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5 Fun Facts About May 17 In Massachusetts History

---Learn Every Day: MA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ma To: 618-270-4005---

1) On May 17, 1637, the Pequot War began in Massachusetts, when English settlers and Native American allies attacked a Pequot village on the Mystic River, killing up to 700 Pequot men, women, and children.

2) May 17, 1774, was the date of the Massachusetts Government Act, a punitive measure passed by the British Parliament in response to the Boston Tea Party. The Act abolished the Massachusetts Charter of 1691 and restricted town meetings, among other provisions.

3) On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, declaring segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. The case originated in Topeka, Kansas, but had national implications for the civil rights movement.

4) May 17, 2004, saw the first legal same-sex marriages in the United States, when Massachusetts became the first state to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The decision was made by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a case called Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.

5) Finally, May 17 is celebrated each year as "Bunker Hill Day" in Massachusetts, commemorating the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill, a key early engagement of the American Revolution. The battle, which took place in the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown, saw colonial forces under William Prescott withstand two ill-fated British assaults before being forced to retreat due to lack of ammunition.
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