On This Day

On This Day in History for April 23

Events in History

  • 215 BC A temple, built on the Capitoline Hill, is dedicated to Venus Erycina to commemorate the Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene
  • 1014 King Brian Boru of Ireland defeats Viking forces at Battle of Clontarf, freeing Ireland from foreign control
  • 1154 Damascus surrenders to Sultan Nur ad-Din van Aleppo
  • 1229 Ferdinand III of Castile conquers Cáceres
  • 1343 St. George's Night Uprising in Estonia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1348 The Order of Garter founded by English King Edward III, Britain's highest civic or military honor

King of England Edward III
King of England
Edward III
  • 1504 King Maximilian I routes troops to Bavaria

GermanyGerman Beer Purity Law

1516 Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria endorses "The German Beer Purity Law" (Reinheitsgebot) and adds to it standards for the sale of beer in Bavaria, ensuring beer is only brewed from three ingredients – water, malt and hops

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The German Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot)
The German Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot)
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  • 1563 Cornerstone laid for El Escorial, new Spanish royal palace commissioned by Philip II, by architect Juan Bautista de Toledo

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1597 William Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" is first performed, with Queen Elizabeth I of England in attendance

Playwright William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Queen of England and Ireland Elizabeth I
Queen of England and Ireland
Elizabeth I
  • 1616 Netherlands buys De Briel/Vlissingen/Fort Rammekens from England
  • 1633 Sweden & Protestant German monarchy form Union of Heilbronn
  • 1635 Oldest US public institution, Boston Latin School founded
  • 1660 Treaty of Oliwa is established between Sweden and Poland

CrownRoyal Coronation

1661 English king Charles II crowned in London

King of England Charles II
King of England
Charles II
  • 1662 Connecticut chartered as an English colony

CrownRoyal Coronation

1702 Queen Anne is crowned at Westminster Abbey, London

Queen of England Anne Stuart
Queen of England
Anne Stuart
  • 1705 Richard Steele's play "Tender Husband" premieres in London
  • 1723 Cornelis Steenoven elected archbishop of Utrecht

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1789 President-elect George Washington moves into Franklin House, New York

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • 1795 William Hastings acquitted in England of high treason
  • 1798 Dutch emperor accepts new Constitution
  • 1826 Missolonghi, Greece captured by Turks
  • 1827 Irish mathematician and astronomer William Rowan Hamilton presents his Theory of Systems of Rays
  • 1838 English steamship "Great Western" crosses the Atlantic docks in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1849 Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky and members of the Petrashevsky Circle are arrested in St. Petersburg

  • 1851 Canada issues its 1st postage stamps
  • 1860 Democratic convention in Charleston, South Carolina divided over slavery

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1861 Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces (US Civil War)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Confederate General
Robert E. Lee
  • 1861 Arkansas troops seize Fort Smith on the Arkansas River
  • 1864 Battle of Cane River, Louisiana (Red River Expedition, Monett's Ferry)

Latest Wonder of the WorldLatest Wonder of the World

1867 Queen Victoria & Napoleon III turn down plans for a channel tunnel

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Tunnel diggers from France and England meet half way. Photo: Rex Features
Tunnel diggers from France and England meet half way. Photo: Rex Features
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  • 1871 Blossom Rock in San Francisco Bay blown up
  • 1878 1st Dutch test drive of steam tram
  • 1883 John Heemskerk Abrahamszoon forms Dutch government
  • 1891 Jews are expelled from Moscow, Russia
  • 1900 1st know occurrence of word "hillbillie" (NY Journal)
  • 1904 American Academy of Arts & Letters forms
  • 1908 Denmark, Germany, Britain, France, Netherlands & Sweden sign North Sea accord
  • 1910 International Exhibition opens in Brussels, Belgium
  • 1915 ACA becomes National Advisory Council on Aeronautics (NACA)
  • 1916 Lord Dunsany's "Night at an Inn" premieres in NYC
  • 1918 Raid of Zeebrugge; the British navy attempts to block German vessels from leaving port by sinking obsolete ships - mostly fails
  • 1918 Dover Patrol overthrows Germany U-boat in East Sea

TurkeyEnd of the Ottoman Empire

1920 Turkish Grand National Assembly 1st meets in Ankara, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk denounces the government of Sultan Mehmed VI and announces a temporary constitution

