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Thursday 23 May 2024 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

May 23 Events

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Holidays and observances


  • 1995 – The first version of the Java programming language is released.
  • 1934 – Infamous American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
  • 1907 – The unicameral Parliament of Finland gathers for its first plenary session.
  • 1900 – American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner in 1863.
  • 1846 – Mexican–American War: President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declares war on the United States.
  • 1829 – Accordion patent granted to Cyrill Demian in Vienna, Austrian Empire.
  • 1793 – Battle of Famars during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition.
  • 1788 – South Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution as the eighth American state.


  • 1998 – Luca de la Torre, American footballer. Lucas Daniel de la Torre (born May 23, 1998) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Championship club Fulham.
  • 1997 – Coy Craft, American footballer. 2016 U.S Open Cup Champion
  • 1996 – John Requejo, American footballer. John Anthony Requejo, Jr. (born May 23, 1996) is an American professional soccer player who most recently played for LA Galaxy II in the USL Championship.
  • 1995 – Tyus Bowser, American football player. He played college football at Houston.
  • 1993 – Andy Janovich, American football player. He played college football at Nebraska, and was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Broncos.
  • 1993 – Stephon Tuitt, American football player. Stephon Jakiel Tuitt (born May 23, 1993) is an American football defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL).
  • 1991 – Aaron Donald, American football player. Aaron Charles Donald (born May 23, 1991) is an American football defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL).
  • 1988 – Morgan Pressel, American golfer. Women's Open.
  • 1987 – Bray Wyatt, American wrestler. Windham Lawrence Rotunda (born May 23, 1987) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, performing on the SmackDown brand under the ring name "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, where he is the current Universal Champion in his first reign.
  • 1986 – Ryan Coogler, American film director and screenwriter. He has since co-written and directed the seventh film in the Rocky series, Creed (2015), and the Marvel film Black Panther (2018), the latter of which broke numerous box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time by a black director.
  • 1979 – Rasual Butler, American basketball player, was an American professional basketball player. In his 14-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career, he played for the Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs.
  • 1978 – Mike Gonzalez, American baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and Milwaukee Brewers.
  • 1978 – Scott Raynor, American drummer. Scott William Raynor, Jr. (born May 23, 1978) is an inactive American musician best known as the original drummer of the rock band Blink-182.
  • 1974 – Jewel, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actress, and poet. Jewel may also refer to:
  • 1970 – Bryan Herta, American race car driver and businessman, co-founded Bryan Herta Autosport. Bryan John Herta (born May 23, 1970, in Warren, Michigan) is an American race car driver.
  • 1970 – Nanette Burstein, American director, producer, and screenwriter. Burstein has produced, directed, and co-directed documentaries including an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary and the Sundance Special Jury Prize for Documentary.
  • 1969 – Mindi Abair, American saxophonist and composer. Mindi Abair (born 1969) is an American saxophonist, vocalist, author, and National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization that puts on the Grammy Awards show.
  • 1968 – Guinevere Turner, American actress and screenwriter. She has written such films as American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page and played the lead role of the dominatrix Tanya Cheex in Preaching to the Perverted.
  • 1962 – Karen Duffy, American actress. Karen "Duff" Duffy (born May 23, 1962) is an American writer, model, television personality, and actress.
  • 1958 – Drew Carey, American actor, game show host, and entrepreneur. Marine Corps and making a name for himself in stand-up comedy, he gained stardom in his own sitcom, The Drew Carey Show, and as host of the U.S. version of the improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, both of which aired on ABC.
  • 1958 – Lea DeLaria, American actress and singer. She is best known for her portrayal of inmate Carrie "Big Boo" Black on Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black.
  • 1958 – Mitch Albom, American journalist, author, and screenwriter. Having achieved national recognition for sports writing in the earlier part of his career, he is perhaps best known for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays, and films.
  • 1958 – Shelly West, American country singer. The younger West reached her peak in popularity during the 1980s before mostly retiring in the wake of her mother's death.
  • 1956 – Buck Showalter, American baseball player, coach, and manager. He also is a former professional Minor League Baseball player and television analyst formerly for ESPN and currently for the YES network for Yankees telecasts.
  • 1954 – Marvelous Marvin Hagler, American boxer and actor. At six years and seven months, his reign as undisputed middleweight champion is the second-longest of the last century, behind only Tony Zale, whose reign included several years of inactivity during his service in World War II.
  • 1950 – Martin McGuinness, Irish republican and Sinn Féin politician, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland (d. 2017), was an Irish republican Sinn Féin politician who was the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from May 2007 to January 2017. A former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader, McGuinness was the MP for Mid Ulster from 1997 until his resignation in 2013.
  • 1949 – Daniel DiNardo, American cardinal. He previously served as Bishop of Sioux City from 1998 to 2004.
  • 1947 – Jane Kenyon, American poet and translator (d. 1995). Her work is often characterized as simple, spare, and emotionally resonant.
  • 1944 – Tiki Fulwood, American R&B/funk/jazz drummer (d. 1979), was an American musician. He was the drummer for the funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic, as well as a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
  • 1943 – Alan Walden, American businessman and manager, co-founded Capricorn Records. Alan Walden (born May 23, 1943) is an American manager, publisher, booking agent, and promoter.
  • 1941 – Martin Puryear, American sculptor. Puryear (born May 23, 1941) is an American artist known for his devotion to traditional craft.
  • 1941 – Zalman King, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2012), was an American film director, writer, actor and producer. His films are known for incorporating sexuality, and are often categorized as erotica.
  • 1939 – Michel Colombier, French-American composer and conductor (d. 2004), was a French composer, arranger, and conductor.
  • 1936 – Charles Kimbrough, American actor. Charles Kimbrough (born May 23, 1936) is an American actor known for having played the straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial on Murphy Brown.
