On This Day in History April 23

April 23 – Events:

  • 215 BC – A temple is built on the Capitoline Hill dedicated to Venus Erycina to commemorate the Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene.
  • 1014 – Battle of Clontarf: Brian Boru defeats Viking invaders, but is killed in battle.
  • 1229 – Ferdinand III of Castile conquers Cáceres.
  • 1343 – St. George’s Night Uprising.
  • 1348 – The founding of the Order of the Garter by King Edward III of England is announced on St George’s Day.
  • 1521 – Battle of Villalar: King Charles I of Spain defeats the Comuneros.
  • 1597 – Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor is first performed, with Queen Elizabeth I of England in attendance.
  • 1635 – First public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, is founded in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1660 – Treaty of Oliwa is established between Sweden and Poland.
  • 1661 – King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland is crowned in Westminster Abbey.
  • 1827 – William Rowan Hamilton presents his Theory of systems of rays.
  • 1920 – The Grand National Assembly of Turkey was founded in Ankara.
  • 1923 – Inauguration ceremonies take place of Gdynia as a temporary military port and fishers’ shelter.
  • 1932 – The 153-year old De Adriaan Windmill in Haarlem, the Netherlands burns down.
  • 1935 – Polish Constitution of 1935 is adopted.
  • 1940 – Rhythm Night Club fire at a dance hall in Natchez, Mississippi kills 198 people.
  • 1941 – World War II: Greek government and King George II evacuate Athens before the attacking Wehrmacht.
  • 1942 – World War II: Baedeker Blitz – German bombers hit Exeter, Bath and York in retaliation for the British raid on Lübeck.
  • 1948 – Arab-Israeli War: Haifa, the major port of Israel, is captured from Palestinian forces.
  • 1955 – The Canadian Labour Congress is formed by the merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and the Canadian Congress of Labour.
  • 1961 – Algiers putsch by French generals.
  • 1967 – A group of young radicals are expelled from the Nicaraguan Socialist Party (PSN).  This group goes on to found the Socialist Workers Party (POS).
  • 1968 – The United Kingdom produces its first decimalised coins, a 5p and a 10p coin.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City take over administration buildings and shut down the university.
  • 1974 – A Pan American World Airways Boeing 707 crashes in Bali, Indonesia, killing 107.
  • 1979 – Fighting in London between the Anti-Nazi League and the Metropolitan Police’s Special Patrol Group results in the death of protester Blair Peach.
  • 1982 – Conch Republic established.
  • 1982 – The ZX Spectrum is released.
  • 1985 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke.
  • 1987 – 28 construction workers died when the L’Ambiance Plaza collapses while under construction in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
  • 1988 – Pink Floyd’s album Dark Side of the Moon, after spending the record total of 741 consecutive weeks (over 14 years) on the Billboard 200, left the charts for its first time ever.
  • 1990 – Namibia becomes the 160th member of the United Nations and the 50th member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • 1993 – Eritreans vote overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia in a United Nations-monitored referendum.
  • 1997 – Omaria massacre in Algeria; 42 villagers killed.
  • 2003 – Beijing closes all schools for two weeks due to the SARS virus.

April 23 – Birthdays:

