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Fourth echelon

almanac for sunday, may 17 2015

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Today is Sunday, May 17, the 137th day of 2015 with 228 to follow.

The moon is new. Morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Saturn. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury 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; English writer Robert Surtees in 1805; Schuyler Wheeler, inventor of the electric fan, in 1860; French composer Erik Satie in 1866; 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 73); actor/director Bill Paxton in 1955 (age 60); actor/comedian Bob Saget in 1956 (age 59); boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in 1956 (age 59); sports broadcaster Jim Nantz in 1959 (age 56); Irish New Age singer Enya in 1961 (age 54); Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson in 1962 (age 53).


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 1954, in a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court 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 American 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, U.S. 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 at age 87.

In 2014, Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, raced to victory in the Preakness.


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

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