It happened today – on this day in history – February 23

1633: Birth of diarist Samuel Pepys.

1685: Birth of composer George Frideric Handel in Halle, Germany.

1689: William III is proclaimed King of England.

1792: Haydn’s 94th Symphony in G premieres.

1821: Poet John Keats dies of tuberculosis aged 25.

1836: The Alamo is besieged for 13 days by the Mexican army.

1870: Mississippi is readmitted to the US after the civil war.

1886: Premiere of Tchaikovsky’s “Manfred” symphony.

1904: The US acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.

1906: Tommy Burns beats Marvin Hart in 20 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title.

1910: George Bernard Shaw’s “Misalliance” premieres in London.

1919: The Fascist Party is formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini.

1934: Composer Edward Elgar dies aged 76.

1938: Joe Louis KOs Nathan Mann in Round 3 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1940: Folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie writes the lyrics to the song This Land Is Your Land in his room at the Hanover House Hotel in New York.

1941: Plutonium first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.

1945: The US flag is raised over Iwo Jima as he 28th Regiment of the 5th Marines take Mount Suribachi.

1954: The first mass inoculation against polio with the Salk vaccine.

1958: Five-time Formula 1 World Drivers champion Juan Manuel Fangio is kidnapped by Cuban rebels from Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement. He is released soon after the Cuban Grand Prix.


1963: Luciano Pavarotti makes his debut at the Vienna State Opera in “La Traviata”.

1965: On location in The Bahamas, filming begins on the Beatles film Help!

1966: Milton Obote seizes power in Uganda.

1971: US army officer William Calley confesses during his trial for the My Lai Massacre.

1972: Palestinian hijackers who took over a Lufthansa jet two days ago release the crew at an airfield in the Yemen. On the same day Priscilla Presley leaves Elvis and moves into a two bedroomed apartment.

1976: Death of artist L S Lowry aged 88.

1978: Fleetwood Mac win the Album of the Year Grammy for Rumours.

1981: Soldiers and members of the Guardia storm the Spanish Parliament in an attempted military coup.

1985: Stevie Wonder is arrested during an anti-apartheid demonstration outside the South African Embassy in Washington.

1995: Singer Melvin Franklin, the deep bass voice of The Temptations dies of a brain seizure aged 52.

1998: Oasis are banned for life from flying Cathay Pacific Airlines after “abusive and disgusting behaviour” during a flight from Hong Kong to Perth, Australia. On the same day, Osama bin Laden issues a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders.

2000: Death of soccer legend Sir Stanley Matthews aged 85.

2003: Single chart:

  1. All The Things She Said – Tatu
  2. Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake
  3. I Can’t Break Down – Sinead Quinn
  4. Stole – Kelly Rowland
  5. Pain Killer – Turin Brakes
  6. Lose Yourself – Eminem
  7. Year 3000 – Busted
  8. Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous – Good Charlotte
  9. I’ll Be Your Angel – Kira
  10. Familiar Feeling – Moloko
2003: Justin Timberlake – Justified

Album chart:

  1. Justified – Justin Timberlake
  2. Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ – 50 Cent
  3. Greatest Hits – Tom Jones
  4. Let Go – Avril Lavigne
  5. By The Way – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  6. A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay
  7. Stripped – Christina Aguilera
  8. Simply Deep – Kelly Rowland
  9. 100th Window – Massive Attack
  10. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones

2010: EMI studios in Abbey Road, St John’s Wood is made a listed building, protecting it from future planning applications.

2019: Roy Hodgson overtakes Sir Bobby Robson as the oldest man to manage a Premier League club when at 71 years, 198 days his Crystal Palace side beats Leicester City 4-1.

BIRTHDAYS: Brad Whitford, guitarist, (Aerosmith) 69; Howard Jones, musician/singer-songwriter, 66; David Sylvian singer-songwriter (Japan) 63; Kristin Davis, actress, 56; Tamsin Greig, actress, 54; Melinda Messenger, TV presenter/former glamour model, 50; Kelly Macdobald, actress, 45; Josh Gadd, actor, 40; Gareth Barry, footballer, 40; Emily Blunt, actress, 38; Dakota (Hannah) Fanning, actress, 27.