March 23rd in History

This day in historyMarch 23 is the 82nd day of the year (83rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 283 days remaining until the end of the year.



Spoons from Pompeii displayed at Naples National Archaeological Museum

In 1900, B.C., the spoon was invented sometime around 1900 B.C. Okay…. maybe not exactly

In 1066, 18th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

In 1400,  The Trần Dynasty of Vietnam is deposed after one hundred and seventy-five years of rule by Hồ Quý Ly, a court official.

In 1540,  Waltham Abbey is surrendered to King Henry VIII of England; the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

In 1568,  The Peace of Longjumeau is signed, ending the second phase of the French Wars of Religion.

In 1708,  James Francis Edward Stuart lands at the Firth of Forth.

In 1757,  capture of Chandannagar fort by British forces.

In 1775,  American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivers his speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia.

In 1794, U.S.A.’s first patent was granted to Joseph G. Pierson for a riveting machine.

In 1801,  Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death inside his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

In 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.

In 1821,  Greek War of Independence: Battle and fall of city of Kalamata.

In 1836, the Coin Press was invented by Franklin Beale, produced first batch of coins for the U.S. Mint.

In 1840, The most widely-used Americanism, “O.K.”, was first used in print in the New York publication The New Era by the Democratic OK Club. They got the name from Old Kinderhook, N.Y. where president Martin Van Buren was born. The Greeks say it came from “ols kala” which means everything is good or all right.

In 1840, Draper took the first successful photo of the Moon (daguerrotype).

In 1848,  The ship John Wickliffe arrives at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand. Otago province is founded.

In 1857,  Elisha Otis‘s first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

In 1858, Eleazer A. Gardner of Philadelphia patents the first plans for a cable car system.

In 1862,  The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marks the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign. Though a Confederate defeat, the engagement distracts Federal efforts to capture Richmond.

In 1867, Congress passes the second Reconstruction Act over President Johnson’s veto.

In 1868,  The University of California is founded in Oakland, California when the Organic Act is signed into law.

In 1879,  War of the Pacific: The Battle of Topáter, the first battle of the war is fought between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru.

In 1880, John Stevens of Neenah, Wisconsin, patented the grain crushing mill. The machine allowed flour production to increase by 70% and to sell for $2 per barrel.

In 1885,  Sino-French War: Chinese victory in the Battle of Phu Lam Tao near Hung Hoa, northern Vietnam.

In 1888,  In England, The Football League, the world’s oldest professional Association Football league, meets for the first time.

In 1889,  The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India.

In 1989, The most expensive wedding dress in history was presented by Helen Gainville in Paris. It featured embroidered diamonds by Alexander Reza and was valued at over $7 million….and once worn by Dennis Rodman!

In 1901,  Emilio Aguinaldo, only President of the First Philippine Republic, was captured at Palanan, Isabela by forces of General Frederick Funston.

In 1905,  Eleftherios Venizelos calls for Crete‘s union with Greece, and begins what is to be known as the Theriso revolt.

In 1908,  American diplomat Durham Stevens is attacked by Korean assassins Jeon Myeong-un and Jang In-hwan, leading to his death in a hospital two days later.

In 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.

In 1912, the Dixie Cup was invented.

In 1918,  First World War: On the third day of the German Spring Offensive, the 10th Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment is annihilated with many of the men becoming Prisoners of war

In 1918, The giant German gun, “Big Bertha,” shelled Paris from 75 miles away.

In 1919,  In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini founds his Fascist political movement.

In 1925, Tennessee enacts legislation with Tennessee’s governor Austin Peay  signature that makes it unlawful to teach children about the theory of evolution. The Butler Act was “AN ACT prohibiting the teaching of the Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution, Theory in all the Universities, and all other public schools of Tennessee, which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, and to provide penalties for the violations thereof” (Tenn. HB 185, 1925) specifically provided:

That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.

The law was challenged later that year in a famous trial in Dayton, Tennessee called the Scopes trial which included a raucous confrontation between prosecution attorney and fundamentalist religious leader, William Jennings Bryan, and noted defense attorney and religious agnostic, Clarence Darrow.

In 1929, the first telephone was installed in the White House.

In 1931,  Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar are hanged for murder during the Indian struggle for independence.

In 1933,  The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

In 1935,  Signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

In 1939,  The Hungarian air force attacks the headquarters of Slovak air force in the city of Spišská Nová Ves, kills 13 people and began the Slovak–Hungarian War.

In 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.

In 1942,  World War II: In the Indian Ocean, Japanese forces capture the Andaman Islands.

In 1942, the U.S. government began moving native-born Americans of Japanese ancestry from their West Coast homes to imprisonment in
detention centers.

In 1943, German counter attack on US lines in Tunisia.

In 1945, in the largest single operation in the Pacific war, 1,500 Navy ships, with British support, begin bombarding Okinawa in preparation for the
U.S. invasion 9 days later.

In 1956,  Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan)

In 1957, the last U.S. Army homing pigeons are sold off.

PeterLorre.jpgIn 1964,  Peter Lorre, Slovak-American actor (b. 1904)  died in 1964 of a stroke.  He was an American actor of Jewish Austro-Hungarian descent. Lorre caused an international sensation with his portrayal of a serial killer who preys on little girls in the German film M (1931). In enforced exile in Hollywood, he later became a featured player in many Hollywood crime and mystery films. The Maltese Falcon (1941), his first film with Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet, was followed by Casablanca (1942). Lorre and Greenstreet appeared in a further seven films together.Frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner, his later career was erratic. Lorre was the first actor to play a James Bond villain as Le Chiffre in a TV version of Casino Royale (1954). Some of his last roles were in several horror films directed by Roger Corman.

