On This Day

Historical Events on August 23

The 17 Year-Old Witness to the Eruption of Vesuvius

79 Mount Vesuvius begins stirring, on feast day of Vulcan, Roman god of fire (goes on to destroy Pompeii) [approx date] [1] [2]

Victory in Battle

406 Battle at Florence: Stilicho's Roman army beats Radagaisus' Barbarians

  • 476 Odoacer proclaimed King of Italy by his troops, 1st barbarian King of Italy
  • 1046 King Henry III gives money to Utrecht Deventer diocese
  • 1059 Treaty of Melfi: Pope Nicholas II recognized the Norman conquest of Southern Italy by appointing Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard Duke of Apulia and Calabria and Count of Sicily

William Wallace Executed

1305 Scottish patriot William Wallace is executed for high treason by Edward I of England at Smithfield, London

  • 1328 Battle at Kassel: French troops stop uprising of Flemish farmers
  • 1441 Holland & Hanzesteden sign cease fire treaty

Historic Event

1500 Governor Francisco De Bobadilla arrives in the Indies, soon after arrests and sends former Governor Christopher Columbus back to Spain in chains

  • 1514 Battle of Chaldiran ended with a decisive victory for the Sultan Selim I, Ottoman Empire, over the Shah Ismail I, Safavids founder.

Voyage of Discovery

1541 French explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada

  • 1542 Rabbi Joseph Caro completes his commentary of Tur Code
  • 1553 Bishop Stephen Gardiner appointed English Lord Chancellor
  • 1566 Beeldenstorm reaches Amsterdam
  • 1582 Francis of Valois, Duke of Anjou pays tribute to earl of Flanders
  • 1595 Michael the Brave confronts the Ottoman army in the Battle of Calugareni.
  • 1614 University of Groningen opens
  • 1617 1st one-way streets open (London)
  • 1708 Meidingnu Pamheiba is crowned King of Manipur.
  • 1711 Admiral Hovenden Walkers fleet reach St Lawrence
  • 1784 Eastern Tennessee settlers declare their area an independent state & name it Franklin; a year later the Continental Congress rejects it
  • 1789 French Revolution: The National Assembly proclaims freedom of religious opinions

French Revolution

1793 French Revolution: The National Convention adopts the levée en masse, conscripting all able-bodied men between 18 and 25 for military service during the French Revolutionary Wars

  • 1796 African Methodist Episcopal Church incorporated

Historic Event

1799 Napoleon leaves Egypt for France en route to seize power.

  • 1813 Battle of Grossbeeren - Prussians under Von Bulow repulse French
  • 1838 Mt Holyoke Female Seminary (South Hadley, Mass) 1st graduating class
  • 1839 British capture Hong Kong from China
  • 1850 1st US National Women's Rights Convention convenes in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • 1862 Skirmish at Big Hill, Kentucky (2 Federal regiments)
  • 1864 Union troops/fleet occupy Fort Morgan, Alabama
  • 1866 Treaty of Prague ends Austro-Prussian war
  • 1869 1st carload of rail freight (boots & shoes) arrives in San Francisco, from Boston after a 16-day trip
  • 1872 1st Japanese commercial ship visits San Francisco, carrying tea
  • 1873 Albert Bridge crossing the river Thames in London opens
  • 1879 Governor-general Charles Gordon of Sudan returns to Cairo
  • 1883 Philadelphia Quakers make 27 errors against Providence Grays in 28-0 shutout defeat at Messer Street Grounds; wild pitches, walks, passed balls count as errors in MLB prior to 1888
  • 1889 1st ship-to-shore wireless message ("Sherman is sighted") received in the US from Lightship No. 70 to a coastal receiving station at Cliff House in San Francisco
  • 1896 First Cry of the Philippine Revolution is made in Pugad Lawin (Quezon City), in the province of Manila.
  • 1897 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Newport R.I.: Defending champion Robert Wrenn beats Wilberforce Eaves 4-6, 8-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 for his 4th US singles title
  • 1900 National Negro Business League organizes (Boston)
  • 1903 6th Zionist Congres, Theodor Herzl declares Jewish state
  • 1904 Automobile tire chain patented
  • 1906 Chicago White Sox win 19th straight, beating Washington Senators, 4-1 at American League Park
  • 1906 Cuba's 1st president Tomés Estrada Palma asks for US intervention
  • 1907 Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Howie Camnitz no-hits NY Giants, 1-0 in 5 inning game at the Polo Grounds, NYC
  • 1910 Fred Clarke makes a record 4 outfield assists for Pittsburgh

Historic Event

1911 British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith holds secret meeting about British strategy in case of war with Germany

