On May 17, 1943, the Memphis Belle became the first B-17 to complete 25 missions in World War II, securing the plane and crew’s reputations as rockstars.
Today is Thursday, May 17, the 137th day of 2018 with 228 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include English physician Edward Jenner, developer of the smallpox vaccine, in 1749; Schuyler Wheeler, inventor of the electric fan, in 1860; baseball Hall of Fame member James “Cool Papa” Bell in 1903; actor Maureen O’Sullivan in 1911; actor Dennis Hopper in 1936; musician Taj Mahal in 1942 (age 76); actor/director Bill Paxton in 1955; actor/comedian Bob Saget in 1956 (age 62); boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in 1956 (age 62); sports broadcaster Jim Nantz in 1959 (age 59); Irish New Age singer Enya, born Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin, in 1961 (age 57); Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson in 1962 (age 56); singer-songwriter Trent Reznor in 1965 (age 53); actor Hill Harper in 1966 (age 53); singer Jordan Knight in 1970 (age 49); actor Sasha Alexander in 1973 (age 45); singer/TV personality Kandi Burruss in 1976 (age 42); NFL quarterback Matt Ryan in 1985 (age 33); dancer Derek Hough in 1985 (age 34); actor Nikki Reed in 1988 (age 30); actor/model Karrueche Tran in 1988 (age 30); Canadian Olympic gold medal ice dancer Tessa Virtue in 1989 (age 29); actor Ross Butler in 1990 (age 28).
On this date in history:
In 1792, 24 brokers met in New York City and formed the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1875, Aristides was the winner of the first Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
In 1943, the Memphis Belle became the first B-17 to complete 25 missions in World War II, securing the plane and crew’s reputations as rockstars. The plane was the subject of a documentary at the time and a film about the crew was made in 1990 starring Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz and Harry Connick Jr. Ten days after the 25th mission, the pilot, Capt. Robert K. Morgan and co-pilot, Capt. James Verinis, met the king and queen of England, to whom Morgan explained the origin of the plane’s name.
In 1954, in a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
In 1973, the U.S. Senate Watergate Committee opened hearings into a break-in at Democratic National headquarters in Washington.
In 1987, two Iraqi Exocet missiles hit the frigate USS Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 seamen. Iraq apologized for mistaking the ship’s identity and the Stark’s top officers were reprimanded and retired.
In 1989, 1 million people demonstrated for democratic reforms in Beijing. The number of students fasting to support the drive reached 3,000.
In 1999, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost his bid for re-election when voters chose Ehud Barak, head of the center-left Israel One coalition, to succeed him.
In 2000, prosecutors in Birmingham, Ala., charged two longtime suspects in the deaths of four girls in a church bombing in 1963 that became a watershed event in the civil rights movement. The suspects were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In 2005, Los Angeles voters elected Antonio Villaraigosa as the city’s first Hispanic mayor since 1872.
In 2007, the United States’ “minority” citizenship topped the 100 million mark, about one-third of the total U.S. population, the U.S. Census Bureau said. Hispanics made up the largest group, ahead of African-Americans, 44.3 million to 40.2 million.
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court banned the sentencing of a juvenile to life in prison for a non-homicide case, calling the practice unconstitutional, and cruel and unusual punishment.
In 2011, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, had separated after she learned he had a child years earlier with a household employee. Shriver filed for divorce in July 2011.
In 2012, President Barack Obama said Myanmar was making progress “in the path to Democracy” and announced his nomination of Derek Mitchell as the first U.S. ambassador to the Southeast Asian country.
In 2013, Jorge Videla, former president of Argentina (1976-81), died in prison at age 87.
A thought for the day: “Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumblebee, the small child and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” — Atlanta hostage heroine Ashley Smith