It happened today – this day in history – March 23

59AD: Death of Roman Empress Agrippina aged 43 – possibly murdered by her son Nero.

1743: Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” premieres in London.

1801: Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, strangled, and trampled to death in his bedroom.

1808: Napoleon’s brother Joseph takes the throne of Spain.

1857: Elisha Otis installs his first elevator at 488 Broadway in New York City.

1858: The streetcar is patented by E A Gardner of Philadelphia.

1878: Wanderers beat Royal Engineers, 3–1 in the FA Cup final at Kennington Oval.

1879: War of the Pacific: Chile successfully takes over Arica and Tarapacá, leaving Bolivia a landlocked country.

1881: The Boers and Britain sign a peace accord; end the first Boer War.

1888: George Mawson wins the Grand National on 40/1 outsider Playfair.

1889: The Woolwich Ferry officially opens.

1903: The Wright brothers first file a patent for a flying machine.

1908: American diplomat Durham Stevens is attacked by Korean assassins Jeon Myeong-un and Jang In-hwan. He dies two days later.

1918: Lithuania proclaims independence. On the same day, German forces advance 14 miles to the Somme River.

1919: Benito Mussolini forms the Fascist movement in Milan. On the same day, the eighth Congress of the Russian Communist Party re-establishes a five-member Politburo – Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Kamenev and Krestinsky – which becomes the centre of political power in the Soviet Union.

1921: Germany announces it will be unable to meet its First World War reparation payments.

1923: Capt. Tuppy Bennett wins the Grand National on 100/6 shot Sergeant Murphy.

1929: The first telephone is installed at the President’s desk in the White House.

1933: The German Reichstag grants Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.

1934: Gerry Wilson wins the Grand National on Golden Miller in a race record 9:20.04.

1936: Italy, Austria and Hungary sign the Pact of Rome.

1942: Japanese forces occupy the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

1945: US Navy ships bomb the Japanese island of Okinawa in preparation for the Allied invasion. On the same day, the British 7th Black Watch crosses the Rhine into Germany. Also, Prime Minister Winston Churchill visits Field Marshal Montgomery’s headquarter in Straelen and the Swallow Sidecar Company agrees to change its name to Jaguar.

1956: Sudan becomes independent. On the same day, Pakistan is proclaimed an Islamic republic.

1960: Explorer 8 fails to reach Earth orbit.

1964: John Lennon’s book of verse and rhyme ‘In His Own Write’ is published in the UK.


1965: Gemini 3 is launched, the first US two-man space flight (Gus Grissom and John Young).

1967: At a ceremony held at the Playhouse Theatre in London, The Beatles are awarded three Ivor Novello awards for 1966. None of the band attend.

1968: France retains the Five Nations Rugby Championship with an 14-9 win over Wales at the National Stadium, Cardiff.

1973: Yoko Ono is granted permanent residence in the USA.

1977: The Labour government survives a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons thanks to support from the Liberals.

1979: Larry Holmes TKOs Osvaldo Ocasio in Round 7 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1980: The deposed Shah of Iran arrives in Egypt. On the same day, 18-year-old Tracey Austin wins her only WTA Tour Championship, defeating Martina Navratilova, and Lee Trevino wins the PGA Tournament Players Championship by one stroke over Ben Crenshaw.

1981: The government bans all animal transport to contain an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

1983: President Reagan unveils plans to combat nuclear war in space. The Strategic Defence Initiative, which becomes known as Star Wars, proposes a defensive shield using laser or particle beam technology to intercept and destroy incoming missiles.

1984: The World Ice Dancing Championship in Ottawa is won by Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean of Great Britain.

1985: Singer-songwriter Billy Joel marries model Christie Brinkley on a boat moored alongside the Statue Of Liberty.

1986: Singles chart:

  1. Living Doll – Cliff Richard and the Young Ones
  2. Chain Reaction – Diana Ross
  3. Absolute Beginners – David Bowie
  4. Touch Me (I Want To Feel Your Body) – Samantha Fox
  5. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke
  6. You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing
  7. Hi Ho ilveer – Jim Diamond
  8. Manic Monday – The Bangles
  9. Kiss – Prince
  10. Move Away – Culture Club
1986: Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms

Album chart:

  1. Hit 4 – Various Artists
  2. Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
  3. Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston
  4. Black Celebration – Depeche Mode
  5. Hit For Lovers – Various Artists
  6. Welcome To The Real World – Mr Mister
  7. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins
  8. Rocky IV – Original Soundtrack
  9. The Hymns Album – Huddersfield Choral Society
  10. Be Yourself Tonight – Eurythmics

1987: More than 30 people are injured in an IRA car bomb explosion at the UK Army headquarters in Rheindahlen, West Germany. On the same day, Former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigns as chairman of the Social Democratic Party.

1990: Former Exxon Valdez captain, Joseph Hazelwood, is ordered to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay $50,000 in restitution for the 1989 oil spill.

1995: Former Black Lace singer Alan Barton dies aged 41 when Smokie’s tour bus crashes during a hailstorm in Cologne.

1998: Titanic wins the Oscar for best picture and James Cameron best director at the Academy Awards.

2001: The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.

2003: Roman Polanski wins the best director Oscar for The Pianist at the Academy Awards.

2008: Neil Aspinall, The Beatles’ former road manager and most trusted friend, who ran the Apple Corps music empire for the band from 1970 – 2007 dies in New York from cancer aged 66.

2011: Actress Elizabeth Taylor dies aged 79.

2015: TV personality Kris Jenner and athlete Bruce Jenner divorce after 13 years of marriage.

2020: COVID-19 lockdowns are imposed in South Africa and the UK. On the same day, African American Daniel Prude dies after being physically retrained by police in Rochester, New York, including having a hood put over his head.

2021: The giant cargo ship Ever Given gets stuck across the Suez Canal, completely blocking it to shipping. On the same day, film star George Segal dies aged 87.

2022: World tennis number 1 Ashleigh Barty announces her retirement from the sport at just 25 years-old.

Princess Eugenie

BIRTHDAYS: Tony McPhee, guitarist (The Groundhogs) 79; Michael Nyman, composer, 79; Alan Bleasdale, screenwriter, 77; Chaka Khan (Yvette Stevens), singer, 70; Sir Steve Redgrave, Olympic rower, 61; Marti Pellow (Mark McLoughlin) singer (Wet Wet Wet), 57; Damon Albarn, singer-songwriter (Blur/Gorillaz) 55; Abe Laboriel, Jr, drummer (Paul McCartney) 52; Gail Porter, TV presenter, 52; Joe Calzaghe, boxer, 51; Keri Russell, actress, 47; Sir Chris Hoy, cyclist, 47; Michelle Monaghan, actress, 47; Perez Hiton (Mario Lavandeira), blogger/columnist, 45; Russell Howard, comedian, 43; Sir Mo Farah, athlete, 40; Princess Eugenie, 33.