Today in History

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 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.