On This Day

Events in History on December 23

  • 619 Boniface V begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 962 Byzantine-Arab Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops storm the city of Aleppo, recovering the tattered tunic of John the Baptist
  • 1482 The Peace of Atrecht (now Arras) concluded between Louis XI of France and Maximilian of Austria, ending the War of the Burgundian Succession
  • 1493 Georg Alt's German translation of Hartmann Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle is published.
  • 1588 "The Day of the Dagger" Henry, Duke of Guise, leader of the Catholic League is assassinated by the bodyguards of King Henry III at the Château de Blois
  • 1620 French huguenots declare war on King Louis XIII
  • 1672 Giovanni Cassini discovers Rhea, a satellite of Saturn
  • 1688 King James II, the last Roman Catholic British monarch flees to France from William of Orange
  • 1690 English astronomer John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it's undiscovered
  • 1692 Nahum Tate is appointed the third Poet Laureate by English monarchs William and Mary
  • 1715 Russian/Prussian troops occupy Stralsund
  • 1724 Emperor Charles VI names Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria land guardian of the Austrian Netherlands
  • 1728 Prussian Emperor Karel VI signs Treaty of Berlin
  • 1751 France sets plan to tax clergymen
  • 1776 Continental Congress negotiates a war loan of $181,500 from France

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1779 Benedict Arnold court-martialed for improper conduct

US General and Turncoat Benedict Arnold
US General and Turncoat
Benedict Arnold

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1783 US General George Washington resigns his military commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Army to Congress

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • 1788 Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1793 Thomas Jefferson warned of slave revolts in West Indies

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

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1815 "Emma" By Jane Austen by published by John Murray in London

Novelist Jane Austen
Jane Austen
  • 1823 "Visit from St Nicholas" by C Moore published in Troy (NY) Sentinel
  • 1832 Dutch troops in Antwerp surrender
  • 1834 Joseph Hansom of London receives patent for Hansom cabs
  • 1852 1st Chinese theater in US, Celestial John, opens in San Francisco

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862 Union General Ben "Beast" Butler is proclaimed a "felon, outlaw & common enemy of mankind" by Jefferson Davis

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis
  • 1876 Turkey's 1st constitution proclaimed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1888 Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping

Painter Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Painter and Sculptor Paul Gauguin
Painter and Sculptor
Paul Gauguin
  • 1899 British Field Marshall Lord Roberts departs Southampton to South Africa for the 2nd Boer War
  • 1899 Tentative Turkish & German treaty on construction of Baghdad railway
  • 1900 As American forces defeat the Filipino insurgents and impose civil authority, some Filipinos form a Federal Party with a platform recognizing US sovereignty
  • 1907 1st all-steel passengar railroad coach completed, Altoona, Pa
  • 1909 Albert I becomes the third King of the Belgians
  • 1911 Frank Wedekind's "Oaha, die Satire der Satire" premieres in Munich
  • 1912 1st "Keystone Kops" film, entitled "Hoffmeyer's Legacy"
  • 1912 Aswan Low Dam in Nile begins operation

AssassinationAssassination Attempt on Lord Charles Hardinge

1912 Indian revolutionary underground in Bengal and Punjab, headed by Rash Behari Bose attempts to assassinate the Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge by throwing a homemade bomb into the Viceroys's Howdah (elephant carriage) during a ceremonial procession through the streets of Delhi. Although wounded, the Viceroy survives. Investigations lead to the Delhi conspiracy trial.
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An assassination attempt on Lord Charles Hardinge (1858-1944) Viceroy of India, illustration from 'Le Petit Journal'
An assassination attempt on Lord Charles Hardinge (1858-1944) Viceroy of India, illustration from 'Le Petit Journal'

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1913 US President Woodrow Wilson signs Federal Reserve Act into law

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson
  • 1914 World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrive in Cairo, Egypt
  • 1916 World War I: Battle of Magdhaba - Allied forces defeat Turkish forces in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.
  • 1917 3 British warships come close to Holland
  • 1919 1st hospital ship built to move wounded naval personnel launched
  • 1919 Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace
  • 1920 Government of Ireland Act / Home Rule Act passed partitioning Ireland
  • 1921 Visva-Bharati University is inaugurated.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1921 Gangster Carlo Gambino enters the United States as an illegal immigrant on the SS Vincenzo Florio

Gangster Carlo Gambino
Carlo Gambino
  • 1922 BBC Radio began daily newscasts
  • 1922 Pope Pius XI pleas for peace: encyclical Ubi arcano
  • 1926 KEX-AM in Portland OR begins radio transmissions
  • 1930 Police Bureau of Criminal Alien Investigation started in NYC
  • 1933 Marinus van der Lubbe sentenced to death
  • 1933 Train crash in Eastern Paris; 230 die
  • 1936 Colombia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty
  • 1937 First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.
  • 1938 Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.
  • 1939 Finnish counter offensive at Summa
  • 1939 South Australia score 7-821 against Queensland
  • 1940 John Van Druten's "Old Acquaintance" premieres in NYC
  • 1941 American forces on Wake Island surrender to Japanese
  • 1941 British troops overrun Benghazi, Libya
  • 1941 Japan begins assault on Rangoon, Burma
  • 1942 Allies air attack on Den Helder

