May 17

1792 The New York Stock Exchange was founded by brokers meeting under a tree located on what is now Wall Street.

1875 The first Kentucky Derby was run at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The winner was Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis.

1954 The U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Brown v. Board of Education Of Topeka ruling. It declared that racially separated educational facilities are “inherently unequal.” The ruling reversed the high court’s 1896 “separate but equal” decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.

1967 The documentary Don’t Look Back, which was shot on Bob Dylan‘s U.K. tour in 1965, premieres.

1969 “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel peaks at Number Seven on the pop chart.

1969 Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin peaks at Number 10 on the album chart.

1973 The Senate opened its hearings into the Watergate scandal with continuous daytime coverage shown on all three broadcast networks.

1975 NBC paid $5 million for the rights to show Gone With The Wind just one time. It was the top price paid for a single opportunity to show a film on television.

1975 “Jackie Blue” by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils peaks at Number Three on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.

1975 “Killer Queen” by Queen peaks at Number 12 on the pop chart, the same day that Sheer Heart Attack peaks at Number 12 on the album chart.

1978 Philips announced the coming of the compact disc.

1980 Rioting that claimed 18 lives 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.

1980 Women And Children First by Van Halen peaks at Number Six on the album chart, where it stays for five weeks.

1980 Drummer Peter Criss officially leaves Kiss for a solo career.

1985 Bobby Ewing died on the season finale of Dallas. Bobby, played by actor Patrick Duffy, died in a violent car explosion, only to come back to life the following season.

1986 Riptide by Robert Palmer peaks at Number Eight on the album chart.

1987 A fire causes more than $800,000 in damage to Tom Petty‘s California home.

1987 Thirty-seven American sailors were killed when an Iraqi warplane attacked the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf.

1989 A court in Frankfurt, West Germany, sentenced Mohammed Ali Hamadi to life in prison for his role in the 1985 TWA hijacking.

1990 A record price was paid for a painting sold at auction when Vincent Van Gogh’s “Portrait Of Dr. Gachet” sold for $82.5 million.

1995 Jacques Chirac was sworn in as president of France, ending the 14-year tenure of Socialist Francois Mitterrand.

1996 President Bill Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. Called Megan’s Law, it was named for Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and killed in 1994 by a convicted sex offender who lived nearby.

1998 New York Yankees pitcher David Wells became the 13th player in modern major league baseball history to throw a perfect game. Wells retired all 27 batters he faced in a 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.

1999 Makah Indians in Washington state harpooned a gray whale for the first time in 70 years.

2000 Two former Ku Klux Klansmen were arrested on murder charges in the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four black girls. Both were eventually convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

2004 Actor Tony Randall (Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?The Mating GamePillow TalkLover Come BackSend Me No FlowersThe Odd Couple) dies at age 84.

2005 Actor Frank Gorshin (he played the Riddler on the TV version of Batman) dies at age 72.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *