May 23, 1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd was hanged in London, England.
May 23, 1777 - At Sag Harbor, New York, Connecticut raiders and local men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs captured several British vessels and burned Redcoat supplies. This was the only successful Patriot attack on Long Island between the British takeover in 1776 and their departure in 1783.
May 23, 1786 – Hungarian explorer Maurice, Count de Benyovszky was shot in the chest during a skirmish with French forces at Madagascar and he died from the fatal wound at the age of 39.
May 23, 1788 – South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution as the eighth American state.
May 23, 1790 – French admiral and explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville was born at Condé-sur-Noireau in Lower Normandy. He went on to explore the south and western Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica. As a botanist and cartographer he left his mark, giving his name to several seaweeds, plants and shrubs, and places such as D'Urville Island.
May 23, 1811 - The Mobile Centinel, Alabama's first newspaper, produced its first issue.
May 23, 1841 – Early Alabama soldier and pioneer Samuel Dale died in Daleville, Miss. at the age of 69 (possibly 68).
May 23, 1846 – As part of the Mexican–American War, President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declared war on the United States.
May 23, 1855 – English lieutenant and explorer Charles Robert Malden passed away at the age of 57 at Brighton, East Sussex, England. He discovered Malden Island in the central Pacific, which is named in his honor. He also founded Windlesham House School at Brighton.
May 23, 1864 - Fighting began on the North Anna River around Hanover Junction, Virginia. Union General Ulysses S. Grant moved his troops south the next day after a second unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the Rebels.
May 23, 1867 – Assisted by his friends, Dallas County, Ala. banker John McGee Parkman attempted to escape from the former Castle Morgan prison in Cahaba, but he was killed.
May 23, 1876 - Boston’s Joe Borden pitched the very first no-hitter in the history of the National League.
May 23, 1888 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Zack Wheat was born in Hamilton, Mo. He went on to play for the Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers/Robins and the Philadelphia Athletics. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1959.
May 23, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. Jas. M. McDaniel, a full graduate of the State Medical College in Mobile, had begun practicing medicine in Monroeville, Ala.
May 23, 1900 – Civil War hero Sgt. William Harvey Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner in 1863. He was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor.
May 23-Aug. 31, 1905 – All stores in Monroeville, Ala. began closing for the summer months at 7 p.m.
May 23, 1907 – Atmore, Ala. became an incorporated municipality.
May 23, 1910 – Margaret Wise Brown, the author of the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon,” was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
May 23, 1911 – The New York Public Library was officially dedicated.
May 23, 1914 – Wealthy Brewton, Ala. resident Thomas R. Miller, president of the T.R. Miller Mill Co. and Citizens Bank, died in Atlanta around 3:15 p.m.
May 23, 1917 - Alabama author Celestine Sibley was born in Holley, Fla.
May 23, 1917 – Mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz was born in West Hartford, Conn. He is known for his studies in chaos theory and for coining the term, “the butterfly effect.”
May 23, 1922 - "Daylight Saving Time" was debated in the first debate ever to be heard on radio in Washington, D.C.
May 23, 1926 - Hack Wilson became the first player to hit a home run off the Wrigley Field scoreboard.
May 23, 1932 – U.S. Senator Hugo L. Black, a native of Ashland, spoke in Monroeville, Ala.
May 23, 1932 - Alabama sportswriter Bozeman Bulger died in Lynbrook, N.Y.
May 23, 1934 - In Bienville Parish, La., Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed by Texas Rangers. The bank robbers were riding in a stolen Ford Deluxe.
May 23, 1939 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians. The remaining 32 sailors and one civilian naval architect were rescued the following day.
May 23, 1945 – During World War II, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Schutzstaffel, committed suicide while in Allied custody.
May 23, 1947 – Poet Jane Kenyon was born in Ann Arbor, Mich.
May 23, 1948 - Joe DiMaggio hit three consecutive home runs.
May 23, 1955 - American journalist Dorothy Kilgallen reported from London, claiming "the scientific and aeronautic authorities of Great Britain, after having examined the remains of a mysterious airship of conventional form - have come to the conclusion that these strange flying objects do not represent optical illusions, nor are they Soviet inventions, but that we have to deal with objects that really fly and that originate from some other planet."
May 23, 1957 – A T-28B trainer plane flown by Navy Ensign Richard Frank Polich of Chicago, Ill. crashed and exploded at night on the farm of M.M. Cardwell, about five miles west of Evergreen, Ala. on the Loree Road. Polich, who was stationed at Whiting Field near Milton, Fla., parachuted to safety after the plane’s engine caught fire in midair. This was the first crash of a Navy plane in the county since the Navy Air Training Command at Pensacola began using Middleton Field as a training site.
May 23, 1962 - Joe Pepitone of the New York Yankees set a major league baseball record by hitting two home runs in one inning.
May 23, 1963 - NBC purchased the 1963 AFL championship game TV rights for $926,000.
May 23, 1969 – The Vela Hotel 6911 satellite was launched, over 10 years before it detected the mysterious “double-flash” event, known as the Vela Incident, on Sept. 22, 1979. At the time of the event, the satellite was more than two years beyond its so-called “design lifetime.”
May 23, 1970 – Army SFC Cecil Clayton Schofield of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
May 23, 1977 - Alabama author Florence Glass Palmer died in Pensacola, Fla.
May 23, 1978 - The American League approved the transfer of Jean Yawkey of the Boston Red Sox for $15 million.
May 23, 1980 – Texas Rangers pitcher Fergie Jenkins claimed win No. 250 out of 284 in his career, a two-hit defeat of the Athletics in Texas. The only run he allowed in the 3-1 victory was unearned, as he struck out eight and was supported by Al Oliver’s two-run single.
May 23, 1984 - The Detroit Tigers won their 16th straight road game. They tied the American League record.
May 23, 1984 – “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was first released in theaters.
May 23, 1987 - A television version of Alabama author Paul Hemphill's book “Long Gone” was broadcast.
May 23, 1988 – Old Scotland Presbyterian Church in Monroe County, Ala. was added to Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
May 23, 1991 - The New York Yankees played their fourth straight extra inning game.
May 23, 1995 - The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was demolished.
May 23, 1999 - Gerry Bloch, at age 81, became the oldest climber to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He broke his own record that he set in 1986 when he was 68 years old.
May 23, 2008 – New York Met Marlon Anderson of Montgomery, Ala. seriously injured his hamstring in a game against the Colorado Rockies on a groundout.