Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, May 17, the 137th day of 2017. There are 228 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 17, 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.

On this date:

In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run; the winner was Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis.

In 1937, Teddy Hill and His Orchestra recorded “King Porter Stomp” for RCA Victor’s Bluebird label in New York; making his recording debut was trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

In 1940, the Nazis occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War II.

In 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.

In 1957, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his first national speech, titled “Give Us the Ballot,” during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C.

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 1977, the Chuck E. Cheese’s fast food and family entertainment chain had its start as the first Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre opened in San Jose, California.

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.)