On this day: Anti-Mafia judge killed in Sicily

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 May
On this day in 1992 anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone was killed when a bomb blew up a motorway outside Palermo in Sicily. Picture: APOn this day in 1992 anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone was killed when a bomb blew up a motorway outside Palermo in Sicily. Picture: AP
On this day in 1992 anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone was killed when a bomb blew up a motorway outside Palermo in Sicily. Picture: AP

1430: English took Joan of Arc prisoner.

1533: Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. The result was a break with the Church in Rome.

1568: William of Orange defeated Spanish force at Heiligerlee in Holland, marking start of Revolt of the Netherlands.

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1618: Thirty Years War began as Bohemian rebels triumphed in Prague.

1797: Start of the Nore naval mutiny in the Thames estuary, led by Richard Parker, a former officer, against bad food and inadequate pay and impressment, and sought better leave entitlements. It collapsed on 30 June. Parker, along with several leading co-conspirators, faced swift justice from the vengeful Admiralty and after a brief trial was hanged for treason and piracy.

1814: Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, had its first production at Theater an der Wein, Vienna.

1842: General Assembly of Church of Scotland condemned patronage as a grievance to the cause of true religion that ought to be abolished.

1873: The North-west Mounted Police were established in Canada – their name was changed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on 1 February, 1920.

1913: London traffic was restricted to 10mph at Hyde Park Corner, an accident blackspot.

1926: Lebanon was proclaimed a republic by France.

1939: Parliament approved plan for independent Palestine by 1949, which later was denounced by Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

1939: The George Cross decoration for bravery was inaugurated.

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1945: Heinrich Himmler, notorious Nazi chief of police, committed suicide.

1949: The German Federal Republic, with Bonn as the capital, came into existence.

1960: Israel announced detention of the former Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann.

1983: South African fighter planes rocketed alleged guerrilla bases in Mozambique in retaliation for car-bomb attack near air force headquarters in Pretoria three days earlier.

1988: Hungary’s Communist Party outlined sweeping political and economic changes designed to salvage nation’s faltering economy.

1989: Meryl Streep was voted Best Actress of the Year for her performance in A Cry In The Dark, a film based on the dingo baby case in Australia.

1990: The General Medical Council allowed doctors to advertise their services for the first time in 130 years.

1991: Rajiv Gandhi’s Italian-born widow, Sonia, rejected offer to become president of Congress Party, effectively ending dynastic power of family in Indian politics.

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1992: The anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone was killed when a huge bomb blew up a motorway on the outskirts of the Sicilian capital, Palermo.

2004: Part of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport’s Terminal 2E collapsed, killing four people and injuring three others.

2011: The UK’s military operation in Iraq officially ended. At its peak the operation, which began in 2003, involved some 46,000 personnel.

2011: Winds of up to 100mph caused travel disruption on Scotland’s road, rail and ferry networks, and thousands of homes were without power.


Joan Collins OBE, actress, 81; Rubens Barrichello, racing driver, 42; Drew Carey, actor, 56; Desmond Carrington, radio presenter, 88; David Graham, golfer, 68; Marvin Hagler, American boxer, 60; Graeme Hick MBE, cricketer, 48; Jewel (born Jewel Kilcher), singer and actress, 40; Anatoly Karpov, Russian world chess champion, 63; Graham Marshall, Scottish rugby player, 54; John Newcombe, tennis player, 70; Heidi Range, singer (Sugababes), 31; Phil Selway, drummer (Radiohead), 47.


Births: 1734 Franz Anton Mesmer, Austrian physician and pioneer of hypnotism; 1795 Sir Charles Barry, architect and designer of the new Houses of Parliament; 1824 Ambrose Burnside, American Civil War general after whom sideburns were named; 1883 Douglas Fairbanks senior, actor; 1890 Herbert Marshall, actor; 1912 Marius Goring, actor; 1918 Denis Compton, Test cricketer, footballer, journalist and broadcaster; 1921 Humphrey Lyttelton, jazz trumpeter and broadcaster; 1928 Rosemary Clooney, singer; 1928 Nigel Davenport, actor.

Deaths: 1701 Captain William Kidd, Scottish privateer and pirate (hanged at Execution Dock in London); 1906 Henrik Ibsen, Swedish playwright; 1934 Bonnie Parker, 23, and Clyde Barrow, 25, bank robbers (shot dead in police ambush in Louisiana); 1937 John D Rockefeller, philanthropist, founder of Standard Oil Company; 1941 Lord Austin (Herbert Austin), motor manufacturer; 2009 Lawrence Daly, miner and trade unionist.