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The following events occurred in May 1923:

May 3, 1923: Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, removed by Soviet church leaders, excommunication of Soviet leaders reversed
May 20, 1923: British Prime Minister Bonar Law, terminally ill, resigns
May 22, 1923: Stanley Baldwin takes office as new British Prime Minister

May 1, 1923 (Tuesday) edit

  • Construction of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at Exposition Park was completed at a cost of less than $955,000 and less than 17 months after the groundbreaking.[1] Though the structure was built, it would not be used to host events until July 2, when the Monroe Doctrine Centennial Fair was to take place.[2] R. H. Burnside, producer of the Monroe Centennial festivities, inspected the Coliseum on May 3.[3] Tours of the Coliseum began as early as May 10, when Exposition Park hosted the Pasadena Horticultural Society.[4]
  • Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach was arrested by French authorities in Essen on charges from a March 31 shooting incident at the Krupp factory, and put in jail in Werden.[5][6]
  • A meeting of about 500 people at the Pillar of Fire International church in Bound Brook, New Jersey turned into a massive brawl when some attendees resented certain statements made by speakers lauding the Ku Klux Klan. An angry mob trapped about 400 church members on the second floor throwing stones at the building until police restored order in the early hours of the next morning.[7]
  • Born:
    • Joseph Heller, American novelist known for the bestselling 1961 novel Catch-22 and the introduction of the word Catch-22 into the English language as a synonym for a no-win situation; in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1999)
    • Fernando Cabrita, Portuguese soccer football forward and manager; in Lagos (d. 2014)

May 2, 1923 (Wednesday) edit

May 3, 1923 (Thursday) edit

May 4, 1923 (Friday) edit

May 5, 1923 (Saturday) edit

May 6, 1923 (Sunday) edit

May 7, 1923 (Monday) edit

May 8, 1923 (Tuesday) edit


May 9, 1923 (Wednesday) edit

  • The ignition of an oil well gusher by a spark killed 15 employees of the J. K. Hughes Development Company who were working at the McKie No. 1 oil well in Navarro County, Texas near the town of Kerens.[36][37]
  • Testimony revealing the brutal treatment of convict labor at the Knabb Turpentine Company camps in North Florida was given to a state investigative committee by social worker Thelma Franklin of the town of Glen St. Mary. Mrs. Franklin described witnessing the murder of two African American women by a man called Warden Thompson. One of the victims, a black laborer named Mary Sheffield, had been scheduled to appear before the committee as a witness.[citation needed]
  • The Chinese government agreed to pay the ransom demanded by the train bandits.[38]
  • Irish President W. T. Cosgrave said that negotiations between the government and the Irish Republican Army had broken down because the Republicans had refused to surrender their arms.[39]
  • The Bertolt Brecht play In the Jungle of Cities premiered at the Residenz Theatre in Munich.[40]
  • Born: André Parat, French custom automobile maker in partnership with Bernard Pichon in the Pichon-Parat company (d. 1983)
  • Died:

May 10, 1923 (Thursday) edit

May 11, 1923 (Friday) edit

May 12, 1923 (Saturday) edit

  • Nearly 63,000 people packed Yankee Stadium in New York to watch the first boxing card in the venue's history, five bouts organized by Tex Rickard to raise money for the Milk Fund Charity, which received $260,000 after expenses were paid from a gate of $390,000. The New York Times wrote the next day, "Probably no greater collection of prominent pugilists ever was assembled in one ring," [47] In the final bout, former heavyweight champion Jess Willard knocked out Floyd Johnson in the eleventh round.[48]
  • Born: Gilbert Horn Sr., Native American Sioux Indian and U.S. Army special ops agent, "code talker" during World War II transmitting and receiving messages in the Assiniboine language; at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana (d. 2016)
  • Died:
    • U.S. Marines Lieutenant Colonel Earl "Pete" Ellis, 42, American military strategist and administrator; from cirrhosis of the liver.
    • Alonzo T. Jones, 72, Seventh Day Adventist theologian and writer

May 13, 1923 (Sunday) edit

May 14, 1923 (Monday) edit

May 15, 1923 (Tuesday) edit

  • In failing health, Soviet Communist Party boss Vladimir Lenin moved from his office in the Kremlin in Moscow to his vacation dacha in the Gorki Leninskiye neighborhood and would live there eight more months before his death on January 21.[citation needed]
  • At noon, 81 separate radio frequencies went into operation as broadcasting stations across the United States shifted to new positions on the radio dial by adjusting their transmitters to the allotted airwave limits between 220 and 545 meters wavelength. The new frequencies ranged from 550 kHz (545m wavelength) to 1350 kHz (220m) in bands 10 kHz apart.[53] Previously, only three frequencies (620 kHz for news and 830 kHz for entertainment, later supplemented by 750 kHz) had been reserved for broadcast use.[54] The decision had been made after the Second National Radio Conference on March 20, 1923.[55]
  • The League of Nations approved the transfer of all of Galicia to Poland in accordance with the March 14 decision of the Conference of Ambassadors.[56]
  • British MP John Turner Walton Newbold, of the Communist Party of Great Britain, was suspended from the House of Commons after he protested to Speaker of the House Edward FitzRoy, "You allowed charges to be made against me all the evening without giving me a chance to reply." Fitzroy said that was "not a Parliamentary expression" and asked Newbold to leave. After a commotion a vote was taken and Newbold was suspended by a count of 300 to 88.[57][58]
  • Professional football coach Charles Brickley, who had organized the first New York Giants football team (Brickley's Giants in 1921), was indicted by an Illinois court on charges of illegal stock negotiations.[59]
  • Amelia Earhart was the 16th woman to be given a pilot's license by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.[60]
  • Born:

