On This Day in History May 23

May 23 – Events:

  • 1430 – Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.
  • 1498 – Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake, in Florence, Italy, on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.
  • 1533 – The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
  • 1568 – Netherlands declared independence from Spain.
  • 1568 – Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeat Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.
  • 1609 – Official ratification of the Second Charter of Virginia takes place.
  • 1618 – The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years’ War.
  • 1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.
  • 1706 – Battle of Ramillies – the John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough defeats a French army under Marshal Villeroi.
  • 1805 – Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.
  • 1813 – South American independence leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).
  • 1846 – Mexican-American War: Mexico declares war on the United States.
  • 1863 – Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.
  • 1863 – The Siege of Port Hudson starts.
  • 1873 – The Canadian Parliament establishes the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  • 1900 – American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney becomes the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.
  • 1907 – Unicameral Parliament of Finland gathered for its first plenary session.
  • 1911 – Dedication ceremony for the New York Public Library.
  • 1915 – World War I: Italy joins the Allies after they declare war on Austria-Hungary.
  • 1923 – Launch of Belgium’s SABENA airline.
  • 1929 – The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, The Karnival Kid, was released.
  • 1933 – Seabiscuit, legendary American racehorse, is born.
  • 1934 – American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.
  • 1934 – The Auto-Lite Strike culminated in the “Battle of Toledo,” a five-day melee between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.
  • 1939 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 26 sailors. The remaining 32 crewmen and one passenger are rescued the following day.
  • 1945 – World War II: Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, commits suicide while in Allied custody.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Flensburg government under Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz was dissolved when its members were captured and arrested by British forces at Flensburg in Northern Germany.
  • 1949 – The Federal Republic of Germany is established, and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany proclaimed.
  • 1958 – Explorer 1 ceases transmission.
  • 1960 – Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured.
  • 1967 – Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran and blockades the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.
  • 1970 – An outbreak of fire occurs in the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Straits in north Wales contributing to its partial destruction and amounting to approximately £1,000,000 worth of fire damage.
  • 1977 – Two terrorist actions unfold in The Netherlands: Several dozen hostages are taken onboard a train, and about 100 others (mostly children) are held at a Dutch school. The train siege lasts until June 11.
  • 1985 – U.S. engineer Thomas Patrick Cavanagh is sentenced to life in prison for attempting to sell stealth bomber secrets to the Soviet Union.
  • 1995 – Oklahoma City bombing: In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, what remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is imploded.
  • 1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum, with a high margin of three-fourth ‘yes’ votes to Northern Ireland.
  • 2002 – The “55 parties” clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland. 2003 – The euro exceeds its initial trading value as it hits $1.18 for the first time since its introduction in 1999.
  • 2004 – Part of Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport Terminal 2E collapses, killing four people and injuring three others.
  • 2007 – Parliament of Finland celebrated its 100th anniversary plenary session, with President Tarja Halonen and veterans in attendance.

May 23 – Birthdays:

