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Just Plain Fun

This Day in History – May 17, 2011




1540 Afghan chief Sher Khan defeated Mongul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj. 1630 Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi saw the belts on Jupiter’s surface. 1681 Louis XIV sent an expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declares war on France. 1756 Britain declared war on France, beginning the French and Indian War. 1792 The New York Stock Exchange was founded at 70 Wall Street by 24 brokers. 1814 Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden. Norway’s constitution, which provided a limited monarchy, was signed. 1875 The first Kentucky Derby was run at Louisville, KY. 1877 The first telephone switchboard burglar alarm was installed by Edwin T. Holmes. 1881 Frederick Douglass was appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, DC. 1926 The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires was damaged by bombs that were believed set by sympathizers of Sacco and Vanzetti. 1932 The U.S. Congress changed the name “Porto Rico” to “Puerto Rico.” 1939 The first fashion to be shown on television was broadcast in New York from the Ritz-Carleton Hotel. 1940 Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium and began the invasion of France. 1946 U.S. President Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen. 1948 The Soviet Union recognized the new state of Israel. 1954 The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The ruling declared that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal. 1956 The first synthetic mica (synthamica) was offered for sale in Caldwell Township, NJ. 1973 The U.S. Senate Watergate Committee began its hearings. 1975 NBC TV bought the rights to show “Gone With the Wind.” The one time rights cost NBC $5,000,000. 1980 Rioting 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. Eight people were killed in the rioting. 1985 Bobby Ewing died on the season finale of “Dallas” on CBS-TV. He returned the following season. 1987 Eric ‘Sleepy’ Floyd of the Golden State Warriors set a playoff record for points in a single quarter with 29. 1987 An Iraqi warplane attacked the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 American sailors. Iraq and the United States called the attack a mistake. 1990 Kelsey Grammer was sentenced to 30 days in jail for DWI. 1996 U.S. President Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. Megan’s Law was named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed in 1994. 1997 Rebel leader Kabila declared himself president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. 1997 Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin were married in London. 1998 New York Yankees pitcher David Wells became the 13th player in modern major league baseball history to throw a perfect game. 1999 Eric Ford, a tabloid photographer, was sentenced to 6 months at a halfway house, 3 years probation and 150 hours of community service. The sentence stemmed from a charge that Ford had eavesdropped on a call between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and then sold a recording of the conversation. 1999 Alex Trebek received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 2000 Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and David Luker surrendered to police in Birmingham, AL. The two former Ku Klux Klan members were arrested on charges from the bombing of a church in 1963 that killed four young black girls. 2000 Austria, the U.S. and six other countries agreed on the broad outline of a plan that would compensate Nazi-Era forced labor. 2000 It was announced that Terra Networks SA and Lycos would be merging with the new name to be Terra Lycos. Terra made the deal happen with the purchase of $12.5 billion in stock. 2001 The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp based on Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip. 2006 The U.S. aircraft carrier Oriskany was sunk about 24 miles off Pensacola Beach. It was the first vessel sunk under a Navy program to dispose of old warships by turning them into diving attractions. It was the largest man-made reef at the time of the sinking. 2007 Trains crossed the border dividing North and South Korea for the first time since 1953.]]]]> ]]>

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