October 23rd in History

This day in historyOctober 23 is the 296th day of the year (297th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 69 days remaining until the end of the year.



Portrait Brutus Massimo.jpgIn 42 BC,  Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, Roman general and politician (b. 85 BC) committed suicide by running into his own sword being held by two of his own men. Among his last words were, according to Plutarch, “By all means must we fly; not with our feet, however, but with our hands.” Brutus also uttered the well-known verse calling down a curse upon Antony (Plutarch repeats this from the memoirs of Publius Volumnius): Forget not, Zeus, the author of these crimes (in the Dryden translation this passage is given as Punish, great Jove, the author of these ills). Plutarch wrote that, according to Volumnius, Brutus repeated two verses, but Volumnius was only able to recall the one quoted. He often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. After being adopted by his uncle he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually returned to using his original name.

He is best known in modern times for taking a leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar

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Mark Antony

In 42 BCRoman Republican civil wars: Second Battle of PhilippiMark Antony and Octavian decisively defeat Brutus‘s army. Brutus commits suicide.

In 425, Valentinian III is elevated as Roman Emperor at the age of 6.

In 501, The Synodus Palmaris, called by Gothic king Theodoric the Great, discharges Pope Symmachus of all charges, thus ending the schism of Antipope Laurentius.

In 1086, At the Battle of az-Zallaqah, the army of Yusuf ibn Tashfin defeats the forces of Castilian King Alfonso VI.

In 1157,  The Battle of Grathe Heath ends the civil war in Denmark. King Sweyn III is killed and Valdemar I restores the country.

In 1295, The first treaty forming the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France against England is signed in Paris.

In 1641, Outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641.

In 1642, Battle of Edgehill: First major battle of the First English Civil War.

In 1694, British/American colonial forces, led by Sir William Phipps, fail to seize Quebec from the French.

In 1707, The first Parliament of Great Britain meets.

In 1739, War of Jenkins’ Ear starts: British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, reluctantly declares war on Spain.

In 1812,  Claude François de Malet, a French general, begins a conspiracy to overthrow Napoleon Bonaparte, claiming that the Emperor died in Russia and that he is now the commandant of Paris.

In 1850,  The first National Women’s Rights Convention begins in Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.

In 1861,  U.S. President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus in Washington, D.C., for all military-related cases.

In 1864,  American Civil War: Battle of WestportUnion forces under General Samuel R. Curtis defeat Confederate troops led by General Sterling Price at Westport, near Kansas City.

In 1867,  72 Senators are summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate.

In 1870,  Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Metz concludes with a decisive Prussian victory.

In 1906,  Alberto Santos-Dumont flies an airplane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe at Champs de Bagatelle, Paris, France.

In 1911,  First use of aircraft in war: An Italian pilot takes off from Libya to observe Turkish army lines during the Turco-Italian War.

In 1912,  First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo between the Serbian and Ottoman armies begins.

In 1915,  Woman’s suffrage: In New York City, 25,000-33,000 women march on Fifth Avenue to advocate their right to vote. See where that got us….

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-71043-0003, Wladimir Iljitsch Lenin.jpg

Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union

In 1917,  Lenin calls for the October Revolution. It is commonly referred to as Red October, the October Uprising, the Bolshevik Revolution, or Bolshevik Coup. It was a revolution in Russia led by the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin that was instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917. It took place with an armed insurrection in Petrograd on the 25th of October (7 November, New Style) 1917.

In 1929, Great Depression: After a steady decline in stock market prices since a peak in September, the New York Stock Exchange begins to show signs of panic.

In 1929,  The first North American transcontinental air service begins between New York City and Los Angeles, California.

In 1935,  Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard “Lulu” Rosencrantz are fatally shot at a saloon in Newark, New Jersey in what will become known as The Chophouse Massacre.

In 1939,  The Japanese Mitsubishi G4M twin-engine airplane makes its maiden flight.

Zane Grey 1939

In 1939,  Zane Grey, American author died (b. 1872) Grey was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories that presented an idealized image of the American frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book. In addition to the success of his printed works, they later had second lives and continuing influence when adapted as films and television productions. As of 2012, 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater, had been made that were based loosely on his novels and short stories.

In 1941,  World War II: Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov takes command of Red Army operations to prevent the further advance into Russia of German forces and to prevent the Wehrmacht from capturing Moscow.

In 1942,  World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein: – At El Alamein in northern Egypt, the British Eighth Army under Field Marshal Montgomery begins a critical offensive to expel the Axis armies from Egypt.