  • 1052 – King Philip I of France (d. 1108)
  • 1100 – Emperor Qinzong of China (d. 1161)
  • 1606 – Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, Spanish writer (d. 1682)
  • 1617 – Elias Ashmole, English antiquarian (d. 1692)
  • 1707 – Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist (d. 1778)
  • 1718 – William Hunter, Scottish anatomist (d. 1783)
  • 1729 – Giuseppe Parini, Italian writer (d. 1799)
  • 1734 – Franz Anton Mesmer, Austrian physician/hypnotist (d.1815)
  • 1741 – Andrea Luchesi, Italian composer (d. 1801)
  • 1790 – Jules Dumont d’Urville, French explorer (d. 1842)
  • 1795 – Charles Barry , English architect (d. 1860)
  • 1810 – Margaret Fuller, American journalist and feminist (d. 1850)
  • 1820 – James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor (d. 1887)
  • 1820 – Lorenzo Sawyer, 9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California (d. 1891)
  • 1824 – Ambrose Burnside, American Union Civil War general (d. 1881)
  • 1834 – Carl Heinrich Bloch, Danish painter (d. 1890)
  • 1844 – `Abdu’l-Bahá, Successor to Prophet of the Bahá’í Faith (d. 1921)
  • 1848 – Otto Lilienthal, German aviation pioneer (d. 1896)
  • 1865 – Epitácio Pessoa, President of Brazil (d. 1942)
  • 1875 – Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors (d. 1966)
  • 1879 – Dezso Lauber, Hungarian sportsman (d. 1966)
  • 1883 – Douglas Fairbanks, American actor (d. 1939)
  • 1884 – Corrado Gini, Italian sociologist (d. 1965)
  • 1887 – Thoralf Skolem, Norwegian mathematician (d. 1963)
  • 1888 – Zack Wheat, American baseball player (d. 1972)
  • 1889 – Ernst Niekisch, German politician (d. 1967)
  • 1890 – Herbert Marshall, English actor (d. 1966)
  • 1891 – Pär Lagerkvist, Swedish writer, Nobel laureate (d. 1974)
  • 1893 – Ulysses S. Grant IV, American geologist and paleontologist (d. 1977)
  • 1896 – Felix Martin Julius Steiner, German Heer and Waffen-SS officer (d. 1966)
  • 1898 – Scott O’Dell, American author (d. 1989)
  • 1900 – Hans Frank, German Nazi war criminal (d. 1946)
  • 1908 – John Bardeen, American physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1991)
  • 1910 – Margaret Wise Brown, American author (d. 1952)
  • 1910 – Sir Hugh Casson, British architect and painter (d. 1999)
  • 1910 – Scatman Crothers, American actor and musician (d. 1986)
  • 1910 – Artie Shaw, American clarinetist and bandleader (d. 2004)
  • 1912 – Jean Françaix, French composer (d. 1997)
  • 1912 – Betty Astell, English actress (d. 2005)
  • 1912 – John Payne, American actor (d. 1989)
  • 1913 – Ruth Fernandez legendary singer from Puerto Rico
  • 1917 – Edward Norton Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist
  • 1918 – Denis Compton, English cricketer (d. 1997)
  • 1919 – Betty Garrett, American actress and dancer
  • 1920 – Helen O’Connell, American singer (d. 1993)
  • 1921 – James Blish, American author (d. 1975)
  • 1921 – Humphrey Lyttelton, English musician
  • 1923 – Alicia de Larrocha, Spanish pianist
  • 1923 – Walter Wolfrum, German fighter pilot
  • 1925 – Joshua Lederberg, American molecular biologist, Nobel laureate
  • 1925 – Mac Wiseman, American musician
  • 1928 – Jeannie Carson, English actress and comedian
  • 1928 – Rosemary Clooney, American singer and actress (d. 2002)
  • 1928 – Nigel Davenport, English actor
  • 1928 – Pauline Julien, French Canadian singer (d. 1998)
  • 1929 – Ulla Jacobsson, Swedish actress (d. 1982)
  • 1930 – Friedrich Achleitner, German poet
  • 1931 – Barbara Barrie, American actress
  • 1933 – Joan Collins, English actress
  • 1934 – Robert Moog, American inventor (d. 2005)
  • 1936 – Ingeborg Hallstein, German opera singer
  • 1936 – Charles Kimbrough, American actor
  • 1938 – Peter Preston, English journalist and author
  • 1939 – Reinhard Hauff, German film director
  • 1939 – Michel Colombier, French composer and songwriter (d. 2004)
  • 1942 – K. Raghavendra Rao, Indian film director
  • 1942 – Gabriel Liiceanu, Romanian philosopher
  • 1943 – General Norman Johnson, American singer (Chairmen of the Board)
  • 1944 – John Newcombe, Australian tennis player
  • 1945 – Padmarajan, Indian film director (d. 1991)
  • 1946 – Frederik de Groot, Dutch actor
  • 1946 – H. Paul Shuch, American SETI scientist
  • 1947 – Bernard Comrie, English linguist
  • 1947 – Ann Hui, Hong Kong film director
  • 1948 – Reggie Cleveland, Canadian baseball player
  • 1951 – Anatoly Karpov, Russian chess player
  • 1951 – Antonis Samaras, Greek politician
  • 1952 – Anne-Marie David, French singer
  • 1952 – “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, American boxer
  • 1955 – Luka Bloom, Irish singer/songwriter
  • 1956 – Ursula Plassnik, Austrian politician
  • 1956 – Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer
  • 1956 – Buck Showalter, American baseball player and manager
  • 1957 – Baltimora, Northern Irish singer (d. 1995)
  • 1958 – Mitch Albom, American writer
  • 1958 – Drew Carey, American actor, comedian, and game show host
  • 1958 – François Feldman, French singer
  • 1962 – Imran Anwar, Pakistani Internet pioneer and American TV personality
  • 1962 – Karen Duffy, American actress
  • 1963 – Wally Dallenbach Jr., American race car driver and announcer
  • 1963 – Gregg “Opie” Hughes, American radio personality (The Opie and Anthony Show)
  • 1964 – Allan Kayser, American actor
  • 1964 – Ruth Metzler-Arnold, member of the Swiss Federal Council
  • 1965 – Tom Tykwer, German film director
  • 1966 – Graeme Hick, English cricketer
  • 1967 – Anna Ibrisagic, Swedish politician
  • 1967 – Phil Selway, English drummer (Radiohead)
  • 1970 – Yigal Amir, Israeli assassin of Yitzhak Rabin
  • 1970 – Bryan Herta, American race car driver
  • 1970 – Blake Schwendiman, American author
  • 1972 – Rubens Barrichello, Brazilian formula one driver
  • 1974 – Ken Jennings, American game show contestant
  • 1974 – Matt Hindle, Canadian bobsledder
  • 1974 – Jewel, American singer
  • 1974 – Mónica Naranjo, Spanish singer
  • 1974 – Charlie Yeung, Hong Kong actress and singer
  • 1975 – Kim Sung-soo, South Korean actor
  • 1976 – Kelly Monaco, American actress
  • 1976 – Ricardinho, Brazilian footballer
  • 1977 – Ilia Kulik, Russian figure skater
  • 1978 – Mike González, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Carolyn Moos, American model and professional basketball player
  • 1978 – Scott Raynor, American drummer (formerly of blink-182)
  • 1979 – Brian Campbell, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Kirk Saarloos, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Rasual Butler, American basketball player
  • 1980 – Theofanis Gekas, Greek footballer
  • 1981 – Gwenno Saunders, Former Welsh dancer, now singer with The Pipettes
  • 1982 – Cyrill Gloor, Swiss footballer
  • 1982 – Malene Mortensen, Danish singer
  • 1982 – Tristan Prettyman, American musician
  • 1983 – Cristiano Bilanzola, Canadian musician and film-maker
  • 1983 – Heidi Range, English singer (Sugababes)
  • 1983 – Alex Shelley, American professional wrestler
  • 1984 – Adam Wylie, American actor
  • 1985 – Ross Wallace, Scottish footballer
  • 1986 – Ruben Zadkovich, Australian soccer player
  • 1988 – Morgan Pressel, American golfer

