It happened today – this day in history – January 23

1368: Zhu Yuanzhang ascends to the throne of China as Hongwu Emperor, initiating the Ming Dynasty.

1556: The deadliest earthquake ever recorded kills 830,000 in Shaanxi Province, China.

1570: Civil war breaks out then the Earl of Moray, regent of Scotland, is assassinated.

1643: Sir Thomas Fairfax takes Leeds for Parliamentarians in the English Civil War.

1668: England, The Netherlands and Sweden sign a Triple Alliance against the French.

1719: Liechtenstein becomes a sovereign member state of the Holy Roman Empire.

1806: Death of prime minister William Pitt the Younger aged 46.

1832: French impressionist painter Edouard Manet is born in Paris.

1870: 173 Blackfoot native Americans including 140 women and children, are killed in Montana by the US Army.

1913: The “Young Turks” lead a coup d’etat against the Turkish Government.

1920: The Dutch refuse to turn over former Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the allies.

1924: Ramsay MacDonald forms Britain’s first Labour Government.

1930: Clyde Tombaugh photographs the planet Pluto.

1931: Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova dies pf pneumonia aged 49.

1932: The El Salvador army kills 4,000 protesting farmers.

1944: Norwegian painter Edvard Munch dies aged 80 and bequeaths all of his work to the city of Oslo.

1955: Fourteen people die and dozens are injured when an express train travelling from York to Bristol derails at Sutton Coldfield.

1956: Rock ‘n’ Roll fans in Cleveland aged under 18 are banned from dancing in public unless accompanied by an adult.

1958: Dictator Marcos Perez Jiménez flees Venezuela. On the same day, Hanif Mohammed scores a record 337 runs for Pakistan against the West Indies in just over 16 hours, the longest innings in cricket test history.

1962: British Intelligence officer Kim Philby defects to the Soviet Union.

1967: Pink Floyd begin recording Arnold Layne and Candy And A Current Bun at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea.

1969: Working at Apple, The Beatles record ten takes of the song Get Back.

1971: Riots break out in the Shankill Road area of Belfast.

1972: The entire population of Istanbul is put under 24-hour house arrest.

1973: US president, Richard Nixon, appears on national television to announce “peace with honour” in Vietnam. On the same day, Icelandic volcano Helgafell erupts for the first time in 7,000 years. Also, jazz trombonist Kid Ory dies aged 86.

1976: Singer/actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson dies aged 77.

1978: Guitarist with the band Chicago, Terry Kath, accidentally shoots himself dead. Kath picked up a semi automatic 9mm pistol and, leaning back in a chair, said: “Don’t worry about it … look, the clip is not even in it.” Kath then put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger, unaware that there was still one round in the chamber. On the same day, Sweden becomes the first nation in the world to ban aerosol sprays, believed to be damaging to the ozone layer.


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1983: Bjorn Borg announces his retirement from tennis.

Singles chart:

  1. Down Under – Men At Work
  2. You Can’t Hurry Love – Phil Collins
  3. Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant
  4. The Story Of The Blues – Wah
  5. Sign Of The Times – The Belle Stars
  6. Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
  7. Heartache Avenue – The Maisonettes
  8. Gloria – Laura Branigan
  9. Orville’s Song – Keith Harris and Orville
  10. Too Shy – Kajagoogoo
1983: The Stranglers – Feline

Album chart:

  1. Business As Usual – Men At Work
  2. Raiders Of The Pop Charts – Various Artists
  3. Hello I Must Be Going – Phil Collins
  4. Feline – The Stranglers
  5. Richard Clayderman – Richard Clayderman
  6. The John Lennon Collection – John Lennon
  7. Heartbreaker – Dionne Warwick
  8. The Art Of Falling Apart – Soft Cell
  9. Cacharpaya (Panpipes of the Andes) – Incantation
  10. Greatest Hits – Olivia Newton-John

1985: A House of Lords debate is televised for the first time.

1986: Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley are the first inductees to the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame.

1989: A powerful earthquake strikes Tajikistan. On the same day, Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali dies aged 84.

1990: Allen Collins, guitarist and lead songwriter for Lynyrd Skynyrd dies of pneumonia aged 37.

1991: The world’s largest oil spill is caused by embattled Iraqi forces in Kuwait. On the same day, Tutsis are massacred in and around Ruhengeri, Northern Rwanda.

1993: Graham Gooch scores his 100th century. On the same day, the US female Figure Skating championship is won by Nancy Kerrigan.

1996: The first version of the Java programming language is released.

1999: Princess Caroline of Monaco marries Prince Ernst August of Hanover.

2002: Journalist Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan, and subsequently murdered.

2005: Happy Mondays dancer Bez, wins the £50,000 Celebrity Big Brother prize after receiving 54 per cent of the final viewer vote.

2009: The UK officially enters recession.

2012: The EU agrees to embargo Iranian oil in protest against Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

2013: Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is sent off in the Capital One Cup semi final against Swansea for kicking a ballboy. On the same day, the US armed forces overturn a 1994 ban on women serving in combat.

2014: Justin Bieber is arrested after racing his Lamborghini against another car on a Miami Beach street.

2015: Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is crowned King of Saudi Arabia on the death of this half-brother King Abdullah.

2016: The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil prompts Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador and Jamaica to recommend women delay pregnancies for up to two years.

2017: Bernie Ecclestone is removed as Formula One boss as Liberty Media completes an $8 billion takeover.

2018: Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond retires after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. On the same day, 12 camels are disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel beauty contest in Saudi Arabia after their owners used botox on their lips.

2019: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declares himself acting president amid widespread violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

2020: Actress Annabella Sciorra testifies in court that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein raped her 25 years ago.

2021: American TV host Larry King dies aged 87 of sepsis and kidney failure.

2023: In a speech to the Japanese parliament, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warns the country is on the brink of not being able to function as a society because of its falling birth rate and high life expectancy.

BIRTHDAYS: Gil Gerard, actor, 81; Gary Burton, jazz vibraphonist, 81; Richard Dean Anderson, actress, 74; Robin Zander, singer (Cheap Trick) 71; Princess Caroline of Hanover, 67; Earl Falconer, bassist, (UB40) 67; David Arnold, soundtrack composer, 62; Mariska Hargitay, actress, 60; Andrei Kanchelskis, footballer, 55; Ewen Bremner, actor, 52; Lisa Snowdon, TV presenter, 52; Tiffani Amber Thiessen, actress, 50; Dawn O’Porter, TV presenter, 45; Arjen Robben, Dutch footballer, 40; Steven Taylor, footballer, 38; Conor Wilkinson, footballer, 29; Ruben Loftus-Cheek, footballer, 28.

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