It happened today – this day in history – February 23

1633: Birth of diarist Samuel Pepys.

1660: Charles XI becomes king of Sweden.

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.


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Album chart:

  1. Pal Joey – Original Soundtrack
  2. The King And I – Original Soundtrack
  3. The Pajama Game – Original Soundtrack
  4. Where Are You – Frank Sinatra
  5. Songs For Swingin’ Lovers – Frank Sinatra

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.

1967: Singles chart:

  1. This Is My Song – Petula Clarrk
  2. Release Me – Engelbert Humperdinck
  3. I’m A Believer – The Monkees
  4. Here Comes My Baby – The Tremeloes
  5. Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles
  6. Let’s Spend The Night Together – The Rolling Stones
  7. Peek-A-Boo – The New Vaudeville Band
  8. Snoopy Versus The Red Baron – The Royal Guardsmen
  9. Matthew And Son – Cat Stevens
  10. Mellow Yellow – Donovan

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.

1995: Singer Melvin Franklin, the deep baritone 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: Soccer legend Sir Stanley Matthews dies 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.

2023: Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is sentenced to 16 years in prison for rape in Los Angeles, on top of the 23 years he is already serving for sex crimes. On the same day, football commentator John Motson dies aged 77.

BIRTHDAYS: Brad Whitford, guitarist, (Aerosmith) 71; Howard Jones, musician/singer-songwriter, 68; David Sylvian singer-songwriter (Japan) 65; Kristin Davis, actress, 58; Tamsin Greig, actress, 56; Melinda Messenger, TV presenter/former glamour model, 52; Kelly Macdonald, actress, 47; Josh Gadd, actor, 42; Gareth Barry, footballer, 42; Emily Blunt, actress, 40; (Carlos Henrique) Casimiro, footballer, 31; Dakota (Hannah) Fanning, actress, 29

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