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Events, deaths, births, of 17 MAY
[For May 17 Julian go to  Gregorian date: 1583~1699: May 271700s: May 281800s: May 291900~2099: May 30]
• Geronimo's last hurrah... • USSR~Lithuania summit... • Papyrus boat sails to cross Atlantic... • Televised Watergate hearings... • US school segregation ruled unconstitutional... • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution... • Ruée Boche vers la mer... • Start of World Wide Web... • Incursion into Cambodia continues... • Author of Pointed Roofs is born... • Efforts to relieve An Loc... • New York Stock Exchange... • Puerto Rico... • Police kills Symbionese... • Big Black River Battle... • A B17: 25 bombings... • ENIAC contract... • Phone milestones...
On a May 17:
2001 York, Pennsylvania, mayor Charlie Robertson, 67, is arrested on charges of the 21 July 1969 murder of Lillie Belle Allen, 27, by White supremacists, to one of which, Rick Lynn Knouse, Robertson, then a racist policeman, gave ammunition for his 30.06 hunting rifle and instructed him to “kill as many niggers as you can.”
2000 Two former Ku Klux Klansmen are arrested on murder charges for the 15 September 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four Black girls. Thomas Blanton Jr. would be convicted and sentenced to life in prison on 1 May 2001. Bobby Frank Cherry would be indicted in 2000, but his trial delayed after evaluations raise questions about his mental competency..
1996 President Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. (Megan's Law, as it's known, is named for Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and slain in 1994.)
1994 Se realizan las primeras elecciones democráticas en Malawi.
1992 El papa Juan Pablo II beatifica a José María Escrivá de Balaguer y Albas, fundador del Opus Dei.
1991 The Commerce Department reported the US trade deficit had narrowed sharply in March 1991 to $4.05 billion, the lowest level in nearly eight years.
1990 Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches a record 2831.71
1990 Gorbachev meets with Lithuanian prime minister       ^top^
      Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets with Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene in an effort to settle differences arising from Lithuania's recent proclamation of independence from the Soviet Union. For Gorbachev, the meeting was a test of his skill and ability to maintain the crumbling Soviet empire. Lithuania became part of the Soviet Union after Soviet forces seized it in 1939, and the country remained a Soviet republic for the next 50 years. In 1989, Gorbachev publicly repudiated the so-called Brezhnev doctrine. This doctrine — established in 1968 to justify the Soviet military intervention to put down anti-government protest in Czechoslovakia — allowed the Soviet Union to use force to preserve already existing communist governments in other states. Gorbachev's repudiation was obviously intended to improve relations with Russia's increasingly restless allies in eastern Europe, where anti-government and anticommunist protests were growing. In Lithuania, however, anti-Soviet nationalists took Gorbachev's statement to mean that Russia would not interfere with an independent movement in one of its own republics. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania declared itself an independent republic. Gorbachev, however, had no intention of allowing republics to break free from the USSR.
      On 17 May, Gorbachev meets with Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene in Moscow to discuss the situation. Despite optimistic press releases concerning their talks, it quickly became apparent that Lithuania would not back down on its claim to independence. After imposing economic sanctions and threatening military action, the Soviet Union launched a full-scale military assault against Lithuania in January 1991. The Soviet effort was in vain, however. In December 1991, 11 of the 12 Soviet Socialist Republics (including Lithuania) proclaimed their independence and established the Commonwealth of Independent States. A few weeks later, Gorbachev resigned as president and the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The Lithuanian-Soviet conflict had a significant impact on US-Soviet relations. Many in the United States were horrified by the January 1991 military Soviet intervention into Lithuania. The US Congress quickly moved to end economic assistance to the Soviet Union. Some US officials also believed that Russia's actions indicated that Gorbachev, despite his talk of reform, was increasingly under the control of hard-liners in the Soviet government.
  • 1987 La fragata estadounidense Stark, atacada por error en el Golfo Pérsico por un avión iraquí.
    1983 Israel and Lebanon sign a peace treaty.
    1980 VS Kumar Anandan sets record of balancing on one foot for 33 hours.
1973 Televised Watergate hearings begin       ^top^
      In Washington DC, the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, headed by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, begins televised hearings on the continuing Watergate affair.
      Four months earlier, G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord, former members of the President Richard M. Nixon reelection campaign, were convicted of breaking into and illegally tapping Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate hotel in Washington DC In addition to Liddy and McCord, five other men, all either directly or indirectly employed by the reelection committee, had already been convicted for the 1972 break-in.
      However, District Judge John Sirica, who presided over the case, suspected a high-echelon conspiracy, as did reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post, and members of the Democratic Party. In February, the US Senate voted to establish a special committee to investigate the involvement of the Nixon administration in the crime, and in March, James McCord wrote a letter to Sirica charging a massive cover-up during the break-in trial. His letter, accusing the defense of perjury and coercion of witnesses, transformed the Watergate affair into a political scandal of unprecedented magnitude.
      The special Senate committee, headed by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, begins televised proceedings on 17 May 1973, and a week later Archibald Cox, a professor at Harvard Law School, is sworn in as special Watergate prosecutor.
      During the Senate hearings, John Dean, a former White House counsel, testified that the Watergate break-in had been approved by former Attorney General John Mitchell with the knowledge of chief White House advisers John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman, and that President Nixon had been aware of the cover-up. Meanwhile, Cox and his staff began to uncover widespread evidence of political espionage by the Nixon reelection committee, illegal wiretapping of thousands of citizens by the administration, and corporate contributions to the Republican Party in return for political favors.
      In July, the existence of what were to be called the Watergate tapes, official recordings of White House conversations between Nixon and his staff, was revealed at the Senate hearings. Cox subpoenaed these tapes, and after three months of delay, President Nixon agreed to send summaries of the recordings. Cox rejected the summaries, and Nixon fired him.
      His successor as special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, eventually succeeded in obtaining the tapes and then leveled indictments against several high-ranking administration officials, including Mitchell and Dean, who were duly convicted. Public confidence in the president rapidly waned, and on 30 July 1974, the House Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon: obstruction of justice, abuse of presidential powers, and hindrance of the impeachment process.
      On 09 August 1974, Richard M. Nixon became the first president in US history to resign from office. One month later, he was pardoned from any criminal charges by his successor, President Gerald Ford.
1972 South Vietnamese reinforcements near An Loc       ^top^
      Preceded by five B-52 strikes, which reportedly killed 300 North Vietnamese to the south, South Vietnamese forces arrive by helicopter to within three kilometers of An Loc in continuing efforts to relieve this besieged city. It had been surrounded by three North Vietnamese divisions since early April. The North Vietnamese had been holding An Loc under siege for almost three months while they made repeated attempts to take the city. The defenders suffered heavy casualties, including 2,300 dead or missing, but with the aid of US advisors and American airpower, they managed to hold An Loc against vastly superior odds until the siege was finally lifted on June 18.
1970 Operations continue in Cambodia       ^top^
      A force of 10,000 South Vietnamese troops, supported by 200 US advisers, aircraft and logistical elements, attack into what was known as the "Parrot's Beak," the area of Cambodia that projects into South Vietnam above the Mekong Delta. The South Vietnamese reached the town of Takeo in a 20-mile thrust. This action was part of the ongoing operation ordered by President Richard Nixon in April. US and South Vietnamese forces launched a limited "incursion" into Cambodia that included 13 major ground operations to clear North Vietnamese sanctuaries 20 miles inside the Cambodian border in both the "Parrot's Beak" and the densely vegetated "Fishhook" area (across the border from South Vietnam, 70 miles from Saigon). Some 50,000 South Vietnamese soldiers and 30,000 US troops were involved, making it the largest operation of the war since Operation Junction City in 1967. In the United States, news of the incursion set off a wave of antiwar demonstrations, including one at Kent State University that resulted in the killing of four students by Army National Guard troops. Another protest at Jackson State in Mississippi resulted in the shooting of two students when police opened fire on a women's dormitory. The incursion also angered many in Congress who felt that Nixon was illegally widening the scope of the war; this resulted in a series of congressional resolutions and legislative initiatives that would severely limit the executive power of the president.
1970 Heyerdahl sails papyrus boat.       ^top^
     In the shadow of the Pyramids, a replica of an ancient Egyptian vessel was constructed of papyrus reeds by Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl to test his theory that the ancient Egyptians were the first to sail to America. After setting sail for Morocco on 17 May 1970, the Ra II proved seaworthy enough to transport a multinational crew of seven across the Atlantic Ocean.
      Norwegian ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl and a multinational crew set out from Morocco across the Atlantic Ocean in Ra II, a papyrus sailing craft modeled after ancient Egyptian sailing vessels. Heyerdahl was attempting to prove his theory that Mediterranean civilizations sailed to America in ancient times and exchanged cultures with the people of Central and South America. The Ra II crossed the 6000 km of ocean to Barbados in 57 days.
      Heyerdahl, born in Larvik, Norway, in 1914, originally studied zoology and geography at the University of Oslo. In 1936, he traveled with his wife to the Marquesas Islands to study the flora and fauna of the remote Pacific archipelago. He became fascinated with the question of how Polynesia was populated. The prevailing opinion then (and today) was that ancient seafaring people of Southeast Asia populated Polynesia. However, because winds and currents in the Pacific generally run from east to west, and because South American plants such as the sweet potato have been found in Polynesia, Heyerdahl conjectured that some Polynesians might have originated in South America.
      To explore this theory, he built a copy of a prehistoric South American raft out of balsa logs from Ecuador, the Kon-Tiki, after the Inca god, Heyerdahl and a small crew left Callao, Peru, in April 1947, traversed some 8000 km of ocean, and arrived in Polynesia after 101 days. Heyerdahl related the story of the epic voyage in the book Kon-Tiki (1950) and in a documentary film of the same name, which won the 1952 Oscar for Best Documentary. Heyerdahl later became interested in the possibility of cultural contact between early peoples of Africa and Central and South America. Certain cultural similarities, such as the shared importance of pyramid building in ancient Egyptian and Mexican civilizations, perhaps suggested a link.
