It happened today – this day in history – March 23

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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 s ame 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 installed at the President’s desk in the White House.

1933: The German Reichstag grants Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.

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.

1956: Sudan becomes independent.

1960: Explorer 8 fails to reach Earth orbit.

1964: John Lennon’s book of verse and rhyme ‘In His Own Write’ was published in the UK. On the same day, actor Peter Lorre dies of a stroke aged 59.

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

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.

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.

1983: US President Ronald Reagan introduces the Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”).

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

1985: Billy Joel married model Christie Brinkley on a boat moored alongside the Statue Of Liberty.

1987: 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 of died aged 41 from injuries incurred when the band Smokie’s tour bus crashed during a hailstorm in Cologne, Germany.

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

2001: 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, school friend of Paul McCartney and George Harrison and The Beatles’ most trusted confidante, who ran the Apple Corps music empire for the Beatles from 1970 – 2007 died 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.

BIRTHDAYS: Barry Cryer, comedy writer, 85; Tony TS McPhee, guitarist (The Groundhogs) 76; Michael Nyman, composer, 76; Alan Bleasdale, screenwriter, 74; Dave Bartram, singer/band manager (Showaddywaddy) 68; Chaka Khan (Yvette Stevens) 67; Sir Steve Redgrave, rower, 58; Marti Pellow (Mark McLoughlin) singer, 54; Damon Albarn, singer (Blur/Gorillaz) 52; Abe Laboriel Jr, drummer (Paul McCartney’s band) 49; Gail Porter, TV presenter, 49; Joe Calzaghe, boxer, 48; Keri Russell, actress, 44; Sir Chris Hoy, cyclist, 44; Russell Howard, comedian, 40; Mo Farah, athlete, 37; Princess Eugenie, 30.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]