2007 – Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This is the first time that trains have crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.
2004 – The first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. are performed in the state of Massachusetts.
1994 – Malawi holds its first multi-party elections.
1983 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
1977 – Nolan Bushnell opened the first Chuck E. Cheese's in San Jose, California.
1973 – Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the United States Senate.
1954 – The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
1939 – The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers play in the United States' first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City.
1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
1875 – Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby.
1863 – Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, the first book in the Galician language.
1859 – Members of the Melbourne Football Club codified the first rules of Australian rules football.
1988 – Nikki Reed, American actress, singer, and screenwriter. She became known in 2003, after the release of the film Thirteen, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, for which she was credited with Hardwicke as a co-writer of the screenplay, and in which she played a lead role.
1985 – Derek Hough, American actor, singer, and dancer. Derek Hough (/ˈhʌf/; born May 17, 1985) is an American professional Latin and ballroom dancer, choreographer, actor and singer.
1985 – Todd Redmond, American baseball player. Redmond was acquired by the Cincinnati Reds in 2012, and made his Major League debut later that year.
1983 – Channing Frye, American basketball player. He was drafted eighth overall by the New York Knicks in the 2005 NBA draft, and was the first college senior to be selected in that draft.
1983 – Jeremy Sowers, American baseball player. Jeremy Bryan Sowers (born May 17, 1983) is an American former professional baseball pitcher and current scout with the Tampa Bay Rays.
1982 – Matt Cassel, American football player. He played college football at USC.
1982 – Tony Parker, French-American basketball player. He was selected by the Spurs with the 28th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft, and quickly became their starting point guard.
1978 – Carlos Peña, Dominican-American baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals.
1976 – José Guillén, Dominican-American baseball player. Guillén played for ten MLB teams in his career.
1976 – Kandi Burruss, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress. In 2000, she won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for her writing contributions on the TLC hit song "No Scrubs".
1976 – Wang Leehom, American-Taiwanese singer-songwriter, producer, actor, and director. Wang debuted in 1995 and since then has released over 25 albums, with sales of over 50 million copies.
1973 – Josh Homme, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. He also co-founded Eagles of Death Metal in 1998, playing drums for their studio recordings and occasionally performing live with them.
1970 – Hubert Davis, American basketball player and coach. He is the nephew of Walter Davis, another former NBA player.
1970 – Jordan Knight, American singer-songwriter and actor (New Kids on the Block). After New Kids on the Block split in 1994, he launched a solo career.
1970 – Matt Lindland, American mixed martial artist, wrestler, and politician. He also started an apparel company named Dirty Boxer.
1968 – Dave Abbruzzese, American rock drummer and songwriter (Pearl Jam), was the drummer for the American rock band Pearl Jam from 1991 to 1994. He replaced drummer Dave Krusen in 1991, shortly before the release of the band's debut album, Ten.
1966 – Danny Manning, American basketball player and coach. Daniel Ricardo Manning (born May 17, 1966) is an American college basketball coach and retired National Basketball Association player.
1965 – Trent Reznor, American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success.
1963 – Jon Koncak, American basketball player. Koncak spent ten seasons with the Hawks (1985–1995), mainly in a reserve role, then concluded his career with the Orlando Magic.
1963 – Page McConnell, American keyboard player and songwriter. Page Samuel McConnell (born May 17, 1963 in Philadelphia) is an American multi-instrumentalist most noted for his work as the keyboardist and a songwriter for the band Phish.
1962 – Craig Ferguson, Scottish-American comedian, actor, and talk show host. He was also the host of the CBS late-night talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005–14).
1962 – Rosalind Picard, American computer scientist and engineer, co-founded Affectiva. Rosalind Wright Picard (born May 17, 1962) is an American scholar and inventor who is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, and co-founder of the startups Affectiva and Empatica.
1960 – Lou DiBella, American boxing promoter, actor, and producer. DiBella currently promotes world-rated fighters Regis Prograis, Tevin Farmer, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Ivan Baranchyk, Richard Commey, George Kambosos Jnr, as well as rising prospects Oleksandr Teslenko and US Olympian Charles Conwell, among many others, like Willie Nelson (boxer) also called Willie "The Great" Nelson who beat world champion Tony Harrison and several top prospects.
1956 – Annise Parker, American politician. She also served as an at-large member of the Houston City Council from 1998 to 2003 and city controller from 2004 to 2010.