      To test the feasibility of ancient transatlantic travel, Heyerdahl built a 14-meter-long copy of an ancient Egyptian papyrus vessel in 1969, with the aid of traditional boatbuilders from Lake Chad in Central Africa. Constructed at the foot of the Pyramids and named after the sun god Ra, it was later transported to Safi in Morocco, from where it set sail for the Caribbean on 24 May 1969. Defects in design and other problems caused it to founder in July, 1000 km short of its goal. It had sailed 5000 km. Undaunted, Heyerdahl constructed a second papyrus craft, the Ra II, with the aid of Aymaro Indian boatbuilders from Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. With a multinational crew of seven, the Ra II set sale from Safi on 17 May 1970. After a voyage of 57 days and 6000 km, the ship arrived in Barbados. The story of this voyage is recorded in the book The Ra Expeditions (1971) and in a documentary film. In 1977, Heyerdahl led the Tigris expedition, in which he navigated a craft made of reeds down the Tigris River in Iraq to the Persian Gulf, across the Arabian Sea to Pakistan, and finally to the Red Sea. The goal of the expedition was to establish the possibility that there was contact between the great cultures of Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and Egypt across the sea. Heyerdahl later led research expeditions to Easter Island and an archeological site of Túcume in northern Peru. For the most part, Heyerdahl's ideas have not been accepted by mainstream anthropologists.
1968 European Space Research Org launches first satellite
1961 Cuban leader Fidel Castro offered to exchange prisoners captured in the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion for American heavy tractors
1960 first atomic reactor system to be patented, JW Flora, Canoga Park CA
1957 Prayer Pilgrimage, biggest civil rights demonstration to date (DC)
1954 Supreme Court rules in Brown vs. Board of Education       ^top^
      In a major civil rights victory, the US Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (347 US 483) that rules that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brings an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically deals with Linda Brown, a young African-American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.
      On 18 May 1896, the Supreme Court had ruled in Plessy vs. Ferguson, that "separate but equal" accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. That ruling was used to justify segregating all public facilities, including elementary schools.
      However, in the case of Linda Brown, the white school she attempted to attend was far superior to her black alternative, and, additionally, was kilometers closer to her home. The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) took up Linda’s cause, and in 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka reached the Supreme Court. African-American lawyer (and future Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall led Brown’s legal team, and on May 17, 1954, the high court handed down its decision.
      In an opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the nation’s highest court ruled that not only was the "separate but equal" doctrine unconstitutional in Linda’s case, but was unconstitutional in all possible cases as educational segregation inherently stamped a badge of inferiority on African-American students.
      A year later, after hearing arguments on the implementation of their ruling, the Supreme Court published guidelines (349 US 294, 31 May 1955) requiring public school systems to integrate "with all deliberate speed." The Brown vs. Board of Education decision served to greatly motivate the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and ultimately led to the abolishment of racial segregation in all public facilities and accommodations.
1948 The Soviet Union recognizes the new state of Israel.
1948 Josip Broz “Tito” y su Gobierno yugoslavo, acusados de traición por el Partido Comunista soviético al negarse a aceptar el arbitraje de la Kominform para dirimir las diferencias entre ambos países.
1946 US President Truman seized control of the nation's railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.
1946 El dictador rumano mariscal Ion Antonescu es condenado a muerte.
1943 ENIAC contract approved       ^top^
      The US Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop an electronic computer. The contract grants the Moore School $61'700 for the next six months. The computer, later known as ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), would take more than three years to build.
1943 First B-17 to complete 25 bombing missions       ^top^
     The Memphis Belle, one of a group of American bombers based in Britain, performs its 25th and last mission, in a bombing raid against Lorient, a German submarine base. But before returning back home to the United States, film footage was shot of Belle's crew receiving combat medals. This was but one part of a longer documentary on a day in the life of an American bomber, which included dramatic footage of a bomber being shot out of the sky, with most of its crew parachuting out, one by one.
      Another film sequence showed a bomber returning to base with its tail fin missing. What looked like damage inflicted by the enemy was, in fact, the result of a collision with another American bomber. The Memphis Belle documentary would not be released for another 11 months, as more footage was compiled to demonstrate the risks these pilots ran as they bombed "the enemy again and again and again-until he has had enough." The film's producer, Lieutenant Colonel William Wyler, was known for such non-military fare as The Letter, Wuthering Heights, and Jezebel. A fictional film about the B-17, called Memphis Belle, was released in 1990, starring John Lithgow, Matthew Modine, and Eric Stoltz.
1940 The Nazis occupy Brussels, Belgium, during World War II.
1940 Ruée allemande vers la mer.       ^top^
      Germany occupies Brussels, and begins invasion of France.
     Contrairement à ce qui a été cru, c'est la mer et non Paris qui est l'objectif principal des Allemands. Dans la matinée du 17, le corps blindé de Guderian oblique vers le nord ouest, et à midi, ses avants-gardes atteignent l'Oise au sud de Guise. Une seule tentative sérieuse est faite pour enrayer la progression : la 4è DCR sous les ordres du colonel de Gaulle doit se jeter sur le flanc gauche des colonnes ennemies à hauteur de Montcornet. Mais elle ne compte que 150 chars et manque d'entraînement, et le soir, de Gaulle est contraint de se replier du côté de Laon. A Crépy-sur-Serre il réussira à entraver l'avance allemande jusqu'au 20 May.
       Ordre est donné par Hitler venu au quartier général de Rundstedt de stopper les Panzerdivisonen sur l'Oise, car elles se sont trop portées en avant et risquent d'être coupées du gros des armées. Guderian demande à être relevé de son commandement. Mais l'ordre est annulé, les divisions blindés s'élancent et franchissent l'Oise ainsi que le canal reliant celle-ci à la Sambre.
      Dans la soirée, le président du Conseil prononce à la radio un discours dans lequel il fait appel au patriotisme des Français et les informe des premiers désastres.
