Notable events on May 8 1945 and throughout history

Etched on the collective memory

Momentous year

The year 1945 was momentous for many reasons, not least of which was Victory in Europe and the celebrations that followed.

Friday May 8 marks 75th anniversary of VE Day as, across the country, many thousands of people are expected to celebrate and toast that victory and remember war heroes from their own homes.

VE Day but so much more

But what else happened on May 8 1945?

Canadian troops moved into Amsterdam.

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Hermann Göring gave himself up to the Americans on a road near Radstadt in Austria.

His Mercedes-Benz headed a column of staff cars and lorries carrying expensive luggage.

The Prague uprising ended with a ceasefire.

The Independent State of Croatia was disestablished.

There was the Massacre in Trhová Kamenice when German troops in the Czech village of Trhová Kamenice shot supposed partisans.

The Sétif and Guelma massacre began when French police fired on local demonstrators at a protest in the Algerian market town of Sétif.

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Riots followed and there were a total of 103 deaths in and around the town.

The South Tyrolean People’s Party was founded in northern Italy.

Also, Ernst-Günther Baade, 47, German general died with gangrene from wounds sustained in battle two weeks earlier.

Also, Bernhard Rust, the Nazi education minister died.

Other notable events on May 8 throughout the years

May 8 throughout history witnessed, in 1972 as part of Vietnam War, US President Richard Nixon ordered naval mines be placed in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.

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Habeler and Messner reached the summit of Everest on May 8, 1978 without oxygen (Getty Images)Habeler and Messner reached the summit of Everest on May 8, 1978 without oxygen (Getty Images)
Habeler and Messner reached the summit of Everest on May 8, 1978 without oxygen (Getty Images)

In 1978 there was the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.

Habeler and Messner had failed to reach the summit without oxygen on April 21. They tried again unsuccessfully on May 6 after arguing if the exploit was worth it.

Huge effort

They arrived safely on May 8 but admitted the ascent without extra oxygen took almost everything out of them. After coming down from the summit, Messner said breathing became so strenuous the pair scarcely had strength left to go on.

In 1980 The World Health Organization confirmed eradication of smallpox on this date.Almost two centuries after Edward Jenner published his hope that vaccination could annihilate smallpox, on

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May 8 1980, 33rd World Health Assembly officially declared the world free of the disease.Eradication of smallpox is considered the biggest achievement in international public health.On May 8 1984 Corporal Denis Lortie entered the Quebec National Assembly and opened fire, killing three

people and wounding 13.René Jalbert, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Assembly, succeeded in calming him, for which he would later receive the Cross of Valour.

Also on May 8, 1984 The Thames Barrier was officially opened, preventing the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded except under extreme circumstances.

And on May 8 1987 the SAS killed eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and civilians during an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.

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Notable May 8 birthdays include, in 1973, Marcus Brigstocke, comedian, actor and screenwriter.On this date, in 1975, Spanish-American singer-songwriter, producer and actor Enrique Iglesias was born. May 8 1982 saw birth of actress Christina Cole.

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