Today In History, May 17


UPDATED: Saturday May 17, 2014 7:36 AM

Today is Saturday, May 17, the 137th day of 2014. There are 228 days left in the year.
    
    
Today's Highlight in History:
    
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, unanimously struck down racially segregated public schools, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
    
    
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 1814, Norway's constitution was signed, providing for a limited monarchy.
    
In 1849, fire erupted in St. Louis, Missouri, resulting in the loss of three lives, more than 400 buildings and some two dozen steamships.
    
In 1912, the Socialist Party of America nominated Eugene V. Debs for president at its convention in Indianapolis.
    
In 1933, U.S. News & World Report had its beginnings as David Lawrence began publishing a weekly newspaper called United States News.
    
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 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 1974, four car bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland, killing 33 people (the Ulster Volunteer Force claimed responsibility two decades later).
    
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.)
    
    
Ten years ago: Massachusetts became the first state to allow legal same-sex marriages. Abdel-Zahraa Othman, also known as Izzadine Saleem, head of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, was killed in a suicide car bombing in Baghdad. More than 100 people were killed in a prison fire in northern Honduras. Transsexuals were cleared to compete in the Olympics for the first time. The Michael Moore movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Actor Tony Randall died in New York at age 84.

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