On This Day in History January 23

January 23 – Events:

  • 393 – Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaims his nine year old son Honorius coemperor.
  • 971 – In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han are soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops. The Southern Han state is forced to submit to the Song Dynasty, ending not only Southern Han rule, but also the first regular war elephant corps employed in a Chinese army that had gained the Southern Han victories throughout the 10th century.
  • 1368 – In a coronation ceremony, Zhu Yuanzhang ascends to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that would last for three centuries.
  • 1492 – “Pentateuch” (Jewish holy book) first printed.
  • 1510 – Henry VIII of England, then 18 years old, appears incognito in the lists at Richmond, and is applauded for his jousting before he reveals his identity.
  • 1533 – Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, discovers herself pregnant.
  • 1546 – Having published nothing for eleven years, Francois Rabelais publishes the Tiers Livre, his sequel to Gargantua and Pantagruel.
  • 1556 – The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.
  • 1570 – The assassination of regent James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray throws Scotland into civil war.
  • 1571 – The Royal Exchange opens in London.
  • 1579 – The Union of Utrecht forms a Protestant republic in the Netherlands.
  • 1656 – Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales.
  • 1719 – The Principality of Liechtenstein is created within the Holy Roman Empire.
  • 1789 – GeorgetownCollege becomes the first Roman Catholic college in the United States in the city of Washington, D.C.
  • 1793 – Russia and Prussia partition Poland.
  • 1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States’ first female doctor.
  • 1855 – The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge.
  • 1870 – In Montana, U.S. cavalrymen kill 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in the Marias Massacre.
  • 1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: the Battle of Rorke’s Drift ends.
  • 1879 – National Archery Association formed, Crawfordsville IN.
  • 1894 – G.W. Bunbury of Dublin sets shorthand record of 250 words per minute for 10 minutes.
  • 1897 – Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
  • 1899 – Emilio Aguinaldo is sworn in as President of the First Philippine Republic.
  • 1904 – Ålesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Ålesund is devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless and one person dead. Kaiser Wilhelm II funds the rebuilding of the town in Jugendstil style.
  • 1907 – Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American U.S. Senator.
  • 1912 – The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague.
  • 1920 – The Netherlands refuses to surrender ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the Allies.
  • 1924 – Ramsey MacDonald forms first Labour government in Britain.
  • 1930 – George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia established.
  • 1937 – In Moscow, 17 leading Communists go on trial accused of participating in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Joseph Stalin’s regime and assassinate its leaders.
  • 1941 – Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
  • 1943 – World War II: British forces capture Tripoli in Libya from the Nazis.
  • 1943 – Jewish-led Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
  • 1943 – World War II: Australian and American forces finally defeat the Japanese army in Papua. This turning point in the Pacific War marks the beginning of the end of Japanese aggression.
  • 1943 – Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time.
  • 1945 – World War II: Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal.
  • 1950 – The Knesset passes a resolution that states Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
  • 1953 – NFL Dallas Texans become Baltimore Colts (now Indianapolis Colts).
  • 1958 – Overthrow in Venezuela of Marcos Pérez Jiménez
  • 1960 – The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet)in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1964 – The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified.
  • 1967 – The diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Ivory Coast were established.
  • 1968 – North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo, claiming the ship had violated their territorial waters while spying.
  • 1973 – President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
  • 1973 – A volcano eruption devastates Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar chain of islands off the south coast of Iceland.
  • 1975 – “Barney Miller” premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1975 – Ralph Kiner elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame.
  • 1977 – Miniseries “Roots” premiers on ABC.
  • 1978 – Sweden becomes the first nation in the world to ban aerosol sprays, believed to be damaging to earth’s ozone layer.
  • 1983 – “A-Team” with Mr. T premiers on NBC.
  • 1983 – Bjorn Borg announces his retirement from tennis.
  • 1985 – O.J. Simpson becomes the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Football Hall of Fame.
  • 1986 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
  • 1996 – The first version of the Java programming language was released.
  • 1997 – Madeleine Albright becomes the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.
  • 2001 – The Chinese Communist Party stages a self-immolation in Tiananmen Square to frame Falun Gong and escalate the persecution.
  • 2002 – “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh returns to the United States in Federal Bureau of Investigation custody.
  • 2002 – Reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan. He was subsequently murdered .
  • 2003 – Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10

January 23 – Birthdays:

  • 1350 – Vincent Ferrer, Spanish missionary and saint (d. 1419)
  • 1688 – Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden (d. 1741)
  • 1719 – John Landen, English mathematician (d. 1790)
  • 1737 – John Hancock, American statesman (d. 1793)
  • 1745 – William Jessop, English canal engineer (d. 1814)
  • 1783 – Stendhal, French writer (d. 1842)
  • 1786 – Auguste de Montferrand, French architect (d. 1858)
  • 1813 – Camilla Collett, Norwegian writer and feminist (d. 1895)
  • 1827 – Takamori Saigo, Samurai, leader of Satsuma rebellion (d. 1877)
  • 1832 – Edouard Manet, French artist (d. 1883)
  • 1840 – Ernst Abbe, German physicist (d. 1905)
  • 1855 – John Moses Browning, American inventor (d. 1926)
  • 1857 – Andrija Mohorovicic, Croatian seismologist (d. 1936)
  • 1862 – David Hilbert, German mathematician (d. 1943)
  • 1872 – Goce Delchev, a revolutionary from the Balkans – leader of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (d. 1903)
  • 1872 – Paul Langevin, French physicist (d. 1946)
  • 1872 – Joze Plecnik, Slovenian architect (d. 1957)
  • 1876 – Otto Diels, German chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1954)
  • 1884 – Ralph DePalma, Italian-American race car driver (d. 1956)
  • 1891 – Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. He is renowned for his concept of cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society. (d. 1937)
  • 1896 – Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (d. 1985)
  • 1897 – Subhas Chandra Bose, Indian independence fighter (d. 1945)
  • 1897 – Sir William Samuel Stephenson, Canadian soldier, W.W.II codename, Intrepid. Inspiration for James Bond. (d. 1989)
  • 1897 – Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Austrian architect (d. 2000)
  • 1897 – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Indian Leader and Freedom Fighter (d. Unknown, Disputed)
  • 1898 – Sergei Eisenstein, Russian film director (d. 1948)
  • 1898 – Freda Utley, British scholar and author (d. 1978)
  • 1898 – Randolph Scott, American actor (d. 1987)
  • 1899 – Glen Kidston, British aviator and racing driver (d. 1931)
  • 1900 – William Ifor Jones, Welsh conductor and organist (d. 1988)
  • 1903 – Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Colombian politician (d. 1948)
  • 1907 – Dan Duryea, American actor (d. 1968)
  • 1907 – Hideki Yukawa, Japanese physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1910 – Django Reinhardt, Belgian guitarist (d. 1953)
  • 1915 – Potter Stewart, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (d. 1985)
  • 1915 – Arthur Lewis, British economist, Nobel laureate (d. 1991)
  • 1916 – Airey Neave, British Major, politician and indictment server at the Nuremberg Trials (d. 1979)
  • 1916 – David Douglas Duncan, American photo-journalist
  • 1918 – Gertrude B. Elion, American scientist, Nobel laureate (d. 1999)
  • 1919 – Ernie Kovacs, American comedian (d. 1962)
  • 1919 – Bob Paisley, English Football player and manager. (d. 1996)
  • 1919 – Hans Hass, Austrian zoologist and underwater scientist
  • 1923 – Walter M. Miller, Jr., American writer (d. 1996)
  • 1923 – Cot Deal, major league baseball player and coach
  • 1924 – Bal Thackeray, founder and president of Indian political party Shiv Sena.
  • 1927 – Lars-Eric Lindblad, Swedish-American entrepreneur and explorer (d. 1994)
  • 1928 – Chico Carrasquel, Venezuelan baseball player (d. 2005)
  • 1928 – Jeanne Moreau, French actress
  • 1929 – Patriarch Filaret (Mykhailo Denysenko) of Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate
  • 1929 – John Charles Polanyi, Canadian chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1930 – Derek Walcott, West Indian writer, Nobel laureate
  • 1930 – Teresa Zylis-Gara, Polish singer