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The last Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI, departs his palace in Istanbul after the abolition of the monarchy
The last Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI, departs his palace in Istanbul after the abolition of the monarchy
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  • 1921 Charles Paddock runs world record 100m (10.4 secs)
  • 1923 Inauguration ceremonies take place at Gdynia, Poland to mark its new status as a temporary military port and fishers' shelter
  • 1924 British Empire Exhibition opens at Wembley, London
  • 1925 Pastor LH Perquin forms Union of Catholic Dutch Radio (KRO)
  • 1925 Having badly defeated Spain and driven her out of Spanish Morocco, the native Riffi, led by Abd-el-Krim, turn on the French in French Morocco
  • 1932 Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opens at Stratford-on-Avon, England
  • 1932 153-year old De Adriaan Windmill in Haarlem, the Netherlands, burns down
  • 1935 Polish Constitution of 1935 is adopted
  • 1938 Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia demand self government
  • 1941 Greek Army surrenders to Germany; British RAF evacuates the Greek King George II to Egypt
  • 1942 4-day allied bombing on Rostock begins
  • 1942 1st night Exeter bombed by German Luftwaffe
  • 1943 British & US offensive directed at Tunis and Bizerta
  • 1945 Concentration camp Flossenburg liberated
  • 1945 US troops in Italy cross river Po
  • 1949 Chinese Red army conquers Nanjing
  • 1949 Courtesy mail boxes for motorists started in San Francisco
  • 1949 Netherlands annexes Elten & Tudderen
  • 1950 Nationalist China evacuates Hainan Island
  • 1952 Crude oil pipeline from Kirkuk, Iraq to Banias, Syria completed
  • 1953 General Charles P. Cabell, USAF, becomes deputy director of CIA
  • 1959 1st heliport in Britain opens in London
  • 1961 Algiers putsch by French generals
  • 1962 Ranger 4, 1st US satellite to reach Moon launched from Cape Canaveral
  • 1964 New York State Theater opens
  • 1965 Launch of 1st Soviet communications satellite
  • 1967 Soyuz 1 launched; Vladimir Komarov becomes 1st in-flight casualty
  • 1968 1st decimal coins issued in Britain (5 & 10 new pence, replacing shilling and two-shilling pieces)
  • 1968 United Methodist Church forms
  • 1969 Over 1000 square miles flooded in Shantung Province, China

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969 Sirhan Sirhan sentenced to death for killing US Senator Robert F. Kennedy (later commuted to a life sentence)

US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
US Attorney General
Robert F. Kennedy
  • 1969 The Unionist Parliamentary Party votes by 28 to 22 to introduce universal adult suffrage in local government elections in Northern Ireland; the demand for 'one man, one vote' had been one of the most powerful slogans of the civil rights movement
  • 1971 Columbia University operations virtually end, by student strike
  • 1972 26th Tony Awards: Sticks & Bones & 2 Gentlemen of Verona win
  • 1972 Apollo 16 astronauts explores Moon surface
  • 1972 The Sunday Times Insight Team publish their account of the events of 'Bloody Sunday'
  • 1974 USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1975 Harold Pinter's play "No Man's Land" premieres in London

Playwright Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
  • 1977 Dr Allen Bussey completes 20,302 yo-yo loops
  • 1977 Milt workers kill 300-500 students in Addis Ababa
  • 1978 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1979 Fighting in London between the Anti-Nazi League and the Metropolitan Police Special Patrol Group results in the death of protester Blair Peach.
  • 1980 Soviet sub catches fire off Japan, 9 die
  • 1982 Conch Republic is established - secession of the Florida Keys from the United States of America
  • 1982 The 8-bit personal home computer the Sinclair ZX Spectrum is released (goes on to sell 5 million worldwide)
  • 1984 AIDS-virus identified as HTLV-III (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
  • 1985 New Coke debuts; Coca-Cola announced it is changing its secret flavor formula
  • 1986 Grand Floridian Beach Resort groundbreaking
  • 1986 Madrid-Nelli Cooman runs world record 60m indoor (7 sec)
  • 1987 28 construction workers killed in an apt collapse in Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • 1988 A Greek pedals self-powered aircraft, 74 miles
  • 1988 Federal smoking ban during domestic airline flights of 2 hrs or less
  • 1988 Karolina Szabo runs female world record 25k (1:29:30)/30k (1:47;06)
  • 1989 Students in Beijing China announce class boycotts

