Today in History

Published 12:33 pm Monday, May 17, 2021

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By The Associated Press
Today is Monday, May 17, the 137th day of 2021. 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 beginnings as a group of brokers met under a tree on Wall Street and signed the Buttonwood Agreement.
In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run; the winner was Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis.
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 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 7-year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and murdered in 1994.)
In 2002, former President Jimmy Carter ended a historic visit to Cuba sharply at odds with the Bush administration over how to deal with Fidel Castro, saying limits on tourism and trade often hurt Americans more than Cubans.
In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriages.
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that young people serving life prison terms should have “a meaningful opportunity to obtain release” provided they didn’t kill their victims.
In 2015, a shootout erupted between bikers and police outside a restaurant in Waco, Texas, leaving nine of the bikers dead and 20 people injured.
In 2017, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.
Ten 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 confirmed 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.
Five years 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. Guy Clark, the Grammy-winning musician who mentored a generation of songwriters, died in Nashville at age 74.
One year ago: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was tested for the coronavirus on live TV as he announced that all people in the state who were experiencing flu-like symptoms were eligible for tests. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed optimism that the U.S. economy could begin to recover in the second half of the year, assuming that there would not be a second wave, but he suggested in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview that a full recovery would likely not be possible before the arrival of a vaccine. A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah had signed a power-sharing agreement, two months after both men declared themselves the winner of the country’s presidential election.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Gerety is 81. Singer Taj Mahal is 79. Rock musician Bill Bruford is 72. TV personality Kathleen Sullivan is 68. Boxing Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard is 65. Actor-comedian Bob Saget is 65. Sports announcer Jim Nantz is 62. Producer Simon Fuller (TV: “American Idol”) is 61. Singer Enya is 60. Actor-comedian Craig Ferguson is 59. Rock singer-musician Page McConnell is 58. Actor David Eigenberg is 57. Singer-musician Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) is 56. Actor Paige Turco is 56. R&B musician O’Dell (Mint Condition) is 56. Actor Hill Harper is 55. TV personality/interior designer Thom Filicia is 52. Singer Jordan Knight is 51. R&B singer Darnell Van Rensalier (Shai) is 51. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is 50. Actor Sasha Alexander is 48. Rock singer-musician Josh Homme (HAHM’-ee) is 48. Rock singer Andrea Corr (The Corrs) is 47. Actor Sendhil Ramamurthy (SEN’-dul rah-mah-MURTH’-ee) is 47. Actor Rochelle Aytes is 45. Singer Kandi Burruss is 45. Actor Kat Foster is 43. Actor Ayda Field is 42. Actor Ginger Gonzaga is 38. Folk-rock singer/songwriter Passenger is 37. Dancer-choreographer Derek Hough (huhf) is 36. Actor Tahj Mowry is 35. Actor Nikki Reed is 33. Singer Kree Harrison (TV: “American Idol”) is 31. Actor Leven Rambin is 31. Actor Samantha Browne-Walters is 30. Actor Justin Martin is 27.

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