World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
May 17 marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. Since 1969, the International Telecommunication Union has used this day to raise awareness of the benefits of telecommunication technology and the hazards of a global digital divide.
From “smart” doorbells to refrigerators that tell you when you're running out of milk, the Internet of Things may seem convenient, but your toaster might be watching you sleep.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously (9–0) that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits states from denying equal protection to any person within their jurisdictions. The decision thus rejected the “separate but equal” doctrine, advanced by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Although the 1954 decision strictly applied only to public schools, it implied that segregation was not permissible in other public facilities. One of the most important rulings in the court’s history, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka helped inspire the American civil rights movement.