On This Day in History March 23

 March 23 – Events:

  • 1174 – Jocelin, abbot of Melrose, is elected bishop of Glasgow.
  • 1568 – Peace of Longjumeau ends the Second War of Religion in France. Again Catherine de’ Medici and Charles IX of France make substantial concessions to the Huguenots.
  • 1708 – James Francis Edward Stuart lands at the Firth of Forth.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivers his famous speech -“give me liberty or give me death” at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1801 – Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.
  • 1806 – After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” begin their arduous journey home.
  • 1821 – Battle and fall of city of Kalamata, Greek War of Independence.
  • 1848 – The ship John Wickliffe arrives at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand. Otago province is founded.
  • 1857 – Elisha Otis’s first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway New York City.
  • 1868 – The University of California is founded in Oakland, California when the Organic Act is signed into law.
  • 1889 – Land run: President Benjamin Harrison opens Oklahoma to white settlement starting on April 22.
  • 1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opens in east London.
  • 1889 – The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.
  • 1896 – The Raines Law is passed by the New York State Legislature, restricting Sunday sale of alcohol to hotels
  • 1903 – The Wright Brothers apply for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful airplanes.
  • 1908 – American diplomat Durham Stevens is attacked by Korean assassins Jeon Myeong-un and Jang In-hwan, leading to his death in hospital two days later
  • 1909 – Theodore Roosevelt leaves New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.
  • 1919 – In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini founds his Fascist political movement.
  • 1931 – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev embrace the gallows during the Indian struggle for independence. Their request to be shot by a firing squad is refused.
  • 1933 – The Reichstag passes the Enabling act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.
  • 1935 – Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
  • 1940 – The Lahore Resolution (Qarardad-e-Pakistan or the then Qarardad-e-Lahore) is put forward at the Annual General Convention of the All India Muslim League.
  • 1942 – World War II: In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces capture the Andaman Islands.
  • 1956 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan)
  • 1962 – NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, was launched as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative.
  • 1965 – NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).
  • 1978 – The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon for peacekeeping mission along the Blue Line.
  • 1980 – Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gives his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans.
  • 1982 – Guatemala’s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas García is overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.
  • 1983 – Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.
  • 1989 – Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announce cold fusion at the University of Utah.
  • 1994 – At an election rally in Tijuana, Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio is assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.
  • 1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashes in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengages the autopilot, killing 75.
  • 1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collides with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashes, killing a group of 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground later to become known as the Green Ramp Disaster.
  • 1996 – Taiwan holds its first direct elections and chooses Lee Teng-hui as President.
  • 1999 – Gunmen assassinate Paraguay’s Vice President Luis María Argaña.
  • 2001 – The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.
  • 2003 – In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company as well as 18 U.S. Marines are killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • 2003 – The Australian cricket team defeats India in the cricket World cup to win their second successive Cricket World Cup.
  • 2005 – The United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, refuses to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.
  • 2005 – A major explosion at the Texas City Refinery kills 15 workers.
  • 2006 – Federal Reserve discontinues publishing M3 money supply.
  • 2007 – Iranian Navy seize Royal Navy personnel in Iraqi waters.

March 23 – Birthdays:

