Today is Saturday, May 17, the 137th day of 2014. There are 228 days left in the year.
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, struck down racially segregated public schools, ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
On this date:
In 1792, the New York Stock Exchange had its origins as a group of brokers met under a tree on Wall Street.
In 1814, Norway’s constitution was signed, providing for a limited monarchy.
In 1849, fire erupted in St. Louis, resulting in the loss of three lives, more than 400 buildings and some two dozen steamships.
In 1912, the Socialist Party of America nominated Eugene Debs for president at its convention in Indianapolis.
In 1933, U.S. News &World Report had its beginnings as David Lawrence began a newspaper called United States News.
In 1939, Britain’s King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Quebec on the first visit to Canada by a reigning British monarch.
In 1946, President Harry Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying — but not preventing — a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.
In 1961, Cuban leader Fidel Castro offered to release prisoners captured in the Bay of Pigs invasion in exchange for 500 bulldozers. (The prisoners were eventually freed in exchange for medical supplies.)
In 1973, a special committee convened by the U.S. Senate began its televised hearings into the Watergate scandal.
In 1987, 37 American sailors were killed when an Iraqi warplane attacked the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf. (Iraq apologized for the attack, calling it a mistake, and paid more than $27 million in compensation.)