In 1942,  All 12 passengers and crewmen aboard an American Airlines DC-3 airliner are killed when it is struck by a U.S. Army Air Forces bomber near Palm Springs, California. Amongst the victims is award-winning composer and songwriter Ralph Rainger (“Thanks for the Memory“, “Love in Bloom“, “Blue Hawaii“).

United States Marines rest in this field during the Guadalcanal campaign

United States Marines rest in the field during the Guadalcanal campaign

In 1942, World War II: The Battle for Henderson Field begins during the Guadalcanal Campaign and ends on October 26. The Battle for Henderson Field (23–26 October 1942) on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands was the third of three land offensives conducted by the Japanese during the Guadalcanal campaign of World War IIU.S. Army and Marine forces under Major General Alexander Vandegrift defended Henderson Field against attacks by the Japanese 17th Army under Lieutenant General Harukichi Hyakutake (pictured). Hyakutake’s mission was to recapture the airfield from the Allies and drive them off the island. Numerous assaults over three days were repulsed with heavy Japanese losses, and Allied aircraft operating from the airfield successfully defended U.S. positions from attacks by Japanese naval air and sea forces. After a failed attempt to deliver reinforcements in November, Japan conceded the island and successfully evacuatedmany of its remaining forces in February.

In 1944, World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf – The largest naval battle in history begins in the Philippines.

In 1944,  World War II: The Soviet Red Army enters Hungary.

In 1946,  The United Nations General Assembly convenes for the first time, at an auditorium in Flushing, Queens, New York City.

Al Jolson - publicity.JPGIn 1950,  Al Jolson, Lithuanian-American actor and singer (b. 1886) collapsed and died of a massive heart attack on October 23, 1950. His last words were said to be “Boys, I’m going.” His age was given as 64. was a Jewish-American singer, film actor, and comedian. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed “The World’s Greatest Entertainer.”

His performing style was brash and extroverted, and he popularized a large number of songs that benefited from his “shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach”. Numerous well-known singers were influenced by his music, including Bing Crosby, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and others. Dylan once referred to him as “somebody whose life I can feel”. Broadway critic Gilbert Seldes compared him to the Greek god Pan, claiming that Jolson represented “the concentration of our national health and gaiety.”

In the 1930s he was America’s most famous and highest-paid entertainer. Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he is best remembered today as the star of the first ‘talking picture‘, The Jazz Singer (1927), he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with The Jolson Story (1946), for which Larry Parks played Jolson, with the singer dubbing for Parks. The formula was repeated in a sequel, Jolson Sings Again (1949).

In 1950, he again became the first star to entertain GIs on active service in the Korean War, performing 42 shows in 16 days. He died just weeks after returning to the U.S., partly owing to the physical exertion of performing. Defense Secretary George Marshall posthmously awarded him the Medal of Merit.

In 1956,  Thousands of Hungarians protest against the government and Soviet occupation. (The Hungarian Revolution is crushed on November 4).

In 1958,  The Springhill Mine Bump – An underground earthquake traps 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time. By November 1, rescuers from around the world had dug out 100 of the victims, marking the death toll at 74.

In 1958,  The Smurfs, a fictional race of blue dwarves, later popularized in a Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon series, appear for the first time in the story La flute à six schtroumpfs, a Johan and Peewit adventure by Peyo, which is serialized in the weekly Spirou magazine.

In 1965,  Vietnam War: The 1st Cavalry Division (United States) (Airmobile), in conjunction with South Vietnamese forces, launches a new operation seeking to destroy North Vietnamese forces in Pleiku in the II Corps Tactical Zone (the Central Highlands).

In 1970,  Gary Gabelich sets a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame, fueled with natural gas.

In 1972,  Operation Linebacker, a US bombing campaign against North Vietnam in response to its Easter Offensive, ends after five months.

In 1973,  The Watergate Scandal: US President Richard M. Nixon agrees to turn over subpoenaed audio tapes of his Oval Office conversations.

In 1973,  A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ends the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria.

In 1983,  Lebanon Civil War: The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut is hit by a truck bomb, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. A French army barracks in Lebanon is also hit that same morning, killing 58 troops.

In 1989,  The Hungarian Republic is officially declared by president Mátyás Szűrös, replacing the communist Hungarian People’s Republic.

In 1989,  Bankruptcy of Wärtsilä Marine; the biggest bankruptcy in the nordic countries until then.

In 1993,  The Troubles: A Provisional IRA bomb prematurely detonates in the Shankill area of Belfast, killing the bomber and nine civilians. Ulster loyalists retaliate a week later with the Greysteel massacre.

