17 May 1875

Aristides wins the very first Kentucky Derby.

The 1875 Kentucky Derby was the first running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 17, 1875. The first Kentucky Derby was a 1.5-mile race, and the traditional distance of 1.25 miles was not established until the 1896 Derby. Thirteen of the fifteen jockeys in the race, including winner Oliver Lewis, were African-American. Attendance was estimated at 10,000.

The winner was Aristides, by two lengths. His jockey was Oliver Lewis, his trainer was Ansel Williamson, and his owner was H.P. McGrath. Aristides’ half-brother and stablemate Chesapeake also ran in the race. Both Aristides’ jockey and trainer were black. Aristides’s time of 2 minutes and 37.75 seconds was at the time a world record for the distance.

17 May 1805

Muhammad Ali becomes W?li of Egypt.

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Muhammad Ali was an Albanian commander in the Ottoman army, he
joined the forces that were sent to Egypt in 1801 to expel the French forces led by Napoléon Bonaparte that occupied Egypt in 1798. Ali exploited the anarchy resulting from
the power vacuum in Egypt after the French withdrawal to strengthen his troops and gain the trust and support of the public. In 1805, Muhammad Ali was placed as a ruler of Egypt by the Egyptian public chiefs and religious sheikhs.

Shortly after he seized the power, Muhammad Ali started his ambitious plan to modernize
Egypt in all fields. A question may arise regarding the intentions of Muhammad Ali, that is, why he, an Albanian, was interested in building a modern country in Egypt? The answer is simply that in his original country, Ali’s furthermost ambition was to be a military leader or even a minister. But in Egypt, he found it a golden chance for him to seize the power for himself and his successors and be the ruler of a big and rich country like Egypt. This motivation is important and will be a significant factor in the comparison between the Egyptian case and the Japanese one.