1938 The US Congress passes the Vinson Naval Act, providing for a two-ocean navy.
1935 El general Francisco Franco Bahamonde es nombrado jefe del Estado Mayor Central de España.
1932 Porto Rico becomes Puerto Rico       ^top^
      In a victory for Puerto Rican nationalists, the US Congress officially changed the name of the US protectorate of Porto Rico to Puerto Rico, restoring the original non-Anglicized, spelling of the Caribbean island’s name. On October 18, 1898, only one year after Puerto Rico won independence from Spanish rule, American troops raised the US flag over the 9000-square-kilometer island, formalizing US authority over Puerto Rico’s one million inhabitants.
      During the Spanish-American War, US troops under General Nelson A. Miles landed on Puerto Rico in July 1898, and with little resistance were able to secure the island by mid-August. In December, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Spanish-American War, and Spain officially ceded Puerto Rico to the United States. In the first three decades of its rule, the US government made efforts to Americanize its new possession, including the granting of full US citizenship to Puerto Ricans in 1917 and the consideration of a measure that would make English the island’s official language.
      However, during the 1930s, a nationalist movement led by the Popular Democratic Party won wide support across the island and successfully fought further US assimilation. Beginning in 1948, Puerto Ricans could elect their own governor, and in 1952, the US Congress approved a new Puerto Rican constitution that made the island an autonomous US commonwealth with its citizens retaining American citizenship.
      Movements for Puerto Rican statehood, along with lesser movements for Puerto Rican independence, have won supporters on the island, but popular referendums in 1967 and 1993 demonstrated that the majority of Puerto Ricans still supported their special status as a US commonwealth.
1915 National Baptist Convention chartered
1906 Switzerland's Simplon Tunnel opens to rail traffic
1902 Alfonso XIII alcanza la mayoría de edad (16 años), jura la Constitución e inicia su reinado. Cesa su madre en la regencia.
1885 Geronimo flees Arizona reservation       ^top^
      For the second time in two years, the Apache chief Geronimo breaks out of an Arizona reservation, sparking panic among Arizona settlers. A famous medicine man and the leader of the Chiricahua Apache, Geronimo achieved national fame by being the last Amerindian to surrender formally to the United States. For nearly 30 years, Geronimo and his followers resisted the attempts of Americans to take away their southwestern homeland and confine them to a reservation. He was a fearless warrior and a master of desert survival. The best officers of the US Army found it nearly impossible to find Geronimo, much less decisively defeat him.
      In 1877, Geronimo was forced to move to the San Carlos, Arizona, reservation for the first time, but he was scarcely beaten. Instead, Geronimo treated the reservation as just one small part of the vast territory he still considered to belong to the Apache. Fed up with the strictures and corruption of the reservation, he and many other Apache broke out for the first time in 1881. For nearly two years, the Apache band raided the southwestern countryside despite the best efforts of the army to stop them. Finally, Geronimo wearied of the continual harassment of the US Army and agreed to return to the reservation in 1884, much on his own terms. He did not stay long. Among the many rules imposed upon the Apache on the reservation was the prohibition of any liquor, including a weak beer they had traditionally brewed from corn.
      In early May 1885, Geronimo and a dozen other leaders deliberately staged a corn beer festival. Reasoning that the authorities would be unlikely to try to punish such a large group, they openly admitted the deed, expecting that it would lead to negotiations. Because of a communication mix-up, however, the army failed to respond. Geronimo and the others assumed the delay indicated the army was preparing some drastic punishment for their crime. Rather than remain exposed and vulnerable on the reservation, Geronimo fled with 42 men and 92 women and children. Quickly moving south, Geronimo raided settlements along the way for supplies. In one instance, he attacked a ranch owned by a man named Phillips, killing him, his wife, and his two children. Frightened settlers demanded swift military action, and General George Crook coordinated a combined Mexican and American manhunt for the Apache. Thousands of soldiers tracked the fugitives but Geronimo and his band split into small groups and remained elusive. Crook's failure to apprehend the Indians led to his eventual resignation. General Nelson Miles replaced him.
      Miles committed 5000 troops to the campaign and even established 30 heliograph stations to improve communications. Still, Miles was also unable to find the elusive warrior. Informed that many of the reservation Apache, including his own family, had been taken to Florida, Geronimo apparently lost the will to fight. After a year and a half of running, Geronimo and his 38 remaining followers surrendered unconditionally to Miles on September 3, 1886. Relocated to Florida, Geronimo was imprisoned and kept from his family for two years. Finally, he was freed and moved with this family to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. He died of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909.
1881 The Revised Version (EV or ERV) of the New Testament was first published in England. The Old Testament was completed in 1885. In 1905 the American Standard Version (ASV) ÀÀ based on the textual foundation of the ERV ÀÀ was published in the US
1877 Telephone milestones       ^top^
      Alexander Graham Bell answers the first interstate telephone call, from New Brunswick, New Jersey, to New York City.
      On the same day, the first telephone switchboard, established by a company that makes electric burglar alarms, goes into operation in Boston. The alarms are connected by wire to telephones in the offices of the company's six customers: The system served as a burglar alarm at night and a telephone switchboard by day.
