1541 – Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River, south of present-day Memphis, TN.
1847 – Robert W. Thomson of England patented the rubber tire on this day.
1848 – Playwright Oscar Hammerstein I was born in Sceczin, Germany.
1879 – George Selden of Rochester, NY applied for the first automobile patent, or what he called a “road engine.”
1884 – Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. President, was born in Lamar, MO.
1945 – Great Britain and the U.S. celebrate Victory in Europe, or V-E Day. The Allied Forces had achieved victory in Europe with the unconditional surrender of Germany.
1973 – The American Indian Movement (AIM) ended its 71-day siege of Wounded Knee, site of the infamous 1890 massacre of 300 Sioux by the U.S. Army, and surrendered to federal authorities.