May 17th in History

Today's Highlight in History:
On May 17th, 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was founded by brokers meeting under a tree located on what is now Wall Street.

On this date:
In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run; the winner was "Aristides."

In 1938, Congress passed the Vinson Naval Act, providing for a two-ocean navy.

In 1939, Britain's King George the Sixth and Queen Elizabeth arrived in Quebec on the first visit to Canada by reigning British sovereigns.

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

In 1946, President Truman seized control of the nation's railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.

In 1948, the Soviet Union recognized the new state of Israel.

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in its "Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka" decision that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal.

In 1973, the Senate opened its hearings into the Watergate scandal.

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 US Navy frigate "Stark" in the Persian Gulf. (Iraq and the US called the attack a mistake.)

Ten years ago: Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met in Moscow with Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene, Gorbachev's first face-to-face meeting with a senior official of the defiant Baltic republics.

Five years ago: The Senate ethics committee concluded that Senator Bob Packwood (Republican, Oregon) had to face a full-scale Senate investigation of charges that included making improper advances toward women. Jacques Chirac was sworn in as president of France, ending the 14-year tenure of Socialist Francois Mitterrand.

One year ago: The Supreme Court banned states from paying lower welfare benefits to newcomers than to longtime residents. Labor Party leader Ehud Barak unseated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israeli elections. Makah Indians in Washington state harpooned a gray whale for the first time in 70 years.


"The family you come from isn't as important as the family you're going to have."

-- Ring Lardner, American humorist (1885-1933).


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