Today is the 128th day of the year, with only 237 days remaining.
1541 - Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River and names it Rio de Espiritu Santo.
1794 - Branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror by revolutionists, French chemist Antoine Lavoisir, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme Generale, is tried, convicted, and guillotined all on the same day in Paris.
1846 - The Battle of Palo Alto, Zachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
1886 - Pharmacist John Styth Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named Coca-Cola as a patent medicine.
1902 - In Martinique, Mount Pelee erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the explosion.
1912 - Paramount Pictures is founded.
1945- V-E Days is declared, as combat ends in Europe. German forces agree in Rheims, France, to an unconditional surrender.
1973 - A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, ends with the surrender of the militants.
1976 - The rollercoaster Revolution, the first steel coaster with a vertical loop opens at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
1980 - The eradication of smallpox is endorsed by the World Health Organization.