1864 Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia continues
1864 Battle of Adairsville Georgia, Union forces Confederates to retreat
1863 Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi       ^top^
      The Union army defeats the Confederates on the Big Black River and drives them into Vicksburg in part of a brilliant campaign by General Ulysses S. Grant. Grant had swung his army down the Mississippi River past the strong riverfront defenses, and landed in Mississippi south of Vicksburg. He then moved northeast toward Jackson and split his force to defeat Joseph Johnston's troops in Jackson and John C. Pemberton's at Champion's Hill. During the engagement at Champion's Hill, a Confederate division under William Loring split from Pemberton's main force and drifted south of the battlefield. Pemberton was forced to retreat to the Big Black River where he waited for Loring's troops. Loring, however, was heading east to join Johnston's army because he believed he could not reach Pemberton. While Pemberton waited for Loring on a bridge over the Big Black River, Grant attacked. Pemberton suffered his second defeat in two days at the Big Black River. The battle began at dawn, and by 10:00 the Confederate position appeared hopeless. Confederate casualties numbered 1752 killed, wounded, and captured, to the Yankees' 279. Pemberton withdrew across the bridge and then burned it down. With the bridge out, Grant could no longer advance. But he now had Pemberton backed up into Vicksburg. He soon closed the ring and laid siege to the town, which surrendered on 04 July.
1814 Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden (Natl Day) Norwegian constitution passed by constitutent assembly at Eidsvoll
1813 José Bonaparte abandona definitivamente Madrid.
1809 Papal States annexed by France — 1808 (?) Napoleón Bonaparte decreta en Viena la anexión de los Estados romanos al Imperio francés.
1804 Lewis and Clark begin exploration of the Louisiana Purchase
1794 BERGUIER Marguerite, femme Bonay, domiciliée à Tourneville, canton de Brutus-Villiers, département de la Seine inférieure, est condamnée à mort par contumace, comme fabricatrice de faux assignats, , par le tribunal criminel du département de la Seine.

1756 Britain declares war on France (7 Years' or French and Indian War)
1620 first merry-go-round seen at a fair (Philippapolis, Turkey)
1520 Cédula de Carlos I reconociendo a Diego Colón los títulos de Almirante y Virrey de las Indias, descubiertas por su padre.
1291 Scottish medieval Franciscan philosopher John Duns Scotus, 25, is ordained. He believed in "divine will" rather than "divine intellect," and founded a scholastic system called Scotism. In the Catholic Church he is known as "the Subtle Doctor."
0884 St Adrian III begins his reign as Pope
0352 Liberius is elected 36th pope. During this time the dispute between Arius and Athanasius was at its height, and after vacillating earlier, Liberius vindicated himself as a champion of Nicene orthodoxy.
0218 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
wrecked bus, rightedDeaths which occurred on a May 17:       ^top^

2003 Some 400 persons by flood and landslides late in the day, in three districts of south-central Sri Lanka, after days of rain caused by a tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal.

2003 Gidi Levy, 31, his wife Dina Levy, 37, their Unborn Baby, and suicide bomber Fuad Qawasmeh, 21, in Jewish enclave settlement in Hebron, West Bank.

2003:: 28 Germans in tourist bus, with 72 tourists and 2 drivers on board, which skids past the safety barrier and overturns at 05:00 (03:00 UT) during heavy rain, on Autoroute A6, 10 km north of Lyon, France. 47 are injured. The German bus belonged to the Tiger Reisen tour company and was headed toward Spain. [after the wrecked bus is righted >]

2002 Natasha and Courtney Smith, in the UK, conjoined twins sharing one liver and one heart, born to Tina May and Dennis Smith on 29 April 2002. They die without separation surgery, which they would have not been likely to survive.
2002 John Butera, 87, stabbed, in his home behind his watch repair shop on Bedford Avenue, Pittsburgh.

1994 José Prat, político español, presidente del Ateneo de Madrid y ex senador socialista.
1993 Ramón Sarro Burbano, médico español, famoso psiquiatra.
1992 Álvaro Chaves Mendoza, antropólogo combiano.
1989 Justino de Azcárate y Florez, político español.
1987 Gunnar Myrdal, 88, Sweden, economist (Nobel 1974).
1987: 37 sailors as USS Stark is hit by missiles from an Iraqi warplane, in the Persian Gulf. (Iraq and the US would call the attack a mistake.)
1981 Jeannette Ridlon Piccard, first US woman free balloon pilot.
1974 Donald DeFreeze, General Teko, and 4 other “Symbionese”, killed by police.         ^top^
     In Los Angeles, 500 police officers surround a home in Compton where the leaders of the terrorist group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) are hiding out. Police found the house in Compton when a local mother reported that her kids had seen a bunch of people playing with an arsenal of automatic weapons in the living room of the home. Los Angeles police shoot an estimated 1200 rounds of ammunition into the tiny Compton home as six SLA members shoot back. Teargas containers thrown into the hideout start a fire, but the SLA refuses to surrender. Six of the group's nine known members are found dead, including SLA leader Donald DeFreeze, who called himself General Field Marshall Cinque. Autopsy results showed that they continued to fire back even as smoke and flames were searing their lungs; they clearly chose suicide and martyrdom over jail. Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst and William and Emily Harris, SLA members wanted for armed robbery, are not on the premises.
     The SLA was a small group of violent radicals who quickly made their way to national prominence, far out of proportion to their actual influence. They began by killing Oakland's superintendent of schools in late 1973.
      On 02 February 1974, Patty Hearst, the daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped from her Berkeley, California, home by SLA members. Ten days later, a ransom message was sent to the Hearst family demanding $70 in foodstuffs for every needy person in California. Randolph Hearst hesitantly obliged, giving away some $2 million worth of food, but Patty Hearst was not released.