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989 Wine merchant William Sokolin breaks a bottle of 1787 Château Margaux, possibly belonging to Thomas Jefferson, worth $500,000 at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson

Birthdays in History

  • 1141 King Malcolm IV of Scotland, nicknamed Virgo "the Maiden" King of Scots (1141 April-May), born in Scotland (d. 1165)
  • 1170 Isabelle of Hainaut, queen of France, born in Valenciennes, France (d. 1190)
  • 1185 Afonso II, 3rd King of Portugal (1211-23), born in Coimbra, Kingdom of Portugal (d. 1223)
  • 1464 Joan of France, Queen of France (1498) and catholic saint who founded several religious orders, born in Nogent-le-Roi (d. 1505)
  • 1484 Julius Caesar Scaliger, Italian-French physician and scholar (On the Subtlety of Things), born in Riva, Italy (d. 1558)
  • 1500 Alexander Ales [Alesius], Scottish theologian of the school of Augsburg, born in Edinburgh (d. 1565)
  • 1516 Georg Fabricius, German poet, historian and archaeologist, born in Chemnitz, Germany (d. 1571)

Person of interestWilliam Shakespeare

1564 William Shakespeare, English Poet and playwright (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth), born in Stratford upon Avon, (d. 1616) traditionally regarded as his birthdate,

  • 1598 Maarten Tromp, Dutch admiral, born in Breille, Netherlands (d. 1653)
  • 1621 William Penn, English admiral and politician, father of the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, born in St. Thomas Parish, Bristol (d. 1670)
  • 1628 Johan van Waveren Hudde, Dutch mathematician (Concerning Reduction of Equations) and Mayor of Amsterdam (1672-1703), born in Amsterdam (d. 1704)
  • 1629 Jan Commelin, Dutch botanist and director of Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam, born in Leiden, Netherlands (d. 1692)
  • 1697 George Anson, 1st Baron Anson, British Royal Navy officer, born in Staffordshire, England (d. 1762)
  • 1708 Friedrich von Hagedorn, German poet (Versuch einiger Poem), born in Hamburg, Germany (d. 1754)
  • 1720 Vilna Gaon, Lithuanian rabbi, born in Sialiec, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (d. 1797)
  • 1725 Saint Gerard Majella, Catholic saint, born in Muro, Naples, Italy (d. 1755)
  • 1728 Samuel Wallis, English explorer (Wallis Island), born in Camelford, Cornwall (d. 1795)
  • 1731 William Williams, American merchant (signed US Declaration of Independence), born in Lebanon, Connecticut (d. 1811)
  • 1746 Félix Vicq-d'Azyr, French physician and anatomist (discover the theory of homology in biology), born in Valognes, Normandy, France (d. 1794)

Person of interestJ. M. W. Turner

1775 J. M. W. Turner, English landscape painter (Shipwreck, Rain, Steam and Speed), born in Covent Garden, London (d. 1851)

Romantic Painter J. M. W. Turner
Romantic Painter
J. M. W. Turner

Person of interestJames Buchanan

1791 James Buchanan, 15th US President (1857-61), born in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania (d. 1868)

