This Day in History - May 23

May 23

1430 – Burgundians capture Joan of Arc and sell her to the English

1533 – Henry VII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void

1618 – The Thirty Years War begins and two Catholic Lords Regent and their secretary are thrown out of window, falling 70 feet, but weren’t seriously injured

1701 – Captain William Kidd, the Scottish pirate, is hanged on the banks of the Thames

1707 – Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is born

1734 – Physician and hypnotist Friedrich Anton Mesmer is born

1777 – Patriot troops capture several British vessels and burn supplies at Sag Harbor, New York

1785 – Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals

1788 – South Carolina becomes the eighth state to ratify the US Constitution

1810 – Writer and critic Margaret Fuller is born

1813 – South American independence leader Simon Bolivar enters Merida, leading the invasion of Venezuela and is proclaimed El Libertador

1820 – Engineer of the Eads Bridge in St. Louis, James Buchanan Eads, is born

1844 – Siyyid ‘Ali’ Muhammad Shirazi founds Babism as a form of religion. He had his followers were brutally persecuted by the Persian government as its teachings were seen as a threat by the Islamic clergy

1848 – German engineer and pilot Otto Lilienthal is born

1861 – Pro-Union and pro-Confederate forces clash in western Virginia

1862 – Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson takes Front Royal, Virginia

1864 – Union General Ulysses Grant attempts to outflank Confederate Robert Lee in the Battle of North Anna, Virginia

1868 – American soldier Kit Carson dies

1875 – President and chairman of the board for GM, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. is born

1891 – Swedish writer Par Lagerkvist is born

1900 – Civil War hero Sergeant William H. Carney becomes the first black to receive the Medal of Honor-the nation’s highest military honor, for his actions attempting to take Fort Wagner from the Confederates. He was wounded twice while trying to plant the US flag and refused to leave without the flag

1906 – Norwegian poet, playwright and director Henrik Ibsen dies

1908 – Physicist and co-inventor of the transistor, John Bardeen, is born

1910 – Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw is born

1911 – The New York Public Library is dedicated at a ceremony presided over by President William Howard Taft

1915 – Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary

1920 – Big band vocalist Helen O’Connell is born

1921 – English composer and trumpet player Humphrey Lyttelton is born

1923 – The Crow scout Curley, the last man to see Custer and the 7th Cavalry alive, is buried at the National Cemetery of the Big Horn Battlefield in Montana

1928 – Singer Rosemary Clooney is born

1933 – Actress Joan Collins is born

1934 – Gangsters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are killed by Texas and Louisiana state police while trying to escape in a stolen Ford

1934 – Electrical engineer who created the Moog synthesizer, Robert Moog is born

1937 – American businessman, philanthropist and founder of the Standard Oil Company, John D. Rockefeller, dies

1941 – Boxer Joe Louis beats Buddy Baer to retain his heavyweight title

1941 – Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten is among those thrown into the Mediterranean Sea when his destroyer, HMS Kelly, is sunk by German dive-bombers. He swam to shore and took control of the rescue operation-130 crew members died

1945 – Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi Gestapo, commits suicide by cyanide capsule after being captured by Allied forces

1947 – Poet Jane Kenyon is born

1949 – The Federal Republic of West Germany is proclaimed

1951 – Delegates of the Dalai Lama sign the Seventeen Point Agreement, affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Tibetan officials claim the document was signed under duress and is, therefore, invalid

1954 – American boxer ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler is born

1958 – Mao Zedong starts “Great leap forward” movement in China

1960 – Israel announces the capture of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina

1960 – A tsunami caused by an earthquake that started off the coast of Chile, kills 61 people in Hawaii

1967 – Public controversy erupts over the M-16 combat rifle in Vietnam, after Representative James J. Howard reads a letter to the House of Representatives in which a Marine in Vietnam claimed that almost all killed in the battle for Hill 881, died as a result of their rifles jamming

1969 – The British rock bank The Who release Tommy, their fourth album, which is considered the first musical work of the rock opera genre

1971 – North Vietnamese demolition experts infiltrate the major US air base at Cam Ranh Bay, blowing up six tanks of aviation fuel, resulting in the loss of about 1.5 million gallons

1972 – Brazilian race car driver Rubens Barrichello is born

1979 – Tom Petty files for bankruptcy to get out from under an unfavorable contract with MCA Records, forcing MCA to release him and re-sign to a $3 million new contract

1981 – Canadian politician and lawyer David Lewis dies

1992 – The Italian mafia sets a car bomb off, killing Judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three bodyguards. Falcone was the mafia’s most prominent adversary, and the bombing made Falcone a folk hero in Italy

1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes

2009 – 16th President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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