May 17: A Day of Many Histories

May 17 has been a good day for civil rights. On this date in 1992, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses— one factor in the declaration of May 17 as International Day Against Homophobia. (U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a press statement about the observance.)

On May 17, 2004, marriage first became legal for same-sex couples in Massachusetts. Gov. Deval Patrick has named today Marriage Equality Day here in the Commonwealth.

And on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision striking down racial segregation in education.

So far, no new news of the same stature this year. But hey, no need to wait until next May 17, either. I’d be happy to bake a cake any other day of the year, too.