Today in History

Today is Sunday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2021. There are 222 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 23, 1934, bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

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 1911, the newly completed New York Public Library was dedicated by President William Howard Taft, Gov. John Alden Dix and Mayor William Jay Gaynor.

In 1915, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary during World War I.

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 recommissioned the USS Sailfish.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces bogged down in Anzio began a major breakout offensive.

In 1945, Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide by biting into a cyanide capsule while in British custody in Luneburg, Germany.

In 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.

In 1977, 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 1994, funeral services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

In 2007, 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.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama opened a six-day European tour in Ireland, where he paid tribute to his Irish ancestors before heading to Britain. The European Union imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad over the continuing crackdown on antigovernment protesters. Pakistani commandos recaptured a major naval base from Taliban attackers after a bloody 18-hour standoff.

Five years 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, as 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.

One year ago: For the first time since he declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency more than two months earlier, President Donald Trump played golf at one of his courses at the start of the Memorial Day weekend, as he pushed for state and local leaders to fully reopen after months of closures and tight restrictions. China reported no new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time since it started announcing infections in January.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Barbara Barrie is 90. Actor Joan Collins is 88. Actor Charles Kimbrough is 85. International Tennis Hall of Famer John Newcombe is 77. Actor Lauren Chapin is 76. Country singer Judy Rodman is 70. Chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov is 70. Singer Luka Bloom is 66. Former baseball manager Buck Showalter is 65. Actor-comedian-game show host Drew Carey is 63. Actor Lea DeLaria is 63. Country singer Shelly West is 63. Author Mitch Albom is 63. Actor Linden Ashby is 61. Actor-model Karen Duffy is 60. Actor Melissa McBride is 56. Rock musician Phil Selway (Radiohead) is 54. Actor Laurel Holloman is 53. Rock musician Matt Flynn (Maroon 5) is 51. Country singer Brian McComas is 49. Actor John Pollono is 49. Singer Maxwell is 48. Singer Jewel is 47. Game show contestant Ken Jennings is 47. Actor LaMonica Garrett is 46. Actor D.J. Cotrona is 41. Actor Lane Garrison is 41. Actor-comedian Tim Robinson is 40. Actor Adam Wylie is 37. Movie writer-director Ryan Coogler is 35. Golfer Morgan Pressel is 33. Actor Alberto Frezza is 32. Folk/pop singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz (juh-ROHZ’) is 30.