It happened today – 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 is 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 earlier 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.

1986: Singles chart:

  1. When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going – Billy Ocean
  2. Chain Reaction – Diana Ross
  3. Starting Together – Su Pollard
  4. Eloise – The Damned
  5. Burning Heart – Survivor
  6. How Will I Know – Whitney Houston
  7. Love Missile F1-11 – Sigue Sigue Sputnik
  8. Don’t Waste My Time – Paul Hardcastle
  9. System Addict – Five Star
  10. Manic Monday – The Bangles
1986: Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms

Album chart:

  1. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  2. Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston
  3. Rocky IV – Original Soundtrack
  4. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  5. Be Yourself Tonight – Eurythmics
  6. Hunting High And Low – A-Ha
  7. Jonathan King’s Entertainment USA – Various Artists
  8. The Colour Of Spring – Talk Talk
  9. Bangs And Crashes – Go West
  10. The Broadway Album – Barbra Streisand

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.

2010: Abbey Road Studios in 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.

2020: The first major COVID-19 outbreak in Europe with 152 cases and three deaths in Italy, prompting emergency lockdown measures.

2021: Golfer Tiger Woods crashes his car driving south of Los Angeles, breaking both his legs.

Emily Blunt

BIRTHDAYS: Brad Whitford, guitarist, (Aerosmith) 70; Howard Jones, musician/singer-songwriter, 67; David Sylvian singer-songwriter (Japan) 64; Kristin Davis, actress, 57; Tamsin Greig, actress, 55; Melinda Messenger, TV presenter/former glamour model, 51; Kelly Macdobald, actress, 46; Josh Gadd, actor, 41; Gareth Barry, footballer, 41; Emily Blunt, actress, 39; (Carlos Henrique) Casimiro, footballer, 30; Dakota (Hannah) Fanning, actress, 28.