Holidays Calendar for May 8, 2017

World War II is one of the most tragic pages in the history of humanity. In many countries of the world, war-related observances are held every year to commemorate the Allied victory and honor the memory of the victims, soldiers and civilians alike. One of such observances is Victory in Europe Day, celebrated on May 8.

The Day of Remembrance and Victory Over Nazism, formerly known as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation is a public holiday observed in Ukraine on May 8. It was officially established by President Petro Poroshenko as a remembrance day in March 2015 and became a public holiday in May 2023.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is an international observance held on May 8 every year. It commemorates the birthday of Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman and social activist who inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which gave birth to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

World Ovarian Cancer Day is observed annually on May 8. Established in 2013 by a group of ovarian cancer advocates, it aims to raise public awareness of this type of cancer and to unite people in solidarity in the fight against the disease.

International Thalassaemia Day, also spelled International Thalassemia Day, is an annual observance held on May 8 to raise awareness of a genetic blood disorder that affects millions of people, commemorate individuals who’ve died from thalassaemia, and celebrate the patients who are fighting for a better quality of life.

World Donkey Day celebrates one of the most hard-working animals that doesn’t always get all the credit it deserves. It is observed annually on May 8.

International Blue Iguana Day is observed annually on May 8. It was established in 2021 by the Blue Iguana Conservation program run by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands to raise awareness of the endangered status of the blue iguana and spur conservation efforts.

Yerkrapah Day is an Armenian professional holiday celebrating the Yerkrapah Volunteer Union, a veteran group representing the veterans of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War who fought in the Yerkrapah Volunteer Battalion.

National Student Nurses Day in the United States is observed annually on May 8, two days after National Nurses Day. Both observances occur during National Nurse Week.

Radio Day (Araw ng Radyo sa Pilipinas) is a working holiday in the Philippines celebrated annually on May 8. It commemorates the establishment of DZRB-AM, the country’s oldest radio station that is still in operation.

Veterans' Day is an official flag day in Norway, and it's annually observed on May 8. In 2011, this observance substituted Liberation Day.

On May 8, Mexicans celebrate Miguel Hidalgo's birthday. It is a civic holiday, which means it is observed nationwide, but employees are not entitled to a day off with regular pay.

In early May, residents of the Indian state of West Bengal and Bengalis across the world celebrate the birthday of Rabindranath Tagore, an acclaimed Indian author, musician, composer and artist, who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art.

Truman Day is a state holiday in Missouri. It is celebrated on May 8 to commemorate the birthday of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States and the only American president to come from Missouri.

May 8 is National Coconut Cream Pie Day. Celebrate this holiday with a big piece of a sweet coconut delight.

National Have a Coke Day is an unofficial holiday that commemorates the introduction of one of the most famous carbonated drinks in the world in 1886. It is celebrated by millions of people every year on May 8.

In November 2004, May 8– 9 were declared as a time of remembrance and reconciliation for those who lost their lives during the Second World War.

Parents' Day in South Korea is celebrated on May 8 each year. Unlike Children's Day, it is not a public holiday, but it is still widely observed throughout the country.

Women’s Historic Night (Kvinnehistorisk natt) is an annual feminist campaign held in Bergen, Oslo and other cities and towns throughout Norway on May 8. Its main goal is to combat male domination in the urban environment.

Youth of Iran annually celebrates Youth Day on Sha'aban 11 (Hijri calendar). This holiday marks birthday anniversary of Hazrat Ali Akbar, son of Imam Hussein.


Emancipation Day, also known as Juneteenth, is a U. S. federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. However, some states and even cities also observe their own Emancipation Day on other dates. For example, Emancipation Day in Columbus, Mississippi is celebrated on May 8.

National Amyloidosis Day, also known as Australian National Amyloidosis Day and National Amyloidosis Awareness Day, is observed in Australia annually on May 8. It was created to raise awareness of a group of rare diseases that can affect multiple organs and systems of the body.