In 1965,  NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States‘ first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).

In 1965,  The first issue of The Vigilant is published from Khartoum.

In 1968, Rev Walter Fauntroy, is first non-voting congressional delegate from DC.

In 1968,  Edwin O’Connor, American journalist and author (b. 1918) dies suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was an American radio personality, journalist, and novelist who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1962 for The Edge of Sadness (1961). His novels focused on the Irish-American experience and often dealt with the lives of politicians and priests.

In 1976, the International Bill of Rights went into effect with 35 nations ratifying it. Not necessarily a good thing.

In 1978,  The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon for peacekeeping mission along the Blue Line.

In 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.

In 1981, the Supreme Court upholds law making statutory rape a crime for men, but not for women. The U.S. Supreme Court also rules that states could require, with some exceptions, parental notification when teen-age girls sought abortions.

In 1981, British “Great Train Robbery” suspect Ronald Biggs was taken into custody in Barbados after his abduction in Brazil.

In 1982,  Guatemala‘s government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas García is overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt.

In 1983,  Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles, a proposal that came to be known as the as “Star Wars.” No comment from George Lucas.

In 1983, Dr. Barney Clark, recipient of a permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after 112 days with the device.

In 1989,  Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announce their discovery of cold fusion at the University of Utah.

In 1989, Fawn Hall, former secretary to one-time national security council aide Oliver North, completed two days of testimony at North’s Iran-contra trial in Washington, D.C.

In 1990, Former Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood was sentenced by a judge in Anchorage, Alaska, to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay $50,000 in restitution for his role in the 1989 oil spill.

In 1991,  The Revolutionary United Front, with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor‘s National Patriotic Front of Liberia, invades Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow Joseph Saidu Momoh, sparking a gruesome 11-year Sierra Leone Civil War.

Friedrich Hayek portrait.jpgIn 1992,  Friedrich Hayek, Austrian economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1899) dies. He  born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek and frequently known as F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian, later British, economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. In 1974, Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Gunnar Myrdal) for his “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and … penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena”. Hayek was a major political thinker of the twentieth century, and his account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. (Another dangerous mind on the loose)

In 1993, Scientists announced they’d found the renegade gene that causes Huntington’s disease.

In 1994,  At an election rally in Tijuana, Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio is assassinated by Mario Aburto Martínez.

In 1994,  Aeroflot Flight 593 crashes in Siberia when the pilot‘s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengages the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

In 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 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground. This later became known as the Green Ramp disaster.

In 1996,  Taiwan holds its first direct elections and chooses Lee Teng-hui as President.

In 1998, Random House is sold to Bertelsmann AG, world’s third-largest media and entertainment company, in $1.6 billion deal.

In 1999,  Gunmen assassinate Paraguay‘s Vice President Luis María Argaña.

In 2001,  The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.

In 2003,  Battle of Nasiriyah, first major conflict during the invasion of Iraq.

In 2005,  Texas City Refinery explosion: During a test on a distillation tower liquid waste builds up and flows out of a blowout tower. Waste fumes ignite and explode killing 15 workers.

In 2008,  A small group of lobbyists gathers outside the office of House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh each week, checking BlackBerries and chatting as they wait to be invited through the doors of the speaker’s office and into a conference room in the back.  The subject of those meetings is an issue that could touch every corner of the state: whether telephone giant AT&T will receive statewide permission to offer television service in competition with cable companies like Comcast and Charter, and how widely available AT&T’s service will be. The meeting participants come from a wider cast of characters: dozens of lobbyists, lawmakers and others on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill whose relationships and loyalties make a potent stew of politics. They include numerous former members of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s administration and two married couples.

In 2008, A roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad on Sunday, the military said, pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000. The grim milestone came on a day when at least 61 people were killed across the country. Rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone, underscoring the fragile security situation and the resilience of both Sunni and Shiite extremist groups despite an overall lull in violence.

In 2009,  FedEx Express Flight 80: A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flying from Guangzhou, China crashes at Tokyo‘s Narita International Airport, killing both the captain and the co-pilot.

Taylor, Elizabeth posed.jpgIn 2011,  Elizabeth Taylor, English-American actress (b. 1932) of congestive heart failure. She was a British-Americanactress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. As one of the world’s most famous film stars, Taylor was recognized for her acting ability and for her glamorous lifestyle, beauty, and distinctive violet eyes. National Velvet (1944) was Taylor’s first success, and she starred in Father of the Bride (1950), A Place in the Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for BUtterfield 8 (1960), played the title role in Cleopatra (1963), and married her costar Richard Burton. They appeared together in 11 films, including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), for which Taylor won a second Academy Award. From the mid-1970s, she appeared less frequently in film, and made occasional appearances in television and theatre.

In 2015, Tennessee GOP Chairman Chris Devaney of Lookout Mountain  announced his resignation. Devaney is stepping down April 11 to become executive director of the Chattanooga-based Children’s Nutrition Group of Haiti. “This is what I’m called to do at this point in my life,” he said. Devaney, who informed Republican Executive Committee members of his plan this afternoon, said a special election for his replacement will be held on April 11, 2015. Devaney, who has done church mission work in Haiti previously, said the opportunity developed after his election to a fourth term as GOP party chief in December. In that race, he fended off a challenge from former state Rep. Joe Carr. Devaney was first elected in 2009 to fill remainder of then-chairman Robin Smith of Hixson.

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