1956 – Bob Saget, American comedian, actor, and television host. Saget is also known for his adult-oriented stand-up routine.
1956 – Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer. Ray Charles Leonard (born May 17, 1956), best known as "Sugar" Ray Leonard, is an American former professional boxer, motivational speaker, and occasional actor.
1955 – Bill Paxton, American actor and director (d. 2017). He appeared in films such as The Terminator (1984), Commando (1985), Weird Science (1985), Aliens (1986), Near Dark (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Tombstone (1993), True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), U-571 (2000), Vertical Limit (2000), Frailty (2001), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Nightcrawler (2014), and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014).
1950 – Howard Ashman, American playwright and composer (d. 1991), was an American playwright and lyricist. He collaborated with Alan Menken on several works and is most widely known for several animated feature films for Disney, for which Ashman wrote the lyrics and Menken composed the music.
1944 – Jesse Winchester, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2014), was an American-Canadian musician and songwriter. He was born and raised in the southern United States.
1942 – Taj Mahal, American blues singer-songwriter and musician. The Taj Mahal (/ˌtɑːdʒ məˈhɑːl, ˌtɑːʒ-/; lit. Crown of the Palace, ) is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra.
1941 – Ben Nelson, American lawyer and politician, 37th Governor of Nebraska. Earl Benjamin Nelson (born May 17, 1941) is an American politician, businessman, and lawyer who served as the 37th Governor of Nebraska from 1991 to 1999 and as a United States Senator from Nebraska from 2001 to 2013.
1941 – David Cope, American composer and author. David Cope (born May 17, 1941 in San Francisco, California) is an American author, composer, scientist, and former professor of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
1940 – Alan Kay, American computer scientist and academic. He is best known for his pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface design.
1939 – Gary Paulsen, American author. Gary James Paulsen (born May 17, 1939) is an American writer of young adult literature, best known for coming of age stories about the wilderness.
1938 – Jason Bernard, American actor (d. 1996), was an American film and television actor.
1938 – Pervis Jackson, American R&B bass singer (The Spinners) (d. 2008), was an American R&B singer, noted as the bass singer for The Spinners, and was one of the group's original members.
1937 – Hazel R. O'Leary, American lawyer and politician, 7th United States Secretary of Energy, was the seventh United States Secretary of Energy, from 1993 to 1997, appointed by President Bill Clinton. She was the first woman and first African American to hold the position.
1936 – Dennis Hopper, American actor and director (d. 2010), was an American actor, filmmaker, photographer, and artist. He attended the Actors Studio, made his first television appearance in 1954, and soon after appeared alongside James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), and Giant (1956).
1934 – Earl Morrall, American football player and coach (d. 2014), was an American football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for twenty-one seasons. Morrall, who also occasionally punted, played 21 seasons in the National Football League as both a starter and reserve.
1934 – Ronald Wayne, American computer scientist, co-founded Apple Inc. Ronald Wayne (born May 17, 1934) is a retired American electronics industry worker.
1931 – Dewey Redman, American saxophonist (d. 2006), was an American saxophonist who performed free jazz as a bandleader and with Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett.
1931 – Marshall Applewhite, American cult leader, founded Heaven's Gate (d. 1997), was an American cult leader who founded what became known as the Heaven's Gate religious group and organized their mass suicide in 1997, claiming the lives of 39 people.
1922 – Jean Rédélé, French race car driver, founded Alpine (d. 2007), was an automotive pioneer, pilot and founder of the French automotive brand Alpine.
1921 – Bob Merrill, American composer and screenwriter (d. 1998), was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist, and screenwriter. He was one of the most successful songwriters of the 1950s on the US and UK single charts.
1920 – Harry Männil, Estonian-Venezuelan businessman, co-founded ACO Group (d. 2010), was an Estonian businessman, art collector, and cultural benefactor in several countries.
1919 – Merle Miller, American author and screenwriter (d. 1986), was an American writer, novelist, and author who is perhaps best remembered for his best-selling biography of Harry S. Truman, and as a pioneer in the gay rights movement.
1914 – Robert N. Thompson, American-Canadian chiropractor and politician (d. 1997), was a Canadian politician, chiropractor, and educator. He was born in Duluth, Minnesota, to Canadian parents and moved to Canada in 1918 with his family.
1912 – Ace Parker, American baseball and football player (d. 2013), was an American football and baseball player and coach. He played professional football as a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1937–1941) and Boston Yanks (1945) and in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) for the New York Yankees.
