Today in history for Sunday, May 8, 2016

Published May 8, 2016

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 8, 1846, the first major battle of the Mexican-American War was fought at Palo Alto, Texas; U.S. forces led by Gen. Zachary Taylor were able to beat back Mexican forces.

On this date:

• In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton began selling the original version of Coca-Cola, which he'd invented.

• In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced on radio that Nazi Germany's forces had surrendered, and that "the flags of freedom fly all over Europe."

• In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru.

• In 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

• In 1996, South Africa took another step from apartheid to democracy by adopting a constitution that guaranteed equal rights for blacks and whites.

Ten years ago: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote to President George W. Bush, proposing "new solutions" to their differences in the first letter from an Iranian head of state to an American president in 27 years.

Five years ago: Relations between Egypt's Muslims and Christians reached a new low after overnight riots left 12 people dead and a church burned.

One year ago: President Barack Obama visited Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., where he made a pitch for a Trans-Pacific agreement that would open up commerce among the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries.

Today's Birthdays: Comedian Don Rickles is 90. Naturalist Sir David Attenborough is 90. Singer Toni Tennille is 76. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 74. Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 65. Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 63. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is 55. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 41.

Associated Press