  • 1934 – Robert Moog, electronic engineer and inventor of the Moog synthesizer (d. 2005), was an American engineer and pioneer of electronic music. He was the founder of Moog Music and the inventor of the first commercial synthesizer, the Moog synthesizer, debuted in 1964.
  • 1931 – Barbara Barrie, American actress. She is also an accomplished author.
  • 1930 – Charles Kelman, American ophthalmologist (d. 2004). Kelman (May 23, 1930 – June 1, 2004) was an ophthalmologist and a pioneer in cataract surgery.
  • 1930 – Richard Anuszkiewicz, American painter and sculptor. Richard Anuszkiewicz (/ˌɑːnəsˈkeɪvɪtʃ/; born May 23, 1930) is an American painter, printmaker, and sculptor.
  • 1928 – Rosemary Clooney, American singer and actress (d. 2002). She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the song "Come On-a My House", which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me", "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There" and "This Ole House".
  • 1925 – Joshua Lederberg, American biologist and geneticist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2008), was an American molecular biologist known for his work in microbial genetics, artificial intelligence, and the United States space program. He was 33 years old when he won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering that bacteria can mate and exchange genes (bacterial conjugation).
  • 1925 – Mac Wiseman, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was an American bluegrass singer.
  • 1923 – Irving Millman, American virologist and microbiologist (d. 2012), was a noted virologist and microbiologist. He was a member of the U.S.
  • 1920 – Helen O'Connell, American singer (d. 1993), was an American singer, actress, and hostess, described as "the quintessential big band singer of the 1940s".
  • 1919 – Betty Garrett, American actress, singer, and dancer (d. 2011), was an American actress, comedian, singer and dancer. She originally performed on Broadway, and was then signed to a film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
  • 1917 – Edward Norton Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist (d. 2008), was an American mathematician and meteorologist who established the theoretical basis of weather and climate predictability, as well as the basis for computer-aided atmospheric physics and meteorology. He is best known as the founder of modern chaos theory, a branch of mathematics focusing on the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.
  • 1915 – S. Donald Stookey, American physicist and chemist, invented CorningWare (d. 2014), was an American inventor. He had 60 patents in his name related to glass and ceramics, some patents solely his and others shared as joint patents with other inventors.
  • 1914 – Celestine Sibley, American journalist and author (d. 1999), was an American journalist and author based in Atlanta.
  • 1910 – Artie Shaw, American clarinet player, composer, and bandleader (d. 2004), was an American clarinetist, composer, bandleader and actor. Also an author, Shaw wrote both fiction and non-fiction.
  • 1910 – Franz Kline, American painter and academic (d. 1962). He is associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940s and 1950s.
  • 1910 – Margaret Wise Brown, American author and educator (d. 1952), was an American writer of children's books, including Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, both illustrated by Clement Hurd.
  • 1910 – Scatman Crothers, American actor and comedian (d. 1986), was an American actor and musician. He played Louie the Garbage Man on the TV show Chico and the Man and Dick Hallorann in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980).
  • 1908 – John Bardeen, American physicist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1991), was an American physicist and electrical engineer. He is the only person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory.
  • 1899 – Jeralean Talley, American super-centenarian (d. 2015), was an American supercentenarian who was, at the age of 116 years, 25 days, the world's verified oldest living person. She was previously thought to be the oldest living American, from the death of Elsie Thompson on March 21, 2013 until Gertrude Weaver was verified to be older in July 2014.
  • 1898 – Scott O'Dell, American soldier, journalist, and author (d. 1989), was an American author of 26 novels for young people, along with three novels for adults and four nonfiction books. He wrote historical fiction, primarily, including several children's novels about historical California and Mexico.
  • 1890 – Herbert Marshall, English-American actor and singer (d. 1966), was an English stage, screen and radio actor who, despite losing a leg during the First World War, starred in many popular and well-regarded Hollywood films in the 1930s and 1940s. After a successful theatrical career in the United Kingdom and North America, he became an in-demand Hollywood leading man, frequently appearing in romantic melodramas and occasional comedies.
  • 1888 – Zack Wheat, American baseball player and police officer (d. 1972), was a Major League Baseball left fielder for Brooklyn in the National League. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1959.
  • 1883 – Douglas Fairbanks, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1939), was an American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films including The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro, but spent the early part of his career making comedies.
  • 1875 – Alfred P. Sloan, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1966), was an American business executive in the automotive industry. He was a long-time president, chairman and CEO of General Motors Corporation.
  • 1837 – Anatole Mallet, Swiss mechanical engineer and inventor (d. 1919). Anatole Mallet (23 May 1837 – 10 October 1919) was a Swiss mechanical engineer, who was the inventor of the first successful compound system for a railway steam locomotive, patented in 1874.
  • 1824 – Ambrose Burnside, American general and politician, 30th Governor of Rhode Island (d. 1881), was an American soldier, railroad-executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician from Rhode Island. He served as Governor of Rhode Island and as a United States Senator.
  • 1820 – James Buchanan Eads, American engineer, designed the Eads Bridge (d. 1887), was a world-renowned American civil engineer and inventor, holding more than 50 patents.
  • 1820 – Lorenzo Sawyer, American lawyer and judge (d. 1891), was an American lawyer and judge who was appointed to the Supreme Court of California in 1860 and served as the ninth Chief Justice of California from 1868 to 1870. He served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit and of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
  • 1810 – Margaret Fuller, American journalist and critic (d. 1850), was an American journalist, editor, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first full-time American female book reviewer in journalism.
  • 1795 – Charles Barry, English architect, designed the Upper Brook Street Chapel and Halifax Town Hall (d. 1860), was an English architect, best known for his role in the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament) in London during the mid-19th century, but also responsible for numerous other buildings and gardens. He is known for his major contribution to the use of Italianate architecture in Britain, especially the use of the Palazzo as basis for the design of country houses, city mansions and public buildings.


