Today in History: May 17

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UNDATED (AP) Wednesday, May 17, is the 137th day of 2017. There are 228 days left in the year.

  • Highlight in History:
    • On May 17, 1792, the New York Stock Exchange had its beginnings as a group of brokers met under a tree on Wall Street and signed the Buttonwood Agreement.
  • On this date:
    • In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run; the winner was Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis.
    • In 1937, Teddy Hill and His Orchestra recorded “King Porter Stomp” for RCA Victor’s Bluebird label in New York; making his recording debut was trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.
    • In 1940, the Nazis occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War II.
    • In 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.
    • In 1957, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his first national speech, titled “Give Us the Ballot,” during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C.
    • 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 1977, the Chuck E. Cheese’s fast food and family entertainment chain had its start as the first Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre opened in San Jose, California.
    • In 1980, rioting that claimed 18 lives erupted in Miami’s 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 1992, orchestra leader Lawrence Welk died in Santa Monica, California, at age 89.
    • In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow legal same-sex marriages.
  • Ten years ago:
    • President George W. Bush and retiring British Prime Minister Tony Blair held a joint news conference at the White House, during which Blair allowed not a single regret about the Iraq war alliance.
    • World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz announced he would resign at the end of June 2007, following controversy over his handling of a pay package for his girlfriend, bank employee Shaha Riza.
    • Trains crossed the border dividing the two Koreas for the first time in more than half a century.
  • Five years ago:
    • Washington’s envoy to Israel, Dan Shapiro, told the Israel Bar Association the U.S. had plans in place to attack Iran if necessary to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.
    • Donna Summer, 63, the “Queen of Disco,” died in Naples, Florida.
    • Frank Edward “Ed” Ray, the California school bus driver hailed as a hero for helping 26 students escape after three kidnappers buried them underground in 1976, died at age 91.
  • One year ago:
    • Bernie Sanders won Oregon’s Democratic presidential primary while Hillary Clinton eked out a razor-thin victory in Kentucky.
    • Federal investigators concluded that a speeding Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia in May 2015, killing eight people, most likely ran off the rails because the engineer was distracted by word of a nearby commuter train getting hit by a rock.
    • One of the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists from a Nigerian boarding school in April 2014 was found with a baby and was reunited with her mother.
    • Guy Clark, the Grammy-winning musician who mentored a generation of songwriters, died in Nashville at age 74.
  • Birthdays:
    • Actor Peter Gerety is 77.
    • Singer Taj Mahal is 75.
    • Rock and jazz drummer Bill Bruford is 68.
    • Singer-musician George Johnson (The Brothers Johnson) is 64.
    • TV personality Kathleen Sullivan is 64.
    • Boxing Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard is 61.
    • Actor-comedian Bob Saget is 61.
    • Sports announcer Jim Nantz is 58.
    • Singer Enya is 56.
    • Talk show host-actor Craig Ferguson is 55.
    • Rock singer-musician Page McConnell is 54.
    • Actor David Eigenberg is 53.
    • Singer-musician Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) is 52.
    • Actress Paige Turco is 52.
    • Rhythm-and-blues musician O’Dell (Mint Condition) is 52.
    • Actor Hill Harper is 51.
    • TV personality/interior designer Thom Filicia is 48.
    • Singer Jordan Knight is 47.
    • Rhythm-and-blues singer Darnell Van Rensalier (Shai) is 47.
    • Actress Sasha Alexander is 44.
    • Rock singer-musician Josh Homme is 44.
    • Rock singer Andrea Corr (The Corrs) is 43.
    • Actor Sendhil Ramamurthy is 43.
    • Actress Rochelle Aytes is 41.
    • Singer Kandi Burruss is 41.
    • Actress Kat Foster is 39.
    • Actress Ayda Field is 38.
    • Actress Ginger Gonzaga is 34.
    • Folk-rock singer/songwriter Passenger is 33.
    • Dancer-choreographer Derek Hough is 32.
    • Actor Tahj Mowry is 31.
    • Actress Nikki Reed is 29.
    • Singer Kree Harrison (TV: American Idol) is 27.
    • Actress Leven Rambin is 27.
    • Actress Samantha Browne-Walters is 26.
    • Actor Justin Martin is 23.
  • Thought for the day:
    • “I always have a quotation for everything — it saves original thinking.” — Dorothy L. Sayers, English author (1893-1957).
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