May 23 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred,  famous birthdays, death day, legend quotes, and historical news on May 23.


Events on May 23

1498 Italian religious reformer Girolamo Savonarola is hanged and burnt at the stake for heresy by his political rivals.

1795 In Paris, troops put down an uprising caused by bread shortages.

1887 The French crown jewels go on sale, raising six million francs.

1925 British publishing magnate Sir Edward Hulton dies after falling off his penny farthing bicycle.

1945 Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler’s minister of the interior, commits suicide.

1947 The British Cabinet agrees to Lord Mountbatten’s proposal for the partition of India into two countries, India and Pakistan.

1948 The Empire Windrush sets sail from Jamaica with the first boatload of West Indian immigrants invited to Britain to help with post-war reconstruction.

1988 Two Danish divers marry on an underwater reef in Mauritius, using divers’ language to sign their vows to a Mauritian civil servant in a glass-bottomed boat.

1990 Death of Rocky Graziano, American boxer who was world middleweight champion in the 1940s.

1991 Chinese authorities mark the fortieth anniversary of their “liberation” of Tibet with low-key celebrations.

Famous Birthdays on May 23

Carl Linnaeus  1707, Swedish botanist who established the principles for classifying and naming plants and animals.

Sir Charles Barry 1795, English architect who designed the Houses of Parliament.

Douglas Fairbanks 1883, American actor who specialized in swashbuckling roles.

Joan Collins 1933, British actress who had her biggest success in the television series Dynasty.

Richard Moog 1934, American inventor of the Moog synthesizer.

Anatoly Karpov 1951, Russian chess champion.

Quotes from Legend

One is short of all-male preserves in present-day England.

- Roger Hearn, member of the Marylebone Cricket Club London, on this day, 1991.

Historical News on May 23

Pirate Hangs

1701 Captain William Kidd was hanged for piracy and murder in London today.

His trial and sentence were widely publicized in an attempt to deter other seamen from hoisting the Jolly Roger and preying on merchant ships.

Kidd, 56, was commissioned as a British privateer to wage war on Spanish and French ships and became a wealthy man.

Five years ago he turned to piracy, taking rich prizes off the coasts of Africa.

Thinking his commission would protect him, Kidd returned to Long Island with his fleet, but he was arrested in Boston shortly afterward and brought to London for trial.

Mystery surrounds the proceeds of Kidd’s buccaneering, most of his booty has simply vanished.

Sun Loses Libel Case to 6-Year-Old

1991 A disabled English boy, six-year-old Jonathan Hunt, today won “substantial” libel damages from the Sun newspaper, which had dubbed him “the worst brat in Britain”.

He is the first British child to sue for libel.

In an article in July 1989, the Sun said that Jonathan had set the furniture alight, cut his ear off, killed the cat in the washing machine, painted the dog blue, and swallowed insecticide, amongst various other crimes.

The newspaper failed to mention that the child is registered as disabled by behavioral problems caused by acute neonatal meningitis.

A letter of complaint from his mother, Josephine yielded a visit by another Sun feature writer which was followed by an even worse article, this time headlined “Living with Britain’s naughtiest boy”.

In the High Court today the Sun apologized to Josephine and her son profusely and paid compensation.

How much was not disclosed?

Violent End For Criminal Couple

boonie parker and clyde barrow died on may 23
Boonie Parker And Clyde Barrow Died on May 23

1934 Bank robbers and murderers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow died in a hail of bullets today when they drove their car into a police ambush in Louisiana.

More than 50 bullets hit the pair, police said.

Parker and Barrow have terrorized the southwestern US during the last four years, killing 12 people in a series of armed raids on small-town banks and gas stations.

Barrow was 25, and Parker 23.

1977 Armed South Moluccan terrorists took the 161 occupants of a Dutch passenger train at Assen and teachers and children at a school at nearby Bovensmilde hostage today.

They are demanding independence for their homeland, now part of Indonesia.

Sea Success for Vasco Da Gama

vasoc da gamma arrived at calicut on may 23
Vasco Da Gamma Arrived at Calicut on May 23

1498 The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut on India’s Malabar coast today after almost a year, the first European to reach the Indies by sea.

Da Gama sailed his four ships south from Lisbon to the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa, and then up Africa’s east coast.

The sultan of Mozambique thought the voyagers were Muslims and gave them pilots for the journey north, but hostile Arabs attacked them at Mombasa.

Da Gama’s reception in Calicut could have been warmer, the gifts he took ashore today were more suited to Africa, and Calicut’s ruler rejected them.

Arab traders have tried to turn the Indians against their Portuguese rivals.

Nazi Eichmann Caught in Israel

1960 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced today that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured and will stand trial in Israel.

Eichmann, the “technician of death”, was in command of the Gestapo section tasked with exterminating the Jews and supervised the network of death camps where six million Jews died.

He escaped at the end of the war.

Reports in Israel claim that Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal tracked Eichmann down in Argentina, where he was living under the name Ricardo Klement.

Israeli agents then kidnapped him and brought him back to Tel Aviv in an official plane.

Wiesenthal, who lost 89 relatives in the Holocaust, has helped bring hundreds of Nazis to trial.

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