May 23 – Deaths:

  • 1125 – Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1081)
  • 1304 – Jehan de Lescurel, French poet and composer
  • 1498 – Girolamo Savonarola, Italian religious reformer and ruler of Florence (b. 1452)
  • 1523 – Ashikaga Yoshitane, Japanese shogun (b. 1466)
  • 1524 – Ismail I, Shah of Persia (b. 1487)
  • 1662 – John Gauden, English bishop and writer (b. 1605)
  • 1670 – Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1610)
  • 1691 – Adrien Auzout, French astronomer (b. 1622)
  • 1701 – Captain Kidd, Scottish pirate (b. 1645)
  • 1752 – William Bradford, English-born printer (b. 1663)
  • 1754 – John Wood, the Elder, English architect (b. 1704)
  • 1783 – James Otis, American lawyer and patriot (b. 1725)
  • 1786 – Móric Benovský, Slovak officer and explorer, King of Madagaskar (b. 1746)
  • 1813 – Geraud Duroc, French general (b. 1772)
  • 1825 – Ras Gugsa of Yejju, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1841 – Franz Xaver von Baader, German philosopher and theologian (b. 1765)
  • 1846 – Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki, Polish politician (b. 1778)
  • 1855 – Charles Robert Malden, English explorer (b. 1797)
  • 1857 – Augustin Louis Cauchy, French mathematician (b. 1789)
  • 1868 – Kit Carson, American trapper, scout, and Indian agent (b. 1809)
  • 1886 – Leopold von Ranke, German historian (b. 1795)
  • 1893 – Anton von Schmerling, Austrian statesman (b. 1805)
  • 1895 – Franz Ernst Neumann, German mineralogist and physicist (b. 1798)
  • 1906 – Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian writer (b. 1828)
  • 1908 – François Coppée, French poet and novelist (b. 1842)
  • 1920 – Svetozar Boroevic, Austrian field marshal (b. 1856)
  • 1934 – Clyde Barrow, American outlaw (b. 1909)
  • 1934 – Bonnie Parker, American outlaw (b. 1910)
  • 1937 – John D. Rockefeller, American entrepreneur (b. 1839)
  • 1945 – Heinrich Himmler, Nazi official (b. 1900)
  • 1965 – Earl Webb, American baseball player (b. 1897)
  • 1966 – Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician (b. 1902)
  • 1967 – Lionel Groulx, French Canadian priest and historian (b. 1878)
  • 1975 – Moms Mabley, American comedian (b. 1894)
  • 1981 – Gene Green, American baseball player (b. 1933)
  • 1981 – Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (d. 1911)
  • 1981 – George Jessel, American actor (b. 1898)
  • 1981 – David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • 1986 – Sterling Hayden, American actor (b. 1916)
  • 1989 – Georgy Tovstonogov, Russian theatre director (b. 1915)
  • 1991 – Wilhelm Kempff, German pianist and composer (b. 1895)
  • 1992 – Giovanni Falcone, Italian judge (b. 1939)
  • 1994 – Ray Candy, American professional wrestler (b. 1951)
  • 1996 – Patrick Cargill, English actor (b. 1918)
  • 1999 – Owen Hart, Canadian professional wrestler (b. 1965)
  • 2002 – Sam Snead, American golfer (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – Jean Yanne, French actor and director (b. 1933)
  • 2004 – Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Clifford Antone, American businessman (b. 1949)
  • 2006 – Lloyd Bentsen, American politician (b. 1921)
  • 2006 – Frits Bernard, American activist (b. 1920)
  • 2006 – Kazimierz Górski, Polish footballer (b. 1921)

May 23-Holidays

  • World Turtle Day
  • Discordianism: Day of Disunity
  • Aaron the Illustrious in the Syriac Orthodox Church
  • Saint Desiderius
  • Saint Guibert of Gemblours
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