      On 03 April, the SLA released a tape on which Hearst said that she was changing her name to Tania and joining the SLA. Twelve days later, a surveillance camera recorded her holding a submachine gun during an SLA robbery of a San Francisco bank. In another incident, SLA member General Teko was caught trying to shoplift a pair of 49-cent socks from a sporting goods store, but escaped when Hearst sprayed the front of the building with machine gun fire.
      Although law enforcement officials began talking about the SLA as if they were a well-established paramilitary terrorist organization, the SLA had only a handful of members, most of who were disaffected middle class youths. Randolph Hearst, Patty's father, remarked that the massive attack had turned "dingbats into martyrs."
     Finally, on 18 September 1975, Hearst was captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery. She was convicted on March 20, 1974, and sentenced to seven years in prison. On 09 May 1977, she was released on probation, and returned to a more routine existence.
     The SLA had kidnapped Patricia Hearst, of the fabulously wealthy Hearst family publishing empire, months earlier, earning headlines across the country. Police found the house in Compton when a local mother reported that her kids had seen a bunch of people playing with an arsenal of automatic weapons in the living room of the home. The LAPD's 500-man siege on the Compton home was only the latest event in a short, but exceedingly bizarre, episode. The SLA was a small group of violent radicals who quickly made their way to national prominence, far out of proportion to their actual influence. They began by killing Oakland's superintendent of schools in late 1973 but really burst into society's consciousness when they kidnapped Hearst the following February. Months later, the SLA released a tape on which Hearst said that she was changing her name to Tania and joining the SLA. Shortly thereafter, a surveillance camera in a bank caught Hearst carrying a machine gun during an SLA robbery.
      In another incident, SLA member General Teko was caught trying to shoplift a pair of 49-cent socks from a sporting goods store, but escaped when Hearst sprayed the front of the building with machine gun fire. Although law enforcement officials began talking about the SLA as if they were a well-established paramilitary terrorist organization, the SLA had only a handful of members, most of who were disaffected middle class youths.
      On 17 May, Los Angeles police shoot an estimated 1200 rounds of ammunition into the tiny Compton home as six SLA members shoot back. Teargas containers thrown into the hideout start a fire, but the SLA refuses to surrender. Autopsy results showed that they continued to fire back even as smoke and flames were searing their lungs; they clearly chose suicide and martyrdom over jail. Randolph Hearst, Patty's father, remarked that the massive attack had turned "dingbats into martyrs." The raid left six SLA members dead, including leader Donald DeFreeze, also known as Cinque. Patty Hearst was not inside the home at the time.
1913 Heinrich Martin Weber, German mathematician born on 05 May 1842. He worked on a wide variety of topics, but his main work was in algebra, number theory, analysis, and applications of analysis to mathematical physics.
1848 Jan Frans Eliaerts, Belgian artist born on 01 January 1761.
1844 Julius Wellhausen, the German biblical scholar who, in his 1878 History of Israel, first advanced the JEDP Hypothesis, claiming that the Pentateuch (i.e., the first five O.T. books) was a compilation of four earlier, literary sources.
1799 Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais       ^top^
     French author of two outstanding comedies of intrigue that still retain their freshness, Le Barbier de Séville (1775) and Le mariage de Figaro (1784). He was born on 24 January 1732.
  • La folle journée, ou Le mariage de Figaro : comédie en 5 actes, en prose / représentée pour la première fois par les comédiens français ordinaires du Roi, le mardi 27 avril 1784
  • Œuvres complètes de Beaumarchais
  • Théâtre
  • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:       ^top^
    1796 (28 floréal an IV):
    VILLAMERE Charles
    , 38 ans, natif de Toul (Meurthe), militaire, domicilié à Paris, par le tribunal criminel de Paris, comme convaincu d'émigration, et prévenu de conspiration contre la république, en introduisant de faux assignats dans le département de l'Isère.
    1794 (28 floréal an II):

    BONAY Pierre, cabaretier, domicilié à Granville, canton de Brutus-Villers, comme fabricant de faux assignats, par le tribunal criminel du département de Paris [sic].
    PELTIER Michel (dit Laurent-Place), musicien, domicilié à Paris, par le tribunal criminel dudit département, comme fabricateur de faux assignats.
    GRIVAUX Jacques, inspecteur des vivres des brigands , domicilié à Mortagne (Vendée), par la commission militaire séante à Nantes, comme brigand de la Vendée.
    MOLLET Jean Baptiste, marchand sur la rivière, né et domicilié à Lyon (Rhône), par la commission révolutionnaire de Lyon, comme fédéraliste.
    VALLEE René, ex curé de Pithieuville (Eure), y demeurant, comme réfractaire à la loi, par le tribunal révolutionnaire dudit département.
    A Arras:
    MAYOUL Rosalie, 25 ans, et MAYOUL Ursule, 21 ans, nées à Arras, filles de Mayoul N. et Vaillant Elisabeth.
    VAILLANT Elisabeth, âgée de 48 ans, née à Arras, épouse de Mayoul N.
    BOURRE Jean Philippe François, 56 ans, né à Ste Marie Kerque, notaire, époux de Leprez Marie barbe Françoise, guillotiné.
    COPPIN Angélique, âgée de 55 ans, née à Wailly, cuisinière à Arras, guillotinée.
