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Saturday, May 17

May 10, 2014

Today is Saturday, May 17, the 137th day of 2014. There are 228 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1536 - Archbishop Cranmer declares marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn is invalid after she fails to bear a male heir. She is executed two days later.

1756 - Britain declares war on France, joining the Seven Years’ War between European powers.

1782 - Treaty of Salbai ends first of three wars between British and Marathas of India. The only British gain is the island of Salsette off Bombay.

1792 - Twenty-four merchants form the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street.

1814 - Norway’s constitution is signed, providing for a limited monarchy.

1934 - Military seizes power in Bulgaria from democratic government destabilized by Great Depression.

1940 - Nazi Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium, in World War II.

1946 - Ion Antonescu, fascist wartime prime minister of Romania, is sentenced to death; U.S. President Harry Truman seizes control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.

1954 - The U.S. Supreme Court issues its landmark Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka ruling, which declares that racially segregated public schools are inherently unequal.

1957 - Egypt bars Israeli ships from Suez Canal.

1980 - Rioting that claimed 18 lives erupts in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood after an all-white jury in Tampa acquits four former Miami police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie.

1983 - Israel and Lebanon reach an agreement on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon. The pullback starts in September.

1987 - An Iraqi warplane attacks the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 American sailors. Iraq and the United States call the attack a mistake.

1988 - Fighting rages in Lebanon despite peace efforts by Syria and Iran.

1990 - Two messianic Jews confess to desecrating 300 Jewish graves in Haifa, Israel, in hopes Arabs would be blamed.

1993 - Rebels call strike that cripples public transport and shuts down business in Lima, Peru.

1994 - Malawi voters stream from impoverished villages to take part in first multiparty election in three decades.

1995 - Jacques Chirac becomes France’s president with a promise to rejuvenate a nation scarred by unemployment and inequality.

1997 - Zaire’s new leader Laurent Kabila renames the nation the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

1998 - The last U.S. government-chartered flight leaves the Indonesian capital, and other countries also evacuate their citizens in a lull in riots protesting President Suharto’s rule.

1999 - Labor party candidate Ehud Barak wins a decisive victory in Israeli elections over hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Makah Indians in Washington state in northwestern U.S. harpoon a gray whale for the first time in 70 years.

2000 - Indonesia’s first human rights trial convicts 24 soldiers and a civilian of murdering dozens of villagers during a massacre in Aceh province in 1999.

2001 - The United Nations conference on poverty announces the launch of the World Trade University, a new university to give the world’s poor access to training in international trade and finance.

2003 - Sri Lanka’s heaviest rains in 50 years causes flash flooding that kills an estimated 250 people and washes away whole villages, destroying about 55,000 homes. About 150,000 people are made homeless.

2004 - Gay couples begin exchanging marriage vows in Massachusetts, marking the first time a U.S. state has granted gays and lesbians the right to marry.

2005 - Under growing international pressure, U.S. authorities seize Luis Posada Carriles, a 77-year-old former CIA operative and Cuban exile accused by Fidel Castro’s government of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner in Venezuela that killed 73 people. He had been seeking asylum in the United States.

2006 - The U.N. Security Council adopts a resolution pressing Syria to establish diplomatic relations and set its border with Lebanon as “a significant step” to asserting Beirut’s sovereignty.

2007 - Russian Orthodox leaders sign a pact to heal an 80-year schism between the church in Russia and an offshoot set up abroad, which split off in anger when the Russian church declined to defy the Communist government.

2008 - Assassination threats derail plans by Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to return home to campaign for the presidential runoff vote.

2009 - Tamil Tigers admit defeat in their fierce quarter-century war for a separate homeland as government forces race to clear last pockets of resistance in northern Sri Lanka.

2010 - The last of 10 Americans detained while trying to take 33 children out of Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake is freed when a judge convicts her but sentences her to time already served in jail.

2011 — U.S. lawmakers warn Pakistan that billions of dollars in American aid are at stake if Islamabad does not step up its efforts against terrorists, a clear sign of the growing exasperation after the U.S. takedown of Osama bin Laden deep inside Pakistan.

2012 — Syria’s main opposition council is crumbling under the weight of infighting and divisions over issues that cut to the heart of the revolution, including accusations that the movement is becoming as autocratic as the regime it wants to drive out.

2013 — Two bombs hidden in a motorcycle and a car explode inside an elite gated community linked to the family of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, killing at least nine people and wounding more than 70 near the southern city of Kandahar.

Today’s Birthdays:

Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter (1444-1510); Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Romania (1717-1780); Edward Jenner, English physician, inventor of vaccination (1749-1823); Birgit Nilsson, Swedish opera singer (1918-2005); Christian Lacroix, French couturier (1950--); Dennis Hopper, U.S. actor-director (1936-2010); Bill Paxton, U.S. actor (1955--); Enya, Irish New Age singer (1961--).

Thought For Today:

Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true — Honore de Balzac, French novelist (1799-1850).

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