  • 1914 -24] German troops plunder Belgium
  • 1914 Battle of Mons: General Alexander von Kluck's troops forced a British withdrawal.
  • 1914 Gen von Hausen executes 612 inhabitants of Dinant, Belgium
  • 1914 Japan declares war on Germany in World War I
  • 1915 Tsar Nicolaas II takes control of Russian Army
  • 1916 Military court of Berlin sentences socialist Karl Liebknecht to 4 years
  • 1917 Race riot in Houston Texas (2 blacks & 11 whites killed)
  • 1919 "Gasoline Alley" cartoon strip premieres in Chicago Tribune
  • 1920 Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Roberts play "The Bat" based on Reinhart's novel "The Circular Staircase"premieres on Broadway in New York
  • 1920 American swimmer Warren Kealoha wins first of 2 consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100m backstroke, beating teammate Ray Kegeris at the Antwerp Games
  • 1921 British declare a truce with Irish Nationalists Sinn Féin
  • 1921 Austria and the US formally end war; the US does the same with Germany on the 25th, and Hungary on the 29th

World Record

1923 Paavo Nurmi of Finland runs world record for 1 mile of 4:10.4 in Stockholm; record stands until 1931

  • 1923 Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.
  • 1924 Mars' closest approach to Earth since 10th century

US Open Women's Tennis

1926 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Molla Bjurstedt Mallory beats Elizabeth Ryan 4-6, 6-4, 9-7 for her 8th and final US singles title

  • 1929 Arabs attack Jews in Israel

US Open Women's Tennis

1930 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: England's Betty Nuthall Shoemaker beats Anna McCune Harper 6-1, 6-4 for her lone major title

  • 1930 1st British Empire Games close in Hamilton, Canada
  • 1931 Count Gyula Károlyi becomes premier of Hungary
  • 1931 Philadelphia A's Lefty Grove, loses 1-0 (Browns) after winning 16 straight
  • 1933 First televised boxing match — 6-round exhibition at Broadcasting House in London between middleweights Archie Sexton and Lauri Raiteri; aired by BBC-TV

Historic Event

1933 Mahatma Gandhi released from Indian jail following another hunger strike

  • 1936 17 year old Cleveland Indians future Baseball HOF pitcher Bob Feller's debut MLB game; strikes out 15 St Louis Browns in 4-1 win at League Park, Cleveland
  • 1938 England score 7-903 declared v Australia, Len Hutton scores 364

Film Premiere

1938 "You Can’t Take It With You" from the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur premieres. Best Picture (1939)

  • 1939 John Cobb (Britain) drives 365.85 MPH (593.48 KPH) at Bonneville Flats

Treaty of Interest

1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact and secretly divide Poland between themselves, setting the stage for World War II

  • 1940 German Luftwaffe begins night bombing on London
  • 1942 1st US flights to land on Guadalcanal
  • 1942 Battle of Stalingrad: 600 Luftwaffe planes bomb Stalingrad (40,000 die)
  • 1942 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill flies back to London from Cairo, Egypt

Sports History

1942 Walter Johnson pitches to Babe Ruth in pregame attraction that draws 69,000 for NYY-Washington MLB doubleheader at Yankee Stadium; raises $80,000 for Army-Navy relief

  • 1942 World War II: last cavalry charge in history takes place at Isbushenskij, Russia; the Italian Savoia Cavalleria charges Soviet infantry
  • 1943 Red army recaptures Charkow
  • 1944 94.5°F (34.7°C) in De Bilt Netherlands & 101.5°F (38.6°C) in Warnsvelt
  • 1944 Allied troops capture Marseille, France
  • 1944 General George Leclerc's troops advance towards Paris
  • 1944 Romanian Royal coup: King Michael orders forces to cease fire against Allies and dismisses pro-Axis premier, Marshal Ion Antonescu
  • 1944 Sammellager Drancy freed
  • 1944 US 20th Army corp enter Fontainebleau/Melun de Seine
  • 1944 US B-24 crashes into school in Freckelton England, 76 killed
  • 1946 13th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: All-Stars 16, Los Angeles 0 (97,380)
  • 1946 Ordinance No. 46 of the British Military Government constitutes the German Land (state) of Schleswig-Holstein.

