History is a cause of celebration and reflection. It is a source of inspiration. There have been uncountable inventions, innovations, treaties, and other significant events in the past and all of them have something to teach us, to inspire us to keep going, and not to stop even if we fail. Start your day with a positive thought. Do something great today and we might publish it in our Daily Column in the years to come. Let us read the historical milestones of May 17:
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 was the beginning of the Seven Years War. It was the 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 from the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street
The present day New York Stock Exchange started with the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement. This was 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 harvesting machine. It is mechanical and semi-automated. 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. This was 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 a marriage license.