  • 1429 – Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI of England (d. 1482)
  • 1638 – Frederik Ruysch, Dutch physician and anatomist (d. 1731)
  • 1645 – William Kidd, Pirate Legend From Scotland (d. 1701)
  • 1699 – John Bartram, American botanist (d. 1777)
  • 1723 – Agha Mohammad Khan Ghajar, King of Iran (d. 1771)
  • 1732 – Marie Adélaïde of France, daughter of Louis XV (d. 1800)
  • 1749 – Pierre Simon de Laplace, French mathematician and astronomer (d. 1827)
  • 1754 – Baron Jurij Vega, Slovenian mathematician, physicist, and artillery officer (d. 1802)
  • 1769 – William Smith, English geologist and cartographer (d. 1839)
  • 1769 – Augustin Daniel Belliard, French general (d. 1832)
  • 1823 – Schuyler Colfax, Vice President of the United States (d. 1885)
  • 1826 – Léon Minkus, German/Czech composer and violinist (d. 1917)
  • 1831 – Eduard Schlagintweit, German writer (d. 1866)
  • 1834 – Julius Reubke, German composer (d. 1858)
  • 1858 – Ludwig Quidde, German pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1941)
  • 1868 – Dietrich Eckart, early supporter of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party and member of Thule Society (d. 1923)
  • 1878 – Franz Schreker, Austrian composer (d. 1934)
  • 1880 – Heikki Ritavuori, Finnish politician (d. 1922)
  • 1881 – Roger Martin du Gard, French writer, Nobel laureate (d. 1958)
  • 1881 – Hermann Staudinger, German chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1965)
  • 1882 – Emmy Noether, German mathematician (d. 1935)
  • 1887 – Juan Gris, Spanish artist (d. 1927)
  • 1887 – Josef Capek, Czech writer (d. 1945)
  • 1887 – Prince Felix Yussupov, Russian assassin of Rasputin (d. 1967)
  • 1893 – Cedric Gibbons, American art director (d. 1960)
  • 1899 – Dora Gerson, German actress and singer (d. 1943)
  • 1900 – Erich Fromm, German-born psychoanalyst (d. 1980)
  • 1904 – H. Beam Piper, American science fiction author (d. 1964)
  • 1905 – Lale Andersen, German singer and cabaretist (d. 1972)
  • 1905 – Joan Crawford, American actress (d. 1977)
  • 1907 – Daniel Bovet, Swiss-born scientist, Nobel laureate (d. 1992)
  • 1910 – Akira Kurosawa, Japanese film director (d. 1998)
  • 1912 – Wernher von Braun, German-born physicist and engineer (d. 1977)
  • 1915 – Vasily Zaitsev, Soviet World War II hero (d. 1991)
  • 1919 – Carl Graffunder, mid-century modernist architect
  • 1920 – Neal Smith, former United States Congressman
  • 1921 – Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer (d. 1967)
  • 1922 – Marty Allen, American comedian and actor
  • 1922 – Ugo Tognazzi, Italian actor, director and screenwriter (d. 1990)
  • 1924 – Bette Nesmith Graham, American inventor (d. 1980)
  • 1925 – David Watkin, English cinematographer
  • 1929 – Sir Roger Bannister, English runner
  • 1931 – Yevgenij Grishin, Russian speed skater (d. 2005)
  • 1931 – Viktor Korchnoi, Russian chess player
  • 1932 – Don Marshall, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1933 – Philip Zimbardo, American psychologist, known for the Stanford prison experiment
  • 1934 – Ludvig Faddeev, Russian mathematician
  • 1934 – Fernand Gignac, Canadian singer and actor (d. 2006)
  • 1934 – Mark Rydell, American film and television director
  • 1937 – Craig Breedlove, American land speed record holder
  • 1937 – Robert Gallo, American physician
  • 1938 – Maynard Jackson, first black mayor of Atlanta (d. 2003)
  • 1939 – Pepe Lienhard, Swiss band leader and entertainer