15th US President James Buchanan
15th US President
James Buchanan
  • 1791 Friedrich von Olivier, German landscape painter, born in Dessau, Germany (d. 1859)
  • 1792 John Romney Robinson, Irish astronomer and physicist, born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1882)
  • 1794 Wei Yuan, Chinese scholar and geographer of Qing Dynasty, born in Shaoyang, China (d. 1857)
  • 1803 Jules J baron d'Anethan, Belgian minister of Justice, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1888)
  • 1804 Guillaume Nerenburger, Belgian general (Triangulatie of Belgium), born in Amsterdam (d. 1869)
  • 1810 Thomas Wright, English antiquarian and writer, born in Ludlow, Shropshire, England (d. 1877)
  • 1813 Stephen A. Douglas, American politician, US senator from Illinois (Lincoln-Douglas debates), born in Brandon, Vermont (d. 1861)
  • 1813 Frédéric Ozanam, French scholar and founder of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, born in Milan, Italy (d. 1853)
  • 1818 James Anthony Froude, English historian and novelist (The Nemesis of Faith), born in Dartington Rectory, Devon (d. 1894)
  • 1818 John Gill Shorter, American politician (17th Governor of Alabama), born in Monticello, Georgia (d. 1872)
  • 1823 Abdulmejid I, 31st Sultan of Ottoman Empire, born in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire (d. 1861)
  • 1827 Johann Friedrich von Schulte, German Catholic lawyer, born in Winterberg, Germany (d. 1914)
  • 1828 Albert, King of Saxony (1873-1902), born in Dresden, Germany (d. 1902)
  • 1838 Alfred Verwee, Flemish painter, born in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium (d. 1895)
  • 1852 Edwin Markham, American poet (1st winner of American Acad of Poets Award 1937), born in Oregon City, Oregon (d. 1940)
  • 1853 Winthrop M. Crane, American politician, 40th Governor of Massachusetts, born in Dalton, Massachusetts (d. 1920)
  • 1858 Max Planck, German physicist, father of Quantum Physics (Planck Constant, Nobel 1918), born in Kiel, Duchy of Holstein (d. 1947)
  • 1861 Edmund Allenby, Viscount Allenby, British Fieldmarshal, General at Battle of Megiddo, born in Brackenhurst, England (d. 1936)
  • 1865 Ali-Agha Shikhlinski, Russian-Azerbaijani general, born in Kazakhli, Russian Empire (d. 1943)
  • 1867 Simon Abramsz, Dutch teacher and writer (For the Young Ones), born in Amsterdam (d. 1924)
  • 1876 Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, German historian (The Third Reich), born in Solingen, Westphalia, German Empire (d. 1925)
  • 1879 Emil Barth, German revolutionary (Social Democratic Party), born in Heidelberg (d. 1941)
  • 1882 Max Winders, Belgian architect (WWII), responsible for bringing the Belgian gold stock, born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1982)
  • 1888 Georges Vanier, French-Canadian soldier and 19th Governor General of Canada, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1967)
  • 1889 Charles Warrell, English schoolteacher and creator of the I-Spy books, born in Farmborough, Somerset (d. 1995)
  • 1892 Minus van Looi [Benjamin van der Voort], Flemish writer, born in Tessenderlo, Belgium (d. 1952)
  • 1892 Richard Huelsenbeck, German Dada writer, born in Frankenau, Hessen-Nassau (d. 1974)
  • 1893 Frank Borzage, American director (7th Heaven, Strange Cargo), born in Salt Lake City, Utah (d. 1962)
  • 1895 Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand detective writer and producer, born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 1982)
  • 1896 Margaret Kennedy, English novelist (The Constant Nymph), born in Hyde Park Gate, London (d. 1967)

Person of interestLester B. Pearson

1897 Lester B. Pearson, 14th Canadian Prime Minister (1963-68) (Nobel Peace Prize 1957), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1972)

