On This Day in History: May 7

On May 7, one of America’s most notorious serial killers was executed for his crimes. What else happened today in history?

1763: Foiling Pontiac’s Plot

H._H._HolmesMajor Henry Gladwin of Fort Detroit foiled Chief Pontiac of Ottawa’s surprise attack on this day in history. According to romantic lore, Gladwin’s mistress told him of the planned uprising. By the time Pontiac arrived at the fort concealing weapons, Gladwin had already defended the fort with his men. Pontiac withdrew, as he knew they could not take the fort without the element of surprise.

1896: H.H. Holmes Executed

One of the most notorious serial killers Dr. H. H. Holmes was executed today in history. He was hanged for his crimes in Philadelphia. His home was full of fake walls and secret passageways, and there was a lab in the basement. He took women from in and out of the area, and was only caught due to using a different corpse for an insurance scam. The remains of 200 victims had been found in his home, but the total death count at his hands remains unknown. He was used as a basis for a ghost in Supernatural.

1956: British Anti-Smoking Lobby Rejected

H. Turton, the British Health Minister at the time, rejected all calls to bring in laws against smoking. He claimed that there had been no proven ill-effects from tobacco. While two agents that caused cancer had been found, there was no Tchaikovskyproof that they would lead to lung cancer. He did admit that more smokers died from cancer than non-smokers, according to research. The proof has now been found, and Britain later adopted smoking bans indoors.

1945: The Germans Surrender Unconditionally

Just days after Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker, the Germans surrendered and brought an end to their part in World War II. It was an unconditional surrender of both East and West Germany signed at Reims, but General Jodl initially hoped it would only be for those fighting the Western Allies. Jodl wanted the Eastern fight to continue. Had Jodl not offered a complete surrender, General Eisenhower threatened to block anyone coming from the East to end their fight, so they would face the wrath of the Soviet forces. The fight in the East would continue for another day until the word spread of the unconditional, complete surrender.

Famous Birthdays on May 7

Leader of the French hugenots, Louis I Condé–1530

Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia–1553

Pope Innocent X–1574

Feminist playwright, Olympe de Gouges–1748

Poet Robert Browning—1812

Composer Johannes Brahms—1833

Composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky—1840

World War II Yugoslavia leader Marcus Loew—1892

High Noon actor Gary Cooper—1901

First Lady of Argentina Eva Peron (Evita)—1919

Wouldn’t You Like to Know author Michael Rosen—1946

Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders–1986

The Hunger Games actor Alexander Ludwig—1992

One Direction Vine star Kinda Sarah—1997


Birthdays from OnThisDay.com, HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

H. H. Holmes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._H._Holmes#/media/File:H._H._Holmes.jpg

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Ilyich_Tchaikovsky#/media/File:Portr%C3%A4t_des_Komponisten_Pjotr_I._Tschaikowski_(1840-1893).jpg

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