This day in history

Tuesday, May 7, is the 127th day of 2013. There are 238 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 74. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 67. Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 61. Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 52. Actress Traci Lords is 45. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 42. Actor Breckin Meyer is 39.

In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President Washington and his wife, Martha.


In 1833, composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg.

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In 1840, composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Russia.

In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.

In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, 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 1975, President Ford formally declared an end to the ‘‘Vietnam era.’’ In Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — the Viet Cong celebrated its takeover.