  • 1170 – Isabelle of Hainaut, queen of France (d. 1190)
  • 1185 – King Afonso II of Portugal (d. 1223)
  • 1464 – Joan of France, Duchess of Berry, queen of France (d. 1505)
  • 1484 – Julius Caesar Scaliger, Italian philosopher (d. 1558)
  • 1500 – Alexander Ales, Scottish theologian (d. 1565)
  • 1516 – Georg Fabricius, German poet, historian, and archaeologist (d. 1571)
  • 1564 – William Shakespeare, (guessed to be born on this day) English poet and playwright (d. 1616)
  • 1598 – Maarten Tromp, Dutch admiral (d. 1653)
  • 1621 – William Penn, English admiral (d. 1670)
  • 1628 – Johann van Waveren Hudde, Dutch mathematician (d. 1704)
  • 1676 – King Frederick I of Sweden (d. 1751)
  • 1720 – Vilna Gaon, Lithuanian rabbi (d. 1797)
  • 1725 – Saint Gerard Majella, Catholic saint (d. 1755)
  • 1746 – Félix Vicq-d’Azyr, French physician and anatomist (d. 1794)
  • 1775 – J. M. W. Turner, English painter (d. 1851)
  • 1791 – James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States (d. 1868)
  • 1792 – John Thomas Romney Robinson, Irish astronomer and physicist (d. 1882)
  • 1794 – Wei Yuan, Chinese scholar (d. 1856)
  • 1805 – Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz, German philosopher (d. 1879)
  • 1813 – Stephen A. Douglas, U.S. Senator from Illinois and Presidential candidate (d. 1861)
  • 1813 – Frédéric Ozanam, French scholar (Society of Saint Vincent de Paul) (d. 1853)
  • 1823 – Abd-ul-Mejid, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1861)
  • 1853 – Winthrop M. Crane, 40 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1920)
  • 1857 – Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Italian composer (d. 1919)
  • 1858 – Max Planck, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1947)
  • 1861 – Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, British general (d. 1936)
  • 1865 – Ali-Agha Shikhlinski, Russian-Azerbaijani general (d. 1943)
  • 1867 – Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger, Danish scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1928)
  • 1876 – Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, German historian (d. 1925)
  • 1880 – Michel Fokine, Russian choreographer and dancer (d. 1942)
  • 1882 – Albert Coates, British composer (d. 1953)
  • 1888 – Georges Vanier, French-Canadian soldier and diplomat (d. 1967)
  • 1889 – Karel Doorman, Dutch admiral (d. 1942)
  • 1893 – Frank Borzage, American film director (d. 1952)
  • 1894 – Cow Cow Davenport, American pianist (d. 1955)
  • 1895 – Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand writer (d. 1982)
  • 1897 – Lucius Clay, American general (d. 1978)
  • 1897 – Lester B. Pearson, fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1972)
  • 1899 – Bertil Ohlin, Swedish economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner (d. 1979)
  • 1899 – Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, Russian/American novelist (d. 1977)
  • 1900 – Joseph Green, Polish-born actor and director (d. 1996)
  • 1900 – Jim Bottomley, American baseball player (d. 1959)
  • 1901 – E.B. Ford, British ecological geneticist (d. 1988)
  • 1902 – Halldór Laxness, Icelandic writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1998)
  • 1904 – Duncan Renaldo, Spanish-American actor (d. 1985)
  • 1907 – Fritz Wotruba, Austrian sculptor (d. 1975)
  • 1908 – Myron Waldman, American animator (d. 2006)
  • 1910 – Simone Simon, French actress (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – Maurice Druon, French author
  • 1921 – Janet Blair, American actress (d. 2007)
  • 1921 – Warren Spahn, American baseball player (d. 2003)
  • 1923 – Dolph Briscoe, Governor of Texas
  • 1923 – Avram Davidson, American writer (d. 1993)
  • 1923 – Antonino Rocca, professional wrestler
  • 1924 – Chuck Harmon, American baseball player
  • 1924 – Bobby Rosengarden, American jazz drummer (d. 2007)
  • 1926 – J. P. Donleavy, Irish American author
  • 1928 – Shirley Temple, American actress and politician
  • 1932 – Jim Fixx, American athlete and writer (d. 1984)
