Soviet confrontation would continue into the next day. On May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Consequently, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: "The age-long struggle of the Slav nations...has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over." (

Algeria: A parade to celebrate the end of World War II turned into a riot, followed by widespread disturbances and killings in and around SÚtif, French Algeria. [For further information, click here.]

1946 Various:

Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 124, Flottenrichter (Captain) Otto Kranzbuhler opens his defense of Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, introducing documents, pursuing evidence requests, and examining his client:

Doenitz: As a soldier I had not the slightest influence on the question of how the political leadership believed they had to treat this or that neutral. Regarding this particular case, however, from knowledge of the orders I received through the Chief of the Naval Operations Staff from the political leadership, I should like to say the following: I believe that the political leadership did everything to avoid any incident on the high seas with the United States. First, I have already stated that the U-boats were actually forbidden even to stop American ships. Second...

Kranzbuhler: One moment, Admiral. To stop them where, in the operational area or outside the operational area?

Doenitz: At first, everywhere.

Second, that the American 300-mile safety zone was recognized without any question by Germany, although according to the existing international law only a three-mile zone was authorized. Third, that...

The President (interrupting): Dr. Kranzbuhler, an interesting distinction which may be drawn between the United States and other neutrals is not relevant to this Trial, is it? What difference does it make?

Kranzbuhler: In connection with the document cited by me, GB-195, the Prosecution has made the accusation that Admiral Doenitz conducted his U-boat warfare cynically and opportunistically: that is, in that he treated one neutral well and the other one badly. This accusation has been made expressly, and I want to give Admiral Doenitz the opportunity to make a statement in reply to this accusation. He has already said that he had nothing to do with the handling of this question.

The President: What more can he say than that?

Kranzbuhler: Mr. President, according to the principles of the Statute, a soldier is also made responsible for the orders which he executed. For this reason it is my opinion that he must be able to state whether on his side he had the impression that he received cynical and opportunistic orders or whether on the contrary he did not have the impression that everything was done to avoid a conflict and that the orders which were given actually were necessary and right. [For the full text of this days testimony, Click here.]

Nuremberg Tribunal: From the letters of Thomas Dodd:

We turned the corner yesterday. We are now actually in the second row of defendants as they sit in the dock. The case of Admiral Doenitz began about 3:30 yesterday and he is on the witness stand as I write these few lines in the courtroom.

Nuremberg Tribunal: Dr. Gilbert, the Nuremberg psychologist, records that most of Doenitz's fellow defendants gave his performance on the stand high marks. Hermann Goering jumped up, rubbed his hands, and declared to those around him, 'Ah, now I feel great for the first time in those weeks—Now we finally hear a decent German soldier speak for once.' Hans Frank opined: 'Doenitz makes a marvelous impression.' Only Albert Speer seemed displeased by the showing of Hitler's favorite admiral. Gilbert remarked to Doenitz that 'it is noticeable that the military men still refuse to say anything against Hitler even if they know he was a murderer.' Doenitz lamely replied that the Tribunal 'did not give me a chance to say anything about the black side of Hitler.' (Taylor)

Nuremberg Tribunal: Bob Cooper of The Times, who had written that there is 'something indefinably sympathique about Doenitz sitting politely attentive in his corner behind Goering,' this day comments that there is 'an unusual sprinkling of naval uniforms in the courtroom' for Doenitz's first day of testimony. But, after Doenitz's first day, Cooper updates his opinion of Doenitz; '...harsh, ruthless, arrogant. You felt in him the eternal German militarist and... you saw that his selection as Hitler's successor was probably no mere hazard.' (Tusa)

1952 Wunderwaffen: Maria von Braun gives birth to a second daughter, Margrit Cecile. Werner von Braun, Hitler's former chief rocket scientist, is now making enough from the US Government to afford a nice, middle-class lifestyle; and purchases, on a FHA loan, a Huntsville home in the wooded hills north of the Tennessee River. The von Brauns join civic organizations, acquire library cards, and become members of the local Episcopal Church. He is also receiving recognition professionally, and is honored with memberships in the British Interplanetary Society, the American Rocket Society, and the Explorers' Club of New York. Life is definitely looking up for the von Brauns. (Piszkiewicz)

[See: Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry.]

1984 Cold War: Soviets announce boycott of 1984 Olympics:

Claiming that its athletes will not be safe from protests and possible physical attacks, the Soviet Union announces that it will not compete in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Despite the Soviet statement, it was obvious that the boycott was a response to the decision of the United States to boycott the 1980 games that were held in Moscow. [For further details, Click here.]

1995 Fifty years after Nazi Germany's capitulation in World War II: Germans and leaders representing the victorious powers gather side by side in Berlin to remember the dead and pledge peace for the future.

1996 Former Nazi SS Captain Erich Priebke goes on trial in Rome.

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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