Film Premiere

1946 "The Big Sleep" directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart (Philip Marlowe) and Lauren Bacall, premieres

  • 1947 1st Baseball Little League World Series, Williamsport, Pennsylvania: Maynard Midgets beat Lock Haven All Stars, 16-7
  • 1947 US President Truman's daughter, Margaret's 1st public singing concert
  • 1947 8th Venice Film Festival opens (first since the start of World War II)
  • 1948 Earl Bernadotte asks aid for fugitives to Palestine
  • 1948 World Council of Churches formed by 147 churches from 44 countries
  • 1950 West Germany & Japan readmitted to Intl Amateur Athletic Federation
  • 1952 Arab League security pact goes into effect
  • 1952 Giants Bob Elliott is ejected for arguing a strike, Bobby Hoffman completes his bat, he strikes out & is also ejected for arguing
  • 1952 Kitty Wells becomes 1st woman to reach #1 on Billboard Country chart with "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels"; stays at top for 15 weeks [1]
  • 1953 Former Boston Braves pitcher Phil Paine becomes first major leaguer to play in Japan; on military service with U.S. Air Force plays first of 9 games for Nishitetsu Lions
  • 1953 Cyclist Arie Van Vliet becomes world champion sprinter
  • 1953 Dutch DC-6 crashes near Ymuiden in North Sea, 21 die
  • 1953 KBAK TV channel 29 in Bakersfield, CA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1953 Phil Grate sets record for throwing a baseball (443'3")
  • 1953 USSR performs nuclear test

Sports History

1953 Italian Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari clinches his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by winning Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten

Historic Event

1954 President Getulio Vargas of Brazil resigns temporarily

  • 1954 First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
  • 1957 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1958 People's Republic of China resumes bombardment of the Quemoy and Matsu islands in the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
  • 1958 "Musical Marie" Ashton completes playing piano at the Plaza-Central cinema in England - a female record 133 hours

Venice Film Festival

1959 20th Venice Film Festival: "The Great War" directed by Mario Monicelli and "General della Rovere" directed by Roberto Rossellini jointly awarded Golden Lion

  • 1960 World's largest frog (3.3 kg) caught (Equatorial Guinea)
  • 1961 Belgium sends troops to Rwanda-Urundi
  • 1961 East Germany imposed new curbs on travel between West & East Berlin
  • 1961 US lunar probe Ranger 1 reaches 190 km from Earth, falls back
  • 1962 1st Europe-US live TV program (via Telstar)
  • 1963 Beatles release single "She Loves You" in the UK
  • 1963 Ringo admits he wrote a song "Don't Pass Me By"
  • 1963 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1964 St Louis Cardinals are 11 games back in NL; go on win Baseball World Series, 4-3 v New York Yankees
  • 1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 takes 1st photograph of Earth from Moon
  • 1968 Ringo quits Beatles over a disagreement (temporarily).
  • 1968 Yanks & Tigers play 3-3 tie in 19 due to 1 AM curfew
  • 1969 Audrey McElmory (US) wins World Cycling Championships, Brno Czechoslovakia
  • 1969 France's Une De Mai wins International Trot at Roosevelt Raceway Czechoslovakia (1st American to win cycling race title since 1912)
  • 1969 30th Venice Film Festival opens

Baseball Record

1970 Roberto Clemente compiles his record 2nd straight 5-hit game

  • 1971 WGTU TV channel 29 in Traverse City, MI (ABC) begins broadcasting

Presidential Convention

1972 Republican convention (Miami Beach, Fla) renominates Vice President Spiro Agnew but not unanimously: 1 vote went to NBC newsman David Brinkley

Baseball Record

1972 Chicago's Dick Allen is 4th (Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, & Alex Johnson) to homer into Comiskey Park's center field bleachers

  • 1972 4 civilians and 1 British soldier are injured in separate overnight shooting incidents in North Ireland
  • 1973 Intelsat communications satellite launched

Music History

1974 John Lennon reports seeing a UFO in NYC

  • 1974 Zaheer Abbas scores 240 Pakistan v England at The Cricket Oval
  • 1975 Classical Way wins Championship Cup at Roosevelt Raceway
  • 1975 Communists take over Laos
  • 1975 Ethiopian junta under Mengistu Haile
  • 1975 Free guitarist Paul Kossoff revived from dead after heart attack, dies for good in 1976
  • 1975 Philip Kapleau conducts 1st jukai ceremony in Poland
  • 1975 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1976 Heavy earthquake strikes China, 1,000s die
  • 1977 1st man-powered flight of a mile (Bryan Allen in Gossamer Condor)
  • 1977 Marxist philosopher Rudolf Bahro imprisoned in German DR
  • 1978 Iranian students occupies Iranian embassy at Wassenaar
  • 1979 Iranian army opens offensive against Kurds
  • 1979 UN's Vienna office opens
  • 1980 Charles O. Finley sells Oakland A's MLB franchise for $12.7m to Walter Haas Jr. (owner & CEO of Levi Strauss)
  • 1982 Lebanese falangist leader Bechir Gemayel elected as president
  • 1982 Seattle Mariner pitcher Gaylord Perry ejected for throwing a spitter
  • 1982 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1985 Said Aouita of Morocco sets 1.5k record (3:29.46) in Berlin
  • 1985 South African attorney/UDF leader "Dulah" Omar arrested
  • 1985 West German top counter espionage Hans Tiedge moves to German DR
  • 1985 Paul Hornung awarded $1,160,000 by a Louisville court against NCAA who barred him as a college football analyst for betting on games
  • 1986 Stephen Schwartz and Charles Strouse's musical "Rags" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC, after 4 performances; nominated for 6 Tony Awrads
  • 1987 15-year old boy hijacks KLM B737, demands $1 billion
  • 1987 Violent rainfall and floods in Bangladesh, kill 100's of people

