Following are some of the major events to have occurred on May 17:
1900 – A small British cavalry force finally relieved the garrison under Colonel Robert Baden-Powell at Mafeking (now Mafikeng) in South Africa after 217 days’ siege by Dutch-speaking Boer settlers.
1989 – Hundreds of thousands of protesters fill Tiananmen Square in biggest popular upheaval in China since the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.
1997 – Laurent Kabila said he had taken power as head of state in Zaire. His forces took control of the capital Kinshasa. Kabila also renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2000 – Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader at the centre of a U.N. hostage crisis in Sierra Leone, was captured in the capital Freetown.
2001 – A Russian-built Yak-40 plane carrying 30 people including Iranian Transport Minister Rahman Dadman and other deputy ministers crashed in northern Iran, killing all on board.
2004 – Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to allow same-sex marriage.
2005 – A ferry with about 200 people on board sank in the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. Only 50 survived.
2006 – Romano Prodi was sworn in as Italian prime minister.
2007 – North and South Korea sent trains across heavily-armed border for first time since their 1950-1953 war.
2011 – First Pillow Fighting World Championships takes place in New York.
2016 – World’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, arrives in port for its maiden voyage.
(Reuters/Photo by Jeff Widener/Associated Press)