May 8 is the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (129th in leap years). There are 237 days remaining in the year.

  1. 1450 - Jack Cade's Rebellion: Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
  2. 1541 - Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River and names it Río de Espíritu Santo.
  3. 1794 - Branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror by revolutionists, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme Générale, was tried, convicted, and guillotined all on one day in Paris.
  4. 1846 - Mexican-American War: The Battle of Palo Alto – Zachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
  5. 1861 - American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia, is named the capital of the Confederate States of America.
  6. 1877 - At Gilmore's Gardens in New York City, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens (ends May 11).
  7. 1886 - Pharmacist Dr. John Styth Pemberton invents a carbonated beverage that would later be named "Coca-Cola".
  8. 1898 - The first games of the Italian Football League are played.
  9. 1899 - The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin opens.
  10. 1902 - In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the blast.
  11. 1914 - Paramount Pictures is formed.
  12. 1919 - Edward George Honey first proposed the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate The Armistice of World War I, which later resulted in the creation of Remembrance Day.
  13. 1933 - Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest of British oppression in India.
  14. 1942 - World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end. This is the first time in the naval history where two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.
  15. 1942 - World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebelled in the Cocos Islands Mutiny. Their mutiny was crushed and three of them were executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.
  16. 1945 - World War II: VE Day. German forces agree to an unconditional surrender.
  17. 1945 - Thousands of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.
  18. 1967 - The Philippine province of Davao is split into three: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.
  19. 1970 - The Hard Hat riot occurs in the Wall Street area of New York City as blue-collar construction workers clash with anti-war demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.
  20. 1972 - Vietnam War – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announces his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.
  21. 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.
  22. 1984 - The Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.
  23. 1984 - Cpl. Denis Lortie enters the Quebec National Assembly and opens fire, killing three and wounding 13. René Jalbert, sergeant-at-arms of the assembly, succeeds in calming him, for which he will later receive the Cross of Valour.
  24. 1987 - The SAS ambushes and kills the Loughgall Martyrs.
  25. 1996 - The Constitutional Assembly of South Africa ratifies the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Considered one of the most liberal Constitutions in the world regarding Human Rights.
  26. 1997 - A China Southern Airlines Boeing 737 crashes on approach into Shenzhen's Huangtian Airport, killing 35 people.
  27. 1999 - Nancy Mace becomes the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel military college.
  28. 2005 - The new Canadian War Museum opens, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of V-E Day.