Sports History

1988 Mike Tyson & Mitch Green brawl at 4 A.M. in Harlem

  • 1989 LA Dodgers beat Montreal Expos, 1-0, in 22 innings (Rick Dempsey HR)
  • 1989 Lewis, Everett, Burrell and Heard run world record 4x200 m (1:19.38)
  • 1990 Armenia declares independence
  • 1990 East & West Germany announced that they would unite on Oct 3
  • 1990 US begins call up of 46,000 reservists to the Persian Gulf
  • 1991 3rd Athletics World Championships open at Tokyo, Japan
  • 1992 Dennis Eckersley, who previously set record for most consecutive saves (40), is 1st pitcher to record 40 saves in 4 different seasons
  • 1992 Wilhelm Verwoerd, grandson of former South African Prime Minister, Hendrik Verwoerd, main architect of apartheid, joins the African National Congress
  • 1993 NY Dow Jones index reaches record high of 3,638.96 points

Baseball Record

1993 Fred McGriff & David Justice are 6th to hit back-to-back HRs twice in same game

Album Release

1994 Jeff Buckley releases his album "Grace", featuring his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"

  • 1995 Indians' Jose Mesa sets record with his 38th consecutive save

Film & TV History

1995 Actor Larry Hagman receives a liver transplant

Declaration of War

1996 Osama bin Laden issues message entitled "A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places"

  • 2000 A Gulf Air Airbus A320 crashes into the Persian Gulf near Manama, Bahrain, killing 143.
  • 2000 Nicaragua becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty. This essentially deprecated the Buenos Aires Convention treaty, because as of this date, all members of the BA Convention were also signatories to Berne.
  • 2003 9th Athletics World Championships open at Saint-Denis, France
  • 2004 Outstanding British athlete Kelly Holmes wins 1st leg of her 800/1,500m double at the Athens Olympics taking the gold medal in 1:56.38
  • 2004 An American sweep in the 400m medals at the Athens Olympics; Jeremy Wariner gold in 44.00 ahead of Otis Harris and Derrick Brew
  • 2004 Winning pitcher Lisa Fernadez (4-0) leads the US to the softball gold medal at the Athens Olympics, beating Australia 5-1

Hurricane Katrina

2005 Hurricane Katrina forms over the Bahamas, later becoming a category 5 hurricane

  • 2005 TANS Peru Flight 204 crashes near Pucallpa, Peru, killing 41.
  • 2006 Natascha Kampusch, who was abducted at the age of 10, managed to escape from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.
  • 2007 Hashtag invented and first used in a tweet by US product designer Chris Messina
  • 2008 The star-studded American women's basketball team led by the likes of Lisa Leslie, Sue Bird & Diana Taurasi win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics with a convincing 92-65 win over Australia
  • 2008 Ethiopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele wraps up the 5,000/10,000m double at the Beijing Olympics when he takes gold in the 5k in an Olympic record 12:57.82
  • 2008 Australian diver Matthew Mitcham wins the men's 10m platform gold medal with final dive at the Beijing Olympics; prevents Chinese from winning every diving event; achieves highest score for an individual dive in Olympic history (112.10)
  • 2008 Midfielder Ángel Di María scores a 58th minute winner as Argentina beats Nigeria 1-0 to take the men's football gold medal at the Beijing Olympics; 89,102 at the National Stadium
  • 2009 Solheim Cup Women's Golf, Rich Harvest Farms: US wins 3rd consecutive Cup 16-12; win 8 of 12 singles to dominate final day
  • 2009 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, Crosswater Club: Mike Reid wins his second Champions Tour major with birdie on first playoff hole against John Cook
  • 2010 Manila hostage crisis, which occurred at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, where a dismissed police officer took hostage a tour bus full of Chinese nationals.
  • 2011 5.8 earthquake occurs in Mineral, Virginia felt as far north as Ontario and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia

Historic Event

2011 Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi is overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan Civil War.

  • 2012 Four people are killed and 28 injured in a hot air ballooning accident in Slovenia
  • 2012 At least 30 are killed as a result of monsoon rain in Rajasthan, India
  • 2013 50 people are killed in mosque bombings in Tripoli, Lebanon