Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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May 17th
Armed Forces Day
On May 17, 1952, the New York Times ran an article reminding readers of Armed Forces Day, observed that year while American troops were fighting in Korea. “This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women . . . who are in the service of their country all over the world,” the Times noted. “Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in the line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”

Armed Forces Day is observed on the third Saturday in May. It’s a day to salute soldiers in all branches of the military and remember that we would have no peace, security, or freedom – no United States – without them.

While Memorial Day honors America’s war dead, and Veteran’s Day honors those who have served in times past, Armed Forces Day recognizes those presently serving. The nation has observed this patriotic holiday since 1950. The military often sponsors parades, air shows, and tours of ships, planes, and bases on Armed Forces Day.

“It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem,” the Times noted. “Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.”

American History Parade
1792
The New York Stock Exchange is founded by 24 brokers meeting under a buttonwood tree on what today is Wall Street.

1875
Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis, wins the first Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

1877
Alexander Graham Bell answers the first interstate phone call, made from New Brunswick, New Jersey, to New York City.

1954
In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

1973
The Senate Watergate Committee begins nationally televised hearings.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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