  • 2017 – Cortez Kennedy, American football player (b. 1968)
  • 2015 – Alicia Nash, Salvadoran-American physicist and engineer (b. 1933)
  • 2015 – Anne Meara, American actress, comedian and playwright (b. 1929)
  • 2015 – John Forbes Nash, Jr., American mathematician and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1928)
  • 2015 – Leo Berman, American businessman and politician (b. 1935)
  • 2014 – Michael Gottlieb, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1945)
  • 2013 – Flynn Robinson, American basketball player (b. 1941)
  • 2013 – William Demby, American author (b. 1922)
  • 2012 – Hal Jackson, American journalist and radio host (b. 1915)
  • 2012 – Paul Fussell, American historian, author, and academic (b. 1924)
  • 2012 – T. Garry Buckley, American soldier, pilot, and politician, 72nd Lieutenant Governor of Vermont (b. 1922)
  • 2012 – William C. Wampler, American soldier and politician (b. 1926)
  • 2010 – José Lima, Dominican-American baseball player (b. 1972)
  • 2008 – Utah Phillips, American singer-songwriter and poet (b. 1935)
  • 2006 – Clifford Antone, American businessman (b. 1949)
  • 2006 – Ian Copeland, Syrian-American talent agent (b. 1949)
  • 2006 – Lloyd Bentsen, American colonel and politician, 69th United States Secretary of the Treasury (b. 1921)
  • 2002 – Sam Snead, American golfer and journalist (b. 1912)
  • 1999 – Owen Hart, Canadian-American wrestler (b. 1965)
  • 1998 – Telford Taylor, American general and lawyer (b. 1908)
  • 1986 – Sterling Hayden, American actor (b. 1916)
  • 1975 – Moms Mabley, American comedian and actor (b. 1894)
  • 1965 – Earl Webb, American baseball player and coach (b. 1897)
  • 1960 – Georges Claude, French engineer and inventor, created Neon lighting (b. 1870)
  • 1938 – Frederick Ruple, Swiss-American painter (b. 1871)
  • 1937 – John D. Rockefeller, American businessman and philanthropist, founded the Standard Oil Company and Rockefeller University (b. 1839)
  • 1934 – Bonnie Parker, American criminal (b. 1910)
  • 1934 – Clyde Barrow, American criminal (b. 1909)
  • 1868 – Kit Carson, American general (b. 1809)
  • 1815 – Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg, American clergyman and botanist (b. 1753)
  • 1754 – John Wood, the Elder, English architect, designed The Circus and Queen Square (b. 1704)
  • 1752 – William Bradford, English-American printer (b. 1663)
  • 1524 – Ismail I, First Emperor of Safavid Empire (b. 1487)
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