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This Day in History - March 23

March 23

1490 – The first dated edition of Maimonides “Mishneh Torah,” a code of Jewish religious law, is published

1657 – France and England form an alliance against Spain

1743 – Handel’s Messiah is performed for the first time in London

1749 – French astronomer and mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace is born

1775 – American revolutionary hero Patrick Henry declares, “give me liberty, or give me death!” to the House of Burgesses

1791 – Etta Palm begins women’s clubs called a Confederation of Truth

1801 – Paul I of Russia dies

1806 – Lewis and Clark leave Fort Clatsop and head east for home

1839 – The initials “O.K.” are first published by The Boston Morning Post, meaning “oll korrect,” a popular slang misspelling of “all correct” at the time

1848 – Hungary proclaims independence from Austria

1857 – Elisha Otis installs the first passenger elevator in a public building, at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City

1858 – Eleazer Gardner of Philadelphia patents the cable street car

1862 – Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson faces his only defeat at the Battle of Kernstown, VA

1880 – John Stevens of Neenah, Wisconsin patents the grain crushing mill, which will increase productivity by 70 percent

1882 – German mathematician Amalie Emmy Noether is born

1888 – The Football League, featuring teams from England and Wales, meets for the first time

1900 – German psychologist Erich Fromm is born

1901 – A group of US Army soldiers capture Emilio Aguinaldo, the leader of the 1899 Philippine Insurrection

1903 – The Wright brothers obtain an airplane patent

1907 – Swiss-born Italian pharmacologist and Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Bovet is born

1908 – Actress Joan Crawford is born

1909 – British Lieutenant Ernest Shackleton finds the magnetic South Pole

1909 – Theodore Roosevelt begins an African safari sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and National Geographic Society

1910 – Director Akira Kurosawa is born

1912 – Rocket pioneer Werner von Braun is born

1913 – Tornadoes strike Nebraska and Iowa killing 115

1917 – Austrian Emperor Charles I makes a peace proposal to French President Poincare

1918 – Paris is shelled by a new German gun known as the Pariskanone, which could shoot some 130,000 feet away

1919 – Benito Mussolini founds the Fasci di Combattimento or “Fighting Bands” more commonly referred to as the Fascist Party

1919 – Politiburo, or 8th Congress of the Russian Communist Party that will become the central political power in the Soviet Union is re-established

1920 – Great Britain denounces the US because of its delay in joining the League of Nations

1921 – Arthur Hamilton sets a new parachute record by safely jumping 24,400 feet

1927 – Captain Hawthorne Gray sets a new balloon record, reaching 28,510 feet

1929 – Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile in less than four minutes, is born

1931 – Indian activist Bhagat Singh dies

1933 – The Reichstag gives Adolf Hitler power to rule by decree

1937 – Craig Breedlove, the first person to reach land speeds of 400mph, 500mph, and 600mph in a jet-powered vehicle, is born

1942 – The Japanese occupy the Anadaman Islands in the Indian Ocean

1944 – German occupiers shoot more than 300 Italian civilians as revenge for an Italian partisan attack on a SS unit

1945 – The largest operation in WWII’s Pacific War begins as 1,500 US Navy ships bomb the Japanese island of Okinawa

1951 – US paratroopers descend from flying boxcars in a surprise attack in Korea

1956 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic

1961 – An American intelligence-gathering plane is shot down over Laos, becoming one of the first US casualties in Southeast Asia

1962 – In a gesture of goodwill, Pakistan’s governor Ayub Khan, gives First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy a horse named Sardar, after learning of their shared love of horses. Sardar, affectionately known as Black Jack, was chosen to be the ceremonial rider-less horse during JFK’s funeral

1967 – Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. calls the Vietnam War the biggest obstacle to the civil rights movement

1968 – Singer, songwriter, producer and actor Damon Albarn is born

1969 – In a later dated on this day, President Richard Nixon commends teenager Mike Levesque of the Miami-area on his undertaking of the project known as the Miami Teen-age Rally for Decency, prompted by Doors singer Jim Morrison’s alleged drunkenness and alleged exposure while performing to a Miami crowd

1970 – Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia issues a public call for arms to be used against the Lon Nol government in Phnom Penh

1970 – Mafia boss Carlo Gambino is arrested for plotting to steal $3 million

1972 – The US calls a halt to peace talks on Vietnam being held in Paris

1979 – Guillermo Novo and Alvin Ross Diaz are sentenced for the murder by way of car bomb, of Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean ambassador and his friends Michael and Ronni Moffitt. Letelier was targeted due to his political work against Chile’s dictator Augusto Pinochet, who had assumed power by a CIA-supported coup. Their sentence will later be overturned on appeal and they will be acquitted. There has been some evidence to suggest the CIA was aware of the impending assassination, but did nothing to stop it

1980 – Archbishop Oscar Romero calls on members of the El Salvador armed forces to stop killing their fellow Salvadorians (he will be assassinated one day later)

1981 – US Supreme Court upholds a law making statuary rape a crime for men but not women

1983 – Barney Clark dies 112 days after becoming the world’s first artificial heart recipient

1983 – President Ronald Reagan proposes that the US begin a program to develop antimissile technology that would make the country nearly impervious to nuclear missile attack, known as the Strategic Defense Initiative or SDI

1992 – Nobel Prize-winning economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek dies

1994 – Mexico’s ruling party’s presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio, is gunned down during a campaign rally in Tijuana by Mario Aburto Martinez, although there has been a trail of evidence leading back to president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Colosio, a man of the people, had promised to fight Mexico’s political corruption and Salinas had ties to organized crime

1994 – Wayne Gretzky scores his 802nd goal, breaking his childhood idol Gordie Howe’s NHL record for most goals scored in one career

1998 – James Cameron’s Titanic wins eleven Academy Awards

1999 – Author Thomas Harris delivers his manuscript, Hannibal, to Delacorte press

2001 – Russia’s Mir space station ends its 15-year orbit of Earth, falling into the South Pacific

2003 – A US Army convoy is ambushed in Iraq and eleven are killed and seven captured, including Private First Class Jessica Lynch

2010 – President Barack Hussein Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law

2011 – Academy Award-winning actress and Hollywood icon, Elizabeth Taylor, dies

2015 – 1st Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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