  • 1932 – Halston, American fashion designer (d. 1990)
  • 1935 – Bunky Green, American musician
  • 1936 – Roy Orbison, American singer and musician (d. 1988)
  • 1939 – Jorge Fons, Mexican film director
  • 1939 – Lee Majors, American actor
  • 1939 – Ray Peterson, American singer (d. 2005)
  • 1940 – Michael Copps, American Federal Government official
  • 1941 – Jacqueline Boyer, French singer
  • 1941 – Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland 1995-2003
  • 1941 – Michael Lynne, American film executive
  • 1942 – Sandra Dee, American actress (d. 2005)
  • 1943 – Tony Esposito, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1943 – Frans Koppelaar, Dutch painter
  • 1943 – Hervé Villechaize, French actor (d. 1993)
  • 1947 – Glenn Cornick, British musician (Jethro Tull)
  • 1947 – Bernadette Devlin, Irish politician
  • 1948 – Pascal Quignard, French author
  • 1948 – Serge Thériault, French-Canadian comedian and actor
  • 1949 – David Cross, British violinist (King Crimson)
  • 1949 – Joyce DeWitt, American actress
  • 1952 – Narada Michael Walden, American musician and producer
  • 1954 – Michael Moore, American filmmaker
  • 1955 – Judy Davis, Australian actress
  • 1955 – Tony Miles, English chess player (d. 2001)
  • 1957 – Kenji Kawai, Japanese composer
  • 1958 – Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Icelandic music composer
  • 1958 – Ryan Walter, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Valerie Bertinelli, American actress
  • 1960 – Steve Clark, English guitarist (Def Leppard) (d. 1991)
  • 1960 – Claude Julien, French-Canadian ice hockey player and coach
  • 1961 – Terry Gordy, American professional wrestler (d. 2001)
  • 1961 – George Lopez, American actor and comedian
  • 1962 – John Hannah, Scottish actor
  • 1963 – Paul Belmondo, French racing driver
  • 1963 – Magnús Ver Magnússon, Icelandic powerlifter
  • 1967 – Rheal Cormier, Canadian baseball player
  • 1967 – Melina Kanakaredes, American actress
  • 1968 – Timothy McVeigh, American terrorist (d. 2001)
  • 1968 – Princess Aisha bint Al Hussein of Jordan
  • 1968 – Princess Zein bint Al Hussein of Jordan
  • 1969 – Yelena Shushunova, Russian gymnast
  • 1969 – Richard Wolstencroft, Australian Filmmaker
  • 1969 – Martin López-Zubero, Spanish swimmer
  • 1970 – Scott Bairstow, American actor
  • 1970 – Dennis Bayne Culp, American singer/songwriter
  • 1970 – Sadao Abe, Japanese actor
  • 1971 – Charmaine Sinclair, English model
  • 1972 – Pierre Labrie, Canadian poet
  • 1972 – Patricia Manterola, Mexican singer
  • 1973 – Patrick Poulin, French-Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1974 – Carlos Dengler, American musician (Interpol)
  • 1974 – Barry Watson, American actor
  • 1975 – Jón Þór Birgisson, Icelandic musician and singer (Sigur Rós)
  • 1975 – Bobby Shaw, American football wide receiver for the NFL
  • 1977 – John Cena, American professional wrestler
  • 1977 – Andruw Jones, Curaçaoan baseball player
  • 1977 – Willie Mitchell, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Kal Penn, American actor
  • 1977 – Lee Young-Pyo, Korean footballer
  • 1979 – Yana Gupta, Indian actress & model
  • 1979 – Jaime King, American actress
  • 1979 – Lauri Ylönen, Finnish singer (The Rasmus)
  • 1981 – Sean Henn, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Joanna Krupa, Supermodel/actress
  • 1981 – Chris Sharma, American rock climber/boulderer
  • 1983 – Daniela Hantuchová, Slovakian tennis player
  • 1983 – Jennifer Heil, Canadian free style skier
  • 1984 – Alexandra Kosteniuk, Chess Woman World Champion
  • 1985 – Angel Locsin, Filipina TV and movie actress
  • 1986 – Sven Kramer, Dutch speedskater
  • 1986 – Jessica Stam, Canadian supermodel
  • 1987 – Emily Fox, American cupstacking champion
  • 1988 – Victor Anichebe, Nigerian footballer
  • 1989 – Nicole Vaidišová, Czech tennis player
  • 1990 – Matthew Dillon Underwood, American actor
  • 2003 – Princess Laetitia Maria of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este