Prime Minister of Canada Lester B. Pearson
Prime Minister of Canada
Lester B. Pearson
  • 1897 Lucius du Bignon Clay, American WWII general and military governor of West Germany, born in Marietta, Georgia (d. 1978)
  • 1898 Edwin Erich Dwinger, German writer (General Vlassov), born in Kiel, Germany (d. 1981)
  • 1899 Minoru Shirota, Japanese microbiologist and fouder of the Yakult Honsha beverage company, born in Tatsuoka, Nagano (d. 1982)
  • 1901 E.B. Ford, British ecological geneticist, born in Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire (d. 1988)
  • 1902 Halldór Laxness, Icelandic writer (Nobel 1955), born in Reykjavík, Iceland (d. 1998)
  • 1903 Guy Simonds, Canadian army, youngest General officer, born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England (d. 1974)
  • 1907 Lee Miller, American photographer (War correspondent for Vogue in WWII), born in Poughkeepsie, New York (d. 1977)
  • 1909 Thomas Padmore, British senior civil servant, born in Sheffield, England (d. 1996)
  • 1911 Ronald Neame, British director (1st Monday in Oct, Poseidon Adventure), born in London, England (d. 2010)
  • 1914 Andrew Martin, British Army Officer (Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire from 1965 to 1989) (d. 1993)
  • 1914 Mitsu Suzuki, teacher of tea ceremony at SF Zen Center
  • 1915 Arnold Hall, British aeronautical engineer, born in Liverpool, England (d. 2000)
  • 1917 Jacob Kistemaker, Dutch nuclear physicist (ultra centrifuge), born in Kolhorn, Netherlands (d. 2010)
  • 1918 Maurice Druon, French writer and journalist (Prix Goncourt), born in Paris (d. 2009)
  • 1918 Gordon Hirabayshi, American civil rights activist and WWII internment opponent (Hirabayshi v. United States), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2012)
  • 1919 Oleg Penkovsky, Soviet military intelligence (GRU), born in Vladikavkaz, Russia (d. 1963)
  • 1920 Eric Yarrow, British businessman, CEO (Clydesdale Bank), born in Frensham, Surrey
  • 1922 Boy Ecury [Segundo Jorge Adelberto Ecury], member of the Dutch Resistance in World War II, born in Oranjestad, Aruba (d. 1944)
  • 1922 Diarmuid Downs, British automotive engineer, born in London (d. 2014)
  • 1923 Avram Davidson, American sci-fi author (Hugo, Peregrine: Primus, Rork!), born in Yonkers, New York (d. 1993)
  • 1923 James Kirkup, English travel writer, poet and novelist (African in Greenland), born in England (d. 2009)
  • 1923 Dolph Briscoe, American businessman and 41st Governor of Texas (1973-79), born in Uvalde, Texas (d. 2010)
  • 1924 Colin Welch, British political journalist and critic of Enid Blyton's Noddy series, born in Ickleton Abbey, Cambridgeshire (d. 1997)
  • 1926 J. P. Donleavy, American novelist (Ginger Man, Onion Eaters), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1928 Okke Jager, Dutch theologist, writer and poet, born in Delft, Netherlands (d. 1992)
  • 1929 George Steiner, French-American literary critic and educator, born in Paris (d. 2020)
  • 1930 Michael Bowen, British Roman Catholic Archbishop (Southwark), born in Gibraltar
  • 1932 Halston [Roy Halston Frowick], American fashion designer (1972 Hall of Fame), born in Des Moines, Iowa (d. 1990)
  • 1932 Jim Fixx, American jogger and writer (Jim Fixx on Running), born in NYC, New York (d. 1984)
  • 1933 Roger Wittevrongel, Flemish painter, born in Blankenberge, Belgium
  • 1936 Elias [Etienne Michiels], Flemish painter, born in Ostend, Belgium
  • 1936 Joseph Willaert, Flemish painter, born in Diksmuide, Belgium (d. 2014)
  • 1937 Victoria Glendinning, British author (Edith Sitwell A Unicorn Among Lions), born in Sheffield, England
  • 1938 Leonard Ernest John Chant, English social worker, born in Yeovil, Somerset (d. 1995)
  • 1938 Steve Symms, American politician, (Senator-R-Idaho 1981-93, Rep-R-Idaho 1973-81), born in Nampa, Idaho
  • 1939 Bill Hagerty, British editor (People), born in Ilford, London
  • 1940 Richard Monaco, American sci-fi author (Grail War, Final Quest), born in NYC, New York
  • 1940 Michael Copps, Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1941 Hal Daub, American lawyer and politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Nebraska, born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • 1941 Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland (1995-2003), born in Turtola, Finland
  • 1941 Ray Tomlinson, American computer programmer (invented email and the @ sign), born in Amsterdam, New York (d. 2016)
  • 1943 Carmen von Thyssen, Spanish philanthropist and art collector, born in Barcelona, Spain
  • 1947 Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, Irish political activist, born in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
  • 1948 Pascal Quignard, French author (Les Ombres), born in Verneuil-sur-Avre, Eure, France
  • 1953 Fred Upton, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan), born in St. Joseph, Michigan
  • 1955 Mike Smith, English TV and radio presenter, born in Romford, Essex (d. 2014)
  • 1960 Valerie Bertinelli, American actress (Barbara Cooper Royer-1 Day at a Time, Hot in Cleveland), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1963 Magnús Ver Magnússon, Icelandic powerlifter (World's Strongest Man 1991, 94, 95, 96), born in Egilsstaðir, Iceland

