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- The Associated Press
Friday May 17, 2002

Today is Friday, May 17, the 137th day of 2002. There are 228 days left in the year. 



On May 17, 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was founded by brokers meeting under a tree located on what is now Wall Street. 


On this date: 

In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run; the winner was “Aristides.” 

In 1938, Congress passed the Vinson Naval Act, providing for a two-ocean navy. 

In 1939, Britain’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrived in Quebec on the first visit to Canada by reigning British sovereigns. 

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

In 1946, President Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen. 

In 1948, the Soviet Union recognized the new state of Israel. 

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in its Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decision that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal. 

In 1973, the Senate opened its hearings into the Watergate scandal. 

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 and the United States called the attack a mistake.) 


Ten years ago:  

Pro-democracy protests began in Thailand; in four days of clashes with troops, 44 people reportedly were killed, although activists charged that hundreds died. Orchestra leader Lawrence Welk died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 89. 


Five years ago:  

Rebel leader Laurent Kabila declared himself president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. Russia’s Mir space station got a new oxygen generator and a fresh American astronaut, courtesy of the space shuttle Atlantis. “Silver Charm” won the Preakness, two weeks after winning the Kentucky Derby. (However, Silver Charm failed to win the Belmont Stakes.) 


One year ago:  

President Bush unveiled his energy plan, bracing Americans for a summer of blackouts, layoffs, business closings and skyrocketing fuel costs and warning of “a darker future” without his aggressive plans to drill for more oil and gas and rejuvenate nuclear power. 


Today’s Birthdays:  

Former Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox is 90. Opera singer Birgit Nilsson is 84. Actor-director Dennis Hopper is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pervis Jackson (The Spinners) is 64. Singer Taj Mahal is 60. Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester is 58. Actor Bill Paxton is 47. Boxing Hall-of-Famer Sugar Ray Leonard is 46. Actor-comedian Bob Saget is 46. Singer Enya is 41. Actor Craig Ferguson (“The Drew Carey Show”) is 40. Singer-musician Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) is 37. Rhythm-and-blues musician O’Dell (Mint Condition) is 37. Actress Paige Turco (“The Agency”) is 37. Singer Jordan Knight (New Kids on the Block) is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darnell Van Rensalier (Shai) is 32. Actor Hill Harper is 29. Singer Kandi Burruss is 26. Actor Tahj Mowry is 16.