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On this day: May 17

Published On: May 16 2013 04:12:43 PM EDT   Updated On: May 17 2013 02:00:00 AM EDT

St. Louis nearly burns to the ground, the first Kentucky Derby is held, the Supreme Court strikes down segregated schools, the Senate Watergate Committee begins televised hearings, and same-sex marriages begin in Massachusetts, all on this day.

OTD May 17 - Catherine I of Russia
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1727: Catherine I of Russia, the first woman to rule Imperial Russia, dies at the age of 43 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Fever and coughing blood from her nose, diagnosed as abscess of the lungs, led to her early death. The second wife of Peter I of Russia and the mother of Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, she reigned as empress of Russia from 1725 until her death.

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