1875: The first Kentucky Derby is won by Aristides – an American thoroughbred that was trained by Ansel Williamson.
1900: The city of Mafeking, South Africa is relieved by British troops after a 217-day siege during the Second Boer War.
1902: The Antikythera mechanism – an ancient Greek analog computer – is discovered by archaeologist Valerios Stais.
1940: The city of Brussels in Belgium is occupied by German forces during World War 2.
1943: The attack on German dams known as the Dambuster Raids continues during World War II.
1954: In the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the U.S Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision.
1973: During the Watergate Scandal, televised hearings start in the U.S Senate.
1974: 6 people are killed when L.A police officers raid the Symbionese Liberation Army’s HQ; Among those dead was Camilla Hall.
1977: The first Chuck E. Cheese restaurant is opened by Nolan Bushnell in San Jose, California.
1990: Homosexuality is removed from the list of psychiatric diseases by the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO).
1995: An M60 tank is stolen from the California Army National Guard Armory is San Diego, California by Shawn Nelson. He would take the tank on a 23-minute rampage as police chased him. He was eventually shot and killed by officers after the tank became stuck on a median.
2004: In the state of Massachusetts in the United States, the first U.S same-sex marriages are performed.
2014: 17 people are killed during a plane crash in Laos.
Famous Birthdays on May 17
Norwegian chemist and Nobel Prize laureate, Odd Hassel is born in 1897.
French author Marie-Anne Desmarest is born in 1904.
American boxer Sugar Ray Leonard is born in 1956.
American comedian and actor, Bob Saget is born in 1956.
Scottish-American comedian, actor and talk show host, Craig Ferguson is born in 1962.
American singer-songwriter Trent Reznor is born in 1965.