January 23rd in History

This day in historyJanuary 23 is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 342 days remaining until the end of the year (343 in leap years).



In 393Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaims his eight-year old son Honorius co-emperor.

In 971,  In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han are soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops.

In 1264,  In the conflict between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort, King Louis IX of France issues the Mise of Amiens, a one-sided decision in favour of Henry that later leads to the Second Barons’ War.

In 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.

In 1546,  Having published nothing for eleven years, François Rabelais publishes the Tiers Livre, his sequel to Gargantua and Pantagruel.

In 1556,  The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.

In 1570,  James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, regent for the infant King James VI of Scotland, is assassinated by firearm, the first recorded instance of such.

In 1571,  The Royal Exchange opens in London.

In 1579,  The Union of Utrecht forms a Protestant republic in the Netherlands.

In 1656,  Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales.

In 1719,  The Principality of Liechtenstein is created within the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1785,  Matthew Stewart, Scottish mathematician (b. 1717) died. He was a Scottish mathematician and minister of religion. He was born in Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute, died at Catrine, Ayrshire, and is interred at Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh. Educated at Rothesay Grammar School, Matthew Stewart entered the University of Glasgow in 1734 where he studied with the philosopher Francis Hutcheson and the mathematician Robert Simson, the latter with whom he studied ancient geometry. A close friendship developed between Simson and Stewart, in part because of their mutual admiration of Pappus of Alexandria, which resulted in many curious communications with respect to the De Locis Planis of Apollonius of Perga and the Porisms of Euclid over the years. This correspondence suggests that Stewart spent several weeks in Glasgow starting May 1743 assisting Robert Simson in the production of his Apollonii Pergaei locorum planorum libri II, which was published in 1749.

In 1789,  Georgetown College, the first Catholic University in the United States, is founded in Georgetown, Maryland (now a part of Washington, D.C.)

In 1793,  Second Partition of Poland

In 1795,  After an extraordinary charge across the frozen Zuiderzee, the French cavalry captured 14 Dutch ships and 850 guns, in a rare occurrence of a battle between ships and cavalry

Arthur Guinness.jpgIn 1803,  Arthur Guinness, Irish brewer (b. 1725) died. He was an Irish brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery business and family. He was also an entrepreneur, visionary and philanthropist. At 27, in 1752, Guinness’s godfather Arthur Price, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel, bequeathed him £100 in his will. Guinness invested the money and in 1755 had a brewery at Leixlip, just 17 km from Dublin. In 1759, Guinness went to the city and set up his own business. He took a 9,000 year lease on the 4-acre (16,000 m2) brewery at St. James’s Gate from the descendants of Sir Mark Rainsford for an annual rent of £45.

In 1805,  Claude Chappe, French inventor (b. 1763) died. He was a French inventor who in 1792 demonstrated a practical semaphore system that eventually spanned all of France. This was the first practical telecommunications system of the industrial age, making Chappe the first telecom mogul with his “mechanical internet.”

In 1837,  John Field, Irish pianist and composer (b. 1782) died. He was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher. He was born in Dublin into a musical family, and received his early education there. The Fields soon moved to London, where Field studied under Muzio Clementi. Under his tutelage, Field quickly became a famous and sought-after concert pianist; together, master and pupil visited Paris, Vienna, and St. Petersburg. The Russian capital impressed Field so much that he eventually decided to stay behind when Clementi left, and from about 1804 was particularly active in Russia. Field was very highly regarded by his contemporaries and his playing and compositions influenced many major composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt. He is best known today for originating the piano nocturne, a form later made famous by Chopin, as well as for his substantial contribution, through concerts and teaching, to the development of the Russian piano school

In 1846,  Slavery in Tunisia is abolished.

In 1849,  Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States’ first female doctor.

In 1855,  The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

In 1870,  In Montana, U.S. cavalrymen kill 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in the Marias Massacre.

In 1879,  Anglo-Zulu War: the Battle of Rorke’s Drift ends.

In 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.

In 1899,  The Malolos Constitution is inaugurated, establishing the First Philippine Republic.

In 1899,  Emilio Aguinaldo is sworn in as President of the First Philippine Republic.

In 1900,  The Battle of Spion Kop between the forces of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State and British forces during the Second Boer War ends in a British defeat.

In 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.

In 1909,  RMS Republic, a passenger ship of the White Star Line, becomes the first ship to use the CQD distress signal after colliding with another ship, the SS Florida, off the Massachusetts coastline, an event that kills six people. The Republic sinks the next day.

In 1912,  The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague.

In 1920,  The Netherlands refuses to surrender ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the Allies.

In 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.

In 1941,  Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.

In 1942,  World War II: The Battle of Rabaul begins, the first fighting of the New Guinea campaign.

