A closer look at key historic events that took place on May 8:

In 1980, smallpox is declared eradicated 

Smallpox was a dreaded virus that plagued people for centuries. Following a global vaccination program, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared that the disease had been wiped out.

In New York on April 5, 1947, Dr. Israel Weinstein, the public health director, announced a smallpox outbreak. A few days later, after a second death, he urged all New Yorkers to be vaccinated, regardless of age and previous vaccinations.  New Yorkers thronged to makeshift vaccination centers in early 1947. (The New York Times)

In 1970, the Beatles release Let It Be

The album was the band’s 12th and final one, released shortly after their public break up.


In 1945, World War II in Europe ends
Following Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 7, World War II in Europe officially ended at midnight on May 8, 1945.

Downtown celebrations at the end of WWll, May 7,1945. Province Newspaper.

In 1902, Mount Pelée on Martinique erupts

The eruption destroyed the port of Saint-Pierre and killed 15 % of the island’s population, some 30,000 people.

View of ruins after the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelee, St. Pierre, Martinique. 1902. Library of Congress

In 1886, John S. Pemberton develops Coca-Cola

The American pharmacist, developed the drink as a cure-all tonic.

Bronze statue of Coca-Cola’s founder (John Pemberton) outside of the New World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, GA. Flickr

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