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This Day In History: May 23

This Day in History

1498: Italian preacher and reformer Girolamo Savonarola, who helped establish a republic in Florence and fought against the power of the Medici family, is executed.
1533: England's King Henry VIII is divorced from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
1618: Protestants in Prague, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic), invade the royal palace, seize two of the king's ministers, and throw them out a window. This act, known as the Defenestration of Prague, is the beginning of a national Protestant uprising.
1701: Anglo-American pirate Captain Kidd is hanged in London, England.
1788: South Carolina becomes the 8th state to ratify the Constitution.
1846: Mexico declares war on the United States.
1900: Sergeant William Harvey Carney is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for an act of heroism during the American Civil War - the first African American to win the award.
1949: The Federal Republic of Germany is officially established from the postwar occupation zones administered by the Western Allies.
1991: The Supreme Court upholds rules barring federally funded family planning clinics from providing information on abortion.

Today's Birthdays

1707: Carolus Linnaeus, botanist and founder of modern taxonomy (Rashult, Sweden; died 1778)
1734: Franz Mesmer, physician who introduced hypnotherapy (Iznang, Swabia, Germany; died 1815)
1790: Jules Dumont d'Urville, naval officer and explorer of the South Pacific and Antarctica (Condé-sur-Noireau, France; died 1842)
1810: Margaret Fuller, writer/feminist (Cambridgeport, MA; died 1850)
1883: Douglas Fairbanks, actor (Denver, CO; died 1939)
1910: Artie Shaw, musician/bandleader (New York, NY; died 2004)
1919: Betty Garrett, actress (St. Joseph, MO)
1920: Helen O'Connell, singer (Lima, OH; died 1993)
1928: Rosemary Clooney, singer (Maysville, KY; died 2002)
1931: Barbara Barrie, actress (Chicago, IL)
1933: Joan Collins, actress (London, England)
1934: Robert Arthur Moog, electrical engineer who invented the Moog synthesizer, the first commercially successful electronic music device (New York, NY; died 2005)
1936: Charles Kimbrough, actor (St. Paul, MN)
1954: Marvelous Marvin Hagler, champion boxer (Newark, NJ)
1958: Drew Carey, actor/comedian (Cleveland, OH)
1966: Helena Bonham Carter, actress (London, England)

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