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: Capt. 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 Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson takes Front Royal, Virginia.
1864: Union Gen. 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, 37 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”).