Today in History: May 17 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: May 17

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


Today in History
May 17

1540   Afghan chief Sher Khan defeats Mongul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.
1630   Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi sees the belts on Jupiter’s surface.
1681   Louis XIV sends an expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declares war on France.
1756   Britain declares war on France.
1792   Merchants form the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street.
1814   Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden.
1863   Union General Ulysses Grant continues his push towards Vicksburg at the Battle of the Big Black River Bridge.
1875   The first Kentucky Derby is run in Louisville.
1881   Frederick Douglass is appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.
1940   Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium and begins the invasion of France.
1954   The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules for school integration in Brown v. Board of Education.
1967   President Gamal Abdel Nasser demands that the United Nations Emergency Force leave Egypt. The international peacekeeping force has been in Egypt since the Suez Crisis of 1956, which was precipitated by Nasser’s decision to nationalize the 120-mile Suez Canal.[From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1973   The Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings.
1987   In the Persian Gulf the American guided missile frigate USS Stark is struck by 2 Exocet missiles fired by an Iraqi aircraft; only one detonates, but 37 sailors are killed and 21 are wounded. Whether the launch was deliberate or a mistake is still debated.
Born on May 17
1444   Sandro Botticelli, painter (The Birth of Venus).
1749   Edward Jenner, physician.
1836   Joseph Norman Lockyer, British astronomer and discoverer of helium.
1866   Erik Alfred Leslie Satie, French composer.
1900   Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian religious leader.
1903   James “Cool Papa” Bell, baseball player.
1912   Archibald Cox, special prosecutor in the Watergate hearings, fired by President Richard Nixon.