17 May 1954
On this date in 1954 - The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision when it issued its landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, which declared that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal.
- 1527 - Spanish Adventurer Pánfilo de Narváez departed Spain to explore Florida with 600 men, by 1536 only 4 survive.
- 1673 - Frenchmen Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette began their exploration of the Mississippi River
- 1827 - At age 18, future U.S. President Andrew Johnson married 16 year-old Eliza McCardle in Warrenton, Tennessee.
- 1849 - Fire destroyed the Centrum in St Louis, Missouri.
- 1863 - The Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi occurred during the Vicksburg campaign.
- 1875 - Jockey Oliver Lewis rode H.P. McGrath's thoroughbred Aristides to victory in the first Kentucky Derby at the Louisville Jockey Club.
- 1909 - White firemen on Georgia railroads strike to protest against hiring black workers to fill jobs formerly held by whites.
- 1967 - After 42 years, Tennessee repealed the Butler Act which prohibited the teaching of evolution in the state’s public schools.
- 1980 - A major race riot occurred in Miami Florida. Sixteen are killed and more than 300 injured.
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