This Day in History — May 23Thursday, May 23, 2019
Today is the 143 day of 2019. There are 222 days left in the year.
2010: Thugs allegedly aligned to Christoper “Dudus” Coke torch three police stations and attack members of the security forces in Kingston, Jamaica. The incident is regarded as the springboard for the incursion in Tivoli Gardens a day later, which resulted in the deaths of at least 73 people.
1430: Joan of Arc is captured near Compiegne, France, by Burgundians, who sell her to the English.
1785: Benjamin Franklin creates his own pair of bifocals.
1853: Constitution of Argentine Republic goes into effect.
1873: Canada's North West Mounted Police force is established.
1915: Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary, entering World War I.
1920: The Communist Party of Indonesia is formed, the first such leftist organisation to be set up in Asia outside the former Russian empire.
1926: France declares Lebanon a republic.
1934: US robber couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are shot to death in a police ambush as they drive a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
1939: Britain's Parliament approves plan for independent Palestine by 1949, which later is denounced by Jews as well as Arabs, who oppose a Jewish State in Palestine.
1945: Nazi official Heinrich Himmler commits suicide while imprisoned in Luneburg, Germany.
1949: German Federal Republic comes into being with capital at Bonn.
1960: Israel announces it had captured former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.
1969: Death toll in Malaysia rioting exceeds 500, with 90 per cent of casualties ethnic Chinese.
1971: An earthquake destroys town of Bingol in eastern Turkey, killing 1,000 people.
1977: South Moluccan exiles in Netherlands take 161 hostages in elementary school in an effort to get Dutch help in their fight for independence from Indonesia.
1983: South African fighter planes rocket and strafe alleged guerrilla bases in Mozambique to retaliate for car bomb attack near air force headquarters in Pretoria three days earlier.
1988: Hungary's Communist Party outlines sweeping political and economic changes designed to salvage nation's faltering economy.
1992: United States and four former Soviet republics sign agreement to implement START missile-reduction treaty.
1993: More than 1.5 million Cambodians ignore Khmer Rouge threats and vote in the country's first free elections in more than two decades.
1994: A Scud missile slams into a densely populated neighbourhood of San'a, Yemen, as northern troops push into southern oil fields to try to take control of the country's most valuable resource.
1995: Israel suspends plans to confiscate Arab land in east Jerusalem, acknowledging that it no longer can act at will to strengthen the Jewish hold on the city.
1996: A North Korean pilot flies his MiG-19 jet across the world's most heavily guarded border and defects to South Korea.
1997: Moderate Mohammad Khatami wins Iranian presidential elections by a landslide.
1998: Troops clear out 2,000 students occupying the Indonesian Parliament, and President B J Habibie, two days into the job as Suharto's successor, swears in a new Cabinet.
1999: Hundreds of thousands of people gather in Jakarta's streets in a huge show of support for presidential election front-runner Megawati Sukarnoputri.
2001: Yugoslavia, bowing to US pressure to cooperate with the UN war crimes court or face cuts in economic aid, unveils a new law that allows authorities to extradite former President Slobodan Milosevic for trial.
2002: A heatwave strikes India and kills 1,030 people, mainly in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Temperatures reached a record 124 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Celsius).
2004: A bomb planted by suspected rebels explodes in a crowded discotheque in north-west Colombia, killing six people and wounding 82 — the bloodiest in a series of attacks marking the 40th anniversary of Colombia's main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
2005: Afghan anti-drug forces arrest suspected drug traffickers and seize a huge cache of opium in a show of resolve after President Hamid Karzai came under fire for his record in fighting the world's largest narcotics industry.
2006: Osama bin Laden purportedly says in an audio tape that Zacarias Moussaoui — the only person convicted in the US for the September 11, 2001, attacks — had nothing to do with the operation.
2007: A 60-year-old woman gives birth to a pair of boys in New Jersey. Hospital officials believed Frieda Birnbaum was the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the United States.
2008: The Government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accuses almost 400 opposition candidates of crimes and declares them ineligible to run for office in November while they are under investigation. Hillary Rodham Clinton quickly apologises after citing the 1968 assassination of Robert F Kennedy as a reason to remain in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination despite increasingly long odds. Televangelist John Hagee parts ways with John McCain following a storm over his endorsement of the Republican presidential candidate. (McCain rejected Hagee's endorsement a day earlier after an audio recording from the late 1990s surfaced in which the preacher suggested that God had sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the Promised Land.
2009: Italian authorities take into custody a top boss from the Gambino Mafia clan who was deported from the United States after spending more than two decades in jail for drug trafficking.
2010: A US-born cleric who has encouraged Muslims to kill American soldiers calls for the killing of US civilians in his first video released by a Yemeni offshoot of al-Qaeda, providing the most overt link yet between the radical preacher and the militant group.
2011: A dense ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano blows toward Scotland, causing airlines to cancel flights, forcing President Barack Obama to shorten a visit to Ireland, and raising fears of a repeat of last year's huge travel disruptions in Europe that stranded millions of passengers.
2012: Egyptians dive enthusiastically into the uncertainty of the Arab world's first competitive presidential race, wrestling with a polarising choice between secularists rooted in President Hosni Mubarak's old autocracy, and Islamists hoping to infuse the state with religion.
2013: President Barack Obama, in a speech to the National Defense University, defends America's controversial drone attacks as legal, effective and a necessary linchpin in an evolving US 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 throw open its ranks to gay Scouts, but not to gay Scout leaders.
2017: President Donald Trump makes a personal appeal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians as he closes a four-day swing through the Middle East. Roger Moore, the suavely insouciant star of seven James Bond films, dies in Switzerland at age 89.
Carl von Linne (Linnaeus), Swedish botanist (1707-1778); Franz Anton Mesmer, Austrian physician (1753-1815); Rosemary Clooney, US singer (1928-2002); Joan Collins, English-born actress (1933- ); Drew Carey, US comedian (1958- ); Jewel, US singer (1974- )