Today is May 23:
On this date:
In 1275, King Edward I of England ordered the cessation of the persecution of French Jews.
In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.
In 1533, the marriage of England's King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.
In 1541, French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed from St-Malo on his third voyage to Canada.
In 1633, by French government edict, only Roman Catholic settlers were permitted permanent residence within New France, present-day Canada, thus ending 30 years of attempted colonization by Huguenots or Protestants.
In 1633, Samuel de Champlain was appointed governor of New France.
In 1701, Captain William Kidd, a Scottish sailor, was hanged in London after he was convicted of piracy and murder.
In 1785, in a letter to a friend, American inventor-statesman Benjamin Franklin revealed his latest invention -- bi-focals.
In 1844, in Shiraz, Persia (present-day Iran), a young man known as the Bab announced the imminent appearance of the Messenger of God, Baha'u'llah, awaited by all the peoples of the world. The title Bab means "the Gate." Although himself the bearer of an independent revelation from God, the Bab declared that his purpose was to prepare mankind for this advent. Baha'u'llah was the founder of the Baha'i World faith. A festival is held each year to mark the declaration of Bab.
In 1873, Rabbi Leo Baeck, former president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, was born in Lissa, Poland. His most famous book, "The Essence of Judaism," published in 1905, is still considered a classic of modern Judaism. When the Nazis came to power, Baeck was given numerous opportunities to escape, but he refused to leave his people, Finally, in 1943 he was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp where he worked tirelessly to teach, counsel, support and inspire his fellow inmates. Baeck survived the Holocaust.
In 1873, Canada's North West Mounted Police force was established by an act of Parliament. The force merged with the Dominion Police in 1920 to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In 1887, the first CPR intercontinental passenger train arrived at the new west coast terminal of Vancouver.
In 1903, American Congregational missionary Henry Blodget died at 78. He served 40 years in China (1854-94), and helped translate the New Testament into the colloquial Mandarin language of Beijing.
In 1915, Germany declared war on Italy during the First World War.
In 1929, the first non-stop Winnipeg-to-Edmonton flight was made in six hours and 48 minutes.
In 1934, bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush on a road in Bienville Parish, La.
In 1943, William Aberhart, the inaugural leader of Alberta's Social Credit party, died in Vancouver. He had led the Socreds to power in 1935. He was born Dec. 30, 1878, on a farm near Kippen in Hibbert Township, Perth County, Ont.
In 1945, Nazi S.S. chief Heinrich Himmler committed suicide at Luneburg, Germany -- three days after his capture by the British.
In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was established.
In 1956, the Presbyterian Church in the United States began accepting women ministers.
In 1960, former Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina. He was later flown to Israel, where he was convicted of war crimes and executed.
In 1974, New Brunswick became the first province to draft statutes in both English and French.
In 1975, in what's believed to have been the first operation of its kind, British doctors kept a critically ill baby alive for 16 hours by linking his heart and kidneys to those of a living baboon.
In 1977, South Moluccan terrorists seized hundreds of hostages in a train and a school in northern Holland. The siege ended nearly three weeks later in a military attack that took the lives of six terrorists and two hostages. …