May 16, 1923 (Wednesday) edit

  • The Chinese bandits tossed three hostages to their deaths over a precipice as a warning to speed up the ransom payment.[61]
  • Born:
  • Died: George Jay Gould, 59, American railroad executive and financier, died of a fever while vacationing in France, a few months after visiting the Tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt, adding to the "Curse of the Pharaohs" legend which began after the April 5 death of Lord Carnarvon.[62]

May 17, 1923 (Thursday) edit

May 18, 1923 (Friday) edit

May 19, 1923 (Saturday) edit

May 20, 1923 (Sunday) edit

  • British Prime Minister Bonar Law resigned after less than seven months in office, because of serious illness from throat cancer.[71] An announcement from the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street in London was made by his three medical advisers, Dr. Thomas Horder, Dr. Gould May and Dr. Douglas Harmer, who wrote "In spite of his rest the Prime Minister's voice is still unsatisfactory. We are unable to promise improvement within a reasonable time. The state of the Prime Minister's health is not good." A statement from King George V, the monarch said "The King has received the Right Honorable A. Bonar Law's communication with deepest regret and has graciously accepted his resignation.[72]
  • Mestalla Stadium opened in Valencia in Spain.
  • Born:
  • Died: Prince Kote Abkhazi, 55, former Russian Imperial Army General and later Chairman of the Georgian National-Democratic Party, was executed by the Soviet Cheka security police after being convicted of treason for being in the underground independence movement Damkom, along with former Colonel Giorgi Khimshiashvili.[73]

May 21, 1923 (Monday) edit

May 22, 1923 (Tuesday) edit

  • Stanley Baldwin, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, took office as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, although Lord Curzon had been expected to succeed Bonar Law [79] A theory was that Curzon, a member of the House of Lords, had been passed over at a time when the labour movement's growing power called for an elected Member of Parliament, rather than a Peer, to lead the government.[80]
  • The value of Germany's currency, the mark continued its decline and dropped below 1/50000th of a U.S. dollar for the first time. As the worth of a mark progressed from 50,000 per US$ to 57,000 per US$ during the day, the government announced that the price of bread would double, that the price of a ride on a street car would increase by one-third from 300 marks to 400 on June 1, and that passenger trips on trains would double on June 4.[81]
  • Born: Max Velthuijs, Dutch writer, artist and children's book illustrator; in Den Haag (d. 2005)

May 23, 1923 (Wednesday) edit

May 24, 1923 (Thursday) edit

  • The Irish Civil War came to an end. Éamon de Valera, leader of the Irish Republican movement, and Frank Aiken, the Irish Republican Army chief of staff, issued an order to all IRA volunteers to lay down weapons and return home. The order permitted an honorable end to the violence without a formal surrender, and was unconditional, in that there was no offer at the time of a general amnesty by the Irish Free State government. De Valera's order to the ranks stated, "Soldiers of liberty! Legion of the rear guard! The republic can no longer be sustained successfully by your arms. Further sacrifices on your part would now be in vain. The continuance of the struggle in arms is unwise in the national interest," and added, "You have saved the nation's honor and left the road open to independence. Laying aside your arms now is an act of patriotism as exalted and pure as your valor in taking them up." Aiken stated separately, "Our enemies have demanded our arms. Our answer is we took up arms to free our country; we keep them until we see an honorable way of recovering our objective without arms."[84]
  • The San Pedro Maritime Strike ended after one month.[85]
  • France's Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré and his cabinet of ministers dramatically gave their resignations after an adverse vote in the French Senate. President Alexandre Millerand was hosting a dinner at the Élysée Palace to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Louis Pasteur when the group interrupted to ask the president to meet them in his office. The Senate had voted not to put Deputy Marcel Cachin, a Communist Party member of parliament, on trial, prompting the resignation. After 45 minutes, Millerand persuaded Poincaré to remain in office.[86]

May 25, 1923 (Friday) edit

  • A 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Iran killed 2,200 people in and around the city of Torbat-e Heydarieh.[87][88] [89]
  • Communists ransacked the German city of Essen as strikes spread throughout the Ruhr region.[90]
  • Born:
    • Josef Zemann, Austrian mineralogist for whom the mineral Zemannite (Mg0.5ZnFe3+[TeO3]3·4.5H2O) is named; in Vienna (d. 2022)
    • Admiral R. L. Pereira, Indian Navy officer and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff 1981-1982; in Calcutta, Bengal Province, British India (d. 1993)

