Monday, May 23, 2005
1568: The long struggle for independence of the Netherlands begins with the Battle of Heiligerlee, as rebels under Louis of Nassau defeat a small Imperial army.
1609: The Virginia Company of London, a joint-stock enterprise founded to colonize America, receives its second royal charter.
1783: Former Massachusetts Attorney General James Otis, who gave up his job rather than execute illegal writs and who said, "Taxation without representation is tyranny," dies after being struck by lightning.
1788: South Carolina becomes the eighth state to ratify the new U.S. Constitution.
1875: Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., is born at Mew Haven, Connecticut. At age 24 he will become president of a small ball-bearing company, which through various mergers will ultimately become General Motors.
1910: Arthur Jacob Arshawsky (a/k/a Artie Shaw), the clarinetist and bandleader who will earn $30,000 a week during the Depression, is born in New York City.
1923: Belgian air carrier Société Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aerienne, better nown as SABENA, is founded. It will go bankrupt in 2001.
1934: Bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Barker are ambushed and killed by police at Black Lake, Louisiana.
1937: James Davison Rockefeller dies at Ormond Beach, Florida. On a scale of the richest Americans by share of Gross National Product, he's number one.
1949: The Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the constitution of modern Germany, comes into effect.
1999: Wrestler Owen "The Blue Blazer" Hart falls 90 feet to his death during a live pay-per-view wrestling program in Kansas City. The audience believes it's part of the show and give him a big round of applause as paramedics carry him out.