    Domestiques, par le tribunal révolutionnaire séant à Cambray (Nord), comme conspirateurs ayant procuré des secours à l'ennemi:
    COLPART Angélique — HAUTECOEUR Pierre Joseph — NOISETTE Christian, domicilié à Cambrai
    Par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris:
    LEROY François, tondeur de draps, et fournisseur de la République, 41 ans, né et domicilié à Orléans (Loiret), comme fournisseur infidèle.
    DELIGNY Thimotée, 55 ans, né à Paris, colleur de papier, domicilié à Rouen (Seine Inférieure),.pour avoir tenu des propos contenant provocation au rétablissement de la royauté.
    DERA Bertrand, 48 ans, né à Chavignac, domicilié à Orléans (Loiret), tailleur d'habits, membre du comité militaire de ladite commune d'Orléans, surveillant d'un atelier d'habillement, cherché à dilapider les fonds de la République dans une fourniture de draps pour les armées.
    PERILLAT François, journalier, 40 ans, natif de Grand-Bouvion (Mont-Blanc), domicilié à Cluze, même département, comme conspirateur, étant sorti du territoire français, pour passer sur le territoire Suédois, et être rentré en France avec les troupes ennemies.
    ROMÉ Guillaume Jérôme, ex noble, et capitaine au ci-devant régiment de Beauvoisis, 46 ans, natif de Fécamp (Seine Inférieure), domicilié à Paris, comme conspirateur, s'étant trouvé aux Tuileries à la Journée des Poignards.
    SUPLICE Joseph, domestique, 23 ans, né au Mans, département de la Sarthe, domicilié à Besignan (Drôme), comme complice d'une conspiration, qui a eu lieu, en août 1792, dans la commune de Besignan.
    BOURREE Philippe Pierre Catherine, (dit Corberon), ex noble et lieutenant aide major au régiment des ci-devant gardes-François, domicilié à Beauvais (Oise), comme conspirateur
    DUSAULNIER Raimond Gabriel, 61 ans, né et domicilié à Brioude (Haute Loire), ex noble et lieutenant au ci-devant régiment de Beauvoisis, comme conspirateur.
    MILLANGE Louis, quartier maître trésorier du premier corps des hussards de la Liberté, 45 ans, natif de Valvoque dans les Cévennes (Gard), domicilié à Paris, comme conspirateur.

    CHANU Michel, ex noble, domicilié à Tilleul-Fol-Enfent, département de l'Eure, pour émigration, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
    ETIENNE, taille de pierre, domicilié à Paris, comme distributeur de faux assignats, par le tribunal criminel du département de la Seine.
    MIACZINSKI Joseph, maréchal-de-camp des armées de la République, 42 ans, né à Varsovie, domicilié à Paris, par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris, comme traître à la patrie, ayant tenté d'exécuter les ordres de Dumourier après sa trahison, en cherchant à s'emparer de la ville de Lille et autres places de la République, et d'arrêter les membres de la Convention, commissaires auprès des armées.
    1785 Sébastien Jacques Leclerc des Gobelins, French artist born in 1734.
    1765 Alexis Claude Clairaut, French mathematician born on 07 May 1713. In 1743 he published Théorie de la figure de la Terre confirming the Newton-Huygens belief that the Earth was flattened at the poles. He also wrote Elements d'algèbre(1749) and Elements de géometrie (1765).
    1729 Samuel Clarke, English mathematician born on 11 October 1675.
    1750 Georg Engelhardt Schröder, German artist born on 31 May 1684.
    1749 Jean-Marc Ladey, French artist born in 1710.
    1717 (16 May?) Bon de Boullogne, French artist baptized as an infant on 22 February 1649. — Émigration des Tectosagesmore
    1716 Pieter Janszoon van Ruijven (or Reuver), Dutch artist born on 07 March 1651.
    1695 Cornelis de Heem, Dutch painter born on 08 April 1631. — MORE ON DE HEEM AT ART “4” MAYLINKSA Swag of Fruit and FlowersStill-Life with Flowers and FruitStill-Life with FlowersVanitas Still-Life with Musical InstrumentsStilleven met bloemen en plantenFlower Still-Life
    1656 Dirk Hals, Dutch painter born on 19 March 1591. MORE ON HALS AT ART “4” MAY LINKS The Merry Company — a different Merry Company A Party at TableSeated Man Smoking a PipeLa Fête ChampêtreGarden PartyAmusing Party in the Open Air _ detailThe Merry CompanyMusicaleBanquet Scene in a Renaissance HallSeated Woman with a Letter — Merry Party in a Tavern — Banquet Scene in a Renaissance Hall
    1635 Domenico Robusti, Venetian painter born in 1560.
    1622 Leonello Spada, Italian artist born in 1576.
    click for story of Nastagio1510 Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi “Sandro Botticelli”, in Florence, born in 1445, one of the greatest painters of the Florentine Renaissance. His The Birth of Venus and Primavera are often said to epitomize for modern viewers the spirit of the Renaissance. — MORE ON BOTTICELLI AT ART “4” MAY LINKS Birth of Venus _ detail Primavera — Venus and Mars — Pallas and the Centaur — Calumny of Apelles _ detail: Truth and Remorse — Discovery of the Body of Holofernes — Return of Judith to Bethulia — Mystic Nativity — Daughters of Jethro — Adoration by the Magi _ detail — Temptation of Christ _ detail 1 _ detail 2 _ detail 3 _ detail 4 _ detail 5 _ detail 6 _ detail 7 — Pietà — Saint Barnabas Altarpiece — Coronation of the Virgin — Saint Dominic — Dante
    The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti by Bocaccio, illustrated by Botticelli

    The Annunciation — a different The AnnunciationAdoration by the Magi
    Births which occurred on a May 17:
    1991 World Wide Web       ^top^
         Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist on fellowship at CERN (the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland), presents the architecture for the World Wide Web to a CERN committee and releases a version of the Web on CERN's computers.
