The Thing About Today – May 23

May 23, 2020
Day 144 of 366


May 23rd is the 144th day of the year. It is Constitution Day in Germany. Their constitution is called The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany and was approved on May 8, 1949 in Bonn. With the signature of the occupying western Allies of World War II on May 12th, it came into effect on May 23, 1949.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Lucky Penny Day and National Taffy Day.


Historical items of note:

  • In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to raise the Siege of Compiègne. She was later handed over to the English and put on trial by pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon, who declared her guilty and sentenced her to be burned at the stake at the end of May in 1431.
  • In 1701, Captain William Kidd was hanged in London after being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore.
  • In 1883, actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Douglas Fairbanks was born.
  • In 1908, physicist, engineer, and Nobel Prize laureate John Bardeen was born.
  • In 1911, the New York Public Library was dedicated.
  • In 1928, actress and singer Rosemary Clooney was born.
  • In 1933, actress Joan Collins was born.
  • In 1934, the infamous American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
  • In 1958, actor, game show host, and entrepreneur Drew Carey was born.
  • In 1965, actress Melissa McBride was born.
  • In 1974, singer-songwriter, guitarist, actress, and poet Jewel was born.
  • In 1984, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released.
  • In 1995, the first version of the Java programming language was released.


May 23rd is World Turtle Day.

The event has been sponsored yearly since 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue. Its purpose is to bring attention to, increase knowledge of, and develop respect for turtles and tortoises. It also encourages human action to help them survive and thrive.

World Turtle Day is celebrated around the world in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, to saving turtles caught on highways and conducting research activities.


The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.




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