It happened today – this day in history – May 23

Mick Ferris
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1430: Joan of Arc is captured at Compiegne and sold to the English.

1533: Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is declared null & void by authority of the English clergy, not the Pope.

1568: The Netherlands declares independence from Spain.

1701: Captain William Kidd is hanged in London after being convicted of piracy and murder.

1785: Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.

1813: Simon Bolivar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed El Libertador.

1906: Death of playwright Henrik Ibsen aged 78.

1915: Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.

1931: Whipsnade Zoo opens in Bedfordshire.

1934: Gangsters Bonnie and Clyde are killed by police in an ambush near Sailes, Louisiana.

1939: Adolf Hitler declares his intention to invade Poland.

1941: Joe Louis beats Buddy Baer for the heavyweight boxing title.

1945: The Allies arrest the members of the Nazi Flensburg government, including Admiral Karl Donitz, formally dissolving Nazi Germany. On the same day, propaganda broadcaster Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) is arrested at the Danish border and head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler commits suicide while in Allied custody.

1949: The Federal Republic of [West] Germany is created out of the American, British and French occupation zones.

1958: Mao Zedong starts the “Great Leap Forward” movement in China.

1962: Scott Carpenter orbits Earth three times in Aurora 7.

1969: The BBC orders 13 episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. On the same day, “If…”, directed by Lindsay Anderson and starring Malcolm McDonald, wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the Cannes Film Festival.

1974: George Harrison announces the launch of his own record label, ‘Dark Horse.’

1984: “Paris, Texas”, directed by Wim Wenders, wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

1994: “Pulp Fiction” directed by Quentin Tarantino, wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

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

2000: Noel Gallagher walked out on Oasis during a European tour.

2004: Part of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s Terminal 2E collapses, killing four people.

2006: The King of Sweden presented the surviving members of Led Zeppelin and John Bonham’s daughter with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm recognising them as “great pioneers” of rock music.

2007: AC Milan beats Liverpool, 2-1 to win the Champions League.

2017: Actor Roger Moore dies aged 89.

2019: Richard Ashcroft of The Verve regained the rights to his song ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ after more than two decades. The use of a sample from an orchestral version of The Rolling Stones song “The Last Time” resulted in all writing royalties being awarded to former Stones/Beatles manager Allen Klein’s company ABKO.

BIRTHDAYS: Johnny Ball, TV personality, 82; John Newcombe, former tennis champion, 76; Anatoly Karpov, chess champion, 69; Don Warrington (Williams) actor, 69; Marvin Hagler, former middleweight boxing champ, 68; Dean Friedman, singer/songwriter, 65; Drew Carey, comedian/actor, 62; Bob Mortimer, comedian, 61; Simon Gilbert, drummer (Suede) 55; Graeme Hick, cricketer, 54; Philip Selway, drummer (Radiohead) 53; Matt Flynn, drummer (Maroon 5) 50; Jewel (Kilcher), singer/songwriter, 46; Richard Jones, bassist (Stereophonics) 46; Richard Ayoade, comedian/actor/director, 43; Heidi Range, singer (Sugarbabes) 37; Blaine Harrison, singer (Mystery Jets) 35.


Mick Ferris

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