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1943 Gen Bernard Montgomery told he is appointed commandant for D-day

British WWII Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
British WWII Field Marshal
Bernard Montgomery
  • 1944 Beginning of harsh winter
  • 1945 Frederick Astons "Cinderella" premieres in London
  • 1945 Pope Pius XII encyclical Orientals omnes, about Rutheense church
  • 1946 Belgian Council of State forms
  • 1946 Highest ridership in NYC subway history (8.8 million passengers)
  • 1946 University of Tennessee refuses to play Duquesne University as they suggested they may use a black player in their basketball game

InventionHistoric Invention

1947 Transistor invented by John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley in Bell Labs

Physicist and Electrical Engineer John Bardeen
Physicist and Electrical Engineer
John Bardeen
Physicist William Shockley
William Shockley
Physicist Walter Houser Brattain
Walter Houser Brattain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1948 "Cinderella" the first full-length ballet by Frederick Ashton with music by Sergei Prokofiev is first presented by Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden, London

Choreographer Frederick Ashton
Frederick Ashton
  • 1951 Last Belgian communities get electricity
  • 1952 Alain Bombard arrives in Barbados after 65 days at sea proving his theory that a shipwrecked person could survive with almost no provisions, despite having lost 25 kg (65 lbs) in weight
  • 1954 The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1958 Abdallah Ibrahim forms government of Morocco
  • 1960 De Quay's Dutch government falls
  • 1960 King Saud of Saudi Arabia takes power
  • 1961 Train accident in Italy, 70 die

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 Fidel Castro announces Cuba will release 1,113 prisoners from failed 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion for $62M worth of food & medical supplies

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • 1962 Cuba starts returning US prisoners from Bay of Pigs invasion
  • 1962 AFL Championship, Jeppesen Stadium, Houston: Dallas Texans beat Houston Oilers, 20-17; Tommy Brooker lands winning 25-yard field goal in overtime
  • 1963 Beach Boys 1st appearance on "Shindig"
  • 1963 Fire on Greek ship Laconia, 128 die
  • 1964 India & Ceylon hit by cyclone, about 4,850 killed
  • 1967 Brussels: NATO Council accept "Flexible Response" strategy
  • 1968 1st US case of space motion sickness
  • 1968 82 members of US intelligence ship Pueblo released by North Korea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders become the 1st men to orbit the Moon

Astronaut Frank Borman
Frank Borman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 7,511th performance of Agatha Christie's play "The Mousetrap" (record)

Novelist Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
  • 1970 French author Régis Debray freed in Bolivia
  • 1970 NYC World Trade Center reaches highest point (411 m)
  • 1970 USSR performs nuclear test

  • 1970 A Protestant man is shot dead at his home in Belfast, North Ireland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971 British Prime Minister Edward Heath visits Northern Ireland and expresses his determination to end the violence

British Prime Minister Edward Heath
British Prime Minister
Edward Heath
  • 1972 16 plane crash survivors rescued after 70d, survived by cannabalism
  • 1972 6.25 Earthquake destroys central Managua Nicaragua, 10,000 die
  • 1972 Chandrasekhar takes 8-79 India v England at Delhi
  • 1973 6 Persian Gulf nations double their oil prices
  • 1973 French Caravelle airliner crashes in Morocco, 106 killed
  • 1975 Congress passes Metric Conversion Act
  • 1975 Peter Seitz makes Andy Messersmith & Dave McNally free agents
  • 1979 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1980 Sam Shepard's "True West" premieres in NYC
  • 1982 The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces it has identified dangerous levels of dioxin in the soil of Times Beach, Missouri.
  • 1983 Journal Science publishes 1st report on nuclear winter
  • 1986 Experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager, complete 1st nonstop, round-the-world flight without refueling lands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, serving a life sentence for attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford, escapes from Alderson Prison

38th US President Gerald Ford
38th US President
Gerald Ford
  • 1990 Slovenians vote to secede from Yugoslavia
  • 1991 NY Daily News publisher Kevin Maxwell resigns

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Fearing arrest by the FBI, Whitey Bulger flees Boston, and successfully hides from law enforcement for the next 16 years

Gangster Whitey Bulger
Whitey Bulger
  • 1996 Four women ordained priests in Jamaica, 1st in 330-year Anglican history
  • 1997 Terry Nichols found guilty of manslaughter in Oklahoma bombing
  • 1997 US Agriculture Department estimates it costs $149,820 to raise a child to 18
  • 2002 A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.
  • 2003 PetroChina Chuandongbei natural gas field explosion, Guoqiao, Kai, Chongqing, China, killing at least 234.
  • 2004 Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean is hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.
  • 2005 Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 217 from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Aktau, Kazakhstan crashes shortly after takeoff killing 23 people.
  • 2005 Chad declares a state of war against Sudan following a December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.
  • 2012 200 civilians are killed by Syrian government warplanes in Helfaya, Syria
  • 2012 The Seleka rebel coalition takes over Bambari, the third largest town in the Central African Republic
  • 2016 United Nations Security Council adopts a landmark resolution demanding a halt to all Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. Resolution 2334 was moved by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela and passed 14-0 with a US abstention .