1162        May 23, Thomas Becket was elected archbishop of Canterbury.

1908        May 23, In the SF Bay Area John Morrell and his crew boarded their 485-foot airship in a field near Berkeley High School. The ship’s gas bag burst at 300-feet and the 20 men aboard plunged to the ground. 9 were seriosuly injured but no one died.

1985        May 23, Thomas Patrick Cavanagh, an aerospace engineer who admitted trying to sell “stealth” bomber secrets to the Soviet Union, was sentenced in Los Angeles to life in prison.


1991        May 23, Holly Washa (22) of Burien, Washington, was kidnapped, raped and soon murdered. Cal Coburn Brown was convicted of murder in 1993 and sentenced to death in 1994. In 2009 the Washington supreme Court granted a last minute reprieve and postponed his execution, which would have been the state’s first since 2001.

        May 23, Pres. Bush banned the import of rough diamonds from Liberia in an effort to deprive rebels in Sierra Leone of a source of funds.


2004        May 23, Rod Hall (53), British literary agent, was found dead in his London home. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be multiple stab wounds to the chest and abdomen. On May 29 Usman Durrani, 20, a student from east London, was charged with the murder.


2006        May 23, Ibrahim Hamed (41), a top Hamas military commander, surrendered in Ramallah after Israeli troops surrounded his hideout and threatened to demolish it with him inside. He was linked by Israel to attacks that killed 78 people, including five Americans.


2008        May 23, George Frederick Jewett Jr. (81), former director of Potlatch Corp., philanthropist and sailing buff, died in SF. He had chaired 5 America’s Cup syndicates.

2008        May 23, Frank Phel (74), an American tourist, was hit and killed by a train at a Rome station as he was walking on the tracks in a daze after being drugged and robbed. The suspected robber was arrested the next day.

2009        May 23, Pres. Obama selected Gen. Charles Bolden (62), a retired astronaut, to lead NASA.

2009        May 23, Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (62) jumped to his death while hiking in the mountains behind his rural home. His hard-won reputation as a corruption fighter was tarnished by bribery allegations that drew in his family and closest associates.

2010        May 23, Jose Lima (1972-2010), a right-hand Dominican pitcher who was a 20-game winner and an All-Star during a 13-year major league career, died in Pasadena, Ca., of an apparent heart attack.

2010        May 23, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that his country plans to boost trade with Egypt, during a visit to Cairo where he met with President Hosni Mubarak.

2011        May 23, Bradley Franzen (41) pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses. The US president of a Costa Rica-based company faced up to 30 years in prison for illegally processing payments for Internet poker firms.

2013        May 23, Pres. Obama announced new restraints on targeted killings and outlined plans for winding down drone strikes.

2014        May 23, In California Elliot Rodger (22) stabbed 3 people to death in his apartment before gunning down 3 more victims in a drive-by late today. He then took his own life during the chaotic killing spree in downtown Isla Vista, near the University of California Santa Barbara campus. He posted his intentions on YouTube just a day before he took to the streets in a black BMW armed with a semi-automatic hand gun.