Today in History: May 10, Nazis invade Netherlands, Belgium and France

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Today in History

Today is Friday, May 10, the 131st day of 2024. There are 235 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 10, 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.

On this date:

In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, New York.

In 1818, American patriot Paul Revere, 83, died in Boston.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.

In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau Prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide at age 93.)

In 1994, the state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

In 1995, 104 miners were killed in an elevator accident in Orkney, South Africa.

In 2002, a tense 39-day-old standoff between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended with 13 suspected militants flown into European exile and 26 released into the Gaza Strip.

In 2013, U.S government scientists said worldwide levels of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, had hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans.

In 2014, Michael Sam was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft, becoming the first openly gay player drafted by a pro football team.

In 2022, Russia pummeled the vital Ukrainian port of Odesa in an apparent effort to disrupt supply lines and Western weapons shipments critical to the defense of the capital, Kyiv.

In 2023, Rep. George Santos, the New York Republican infamous for fabricating his life story, was indicted on charges that he duped donors, stole from his campaign and lied to Congress about being a millionaire.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 91. Actor David Clennon is 81. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 80. Singer Donovan is 78. Singer-songwriter Graham Gouldman (10cc) is 78. Singer Dave Mason is 78. Sports anchor Chris Berman is 69. Actor Bruce Penhall is 67. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 66. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is 65. Actor Victoria Rowell is 65. Rock singer Bono (BAH’-noh) (U2) is 64. Former Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is 64. Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 63. Actor Darryl M. Bell is 61. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 61. Model Linda Evangelista is 59. Rapper Young MC is 57. Actor Erik Palladino is 56. Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 56. Actor Lenny Venito is 55. Actor Dallas Roberts is 54. Actor Leslie Stefanson is 53. Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 52. Actor Andrea Anders is 49. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 49. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 47. Actor Kenan Thompson is 46. Actor Odette Annable is 39. Actor Lindsey Shaw is 35. Actor Lauren Potter is 34. Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is 29.