Today in History: May 23 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: May 23

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


Today in History
May 23

1430 Burgundians capture Joan of Arc and sell her to the English.
1533 Henry VIII‘s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
1618 The Thirty Years War begins.
1701 Captain William Kidd, the Scottish pirate, is hanged on the banks of the Thames.
1785 Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.
1788 South Carolina becomes the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
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 E. Lee in the Battle of North Anna, Virginia.
1900 Civil War hero Sgt. William H. Carney becomes the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, thirty-seven years after the Battle of Fort Wagner.
1915 Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.
1934 Gangsters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are killed by Texas Rangers.
1945 Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi Gestapo, commits suicide after being captured by Allied forces.
1949 The Federal Republic of West Germany is proclaimed.
1960 Israel announces the capture of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.
Born on May 23
1707 Carl Linnaeus [Carl von Linné], Swedish botanist.
1734 Friedrich Anton Mesmer, physician and hypnotist.
1810 Margaret Fuller, writer and critic.
1820 James Buchanan Eads, engineer of the Eads Bridge in St. Louis
1875 Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., president and chairman of the board for General Motors.
1891 Par Lagerkvist, Swedish writer (The Dwarf, Barabbas).
1908 John Bardeen, physicist, co-inventor of the transistor.
1910 Artie Shaw, bandleader and clarinetist.
1920 Helen O’Connell, big band vocalist.
1928 Rosemary Clooney, singer.
1934 Robert A. Moog, electrical engineer, creator of the Moog synthesizer.
1947 Jane Kenyon, poet (Let Evening Come, Otherwise).