  • 1933 – Chita Rivera, Puerto Rican actress and dancer
  • 1934 – Pierre Bourgault, Quebec politician and essayist (d. 2003)
  • 1936 – Jerry Kramer, American football player
  • 1938 – Shohei Baba, Japanese professional wrestler (d. 1999)
  • 1938 – Georg Baselitz, German painter and sculptor
  • 1939 – Sonny Chiba, Japanese actor and martial artist
  • 1939 – Arlene Golonka, American actress
  • 1940 – Johnny Russell, American country singer and songwriter (d. 2001)
  • 1940 – Ben Gallagher, prolific woodturner
  • 1942 – Razzak, Bangladeshi actor and director
  • 1943 – Gary Burton, American jazz vibraphonist
  • 1943 – Gil Gerard, American actor
  • 1943 – Millie Jackson, American singer
  • 1944 – Rutger Hauer, Dutch actor
  • 1945 – Mike Harris, Canadian politician, Premier of Ontario
  • 1946 – Arnoldo Alemán, ex-president of Nicaragua
  • 1946 – Don Whittington, American businessman, car & airplane racer and convicted felon
  • 1947 – Thomas R. Carper, American politician.
  • 1947 – Megawati Sukarnoputri, 5th President of Indonesia
  • 1948 – Anita Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters)
  • 1950 – Richard Dean Anderson, American actor
  • 1950 – Danny Federici, American musician (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band)
  • 1950 – John Greaves, English musician (Henry Cow, National Health)
  • 1953 – Antonio Villaraigosa, Hispanic-American 52nd Mayor of Los Angeles
  • 1953 – Robin Zander, American singer (Cheap Trick)
  • 1954 – Franco De Vita, Venezuelan singer and songwriter
  • 1954 – Edward Ka-Spel, English musician (Legendary Pink Dots)
  • 1957 – Princess Caroline of Monaco
  • 1957 – Lou Schuler, American fitness journalist
  • 1959 – Clive Bull, English radio talk show host
  • 1960 – Patrick de Gayardon, French skydiver and skysurfing pioneer (d. 1998)
  • 1960 – Jean-Francois Sauve, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1962 – Elvira Lindo, Spanish writer and journalist1962 – Vasia Panayopoulou, Greek actress
  • 1963 – Gail O’Grady, American actress
  • 1964 – Mariska Hargitay, American actress
  • 1964 – Mario Roberge, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1967 – Naim Süleymanoglu, Bulgaria-born Turkish weightlifter
  • 1968 – Petr Korda, Czech tennis player
  • 1969 – Ariadna Gil, Spanish actress
  • 1969 – Andrei Kanchelskis, Ukrainian-Russian footballer
  • 1969 – Brendan Shanahan, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1970 – Spiridon Vasdekis, Greek long jumper
  • 1971 – Kevin Mawae, American football player
  • 1972 – Ewen Bremner, Scottish actor
  • 1972 – Mark Curry, American rapper
  • 1972 – Marcel Wouda, Dutch swimmer
  • 1973 – Lanei Chapman, American actress
  • 1974 – Joel Bouchard, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1974 – Rebekah Elmaloglou, Australian actress
  • 1974 – Yosvani Pérez, Cuban baseball player
  • 1974 – Richard T. Slone, British artist
  • 1974 – Tiffani Thiessen, American actress
  • 1975 – Tito Ortiz, American UFC fighter
  • 1976 – Brandon Duckworth, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Angelica Lee, Taiwanese actress and singer
  • 1976 – Nigel McGuinness, English professional wrestler
  • 1979 – Sampsa Astala, Finnish musician (Lordi)
  • 1979 – Larry Hughes, American basketball player
  • 1979 – Juan Rincón, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1981 – Greg Smith, American UFC fighter
  • 1982 – Wily Mo Peña, Dominican baseball player
  • 1983 – David Firth, British animator
  • 1984 – Arjen Robben, Dutch footballer
  • 1985 – Dong Fangzhuo, Chinese footballer
  • 1985 – Doutzen Kroes, Dutch supermodel
  • 1986 – José Enrique Sánchez, Spanish footballer
  • 1986 – Steven Taylor, English footballer
  • 1987 – Felicia Brandström, Swedish singer

