A look back at some of the events which helped shape history on this day.
Today in history: May 17
1536 Archbishop Cranmer declares marriage of England's King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn is invalid after she fails to bear a male heir. She is executed two days later.
1756 Britain declares war on France, joining the Seven Years' War between European powers.
1782 - Treaty of Salbai ends first of three wars between British and Marathas of India. The only British gain is the island of Salsette off Bombay.
1792 Twenty-four merchants form the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street.
1814 Norway's constitution is signed, providing for a limited monarchy.
1934 Military seizes power in Bulgaria from democratic government destabilized by Great Depression.
1940 Nazi Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium, in World War II.
1946 Ion Antonescu, fascist wartime prime minister of Romania, is sentenced to death; U.S. President Harry Truman seizes control of the nation's railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.
1954 The U.S. Supreme Court issues its landmark Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka ruling, which declares that racially segregated public schools are inherently unequal.
1957 Egypt bars Israeli ships from Suez Canal.
1980 Rioting that claimed 18 lives erupts in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood after an all-white jury in Tampa acquits four former Miami police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie.
1983 Israel and Lebanon reach an agreement on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon. The pullback starts in September.
1987 An Iraqi warplane attacks the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 American sailors. Iraq and the United States call the attack a mistake.
1988 Fighting rages in Lebanon despite peace efforts by Syria and Iran.
1990 Two messianic Jews confess to desecrating 300 Jewish graves in Haifa, Israel, in hopes Arabs would be blamed.
1993 Rebels call strike that cripples public transport and shuts down business in Lima, Peru.
1994 Malawi voters stream from impoverished villages to take part in first multiparty election in three decades.
1995 Jacques Chirac becomes France's president with a promise to rejuvenate a nation scarred by unemployment and inequality.
1997 Zaire's new leader Laurent Kabila renames the nation the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
1998 The last U.S. government-chartered flight leaves the Indonesian capital, and other countries also evacuate their citizens in a lull in riots protesting President Suharto's rule.
1999 Labor party candidate Ehud Barak wins a decisive victory in Israeli elections over hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Makah Indians in Washington state in northwestern U.S. harpoon a gray whale for the first time in 70 years.
2000 Indonesia's first human rights trial convicts 24 soldiers and a civilian of murdering dozens of villagers during a massacre in Aceh province in 1999.
2001 The United Nations conference on poverty announces the launch of the World Trade University, a new university to give the world's poor access to training in international trade and finance.
2003 Sri Lanka's heaviest rains in 50 years causes flash flooding that kills an estimated 250 people and washes away whole villages, destroying about 55,000 homes. About 150,000 people are made homeless.
2004 Gay couples begin exchanging marriage vows in Massachusetts, marking the first time a U.S. state has granted gays and lesbians the right to marry.
2005 Under growing international pressure, U.S. authorities seize Luis Posada Carriles, a 77-year-old former CIA operative and Cuban exile accused by Fidel Castro's government of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner in Venezuela that killed 73 people. He had been seeking asylum in the United States.
2006 The U.N. Security Council adopts a resolution pressing Syria to establish diplomatic relations and set its border with Lebanon as "a significant step" to asserting Beirut's sovereignty.
2007 Russian Orthodox leaders sign a pact to heal an 80-year schism between the church in Russia and an offshoot set up abroad, which split off in anger when the Russian church declined to defy the Communist government.
2008 Assassination threats derail plans by Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to return home to campaign for the presidential runoff vote.
2009 Tamil Tigers admit defeat in their fierce quarter-century war for a sepaate homeland as government forces race to clear last pockets of resistance in northern Sri Lanka.
2010 - The last of 10 Americans detained while trying to take 33 children out of Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake is freed when a judge convicts her but sentences her to time already served in jail.