April 23 – Deaths:

  • 303 – Saint George, Roman soldier and Christian martyr
  • 725 – Wihtred, King of Kent
  • 871 – Ethelred of Wessex
  • 997 – Saint Adalbert of Prague, bishop (b. ca. 956)
  • 1014 – Brian Boru, High King of Ireland (killed in battle)
  • 1016 – Ethelred II of England
  • 1124 – King Alexander I of Scotland (b. 1078)
  • 1151 – Queen Adeliza of England (b. 1103)
  • 1217 – King Inge II of Norway (b. 1185)
  • 1407 – Olivier de Clisson, French soldier (b. 1326)
  • 1605 – Tsar Boris Godunov of Russia (b. ca. 1550)
  • 1616 – Miguel Cervantes, Spanish author (b. 1547)
  • 1616 – William Shakespeare, English writer and actor (b. 1564) (Julian calendar)
  • 1616 – El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Peruvian writer (b. 1539)
  • 1625 – Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange (b. 1567)
  • 1702 – Margaret Fell, English Quaker leader (b. 1614)
  • 1740 – Thomas Tickell, English writer (b. 1685)
  • 1781 – James Abercrombie, British general (b. 1706)
  • 1792 – Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, German theologian and adventurer (b. 1741)
  • 1794 – Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, French statesman (executed) (b. 1721)
  • 1827 – Georgios Karaiskakis, Greek hero of the Greek War of Independence
  • 1839 – Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, French explorer (b. 1768)
  • 1850 – William Wordsworth, English poet (b. 1770)
  • 1889 – Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, French writer (b. 1808)
  • 1895 – Carl Ludwig, German physician (b. 1815)
  • 1905 – Gédéon Ouimet, Quebec politician (b. 1823)
  • 1915 – Rupert Brooke, English poet (b. 1887).
  • 1936 – Teresa de la Parra, Venezuelan writer (b. 1889)
  • 1951 – Charles G. Dawes, Vice President of the United States, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1865)
  • 1952 – Julius Freed, American inventor and banker (b. 1887)
  • 1975 – William Hartnell, English actor (b. 1908)
  • 1979 – Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • 1981 – Josep Pla, Catalan journalist and writer (b. 1897)
  • 1983 – Buster Crabbe, American swimmer and actor (b. 1908)
  • 1984 – Red Garland, American jazz pianist (b. 1923)
  • 1985 – Sam Ervin, American politician (b. 1896)
  • 1986 – Harold Arlen, American composer (b. 1905)
  • 1986 – Jim Laker, English cricketer (b. 1922)
  • 1986 – Otto Preminger, Austrian-born film director (b. 1906)
  • 1990 – Paulette Goddard, American actress (b. 1911)
  • 1991 – Johnny Thunders, American musician (b. 1952)
  • 1992 – Satyajit Ray, Indian filmmaker (b. 1921)
  • 1993 – César Chávez, American labor activist (b. 1927)
  • 1995 – Howard Cosell, American sports journalist (b. 1918)
  • 1995 – John C. Stennis, U.S. Senator from Mississippi (b. 1904)
  • 1996 – Jean-Victor Allard, Canadian military officer (b. 1913)
  • 1996 – P. L. Travers, Australian author (b. 1899)
  • 1997 – Denis Compton, English cricketer (b. 1918)
  • 1998 – Constantine Karamanlis, Greek politician (b. 1907)
  • 1998 – James Earl Ray, American assassin (b. 1928)
  • 2003 – James H. Critchfield, American Central Intelligence agent (b. 1917)
  • 2003 – Fernand Fonssagrives, French photographer (b. 1910)
  • 2005 – Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland (b. 1911)
  • 2005 – Al Grassby, Australian immigration minister (b. 1928)
  • 2005 – John Mills, English actor (b. 1908)
  • 2005 – Romano Scarpa, Italian-born comic artist (b. 1927)
  • 2005 – Earl Wilson, American baseball player (b. 1934)
  • 2006 – Johnnie Checketts, New Zealand fighter pilot (b. 1912)
  • 2007 – Paul Erdman, American economist and author (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – David Halberstam, American journalist, historian and author (b. 1934)
  • 2007 – Boris Yeltsin, first President of the Russian Federation (b. 1931)

April 23 – Holidays:

  • UNESCO International Day of the Book in honor of the death of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes on April 23, 1616.
  • Catalonia – Lover’s Day. Men and women receive a book and rose as gifts from their romantic interest. The book is in honor of Shakespeare’s and Cervantes’s death on April 23, 1616.
  • Turkey – National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (1920)
  • Independence Day for the Conch Republic
  • National Beer Day in Germany
  • Liturgical feasts:

o   Feast Day of Saint George:

o   Patron saint and National Day of England

o   Patron saint and National Day of Aragon

o   Celebrated as St. Jordi’s Day in Catalonia, presents of books and roses.

o   Jurgi festival, in ancient Latvia

o   Saint Adalbert of Prague

o   Saint Gerard (d. 1138)

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