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17th May


1620 The first merry-go-around was set up at a fair in Philippolis, Turkey.

1749 * Edward Jenner, English pioneer of vaccination.

1792 The New York Stock Exchange was established when a group of 24 brokers and merchants met by a tree on what is now Wall Street and signed the Buttonwood Agreement.

1861 The first package holiday arranged by Thomas Cook was for a trip to Paris, France.

1875 The first Kentucky Derby was held at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky.

1890 The first weekly comic paper Comic Cuts published by Alfred Harmsworth in London.

1916 The Daylight Saving Act (Summer Time) was passed in Britain.

1936 * Dennis Hopper, US actor and director of the film Easy Rider (1969).

1943 An audacious RAF raid into the industrial heartland of Germany uses revolutionary 'bouncing' bombs to breach three dams and flood the Ruhr valley. The bombs were invented Dr Barnes Wallis, the designer of the Wellington bomber.

1955 * Grace Jones, Jamaican-born US singer who recorded the song 'La Vie en Rose'.

1955 In the first broadcast of its kind Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden presents the largest-scale election broadcast ever seen on television.

1956 * 'Sugar' Ray Leonard, US world boxing champion at middleweight and welterweight.

1960 The much-heralded Big Four summit in Paris fails after U2 spy plane recriminations.

1973 Televised Watergate hearings opened, headed by North Carolina senator Sam Ervin.

1978 The coffin containing the body of Charlie Chaplin, missing since his grave was pillaged nearly two months ago was found.

1987 An Iraqi warplane attacked the U.S.S. Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 American sailors and wounding 62.

1997 Laurent Kabila declared himself president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2000 Two Royal Marine commandos were the first Britons to reach the geographical North Pole despite severe weather conditions.


xxxx * = Date of birth

 
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