Today in History: May 17

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

Today's Highlight in History:

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

In 1946, President Harry S. 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 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 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. ("Megan's Law," as it's 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.


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