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

1445 Margaret of Anjou weds King Henry VI of England in Titchfield, Hampshire

Queen Consort to King Henry VI of England Margaret of Anjou
Queen Consort to King Henry VI of England
Margaret of Anjou
  • 1843 Samuel Gridley Howe, American physician and educator, marries Julia Ward, American poet and author
  • 1927 Mary Barbara Hamilton (25,)best-selling British romantic author, marries 1st husband Alexander McQorquodale

LoveWedding of Interest

1956 Novelist C. S. Lewis (57) weds poet Joy Davidman (41) at the register office in Oxford, England

Author and Theologian C. S. Lewis
Author and Theologian
C. S. Lewis

Divorces in History

  • 1992 British Princess Anne (the Princess Royal) and her 1st husband Captain Mark Phillips divorce after 19 years
  • 1993 Motley Crue's Mike Mars files for divorce from Emi-Canyn

Deaths in History

  • 34 Jesus Christ is crucified, according to Isaac Newton
  • 303 Saint George, Greek officer in the Roman army, beheaded. Patron saint of many lands including England
  • 725 Wihtred, King of Kent (c. 692-725)
  • 871 Ethelred I, King of Wessex and brother of Alfred the Great, dies aged around 24
  • 990 Ekkehart II [Palatinus], Swiss monk at the Abbey of Saint Gall known for his poetry, dies
  • 997 Vojtech "Adalbert" of Prague, 2nd bishop of Prague/apostle, dies at 40
  • 1014 Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, dies in battle at Clontarf
  • 1016 Æthelred II "the Unready", king of England (979-1016), dies
  • 1124 Alexander I, King of Scots (1107-24), dies at 47
  • 1151 Queen Adeliza of England, 2nd wife of Henry I (b. 1103)
  • 1217 King Inge II of Norway (b. 1185)
  • 1407 Olivier de Clisson, French soldier (b. 1326)
  • 1416 Blaise/Blasius of Parma, Italian astrologist, philosopher and algebra scholar, dies
  • 1605 Boris Godunov, chief adviser to Tsar Fyodor I and Tsar of Russia (1598-1605), dies after a lengthy illness and a stroke at approximately 20
  • 1611 Martin Ruland the Younger, German physician and alchemist, dies at 41

Person of interestWilliam Shakespeare

1616 William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright (b. 1564) (Julian calendar) dies aged 52

  • 1616 El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Peruvian writer (b. 1539)
  • 1625 Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, dies at 57
  • 1695 Henry Vaughan, English poet (Silex Scintillans), dies at 72
  • 1702 Margaret Fell, English founder of the Religious Society of Friends known as the "mother of Quakerism," dies at about 87
  • 1740 Thomas Tickell, English writer and poet, dies at 54
  • 1774 Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, German painter, dies at 61
  • 1781 James Abercrombie, British general (Commander-in-Chief of forces in North America during French and Indian wars) (b. 1706)
  • 1786 Alexander Cozens, English water colors painter, dies at about 68
  • 1792 Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, German theologian and adventurer, dies at 50
  • 1794 Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, French lawyer and statesman, executed at 72
  • 1839 Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, French explorer, dies at 70