This Day in History

  • 1988 Died: Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction author who belongs to the "Big Three" of science fiction writers, along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.
  • 1987 Born: Aneurin Barnard, Welsh actor known for his roles in the films and television series Dunkirk, The Goldfinch, War & Peace, Peaky Blinders, 1899, The Catch, and many others.
  • 1987 In the village of Loughgall, Northern Ireland, a unit of the Provisional Irish Republican Army attacked the village's Royal Ulster Constabulary base.
  • 1984 Died: Lila Bell Wallace, Canadian-born American magazine publisher best known for co-founding Reader's Digest with DeWitt Wallace.
  • 1981 Born: Stephen Amell, Canadian actor who rose to prominence for playing the lead role of Oliver Queen on the CW superhero series Arrow and its subsequent spin-offs.
  • 1980 The World Health Assembly officially announced the eradication of smallpox. It is one of two infectious diseases to have been eradicated, the other being rinderpest.
  • 1975 Born: Enrique Iglesias, Spanish singer, songwriter, actor, model, and record producer. He is one of the best selling Latin artists ever.
  • 1972 Four terrorists hijacked Sabena Flight 571 from Vienna to Tel Aviv. The plane was recaptured the following day by Israeli Sayeret Matkal commandos.
  • 1972 Born: Darren Hayes, Australian singer-songwriter who rose to prominence in the 1990s as the lead vocalist of the pop duo Savage Garden.
  • 1970 Construction workers started a riot in Lower Manhattan now known as the Hard Hat Riot. They attacked about 1,000 people who protested the Kent State shootings.
  • 1963 Nine Buddhists were killed in the city of Huế, South Vietnam, by soldiers of the pro-Catholic government. This incident sparked the Buddhist crisis in South Vietnam.
  • 1947 Born: H. Robert Horvitz, American biologist who was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Sydney Brenner and John E. Sulston.
  • 1946 Estonian schoolgirls Ageeda Paavel and Aili Jõgi blew up a Soviet war memorial, the preceding monument to the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn.
  • 1943 Died: Mordechai Anielewicz, the leader of the Jewish Combat Organization during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. His body was never found.
  • 1940 Born: Peter Benchley, American author and screenwriter best known for his 1974 novel Jaws and its film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • 1936 Died: Oswald Spengler, German historian and philosopher of history who is primarily known for his work The Decline of the West.
  • 1926 Born: David Attenborough, English naturalist and broadcaster primarily known for writing and presenting the Life series of BBC natural history programs.
  • 1920 Born: Saul Bass, American graphic designer, title designer and filmmaker. He is best known for his design of film posters and title sequences.
  • 1906 Born: Roberto Rossellini, Italian film director, screenwriter and producer whose best known films include Rome, Open City and Germany, Year Zero.
  • 1903 Died: Paul Gauguin, French Post-Impressionist artist whose art became popular after his death. He was a painter, print-maker, ceramist, and sculptor.
  • 1903 Born: Fernandel (stage name of Fernand Joseph Désiré Contandin), renowned French actor, comedian, singer, film director, and producer.
  • 1902 The Mount Pelée volcano in Martinique erupted, killing over 30,000 people and destroying the town of Saint-Pierre. Only handful of residents survived.
  • 1902 Born: André Michel Lwoff, French microbiologist who was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with François Jacob and Jacques Monod.
  • 1886 American pharmacist John Pemberton first sold Coca-Cola in a pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. The beverage was initially sold as a patent medicine.
  • 1884 Born: Harry S. Truman, American statesman who served as the 33rd President of the United States from 1945 to 1953. Under Truman, the Allies successfully concluded WWII.
  • 1880 Died: Gustave Flaubert, French novelist and playwright who is best known for his debut novel Madame Bovary, which was published in 1856.
  • 1873 Died: John Stuart Mill, British philosopher and political economist who contributed to political theory, social theory, and political economy.
  • 1846 The first major Battle of Mexican-American War - the Battle of Palo Alto - was fought. Mexican troops led by General Mariano Arista were defeated by US troops led by General Zachary Taylor.
  • 1842 A train derailed and caught fire on the railway between Versailles and Paris. According to different sources, the accident caused between 52 and 200 deaths.
  • 1819 Died: Kamehameha I, the King of Hawaii. He conquered the islands in 1810, establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii and founding the Kamehameha Dynasty.
  • 1794 Died: Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist who made significant contributions to chemistry and biology. He is referred to as the "Father of Modern Chemistry".
  • 1785 Died: Pietro Longhi, Italian painter whose best known works include Clara the Rhinoceros, The Ridotto in Venice, The Dancing Lesson.