1756: Britain declares war on France
Nearly two years after the fighting had broken out in the Ohio country, the British formally declared war on France on May 17. This war actually marked the beginning of the Seven Years War, a global conflict that is known in America as the French and Indian War. Although, the war was declared in 1756, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years.
1792: 24 Merchants form the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street
Today what is called the New York Stock Exchange began with the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement by twenty-four New York City stockbrokers and merchants on May 17, 1792 under a Buttonwood tree. Initially, there were five securities traded in the New York Stock City with the first listed company on the NYSE being the Bank of New York.
1803: John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine
For an idea, a reaping machine is a mechanical, semi-automated device that harvests crops. Near the close of the last century, the subject of grain-reaping machines began to claim the attention of inventors again after the 1800s. American invention in this line, so far as there is any record, began with the patent issued to Richard French and T. J. Hawkins of New Jersey on May 17, 1803.
1940: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium and begins the invasion of France
Brussels and Belgium fell to Germany and the Allies were forced to retreat to the coastline of France. This was during World War II. The attack began on 10 May with German air raids on Belgium. After the invasions of Denmark and Norway in April and early May 1940, Hitler invaded France in May, 1940.
2004: Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
Massachusetts became the first U.S. state and the sixth jurisdiction in the world to legalize same-sex marriage following the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Goodridge, Department of Public Health six months earlier. Over the course of the day, nearly 80 same-sex couples tied the knot across the state, and hundreds more applied for marriage license.
2014: The center-right Hindu Nationalist Party, the BJP, wins landslide election victory in India
In the Indian General Election of 2014, the BJP won 282 seats, leading the National Democratic Alliance to a tally of 336 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha when Narendra Modi was sworn in as the 14th Prime Minister of India. Next time, in 2109, the BJP won the general election with a clear majority again.