In 1995,  Yolanda Saldívar is found guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of popular Latin artist Selena. Three days later, Saldívar was sentenced to life in prison, eligible for parole in 2025

In 1998,  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a “land for peace” agreement.

In 2002,  Moscow Theatre Siege begins: Chechen terrorists seize the House of Culture theater in Moscow and take approximately 700 theater-goers hostage.

In 2004,  A powerful earthquake and its aftershocks hit Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, killing 35 people, injuring 2,200, and leaving 85,000 homeless or evacuated.

In 2006,  As the American tax law gets more and more complicated, lawyers have came up with one more way to make life difficult for taxpayers: Now you may face a patent infringement suit if you use a tax strategy that someone else thought of first. “I can’t even imagine what it will be like in 5 or 10 years,” said Dennis Drabkin, a tax lawyer with Jones Day in Dallas, “if anytime a lawyer or accountant gives tax advice, they have to find out if there is a patent on this.” He notes that researching patents, and then licensing them, would just make tax compliance more costly.

And speaking of Tax Law, if you give non-cash donations every year and write them off on your taxes, you need to be aware of a new tax law that could affect your donations.

In the past, you could donate just about anything you wanted. Many people, instead of taking much of their stuff to the dump, take it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. They essentially pass their junk on to someone else and expect them to take it to the dump. And, yes, Goodwill and the Salvation Army have an enormous garbage bill.

There was nothing illegal about the practice – until they would lie on their taxes and claim the junk was in “good condition.” But it was almost impossible for the IRS to prove the lie.

So, according to the IRS, any non-cash donation you give now must be in “good condition.” That means it really needs to be in “good condition.” Trouble is, the IRS failed to define exactly what “good condition” is. So there’s still a loophole for those who really want to take advantage of the law.

If you don’t want to come under suspicion from the IRS, make sure you record everything you donate, including the condition, as accurately as you can. And then, take a picture of it. And don’t donate junk. It might even help your cause in the case of an audit if you have a receipt from a legitimate dumpsite. It would show you didn’t donate your trash.

In 2007,  A powerful cold front in the Bay of Campeche causes the Usumacinta Jackup rig to collide with Kab 101, leading to the death and drowning of 22 people during rescue operations after evacuation of the rig.

In 2011, A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake strikes Van Province, Turkey, killing 582 people and injuring thousands.

In 2011,  The Libyan National Transition Council deems the Libyan civil war over.

Blass 1.jpgIn 2012,  William Joel Blass, American lawyer and politician (b. 1917) dies. He was an American war veteran, attorney, educator, and politician. His is a story of ethics over power.

Joel Blass was born in Clinton, Mississippi and was educated in Mississippi and Louisiana during the Great Depression. He graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Law in 1940 and received a commission as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry through the LSU ROTC program. During World War II, Blass served with the Third Army in Europe through VE Day. He received the Bronze Star and attained the rank of Major. Blass returned to military service during the Korean War.

Blass moved to Wiggins in Stone County, Mississippi with his wife and daughters in 1947 to work in an established law practice, but soon started his own law firm. In 1953, Blass was elected to Stone County’s legislative seat and served two terms, during the turbulent years of the racist White Citizen’s Council, which he opposed. He retired from the State legislature in 1960. Blass continued with his law practice in Wiggins and also maintained a law office in Gulfport, MS.

During the 1960s, Blass served on the faculty at the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford, MS for 6 years. During that tenure, he was named Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1965, and was awarded the Teacher’s Excellence Award in 1969. After leaving the University, he settled into the practice of law on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In 1989, Blass was appointed by the Governor of Mississippi to fill an unexpired term on the Supreme Court of Mississippi, but was defeated in a 1990 election for a full term on the Court.

Blass returned to the University of Mississippi School of Law in the Spring of 1992 to serve one semester in the Whitten Chair of Law and Government as distinguished lecturer on Admiralty law.

In 1995, a Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Inns of Court was organized and named for three distinguished jurists, including Justice Blass, who “…typify the high ethical, professional, and personal lives that members of the bar would aspire to emulate”. For the years 1999-2000, Justice Blass received the Mississippi State Bar Association‘s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joel Blass has five children, nine grandchildren, and 26 great grandchildren.

Joel Blass is buried in Saint Paul Catholic Cemetery, Pass Christian, Mississippi.

In 2012,  After 38 years, the world’s first teletext service (BBC‘s Ceefax) ceases broadcast due to Northern Ireland completing the digital switchover.

In 2015,  The lowest sea-level pressure in the Western Hemisphere, and the highest reliably-measured non-tornadic sustained winds, are recorded in Hurricane Patricia, which strikes Mexico hours later, killing at least 13 and causing over $280 million in damages

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