23rd May

Born on this Day 23rd May
1883 Douglas Fairbanks Snr
1918 Denis Compton
1921 Humphrey Lyttleton
1928 Nigel Davenport
1928 Rosemary Clooney
1933 Joan Collins
1944 John Newcombe
1951 Anatoliv Karpov
1952 Marvin Hagler
1966 Graeme Hick
1967 Phil Selway
1983 Heidi Range

Died on this Day
1701 William Kidd
1934 Bonnie & Clyde
1937 John D. Rockefeller


1979 The Who’s film ‘The Kids Are Alright’ premiered in New York.

1981 Dutch group Starsound hit No.1 on the singles chart with ‘Stars on 45’ with hundreds of other artists quickly climbing on the bandwagon.

1987 Wet Wet Wet spent their first week in the UK Top 20, with their debut hit ‘Wishing I Was Lucky’.

1987 The Beastie Boys and Run DMC opened their UK tour in Brixton.


1992 Nigel Benn won a hard-fought points victory over South Africa’s Sugar Boy Malinga at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

People & Showbiz

1533 Henry VIII divorced his first wife Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn.

1988 Gay rights activists disrupted the BBC Six O’Clock News when 4 women protestors stormed into the studio shouting and screaming. As the protestors chained themselves to a desk and camera, Sue Lawley calmly continued reading the new, while Nicholas Witchell sat on one of them as a hacksaw was found to cut the handcuffs.

1997 ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ opened in a record 3282 screens in America and made a record $22 million on its first day, beating the previous record held by ‘Batman Forever’ by over $2 million.

General Events

1430 Siege of Compiègne: Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.

1988 Labour MP Ron Brown, who was banned from the House of Commons for 3 months for damaging the mace, faced further enquiries over allegations that he had been found with a woman in the Comons shower room.

1990 It was reported that the world’s airline manufacturers were likely to share the cost of designing and building a successor to the Concorde, a project estimated at £7 billion.

1990 The Queen’s Gate troop of Gibraltar apes were being retired to a park as they had become overfed by tourists and their birthrate had fallen as a consequence. Like the ravens at the Tower of Lomndon it is said that if the apes leave the British will follow. The apes were said to have alerted the British to a Spanish attack with their barks in 1783.

1995 A cabin cruiser was found abandoned and drifting in the Channel with £250,000 worth of cannabis on board.

1995 Letters from the theatre critic Kenneth Tynan were to go to the British Library. As a schoolboy, Tynan wrote to Lord Beaverbrook and this reply was sent from the Ministry of Aircraft Production, “I think it is splended of you to have saved £1 to send me as your contribution to a Spitfire. And I am most grateful to you for helping us in this was to drive the Nazis from our skies”.

1995 The first version of the Java programming language was released.

1998 The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes.

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