January 23 – Deaths:

  • 1199 – Yaqub, Almohad Caliph (b. 1160)
  • 1548 – Bernardo Pisano, Italian composer (b. 1490)
  • 1549 – Johannes Honter, Transylvanian Saxon humanist and theologian (b. 1498)
  • 1567 – Jiajing, Emperor of China (b. 1507)
  • 1570 – James Stewart, Earl of Moray, regent of Scotland (assassinated)
  • 1622 – William Baffin, English explorer (b. 1584)
  • 1744 – Giambattista Vico, Italian philosopher and historian (b. 1668)
  • 1785 – Matthew Stewart, Scottish mathematician (b. 1717)
  • 1789 – Frances Brooke, English writer (b. 1724)
  • 1789 – John Cleland, English novelist (b. 1709)
  • 1800 – Edward Rutledge, American statesman (b. 1749)
  • 1803 – Arthur Guinness, Irish brewer (b. 1725)
  • 1805 – Claude Chappe, French telecommunications pioneer (b. 1763)
  • 1806 – William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1759)
  • 1812 – Robert Craufurd, British general (b. 1764)
  • 1820 – Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
  • 1833 – Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, British admiral (b. 1757)
  • 1837 – John Field, Irish composer (b. 1782)
  • 1866 – Thomas Love Peacock, English satirist (b. 1785)
  • 1875 – Charles Kingsley English writer (b. 1819)
  • 1883 – Gustave Doré, French artist, engraver, and illustrator (b. 1832)
  • 1893 – Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1825)
  • 1922 – Arthur Nikisch, Hungarian conductor (b. 1855)
  • 1923 – Max Nordau, Austrian author, philosopher, and Zionist leader (b. 1849)
  • 1931 – Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina (b. 1881)
  • 1937 – Orso Mario Corbino, Italian physicist (b. 1876)
  • 1939 – Matthias Sindelar, Austrian footballer (b. 1903)
  • 1943 – Alexander Woollcott, American actor, author, and bon vivant (b. 1887)
  • 1944 – Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter (b. 1863)
  • 1944 – Viktor Gusev, Russian poet (b. 1909)
  • 1956 – Alexander Korda, Hungarian/British film director (b. 1893)
  • 1958 – Nikolaos Georgantas, Greek discus thrower (b. 1880)
  • 1971 – Fritz Feigl, Austria-born chemist (b. 1871)
  • 1973 – Alexander Onassis, Greek heir of the Onassis family (b. 1948)
  • 1973 – Kid Ory, American jazz trombonist (b. 1886)
  • 1976 – Paul Dupuis, French Canadian film and television actor (b. 1913)
  • 1976 – Paul Robeson, American actor, singer, and social activist (b. 1898)
  • 1977 – Toots Shor, New York restaurateur (b. 1903)
  • 1978 – Terry Kath, American musician (Chicago) (b. 1946)
  • 1978 – Jack Oakie, American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1978 – Vic Ames, American singer (Ames Brothers) (b. 1925)
  • 1981 – Samuel Barber, American composer (b. 1910)
  • 1983 – Fred Bakewell, English cricketer (b. 1908)
  • 1984 – Mu’in Bseiso, Palestinian poet (b. 1926)
  • 1986 – Joseph Beuys, German artist (b. 1921)
  • 1986 – Yvonne Lefébure, French virtuoso pianist (b. 1898)
  • 1988 – Charles Glen King, American biochemist (b. 1896)
  • 1989 – Salvador Dalí, Catalan artist (b. 1904)
  • 1990 – Allen Collins, American guitarist (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (b. 1952)
  • 1991 – Northrop Frye, Canadian writer and critic (b. 1912)
  • 1992 – Freddie Bartholomew, Irish actor (b. 1924)
  • 1993 – Thomas A. Dorsey, American singer (b. 1899)
  • 1994 – Nikolai Ogarkov, Soviet field marshal (b. 1917)
  • 1994 – Brian Redhead, English journalist and broadcaster (b. 1929)
  • 1997 – Richard Berry, American composer and musician (b. 1935)
  • 1999 – Jay Pritzker, American businessman (b. 1922)
  • 1999 – Prince Lincoln Thompson, Jamaican musician (b. 1949)
  • 2002 – Pierre Bourdieu, French sociologist (b. 1930)
  • 2002 – Paul Aars, American racecar driver (b. 1934)
  • 2002 – Robert Nozick, American philosopher (b. 1938)
  • 2003 – Nell Carter, American singer and actress (b. 1948)
  • 2004 – Bob Keeshan, American actor (b. 1927)
  • 2004 – Helmut Newton, German-born photographer (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Morys George Lyndhurst Bruce, 4th Baron Aberdare, British politician (b. 1921)
  • 2005 – Johnny Carson, American television host (b. 1925)
  • 2006 – Chris McKinstry, Canadian scientist (b. 1967)
  • 2007 – E. Howard Hunt, American Watergate figure (b. 1918)
  • 2007 – Ryszard Kapuscinski, Polish journalist and writer (b. 1932)

January 23 – Holidays:

  • St. Abakuh, an Egyptian Christian martyr
  • Bounty Day, celebrating the burning of HMAV Bounty in 1790, Pitcairn Island
  • St. Raymond of Peñafort, confessor, d. 1275 (Roman Catholic calendar of saints)
  • St. Emerentiana, virgin and martyr, d. 305 (Roman Catholic calendar of saints)
  • Blessed Marianne of Molokai
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