          Since 1989, Berners-Lee had been working on a hypertext system that would allow documents to "link" to each other easily. By 1990, he had created the basic parameters of the World Wide Web, which were posted on the Internet in the summer of 1991.
          Berners-Lee continued to develop the Web through 1993, working with feedback from Internet users. By late 1991 and early 1992, the Web was widely discussed, and in early 1993, when Marc Andreessen and other graduate students at the University of Illinois released the Mosaic browser (Netscape's precursor), the Web rapidly became a popular communications medium.
    1935 Rafael Canogar, pintor y escultor español.
    1912 Archibald Cox, Watergate special prosecutor.
    1900 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Iran's spiritual-political leader
    1899 Alfonso Reyes, escritor mexicano.
    1886 Alfonso XIII nace y es proclamado rey de España bajo la regencia de su madre, María Cristina de Habsburgo-Lorena.
    1873 Dorothy Miller Richardson.       ^top^
         She would grow up to become an influential English writer, whose stream-of-consciousness style will influence James Joyce and Virginia Woolf.
          Richardson, though seldom read today, was widely read and discussed in her own time. The daughter of a grocer who went bankrupt when she was 17, Richardson was well-educated and highly independent. After her father's economic catastrophe, she took a job as a teacher in Germany for six months, then taught in London and worked as a governess for two years. In the late 1890s, Richardson devoted herself to caring for her severely depressed mother, who killed herself in November 1895 while Richardson was out taking a walk. Richardson moved to the Bloomsbury district in London, determined to support herself. She took a job as a dental assistant and earned extra money by writing essays and reviews. Unusually liberated for the time period, Richardson made friends with other young women who worked in offices. She attended public events and lived sparsely so she could afford concert tickets.
          Richardson met H.G. Wells, the husband of an old school friend, in the early 1900s. She had an affair with Wells and in 1906 found herself pregnant with Wells' child. She broke off with him, hoping to raise the child herself, but miscarried. She then moved to Sussex, where she wrote a monthly column for The Dental Record and sketches for The Saturday Review while working on the first volume of her stream-of-consciousness novel, Pilgrimage. The novel, which eventually stretched to 12 volumes, traced the development of a young woman whose life paralleled Richardson's. The first volume of the novel, called Pointed Roofs, was published in 1915, followed by two more volumes in 1916 and 1917.
          Richardson married an artist, 15 years her junior, in 1917 and supported him with her writing. A review of her first three volumes published in 1918 first used the literary term "stream of consciousness" to describe her groundbreaking style. Many important 20th century writers adapted her techniques. Richardson died in 1957 at the age of 84.
    1866 Erik Satie, Honfleur, France, composer (Mémoires d'un Amnésique)
    1865 La Unión Internacional de Telegrafía: se firma en París el convenio que la establece.
    1864 Melquiades Álvarez y Gonzárez Pivada, jurista y político español.
    1861 Maxime-Émile-Louis Maufra, French Impressionist painter who died on 23 May 1918. — LINKSLa Route du Gaud
    1854 Karl Schweninger II, Austrian artist who died in 1903.
    1845 Jacint Verdaguer, poeta catalán.
    1836 Joseph Norman Lockyer, would discover Helium, found Nature magazine
    1806 Pascual Madoz, intelectual, político y escritor español.
    1792 New York Stock Exchange       ^top^
          The early 1790s were not a kind time for New York's burgeoning class of speculative traders. Their collection reputation had been badly tainted by the fall of William Duer, a powerful speculator who parlayed privileged information into speculative trades. Along with an extended jail term, the maneuver left Duer broke, which all but destroyed the traders' nascent market.
          However, rather than give up the ghost of speculative trading, the dealers and auctioneers decided to legitimize their operations. And so, on this day in 1792, a group of twenty-four traders gathered under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street in lower Manhattan to mete out the conditions and regulations of their speculative market. The result was the Buttonwood Agreement, a modest, two-sentence contract which gave birth to the New York Stock Exchange, which would become the world's largest forum for trading stocks and securities the first formalized. Where speculators had previously conducted their auctions twice a day in various locations, including curbs and coffeehouses, the Buttonwood Agreement established firmer rules and parameters for trading.
    1754 Antoine Berjon, French artist who died on 24 October 1843.
    1749 Edward Jenner England, physician, discovered vaccination
    Holidays Cuba : Agrarian Reform/Peasant Day / Norway : Independence Day/Constitution Day (1814)

    Religious Observances RC : St Dunstan, archbp of Canterbury, patron of jewelers / RC : St Paschal Baylon, lay brother / Santos Pascual Bailón, Pablo, Adrián y Heradio.

    Thought for the day: “The reason people blame things on previous generations? There's only one other choice!” [Yeah!... Blame it on future generations!]

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