Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2017. There are 222 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 23, 1967, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, an action which helped precipitate war between Israel and its Arab neighbors the following month.
On this date:
In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.
In 1533, the marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.
In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
In 1814, a third version of Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio,” had its world premiere in Vienna.
In 1915, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary during World War I.
In 1934, bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
In 1937, industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, founder of the Standard Oil Co. and the Rockefeller Foundation, died in Ormond Beach, Florida, at age 97.
In 1939, the Navy submarine USS Squalus sank during a test dive off the New England coast. Thirty-two crew members and one civilian were rescued, but 26 others died; the sub was salvaged and re-commissioned the USS Sailfish.
In 1945, Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide by biting into a cyanide capsule while in British custody in Luneburg, Germany.
In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of former Nixon White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman and former Attorney General John N. Mitchell in connection with their Watergate convictions. Moluccan extremists seized a train and a primary school in the Netherlands; the hostage drama ended June 11 as Dutch marines stormed the train, resulting in the deaths of six out of nine hijackers and two hostages, while the school siege ended peacefully.
In 1984, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report saying there was “very solid” evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in non-smokers. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” starring Harrison Ford, was released by Paramount Pictures.
In 1992, top anti-Mafia prosecutor Giovanni Falcone was killed in a remote-controlled highway bombing outside Palermo, Sicily, along with his wife and three police escorts. (Salvatore “Toto” Riina, the Mafia’s “boss of bosses,” was arrested in Jan. 1993 and was later convicted with others of plotting the assassinations of Falcone and another leading anti-Mafia prosecutor, Paolo Borsellino.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, speaking at the U.S. Coast Guard commencement, portrayed the Iraq war as a battle between the U.S. and al-Qaida and said Osama bin Laden was setting up a terrorist cell in Iraq to strike targets in America. Iraqi police dragged from the Euphrates River a body identified as that of Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., who had disappeared during a May 12 ambush claimed by al-Qaida. Jordin Sparks was crowned the new “American Idol” on the Fox reality show.
Five years ago: Egypt held the Arab world’s first competitive presidential vote (Islamist Mohammed Morsi was ultimately named the winner following a runoff). A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden was convicted of conspiring against the state and was sentenced to 33 years in prison; U.S. officials had urged Pakistan to release Dr. Shakil Afridi. (The sentence was later overturned; Afridi faces a retrial.) Phillip Phillips, a bluesy Georgia guitar man, was crowned the new “American Idol” after defeating teenager Jessica Sanchez.
One year ago: During his visit to Asia, President Barack Obama, eager to banish lingering shadows of the Vietnam War, lifted the U.S. embargo on selling arms to America’s former enemy. Prosecutors failed for the second time in their bid to hold Baltimore police accountable for the arrest and death of Freddie Gray when an officer was acquitted in the racially charged case that triggered riots a year earlier. The Supreme Court upended the conviction and death sentence of a black Georgia man because prosecutors had improperly excluded African-Americans from his all-white jury. Dr. Henry Heimlich, the 96-year-old retired chest surgeon credited with developing the namesake Heimlich maneuver, used it to save a woman choking on food at his senior living center in Cincinnati.
Today’s Birthdays: Bluegrass singer Mac Wiseman is 92. Actress Barbara Barrie is 86. Actress Joan Collins is 84. Actor Charles Kimbrough is 81. International Tennis Hall of Famer John Newcombe is 73. Actress Lauren Chapin is 72. Country singer Misty Morgan is 72. Country singer Judy Rodman is 66. Chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov is 66. Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler is 63. Singer Luka Bloom is 62. Actor-comedian-game show host Drew Carey is 59. Actress Lea DeLaria is 59. Country singer Shelly West is 59. Actor Linden Ashby is 57. Actress-model Karen Duffy is 56. Actress Melissa McBride is 52. Rock musician Phil Selway (Radiohead) is 50. Actress Laurel Holloman is 49. Rock musician Matt Flynn (Maroon 5) is 47. Singer Lorenzo is 45. Country singer Brian McComas is 45. Actor John Pollono is 45. Singer Maxwell is 44. Singer Jewel is 43. Game show contestant Ken Jennings is 43. Actress Kelly Monaco is 41. Actor D.J. Cotrona is 37. Actor Lane Garrison is 37. Actor-comedian Tim Robinson is 36. Actor Adam Wylie is 33. Movie writer-director Ryan Coogler is 31. Golfer Morgan Pressel is 29. Folk/pop singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz (juh-ROHZ’) is 26.
Thought for Today: “He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.” — Henry Emerson Fosdick, American clergyman (1878-1969).
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