Today in History

  • Monday, May 16, 2016 1:11pm
  • Life

Today is Tuesday, May 17, the 138th day of 2016. There are 228 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight: On May 17, 1954, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision which held that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal, and therefore unconstitutional.

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 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run; the winner was Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis.

In 1912, the Socialist Party of America nominated Eugene V. Debs for president at its convention in Indianapolis.

In 1939, Britains King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Quebec on the first visit to Canada by a reigning British monarch.

In 1940, the Nazis occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War II.

In 1946, President Harry S. Truman seized control of the nations 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 1980, rioting that claimed 18 lives erupted in Miamis Liberty City after an all-white jury in Tampa acquitted four former Miami police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie.

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.)

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. (Megans Law, as its known, was named for Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and murdered in 1994.)

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow legal same-sex marriages.

Ten years ago: The FBI began digging at a Michigan horse farm in search of the remains of former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa; the two-week search yielded no evidence. It was announced that Paul McCartney and his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, had agreed to separate. Broadway producer Cy Feuer died in New York at age 95.

Five years ago: Queen Elizabeth II began the first visit by a British monarch to the Republic of Ireland, a four-day trip to highlight strong Anglo-Irish relations and the success of Northern Ireland peacemaking. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement confirming a Los Angeles Times report that he had fathered a child with a woman on his household staff more than a decade earlier. (Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, had announced their separation on May 9, 2011.) Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, 74, died in Scottsdale, Arizona.

One year ago: A shootout erupted between bikers and police outside a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, leaving nine of the bikers dead and 20 people injured. The contested city of Ramadi, capital of Iraqs largest province, fell to the Islamic State group in a major loss despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes. Pope Francis canonized Sisters Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, two nuns from what was 19th-century Palestine, in hopes of encouraging Christians across the Middle East who were facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Peter Gerety is 76. Singer Taj Mahal is 74. Rock musician Bill Bruford is 67. Singer-musician George Johnson (The Brothers Johnson) is 63. TV personality Kathleen Sullivan is 63. Actor Bill Paxton is 61. Boxing Hall-of-Famer Sugar Ray Leonard is 60. Actor-comedian Bob Saget is 60. Sports announcer Jim Nantz is 57. Singer Enya is 55. Talk show host-actor Craig Ferguson is 54. Rock singer-musician Page McConnell is 53. Actor David Eigenberg is 52. Singer-musician Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) is 51. Actress Paige Turco is 51. Rhythm-and-blues musician ODell (Mint Condition) is 51. Actor Hill Harper is 50. TV personality/interior designer Thom Filicia is 47. Singer Jordan Knight is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darnell Van Rensalier (Shai) is 46. Actress Sasha Alexander is 43. Rock singer-musician Josh Homme (HAHM-ee) is 43. Rock singer Andrea Corr (The Corrs) is 42. Actor Sendhil Ramamurthy (SEN-dul rah-mah-MURTH-ee) is 42. Actress Rochelle Aytes is 40. Singer Kandi Burruss is 40. Actress Kat Foster is 38. Actress Ayda Field is 37. Actress Ginger Gonzaga is 33. Folk-rock singer/songwriter Passenger is 32. Dancer-choreographer Derek Hough (huhf) is 31. Actor Tahj Mowry is 30. Actress Nikki Reed is 28. Singer Kree Harrison (TV: American Idol) is 26. Actress Leven Rambin is 26. Actress Samantha Browne-Walters is 25. Actor Justin Martin is 22.

Thought for today: If an article is attractive, or useful, or inexpensive, theyll stop making it tomorrow; if its all three, they stopped making it yesterday. — Mignon McLaughlin, American journalist (1913-1983).

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