AUTHOR : RTN. P. E. RAM
May 7, 1945 – In a small red brick schoolhouse in Reims, Germany, General Alfred Jodl signed the unconditional surrender of all German fighting forces thus ending World War II in Europe. Russian, American, British and French ranking officers observed the signing of the document which became effective at one minute past midnight on May 9th. Jodl was then ushered in to see Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who curtly asked Jodl if he fully understood the document. Eisenhower then informed Jodl that he would be held personally responsible for any deviation from the terms of the surrender. Jodl was then ushered away.
May 8, 1945 – A second German surrender ceremony was held in Berlin. Soviet Russia’s leader Josef Stalin had refused to recognize the German surrender document signed a day earlier at Reims. This time, German Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signed the surrender document which declared, as did the first, that hostilities would end as of 12:01 a.m. on May 9th.
May 9, 1862 – During the American Civil War, General David Hunter, Union commander of the Department of the South, issued orders freeing the slaves in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. He did so without congressional or presidential approval. The orders were countermanded by President Abraham Lincoln ten days later. So now you know Abe Lincoln wasn’t emoting greatly for the slaves.
May 10, 1994 – Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president of South Africa. Mandela had won the first free election in South Africa despite attempts by various political foes to deter the outcome.
May 11, 1969 – During the Vietnam War, the Battle of “Hamburger Hill” began. While attempting to seize the Dong Ap Bia Mountain, U.S. troops repeatedly scaled the hill over a 10-day period and engaged in bloody hand-to-hand combat with the North Vietnamese. After finally securing the objective, American military staff decided to abandon the position, which the North Vietnamese retook shortly thereafter. The battle highlighted the futility of the overall American military strategy
May 12, 1937 – George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. King George reigned until his death in 1952. He was succeeded by his daughter Elizabeth, the current reigning monarch.