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May 23 in History

Update: May, 23/2011 - 09:22

1785

In a letter to a friend, Benjamin Franklin reveals his latest invention: spectacles of two thicknesses, the first bi-focals.

1848

Birth of Otto Lilienthal, German inventor and aeronautical engineer. His work on flying models was used by later pioneers like the Wright Brothers.

1853

The constitution of the Argentine Republic goes into effect.

1908

Birth of John Bardeen, US physicist and twice winner of the Nobel Prize. With William Shockley he invented the transistor.

1920

The Communist Party of Indonesia is formed, the first leftist organisation to be set up in Asia.

1926

Lebanon is proclaimed a republic by the French.

1935

N'trang Long, leader of one of the biggest insurrections of ethnic minority people against French colonialists in Viet Nam's Central Highlands, is killed.

1945

Heinrich Himmler, German Nazi leader and Chief of Police, commits suicide a day after being captured; Admiral Karl Doenitz and leading members of the German government are arrested; Winston Churchill resigns, bringing an end to Britain's wartime coalition.

1949

The German Federal Republic formally comes into existence with Bonn as the capital.

1969

Representatives of the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet Nam and the National Democratic and Peace Alliance hold talks on the convention of a national representative congress to elect a provisional revolutionary government for South Viet Nam.

1992

The United States and four former Soviet republics sign agreement to implement START missile-reduction treaty.

1995

Israel suspends plans to confiscate Arab land in east Jerusalem, acknowledging that it no longer can act at will to strengthen the Jewish hold on the city.

2000

Israel pulls last of its soldiers out of south Lebanon.

2002

A heat wave strikes India and kills 1,030 people, mainly in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Temperatures reached a record 51oC.

2004

A bomb planted by suspected rebels explodes in a crowded discotheque in northwest Colombia, killing six people and wounding 82 – the bloodiest in a series of attacks marking the 40th anniversary of Colombia's main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

2007

A 60-year-old woman gives birth to a pair of boys in New Jersey. Hospital officials believed Frieda Birnbaum was the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the United States. — AP/REUTERS/VNS

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