Person of interestWilliam Wordsworth

1850 William Wordsworth, English Romantic poet (The Prelude), dies at 80

  • 1853 Auguste Laurent, French chemist who laid the foundations of organic chemistry, dies of tuberculosis at 45
  • 1865 James Dearing, U.S. Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 24
  • 1878 Friedrich Preller the elder, German landscape painter, dies at 73
  • 1880 Raden Saleh [Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman], Indonesian romantic painter, dies at about 69
  • 1889 Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly, French writer and critic, dies at 80
  • 1895 Carl Ludwig, German physiologist and physician (1884 Copley medal), dies at 78
  • 1899 Dandridge McRae, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 69
  • 1905 Gédéon Ouimet, Quebec politician (b. 1823)
  • 1907 Alfred Packer, American prospector 'The Colorado Cannibal', dies at 65
  • 1915 Rupert Brooke, British WW I poet (Lithuania, The Soldier), dies at 27
  • 1926 Joseph Pennell, American artist and author, dies at 68
  • 1929 Rudolf W. Nilsen, Norwegian poet (Hverdagen), dies at 28
  • 1936 Teresa de la Parra, Venezuelan writer (Memorias de Mamá Blanca), dies at 46
  • 1945 Albrecht Haushofer, German geographer, writer and member of the German Resistance to Nazism, shot by Nazi SS troopers at 42
  • 1951 Charles G. Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States, banker and 1925 Nobel Peace Prize winner, dies at 85
  • 1952 Minus van Looi [Benjamin van der Voort], Flemish writer, dies at 60
  • 1952 Julius Freed [Fried], American namesake and co-founder of Orange Julius fast food chain, dies at 64
  • 1955 Robert Herman Woltjer, Dutch Minister of Education, dies at 76
  • 1960 Cornelis Jan Bakkerr, Dutch/US nuclear physicist, dies
  • 1960 Toyohiko Kagawa, Japanese Christian social reformer & writer, dies at 71
  • 1971 William Tubman, President of Liberia (1944-71), dies at 76
  • 1973 Otto Eissfeldt, German old testament scholar, dies at 85
  • 1975 R D Brinkmann, writer, dies
  • 1979 Blair Peach, New Zealand-born anti-fascist (b. 1946)
  • 1981 Josep Pla, Spanish journalist & author, dies at 84
  • 1985 Sam Ervin, American politician (U.S. Senator from North Carolina) and Watergate committee chairman, dies at 88
  • 1988 Arthur Michael, Lord Ramsey/archbishop of Canterbury, dies
  • 1991 Peter Bailey, Graphic designer/calligrapher, dies
  • 1992 Deron Johnson, 1965 NL run leader, dies of cancer at 53
  • 1992 Satyajit Ray, Indian director (Distant Thunder, Agantuk), dies at 70
  • 1993 Bertus Aafjes, poet/writer (World is a Muze), dies at 78
  • 1993 Lalith Athulathmudali, Sri Lankan minister, murdered at 59
  • 1994 Cassidy Clinton Cremer, author (John Cremer), murdered at 30
  • 1994 Cecile Dreesmann, Dutch textile artist & son of Anton Dreesmann, dies at 74
  • 1995 Robert Selby Taylor, Anglican bishop, dies at 86
  • 1996 P. L. Travers, Australian-English writer (Mary Poppins), dies at 96
  • 1996 Jean Victor Allard, Canadian army general, dies at 82
  • 1998 Konstantinos Karamanlis, Greek politician, President of Greece (1980-85), dies at 91

Person of interestJames Earl Ray

1998 James Earl Ray, American assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., dies while still under detention of complications related to kidney disease and liver failure caused by hepatitis C at 70

Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. James Earl Ray
Assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.
James Earl Ray
  • 2002 Manfred Bieler, German writer (The Rabbit is Me), dies at 67
  • 2003 James H. Critchfield, American C.I.A. officer, dies at 86
  • 2003 Fernand Fonssagrives, French photographer, dies at 92
  • 2005 Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, Australian politician, Premier of Queensland (1968-87), dies at 94
  • 2005 Al Grassby, Australian immigration minister, dies at 78
  • 2005 Romano Scarpa, Italian-born comic artist, dies at 77
  • 2006 Johnnie Checketts, New Zealand fighter pilot, dies at 94
  • 2007 Paul Erdman, Canadian-born American economist & author, dies at 74
  • 2007 David Halberstam, American journalist, historian and author (Pulitzer 1964), dies at 73

Person of interestBoris Yeltsin

2007 Boris Yeltsin, Russian politician & 1st President of Russian Federation (1991-99), dies of congestive heart failure at 76

Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Russian President
Boris Yeltsin
  • 2008 William H. Stewart, 10th US Surgeon General (1965-69), dies at 86
  • 2011 Geoffrey Russell, 4th Baron Ampthill, dies at 89
  • 2011 Max van der Stoel, Dutch politician & Minister of Foreign Affairs (PvdA), dies at 86
  • 2013 Robert W. Edgar, American businessman and politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th district), dies from a heart attack at 69
  • 2016 Banharn Silpa-archa, Prime Minister of Thailand (1995-96), dies at 83
  • 2020 Norbert Blüm, German politician, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, dies at 84