  • 1941 – Jim Trelease, American educator and children’s literature author
  • 1942 – Walter Rodney, Guyanese historian and political figure (d. 1980)
  • 1943 – Lee May, former Major League Baseball player
  • 1943 – Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, Finnish writer (d. 2001)
  • 1944 – Michael Nyman, British minimalist composer
  • 1944 – Tony McPhee, English singer and guitarist (The Groundhogs)
  • 1945 – Franco Battiato, Italian singer, songwriter and filmmaker
  • 1948 – David Olney, American musician
  • 1949 – Ric Ocasek, American musician (The Cars)
  • 1950 – Anthony De Longis, American actor
  • 1950 – Corinne Clery, French actress
  • 1951 – Ron Jaworski, American football player and analyst
  • 1952 – Kim Stanley Robinson, American author
  • 1953 – Bo Diaz, Venezuelan baseball player (d. 1990)
  • 1953 – Chaka Khan, American singer
  • 1954 – Geno Auriemma, American basketball coach
  • 1955 – Moses Malone, American basketball player
  • 1955 – Petrea Burchard, American actress
  • 1956 – José Manuel Barroso, Portuguese politician, president of the European Commission
  • 1957 – Amanda Plummer, American actress
  • 1957 – Robbie James, Welsh footballer (d. 1998)
  • 1958 – El Duce, American singer and drummer (The Mentors) (d. 1997)
  • 1960 – Nicol Stephen, Deputy First Minister of Scotland
  • 1961 – Helmi Johannes, Indonesian television newscaster
  • 1962 – Steve Redgrave, British rower, 5 Olympic Gold Medals
  • 1964 – Hope Davis, American actress
  • 1964 – John Pinette, American comedian
  • 1965 – Richard Grieco, American actor and singer
  • 1965 – Marti Pellow, Scottish singer
  • 1965 – Gary Whitehead, American poet
  • 1967 – David Ford, Canadian kayaker
  • 1968 – Damon Albarn, English musician (Blur and Gorillaz)
  • 1968 – Mitch Cullin, American novelist
  • 1968 – Fernando Hierro, Spanish footballer
  • 1968 – Michael Atherton, English cricketer
  • 1971 – Yasmeen Ghauri, Canadian supermodel
  • 1971 – Karen McDougal, American model
  • 1971 – Gail Porter, British television presenter
  • 1971 – Alexander Selivanov, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1971 – Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1972 – Joe Calzaghe, Welsh boxer
  • 1972 – Judith Godrèche, French actress and author
  • 1973 – Jerzy Dudek, Polish footballer
  • 1973 – Wim Eyckmans, Belgian racing driver
  • 1973 – Jason Kidd, American basketball player
  • 1975 – Alydar, American racehorse (d. 1990)
  • 1976 – Michelle Monaghan, American actress
  • 1976 – Joel Peralta, Dominican baseball player
  • 1976 – Keri Russell, American actress
  • 1976 – Ricardo Zonta, Brazilian racing car driver
  • 1977 – Jean Carlos Gamarra, Peruvian taekwondo practitioner
  • 1978 – Walter Samuel, Argentine footballer
  • 1978 – Nicholle Tom, American actress
  • 1979 – Mark Buehrle, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Emraan Hashmi, Indian actor
  • 1979 – Misty Hyman, American swimmer
  • 1979 – Donncha O’Callaghan, Irish International rugby player
  • 1980 – Russell Howard, British Comedian
  • 1981 – Luciana Carro, Canadian actress
  • 1981 – Erin Crocker, American NASCAR driver
  • 1981 – Tony Peña, Jr., Dominican baseball player
  • 1983 – Jerome Thomas, English footballer
  • 1985 – Maurice Jones-Drew, American football player
  • 1986 – Steven Strait, American Actor
  • 1990 – Princess Eugenie of York
  • 1999 – Prince Beltran of Bulgaria

