on this day 5/17 1954 – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The ruling declared that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal.


1540 – Afghan chief Sher Khan defeated Mongul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.

1630 – Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi saw the belts on Jupiter’s surface.

1681 – Louis XIV sent an expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declares war on France.

1756 – Britain declared war on France, beginning the French and Indian War.

1792 – The New York Stock Exchange was founded at 70 Wall Street by 24 brokers.

1814 – Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden. Norway’s constitution, which provided a limited monarchy, was signed.

1875 – The first Kentucky Derby was run at Louisville, KY.

1877 – The first telephone switchboard burglar alarm was installed by Edwin T. Holmes.

1881 – Frederick Douglass was appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, DC.

1926 – The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires was damaged by bombs that were believed set by sympathizers of Sacco and Vanzetti.

1932 – The U.S. Congress changed the name “Porto Rico” to “Puerto Rico.”

1939 – The first fashion to be shown on television was broadcast in New York from the Ritz-Carleton Hotel.

1940 – Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium and began the invasion of France.

1946 – U.S. President Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.

1948 – The Soviet Union recognized the new state of Israel.

1954 – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The ruling declared that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal.

1956 – The first synthetic mica (synthamica) was offered for sale in Caldwell Township, NJ.

1973 – The U.S. Senate Watergate Committee began its hearings.

1975 – NBC TV bought the rights to show “Gone With the Wind.” The one time rights cost NBC $5,000,000.

1980 – Rioting erupted in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood after an all-white jury in Tampa acquitted four former Miami police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie. Eight people were killed in the rioting.

1985 – Bobby Ewing died on the season finale of “Dallas” on CBS-TV. He returned the following season.

1987 – Eric ‘Sleepy’ Floyd of the Golden State Warriors set a playoff record for points in a single quarter with 29.

1987 – An Iraqi warplane attacked the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 American sailors. Iraq and the United States called the attack a mistake.

1996 – U.S. President Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. Megan’s Law was named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed in 1994.

1997 – Rebel leader Kabila declared himself president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire.

1998 – New York Yankees pitcher David Wells became the 13th player in modern major league baseball history to throw a perfect game.

1999 – Eric Ford, a tabloid photographer, was sentenced to 6 months at a halfway house, 3 years probation and 150 hours of community service. The sentence stemmed from a charge that Ford had eavesdropped on a call between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and then sold a recording of the conversation.
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2000 – Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and David Luker surrendered to police in Birmingham, AL. The two former Ku Klux Klan members were arrested on charges from the bombing of a church in 1963 that killed four young black girls.

2000 – Austria, the U.S. and six other countries agreed on the broad outline of a plan that would compensate Nazi-Era forced labor.

2000 – It was announced that Terra Networks SA and Lycos would be merging with the new name to be Terra Lycos. Terra made the deal happen with the purchase of $12.5 billion in stock.

2001 – The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp based on Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip.

2002 – Legoland Deutschland opened in Günzburg, Germany.

2006 – The U.S. aircraft carrier Oriskany was sunk about 24 miles off Pensacola Beach. It was the first vessel sunk under a Navy program to dispose of old warships by turning them into diving attractions. It was the largest man-made reef at the time of the sinking.

2007 – Trains crossed the border dividing North and South Korea for the first time since 1953.

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