It happened today – this day in history – April 23

871: Death of Ethelred I, King of Wessex.

1014: King Brian Boru of Ireland defeats Viking forces at Battle of Clontarf, freeing Ireland from foreign control.

1124: Death of Alexander I, King of Scots.

1445: Henry VI married Margaret of Anjou.

1564: Birth of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon.

1597: Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is first performed on his 33rd birthday, with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance.

1616: Death of William Shakespeare on his 52nd birthday.

1661: Charles II is crowned in London.

1702: Queen Anne is crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1775: Birth of landscape artist J. M. W. Turner.

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

1850: Poet William Wordsworth dies aged 80.

1861: Gen Robert E Lee is named commander of Virginia Confederate forces in the American Civil War.

1867: Queen Victoria and Napoleon III turn down plans for a channel tunnel.

1915: War poet Rupert Brooke dies aged 27.

1939: The first performance of Béla Bartok’s 2nd Concerto for violin.

1959: The first heliport in Britain opens in London.

1960: The Nerk Twins appeared at The Fox And Hounds in Caversham, Berks. It was John Lennon and Paul McCartney who were staying at Paul’s aunt’s pub.

1968: 5 & 10p pieces replace shilling and two-shilling pieces.

1969: Sirhan Sirhan sentenced to death for killing Bobby Kennedy.

1971: Soyuz 10 is launched; cosmonauts become first in Salyut 1 space station.

1982: The Sinclair ZX Spectrum is released.

1984: AIDS-virus identified as HTLV-III (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). On the same day, jazz pianist Red Garland dies of a heart attack aged 60.

1986: Director Otto Preminger dies age 79.

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.

1990: Death of actress Paulette Goddard (Marion Levy) aged 79.

1991: Founder member of The New York Dolls Johnny Thunders (John Anthony Genzale, Jr), died of a drug overdose.

1992: McDonald’s opens its 1st fast-food restaurant in China. On the same day, Princess Anne (the Princess Royal) and Captain Mark Phillips divorce after 19 years of marriage.

1993: Eritrea votes to secede from Ethiopia.

1996: P L Travers, writer of Mary Poppins, dies aged 96.

1998: James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., dies while still under detention aged 70.

2007: First President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, dies of congestive heart failure aged 76.

2011: Death of Only Fools And Horses writer John Sullivan.

2012: Rangers FC owner, Craig Whyte, is banned for life from any involvement in Scottish football. On the same day, 38,000 London Marathon entrants have their home and email contacts published in a data protection breach.

2013: West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle scores the fastest century in history (from 30 balls).

2018: A van is deliberately driven into pedestrians in Toronto, Canada, killing 10 and injuring 13.

2019: Southampton striker Shane Long scores fastest goal in Premier League history when he nets after 7.69 seconds in 1-1 draw at Watford.

BIRTHDAYS: Lee Majors, actor, 81; John Miles, singer/songwriter 71; Michael Moore, film maker, 66; Captain Sensible (Ray Burns), singer/musician 65; David Gedge, singer-guitarist (The Wedding Present) 60; John Hannah, actor 58; Paul Clifford, bassist (The Wonder Stuff) 52; John Cena, wrestler/actor, 43; John Oliver, comedian/TV host, 43; Taio Cruz, singer/producer, 38.Alistair Brownlee, athlete, 32; Gigi (Jelena) Hadid, model, 25; Josh Kiszka, vocalist (Greta van Fleet), 24; Jake Kiszka, guitarist (Greta van Fleet) 24; Prince Louis of Cambridge, 2.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]