March 23 – Deaths:

  • 1103 – Eudes I, Duke of Burgundy (b. 1058)
  • 1361 – Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster (b. c.1310)
  • 1369 – King Pedro of Castile (b. 1334)
  • 1548 – Itagaki Nobukata, retainer of Takeda Shingen
  • 1555 – Pope Julius III (b. 1487)
  • 1559 – Emperor Gelawdewos of Ethiopia (killed in battle) (b. 1521/1522)
  • 1596 – Henry Unton, English diplomat
  • 1606 – Justus Lipsius, Flemish humanist (b. 1547)
  • 1618 – James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Abercorn, Scottish politician
  • 1653 – Johan van Galen, Dutch naval officer (b. 1604)
  • 1680 – Nicolas Fouquet, French statesman (b. 1615)
  • 1742 – Jean-Baptiste Dubos, French writer (b. 1670)
  • 1747 – Claude Alexandre de Bonneval, French soldier (b. 1675)
  • 1748 – Johann Gottfried Walther, German music theorist, organist, and composer (b. 1684)
  • 1754 – Johann Jakob Wettstein, Swiss theologian (b. 1693)
  • 1783 – Charles Caroll, American lawyer and delegate to the Continental Congress (b. 1723)
  • 1801 – Tsar Paul of Russia (b. 1754)
  • 1842 – Stendhal, French writer (b. 1783)
  • 1914 – Rafqa Pietra Choboq Ar-Rayès (Saint Rebecca) Lebanese saint (b. 1832)
  • 1927 – Paul César Helleu, French artist (b. 1859)
  • 1931 – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru Sukhdev Indian freedom fighters
  • 1935 – Florence Moore, American actress (b. 1886)
  • 1947 – Archduchess Luise of Austria, Princess of Tuscany (b. 1870)
  • 1955 – Artur da Silva Bernardes, President of Brazil (b. 1875)
  • 1960 – Franklin Pierce Adams, American newspaper columnist (b. 1881)
  • 1964 – Peter Lorre, Hungarian-born actor (b. 1904)
  • 1965 – Mae Murray, American actress (b. 1889)
  • 1968 – Edwin O’Connor, American novelist and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner (b. 1918)
  • 1970 – Del Lord, Canadian director (b. 1894)
  • 1972 – Cristóbal Balenciaga, Spanish fashion designer (b. 1895)
  • 1979 – Ted Anderson, English footballer (b. 1911)
  • 1982 – Barney Clark, first artificial heart recipient (b. 1921)
  • 1985 – Richard Beeching, chairman of British Railways (b. 1913)
  • 1985 – Peter Charanis, Greek-American scholar and professor (b. 1908)
  • 1990 – John Dexter, English stage and film director
  • 1991 – Parkash Singh, Indian soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross (b. 1913)
  • 1992 – Friedrich Hayek, Austrian economist, Nobel laureate (b. 1899)
  • 1994 – Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexican politician (b. 1950)
  • 1994 – Giulietta Masina, Italian actress (b. 1921)
  • 1994 – Donald_Swann, British composer, musician and entertainer (b. 1923)
  • 1995 – Alan Barton, English musician (Black Lace, Smokie) (b. 1953)
  • 1995 – Davie Cooper, Scottish footballer (b. 1956)
  • 1998 – Gerald Stano, American serial killer (b. 1951)
  • 1999 – Luis María Argaña, Paraguayan politician
  • 2001 – Rowland Evans, American journalist (b. 1921)
  • 2002 – Eileen Farrell, American soprano (b. 1920)
  • 2002 – Ben Hollioake, English cricketer (b. 1977)
  • 2003 – Fritz Spiegl, Austrian-born journalist (b. 1926)
  • 2004 – Rupert Hamer, Australian politician (b. 1916)
  • 2006 – David B. Bleak, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1932)
  • 2006 – Desmond Doss, American soldier and first conscientious objector Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Cindy Walker, American singer, songwriter and dancer (b. 1918)
  • 2007 – Paul J. Cohen, American mathematician, Fields Medal winner (b. 1934)
  • 2007 – Eric Medlen, American NHRA drag racer (b. 1973)

March 23 – Holidays:

  • Roman Empire – The fifth and final day of Quinquatria, held in honor of Minerva.
  • Roman Empire – Tubilustrium was held in honor of Mars.
  • Ancient Latvia – Lieldienas held in honor of Mara and other pagan goddesses.
  • Pakistan – National Day (Republic Day).
  • Hungary, Poland – Day of Hungarian-Polish Friendship.
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