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The History Channel


* On May 8, 1884, Harry S Truman is born in Lamar, Mo. Upon President Franklin Roosevelt’s death in 1945, Truman became the 33rd president of the United States. After four months in office, Truman authorized the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, believing it ultimately saved American and Japanese lives by forcing Japan to surrender.


* On May 12, 1932, the body of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh’s baby is found more than two months after he was kidnapped from his family’s New Jersey mansion. After numerous ransom notes, the baby was found less than a mile from the home. He had been killed the night of the kidnapping.


* On May 11, 1947, the B.F. Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio, announces it has developed a tubeless tire. The disadvantage of the old inner tube design was that if the inner tube failed, the tire would blow out immediately, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.


* On May 6, 1954, in Oxford, England, 25-year-old medical student Roger Bannister cracks the four-minute mile. Bannister won the mile race with a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.


* On May 7, 1960, Leonid Brezhnev, one of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s most trusted proteges, is selected as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet — the Soviet equivalent to the presidency. Brezhnev took control of the USSR in 1964 when Khrushchev was removed from power.


* On May 9, 1971, the last original episode of the sitcom “The Honeymooners,” starring Jackie Gleason, airs. Despite its brief life as a traditional sitcom, “The Honeymooners” remains one of the most memorable TV comedies of all time, rivaled only by “I Love Lucy.”


* On May 10, 1994, in South Africa, Nelson Mandela is sworn in as the first black president of South Africa. In his inaugural address, Mandela, who spent 27 years of his life as a political prisoner of the South African government, declared that “the time for the healing of the wounds has come.”


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