May 26, 1923 (Saturday) edit

The start of the first 24 Hours of Le Mans race
  • The first 24 Hours of Le Mans race began at 4:00 in the afternoon in France with a field of 33 two-man teams from 17 different French auto manufacturers, two from Belgium and one representing Britain's Bentley company.[96]
  • The earth inductor compass, invented by Donald M. Bliss in 1912, was tested successfully for the first time, in a flight from McCook Air Field.[97]
  • William Randolph Hearst said he would back Henry Ford if he ran for President of the United States, but said Ford would have to run as an independent candidate because "the political machinery of both the national parties is in the hands of the old line reactionaries."[98]
  • Born:
  • Died: Albert Leo Schlageter, 28, the first German Nazi martyr, was executed by a French Army firing squad for sabotaging a railroad track in Germany's French-occupied Ruhr region.[99]

May 27, 1923 (Sunday) edit

  • André Lagache and René Léonard of France, the drivers for the Chenard-Walcker Automobile Company team, won the first Le Mans Grand Prix of Endurance auto race, completing 128 laps on the 10.72 miles (17.25 km) circuit that ran from Le Mans to Mulsanne.[96]
  • The League of Nations gave notice to the Greek-speaking residents of the Orestiada triangle in Western Thrace that Orestiada, and the nearby towns of Bosna and Demerdes, were to be transferred to Turkish control. The former Orestiada was renamed Kumçiftliği, and the Greek residents began moving to a new location beginning July 1. The transfer was completed by September 15 to a new Orestiada, being built 10 miles (16 km) to the south.[citation needed]
  • Born: Henry Kissinger, German-born American diplomat, U.S. National Security Advisor 1969 to 1975, and later the U.S. Secretary of State, 1973 to 1977; as Heinz Alfred Kißinger, in Fürth (d. 2023)
  • Died:

May 28, 1923 (Monday) edit

May 29, 1923 (Tuesday) edit

  • Strikes in the Ruhr spread to parts of Germany outside of the French occupation zone.[104]
  • Died:

May 30, 1923 (Wednesday) edit

  • Jesse W. Smith, 52, a close friend of and assistant to U.S. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, in Daugherty's private apartment at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.[105] Smith's suicide was attributed to depression over illness from diabetes, and continuing pain from surgery the previous year, but also came six weeks after The Wall Street Journal had broken the news of the Teapot Dome scandal.
  • Germany's 500,000 striking miners in the Ruhr agreed to return to work after the government offered a 50% wage increase.[106]
  • Tommy Milton won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time, in front of what the Associated Press described as "the greatest throng that ever witnessed a sporting event in America," with 150,000 spectators. The second place finisher, Harry Hartz, finished five miles behind Milton. The race was marred by tragedy when a 16-year-old spectator, Bert Shoup, was killed when Tom Alley's car crashed into a fence where Shoup and two friends were standing.[107]
  • Jack Bernstein won the world junior lightweight boxing championship in a bout against title holder Johnny Dundee before a crowd of 15,000 people at the Velodrome at New York's Coney Island. Bernstein, an underground, was the unanimous choice as the winner after 15 rounds of fighting.[citation needed]
  • Born:
  • Died: Camille Chevillard, 63, French composer and conductor

May 31, 1923 (Thursday) edit

  • U.S. sports promoter Tex Rickard incorporated the New Madison Square Garden Corporation for the purpose of building a larger Madison Square Garden arena at a location away from Madison Square in New York City. Construction would be completed in 1925. The corporation was the forerunner of MSG Sports Corporation conglomerate.
  • Pipe Spring in Arizona was made a National Monument.
  • The Petrograd Opera House in Soviet Russia burned after one of the performers had a dress that caught fire. In the scramble for the exits, an undetermined number of people were killed and injured.[108]
  • A mob of 3,000 people in the city of Durango in Mexico attempted to invade the state government offices a day before a new state law was to go into effect limiting the number of ministers to 25 apiece for each Christian denomination. The new rules disqualified 90% of the 250 Roman Catholic priests in the state of Durango and the mob demanded that the state legislature repeal the legislation. At least three policemen and seven civilians were killed in the rioting that followed.[109]
  • Born: Rainier III, monarch of the European principality of Monaco; in Monte Carlo (d. 2005)
  • Died: Walther Kadow, 23, German schoolteacher was kidnapped, beaten and then murdered by a group of Nazi Party activists led by future death camp operator Rudolf Höss, after being suspected of provided French authorities with information leading to the arrest and execution of another Nazi, Albert Leo Schlageter. Kadow was taken to a forest near the town of Parchim, now located in Germany's Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state, and tortured before his throat was slit.

References edit

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