In 1943,  World War II: Troops of Montgomery‘s 8th Army capture Tripoli in Libya from the German-Italian Panzer Army.

In 1943,  World War II: Australian and American forces finally defeat the Japanese army in Papua.

In 1943,  Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time.

In 1943,  World War II: The Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse on Guadalcanal during the Guadalcanal campaign ends.

In 1945,  World War II: Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal.

In 1950,  The Knesset passes a resolution that states Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

In 1957,  American inventor Walter Frederick Morrison sells the rights to his flying disc to the Wham-O toy company, which later renames it the “Frisbee”.

In 1958,  After a general uprising and rioting in the streets, President Marcos Pérez Jiménez leaves Venezuela.

In 1960,  The bathyscaphe USS Trieste breaks a depth record by descending to 10,911 metres (35,797 ft) in the Pacific Ocean.

In 1961,  The Portuguese luxury cruise ship Santa Maria is hijacked by opponents of the Estado Novo regime with the intention of waging war until dictator António de Oliveira Salazar is overthrown.

In 1963,  The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence officially begins when PAIGC guerrilla fighters attack the Portuguese army stationed in Tite.

In 1964,  The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified.

In 1967,  Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Côte d’Ivoire are established.

In 1968,  North Korea seizes the USS Pueblo, claiming the ship had violated its territorial waters while spying.

In 1973,  President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.

In 1973,  A volcanic eruption devastates Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar chain of islands off the south coast of Iceland.

In 1986,  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

Charles Glenn King.jpgIn 1988,  Charles Glen King, American biochemist (b. 1896) died. He was an American biochemist who was a pioneer in the field of nutrition research and who isolated vitamin C at the same time as Albert Szent-Györgyi. A biography of King states that many feel he deserves equal credit with Szent-Györgyi for the discovery of this vitamin.

In 1993,  Thomas A. Dorsey, American singer-songwriter and pianist (b. 1899) died. He was known as “the father of black gospel music” and was at one time so closely associated with the field that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as “dorseys.” Earlier in his life he was a leading blues pianist known as Georgia Tom. As formulated by Dorsey, gospel music combines Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and the blues. His conception also deviates from what had been, to that time, standard hymnal practice by referring explicitly to the self, and the self’s relation to faith and God, rather than the individual subsumed into the group via belief.

In 1997,  Madeleine Albright becomes the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.

In 1997,  Greek Serial Killer Antonis Daglis is sentenced to thirteen consecutive life sentences, plus 25 years for the serial slayings of three women and the attempted murder of six others.

In 1998,  Netscape announced Mozilla, with the intention to release Communicator code as open source.

In 2001,  Five people attempt to set themselves on fire in Beijing‘s Tiananmen Square, an act that many people later claim is staged by the Communist Party of China to frame Falun Gong and thus escalate their persecution.

In 2002,  “American TalibanJohn Walker Lindh returns to the United States in FBI custody.

In 2002,  Reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan and subsequently murdered .

In 2003,  Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10.

Johnny Carson 1970.JPGIn 2005,  Johnny Carson, American talk show host (b. 1925) dies. He was an American television host and comedian, known for thirty years as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six Emmy Awards, the Governor’s Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Johnny Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993. Although his show was already successful by the end of the 1960s, during the 1970s Carson became an American icon and remained so until his retirement in 1992. He adopted a casual, conversational approach with extensive interaction with guests, an approach pioneered by Arthur Godfrey and previous Tonight Show hosts Steve Allen and Jack Paar. Late-night hosts David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, and future Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon have all cited Carson’s influence on their late-night talk shows, which resemble his in format and tone.

In 2007,  E. Howard Hunt, American CIA officer (b. 1918) dies.

In 2009,  Robert W. Scott, American politician, 67th Governor of North Carolina (b. 1929) died.

In 2014, A fire breaks out in a L’Isle-Verte, Quebec elderly home, killing 28 people.

In 2015, State Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, was quoted by The Commercial Appeal of Memphis calling Corker’s 2013 bill yet another reason he is against Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan to use federal Medicaid dollars to extend health insurance coverage to 200,000 low-income adult Tennesseans. A legislative foe of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s Medicaid expansion plan is questioning its reliance on a voluntary hospital assessment that would fund the state’s future share, citing efforts two years ago by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker to eliminate the widespread practice.

In 2018,  Legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer Hugh Masekela dies at the age of 78, after a battle with prostate cancer.

In 2018,  A double car bombing in BenghaziLibya, kills at least 33 people and wounds “dozens” of others. The victims include both military personnel and civilians, according to local officials.

In 2018,  A 7.9 Mw  earthquake occurs in the Gulf of Alaska. It is tied as the sixth-largest earthquake ever recorded in the United States, but there are no reports of significant damage or fatalities.

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