Order 2016 Almanac Now - Get 3 FREE Gifts

Calendar for May 17th, 2014

Armed Forces Day

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense and is observed on the third Saturday in May.


  • Died 1510: Sandro Botticelli (artist; works include the painting "Birth of Venus")

  • 1670s

  • 1673: Joliet-Marquette Mississippi River expedition began

  • 1740s

  • Born 1749: Edward Jenner (physician)

  • 1790s

  • 1792: The New York Stock Exchange established at Merchants Coffee House, New York City

  • 1820s

  • Died 1829: John Jay (first Chief Justice of the U.S.)

  • 1840s

  • 1849: Fire began that destroyed part of St. Louis, Missouri

  • 1870s

  • 1875: First Kentucky Derby held

  • 1880s

  • 1884: District of Alaska created

  • 1910s

  • Born 1911: Maureen O'Sullivan (actress)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1936: Dennis Hopper (actor)

  • 1938: Clifton Fadiman hosted the NBC Blue network quiz show Information Please

  • 1939: First coin-operated mailbox, the Mailomat, installed

  • 1940s

  • 1942: First U.S. cross-country helicopter flight ended

  • 1950s

  • 1954: U.S. Supreme Court issued Brown v. Board of Education decision, ruling that segregated schools are unconstitutional

  • Born 1955: Bill Paxton (actor)

  • Born 1956: Bob Saget (actor & comedian)

  • Born 1956: Sugar Ray Leonard (boxer)

  • 1960s

  • Born 1961: Enya (New Age singer)

  • Born 1962: Craig Ferguson (actor & television host)

  • 1970s

  • 1973: Senate Watergate Committee began public hearings

  • 1980s

  • Born 1982: Tony Parker (basketball player)

  • 1990s

  • Died 1992: Lawrence Welk (musician)

  • 2000s

  • Died 2002: Joe Black (baseball player)

  • 2004: Massachusetts became the first state to process marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples

  • 2004: A team of rocketeers led by a Bloomington, MN, man claimed success in their goal of launching the first amateur rocket into space, sending a 21-foot rocket named GoFast an estimated 70 miles above the Nevada desert

  • Died 2004: Tony Randall (actor; well known for his role as Felix Unger on the sitcom The Odd Couple)

  • Died 2005: Frank Gorshin (actor best known for role as the Riddler on the Batman television series)

  • 2010s

  • Died 2012: Donna Summer (singer; "Queen of Disco")

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?