May 23 is the 143rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (144th in leap years). There are 222 days remaining.
- 1430 - Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compičgne
- 1498 - Girolamo Savonarola is executed on the orders of Pope Alexander VI
- 1533 - The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
- 1541 - Jacques Cartier leaves St-Malo, France on his third voyage.
- 1555 - Paul IV becomes Pope.
- 1568 - Netherlands declared independence from Spain.
- 1609 - Official ratification of the Second Charter of Virginia.
- 1618 - The Second Defenstration 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.
- 1788 - South Carolina becomes the 8th U.S. state to ratify the United States Constitution.
- 1805 - Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.
- 1865 - A parade is held in Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, DC to celebrate the ending of the American Civil War.
- 1873 - The Canadian Parliament establishes the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
- 1900 - Sergeant William Harvey Carney becomes the first African American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (awarded for heroism in the Battle of Fort Wagner during the American Civil War).
- 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 Airlines.
- 1934 - Near their hideout in Black Lake, Louisiana, bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are ambushed and shot dead by Texas Rangers.
- 1945 - Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, commits suicide while in Allied custody.
- 1949 - The Federal Republic of Germany is established.
- 1958 - Explorer I ceases transmission.
- 1960 - Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured.
- 1962 - Drilling for the Montreal, Quebec subway commences.
- 1969 - Rock band The Who release Tommy, the first rock opera.
- 1977 - The film Star Wars makes its theatrical release.
- 1985 - Thomas Patrick Cavanagh is sentenced to life in prison for attempting to sell stealth bomber secrets to the Soviet Union.
- 1995 - Official announcement of the Java programming language.
- 1995 - Oklahoma City bombing: In Oklahoma City, what remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is imploded.
- 1997 - Mohammad Khatami is elected as President of Iran.
- 1998 - The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum, with a high margin of three-fourth 'yes' votes to Northern Ireland.
- 1999 - In Kansas City, Missouri, Owen Hart (playing The Blue Blazer) falls 90 feet to his death while being lowered into a World Wrestling Federation ring.
- 2003 - For the first time, the euro exceeds its initial trading value as it hits $1.18 for the first time since its introduction in 1999.
- 2003 - Mountain climbing: 25-year-old Nepalese Sherpa, Pemba Dorjie Sherpa , makes the fastest-ever ascent of Mount Everest, in 12 hours 45 minutes. This is broken by his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu only three days later.
- 2004 - Last day of the 4th European Festival of Youth Choirs (EJCF).
- 2004 - Part of Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport Terminal 2E collapses, killing five people and injuring three others.
- 1052 - Philip I, King of France (d. 1108)
- 1707 - Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist (d. 1778)
- 1718 - William Hunter (anatomist) (d.1783)
- 1729 - Giuseppe Parini (d.1799)
- 1790 - Jules Dumont d'Urville, explorer (d. 1842)
- 1810 - Margaret Fuller, journalist, feminist (d. 1850)
- 1824 - Ambrose Burnside, American Civil War general (d. 1881)
- 1834 - Carl Heinrich Bloch, Danish painter (d. 1890)
- 1844 - `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í central figure (d. 1921)
- 1848 - Otto Lilienthal, engineer (d. 1896)
- 1875 - Alfred P. Sloan founder of Sloan School of Management MIT
- 1879 - Dezső Lauber, Hungarian sportsman (d. 1966)
- 1883 - Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., actor, cofounder of United Artists (d. 1939)
- 1888 - Zack Wheat, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1972)
- 1890 - Herbert Marshall, actor (d. 1966)
- 1891 - Pär Lagerkvist, Swedish Nobel Prize winning author.
- 1898 - Scott O'Dell, author (d. 1989)
- 1908 - John Bardeen, physicist (d. 1991)
- 1910 - Margaret Wise Brown, children's author (d. 1952)
- 1910 - Sir Hugh Casson, architect, painter (d. 1999)
- 1910 - Scatman Crothers, actor, musician (d. 1986)
- 1910 - Artie Shaw, clarinetist, bandleader (d. 2004)
- 1912 - John Payne, actor (d. 1989)
- 1918 - Denis Compton, English cricketer (d. 1997)
- 1919 - Betty Garrett, actress, dancer
- 1920 - Helen O'Connell, singer (d. 1993)
- 1921 - James Blish, science fiction author (d. 1975)
- 1921 - Humphrey Lyttelton, British jazz musician
- 1927 - Dieter Hildebrandt , cabaret artiste
- 1928 - Rosemary Clooney, singer, actress (d. 2002)
- 1928 - Nigel Davenport , actor
- 1929 - Julian Euell , jazz musician
- 1931 - Barbara Barrie, actress
- 1933 - Joan Collins, actress
- 1934 - Dr. Robert Moog, inventor of Moog synthesizer
- 1936 - Charles Kimbrough, American actor (Murphy Brown)
- 1939 - Reinhard Hauff, film director
- 1943 - John Newcombe, tennis player
- 1945 - Padmarajan, Malaysian film director (d. 1991)
- 1946 - David Graham, golf champion
- 1946 - Frederik de Groot, Dutch actor
- 1951 - Anatoly Karpov, chess world champion
- 1951 - Judy Rodman , country music singer
- 1952 - Marvelous Marvin Hagler, boxer
- 1956 - Buck Showalter, baseball player, manager
- 1956 - Ursula Plassnik, Austrian politician
- 1958 - Mitch Albom, American writer
- 1958 - Drew Carey, American actor and comedian
- 1961 - Karen Duffy, actress
- 1967 - Phil Selway, musician
- 1972 - Brian McComas , country music singer
- 1972 - Rubens Barrichello, Brazilian Formula One race driver
- 1974 - Ken Jennings, Jeopardy! champion
- 1974 - Jewel, singer
- 1977 - Ilia Kulik, figure skating champion
- 1982 - Malene Mortensen, Danish singer
- 1984 - Adam Wylie, actor
- 1125 - Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1081)
- 1498 - Girolamo Savonarola, priest, ruler of Florence (b. 1452)
- 1523 - Ashikaga Yoshitane, Ashikaga shogun (b. 1466)
- 1670 - Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1610)
- 1701 - Captain Kidd, Scottish pirate (b. 1645)
- 1783 - James Otis, American lawyer and patriot (b. 1725)
- 1841 - Franz Xaver von Baader, German philosopher, theologian (b. 1765)
- 1855 - Charles Robert Malden, English explorer (b. 1797)
- 1868 - Kit Carson, American trapper, scout, and Indian agent (b. 1809)
- 1886 - Leopold von Ranke, German historian (b. 1795)
- 1933 - Clyde Barrow (b. 1909) and Bonnie Parker (b. 1910), American outlaws
- 1937 - John D. Rockefeller, American entrepreneur (b. 1839)
- 1945 - Heinrich Himmler, Nazi official (b. 1900)
- 1986 - Sterling Hayden, American actor (b. 1916)
- 1991 - Wilhelm Kempff, German pianist and composer (b. 1895)
- 1992 - Giovanni Falcone, Italian judge (b. 1939)
- 1999 - Owen Hart, Canadian professional wrestler (b. 1965)
- 2002 - Sam Snead, American golfer (b. 1912)
Holidays and observances
May 22 - May 24 - April 23 - June 23 - listing of all days
|Top Encyclopedia Articles