#TodayInHistory – May 17
May 17 – Some important events on this day
218 👉🏼 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet ☄️
1527 👉🏼 Pánfilo de Narváez departs Spain to explore Florida with 600 men – by 1536 only 4 survive
1536 👉🏼 Anne Boleyn’s 4 “lovers” executed shortly before her own beheading.
1792 👉🏼 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street
1803 👉🏼 John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine
1824 👉🏼 The diaries of Lord Byron are burnt by six of the poet’s friends at the office of John Murray in London, sometimes described as “the greatest crime in literary history” 📔
1861 👉🏼 First color photograph of a tartan ribbon shown by Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell to the Royal Institution in London.
James Clerk Maxwell’s portrayal of electromagnetic forces as “fields” revolutionized physics in the 19th century. Maxwell took the work of Michael Faraday and created a mathematical formula that linked magnetism and electricity. His work created a basis for modern electrical engineering and paved the way for x-rays and radar.
Maxwell’s other achievements included work on color including producing what was probably the first color photograph on this day. He also produced ground-breaking work on the kinetic theory of gases, and on the nature of Saturn’s rings.
1884 👉🏼 Alaska becomes a US territory
1906 👉🏼 Switzerland’s Simplon Tunnel open to rail traffic 🇨🇭
1959 👉🏼 Sanctuary of Christ the King inaugurated, a 28 meter high monument and shrine overlooking Lisbon, Portugal by sculptor Francisco Franco de Sousa.
Inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer monumental statue in Brazil, the Sanctuary of the King was built by the Portuguese Episcopate between 1949 and 1959. It is situated in Almada, across the Tagus River from Portugal’s capital.
It depicts Christ the King with his arms outstretched and expresses Portugal’s gratitude for making it through WWII.
1961 👉🏼 Fidel Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers
1973 👉🏼 Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings
1990 👉🏼 World Health Organization takes homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses
2004 👉🏼 Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Marcia Kadish, 56, and Tanya McCloskey, 52, of Malden, Massachusetts, marry at Cambridge City Hall in Massachusetts, becoming the first legally married same-sex partners in the United States. Over the course of the day, 77 other same-sex couples tied the knot across the state, and hundreds more applied for marriage licenses. The day was characterized by much celebration and only a few of the expected protests took place.
2014 👉🏼 The center-right Hindu Nationalist Party, the BJP, wins landslide election victory in India 🇮🇳