Today is Friday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2014. There are 222 days left in the year.
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.
In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
In 1814, a second revised version of Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio,” had its world premiere in Vienna.
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 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 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was established.
In 1967, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships, an action which precipitated war between Israel and its Arab neighbors the following month.
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.
In 1984, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report saying there was “very solid” evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in nonsmokers. “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. “Mad Bomber” George Metesky, who’d terrified New Yorkers over a 16-year-old period, died in Waterbury, Connecticut, at age 90.
Ten years ago: A large section of the roof of a new passenger terminal at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport collapsed, killing four people. A river ferry capsized in eastern Bangladesh during a storm, leaving as many as 200 dead.
Five years ago: Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, 62, leapt to his death amid a widening corruption scandal. Charles Donald Albury, co-pilot of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, died in Orlando, Florida, at 88.
One year ago: President Barack Obama, in a speech to the National Defense University, defended America’s controversial drone attacks as legal, effective and a necessary linchpin in an evolving U.S. counterterrorism policy, but acknowledged the targeted strikes were no “cure-all” and said he was haunted by the civilians who were unintentionally killed. The Boy Scouts of America threw open its ranks to gay Scouts but not to gay Scout leaders. LeBron James was a unanimous pick for the All-NBA team and Kobe Bryant earned his record-tying 11th first-team selection.