1912 – Archibald Cox, American lawyer and politician, 31st United States Solicitor General (d. 2004), was an American lawyer and law professor who served as U.S. Solicitor General under President John F.
1912 – Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner, American inventor (d. 2006), was an African-American inventor most noted for her development of the sanitary belt. Racial discrimination prevented its adoption for thirty years.
1911 – Lisa Fonssagrives, Swedish-American model (d. 1992), was a Swedish fashion model widely credited with having been the first supermodel.
1911 – Maureen O'Sullivan, Irish-American actress (d. 1998), was an Irish-American actress best known for playing Jane in the Tarzan series of films starring Johnny Weissmuller.
1909 – Julius Sumner Miller, American physicist and academic (d. 1987), was an American physicist and television personality. He is best known for his work on children's television programs in North America and Australia.
1906 – Zinka Milanov, Croatian-American soprano and educator (d. 1989), was a Croatian-born operatic dramatic soprano who had a major career centered on the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. After finishing her education in Zagreb, Milanov made her debut in 1927 in Ljubljana as Leonora in Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore.
1903 – Cool Papa Bell, American baseball player and manager (d. 1991), was an American center fielder in Negro league baseball from 1922 to 1946. He is considered to have been one of the fastest men ever to play the game.
1893 – Frederick McKinley Jones, African-American inventor and entrepreneur (d. 1961), was an African-American inventor, entrepreneur, winner of the National Medal of Technology, and an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. His innovations in refrigeration brought great improvement to the long-haul transportation of perishable goods.
1889 – Dorothy Gibson, American actress and singer (d. 1946), was a pioneering American silent film actress, artist's model, and singer active in the early 20th century. She is best remembered as a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic and for starring in the first motion picture based on the disaster.
1868 – Horace Elgin Dodge, American businessman, co-founded Dodge (d. 1920), was an American automobile manufacturing pioneer and co-founder of Dodge Brothers Company.
1860 – Charlotte Barnum, American mathematician and social activist (d. 1934), was the first woman to receive a Ph.D in mathematics from Yale University.
1836 – Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian-American chess player (d. 1900), was an Austrian and later American chess master, and the first undisputed World Chess Champion, from 1886 to 1894. He was also a highly influential writer and chess theoretician.
1818 – Ezra Otis Kendall, American professor, astronomer and mathematician (d. 1899). He was known for his work in uranography.
1743 – Seth Warner, American colonel (d. 1784), was a Revolutionary War officer from Vermont who rose to rank of Continental colonel and was often given the duties of a brigade commander. He is best known for his leadership in the capture of Fort Crown Point, the Battle of Longueuil, the siege of Quebec, the retreat from Canada, and the battles of Hubbardton and Bennington.
2014 – C. P. Krishnan Nair, Indian businessman, founded The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts (b. 1922)
2014 – Gerald Edelman, American biologist and immunologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1929)
2013 – Ken Venturi, American golfer and sportscaster (b. 1931)
2012 – Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948)
2011 – Harmon Killebrew, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1936)
2010 – Walasse Ting, Chinese-American painter and poet (b. 1929)
2007 – Lloyd Alexander, American soldier and author (b. 1924)
2006 – Cy Feuer, American director, producer, and composer (b. 1911)
2005 – Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934)
2004 – Tony Randall, American actor (b. 1920)
2001 – Frank G. Slaughter, American physician and author (b. 1908)
1992 – Lawrence Welk, American accordion player and bandleader (b. 1903)
1985 – Abe Burrows, American director, composer, and author (b. 1910)
1977 – Charles E. Rosendahl, American admiral and pilot (b. 1892)
1974 – Ernest Nash, German-American photographer and scholar (b. 1898)
1964 – Nandor Fodor, Hungarian-American psychologist and parapsychologist (b. 1895)
1963 – John Wilce, American football player, coach, and physician (b. 1888)
1934 – Cass Gilbert, American architect (b. 1859)
1927 – Harold Geiger, American pilot and lieutenant (b. 1884)
1911 – Frederick August Otto Schwarz, German-American businessman, founded FAO Schwarz (b. 1836)
1886 – John Deere, American blacksmith and businessman, founded the Deere & Company (b. 1804)
1879 – Asa Packer, American businessman, founded Lehigh University (b. 1805)
1875 – John C. Breckinridge, American lawyer and politician, 14th Vice President of the United States, Confederate States general (b. 1821)
1829 – John Jay, American politician and diplomat, 1st Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1745)