It happened today – this day in history – December 23

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: Astronomer John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it’s undiscovered.

1779: Turncoat US general Benedict Arnold is court-martialed for improper conduct.

1815: The Jane Austen novel “Emma” is published.

1834: Death of economist Thomas Malthus aged 68.

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

1912: The first “Keystone Kops” film, entitled “Hoffmeyer’s Legacy” is released.

1922: The BBC begins daily newscasts.

1930: Bette Davis arrives in Hollywood under contract to Universal Studios.

1941: American forces on Wake Island surrender to the Japanese.

1947: The transistor is invented by physicists John Bardeen, William Shockley and Waler Houser Brattain.

1948: Hideki Tojo, Japanese Prime Minister during the Second World War, is hanged for war crimes aged 64.

1954: The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray in Boston, Massachusetts.

1956: The United Nations Emergency Force takes over in Egypt after British and French forces withdraw from Port Said and Port Fuad ending the Suez Crisis.

1959: Chuck Berry is arrested after taking 14 year old Janice Norine (who unbeknown to Berry was working as a prostitute), across a state line. He is sentenced to 5 years jail but after racist comments by the judge, Berry is freed.

1960: King Saud of Saudi Arabia takes power.

1964: Beach Boy Brian Wilson has a nervous breakdown during a flight from Los Angeles to Houston.

1966: The music show Ready, Steady Go! Is broadcast for the final time on ITV.

1968: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders aboard Apollo 8 become the first men to orbit the Moon.

1972: Ten thousand people are feared dead after a two-hour earthquake rips through the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

1981: Geoffrey Boycott becomes leading run-scorer in test cricket with 8033.

1985: Judas Priest fans Raymond Belknap and James Vance shot themselves after listening to the Judas Priest album ‘Stained Class.’ The two had drunk beer, smoked marijuana and then listened to hours of the album. Afterwards they took a shotgun to a nearby school playground where Belknap shot and killed himself. Vance blew away his jaw, mouth and nose but lived for more than three years.

1987: Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, serving a life sentence for attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford escapes from prison.

1992: Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel dies aged 42.

1996: Death of jazz musician and club owner Ronnie Scott.

2006: Death of comedian Charlie Drake aged 81.

2007: Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson dies of kidney failure aged 82.

2016: The UN Security Council adopts a landmark resolution demanding a halt to all Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.

BIRTHDAYS: Akihito, former emperor of Japan, 86; Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist (Jefferson Airplane) 79; Harry Shearer, comedy actor, 76; Luther Grosvenor, guitarist (Mott The Hoople) 70; Adrian Belew, guitarist (King Crimson) 70; Anthony Phillips, guitarist, 68; Trisha Goddard, TV presenter, 62; Carol Smillie, TV personality, 58; Eddie Vedder, singer (Pearl Jam) 55; Carla Bruni, model/singer 52; Harry Judd, drummer (McFly) 34.


Mick Ferris

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