It happened today – this day in history – November 23

800: Charlemagne arrives in Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III.

1499: Flemish pretender to the English throne Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be the lost son of Edward IV, is hanged for reportedly attempting to escape from Tower of London.

1859: Birth of Billy the Kid (William Bonney) in New York.

1869: The clipper Cutty Sark is launched In Dumbarton.

1887: Actor Boris Karloff (William Pratt) is born in Camberwell

1888: Comedian Harpo (Adolph) Marx is born in New York.

1897: The pencil sharpener is patented by J L Love.

1914: The US Army withdraws from Mexico.

1921: US President Warren G Harding signs the Willis Campell Act forbidding doctors from prescribing beer or liquor for medicinal purposes.

1934: An Anglo-Abyssinian boundary commission in the Ogaden discovers an Italian garrison at Walwal, well within Abyssinian territory.

1942: Chinese steward Poon Lim begins 133 days adrift after British ship the SS Benlomond is torpedoed by a German U-boat and he is the sole survivor.

1943: The British Forces Broadcasting Service begins operations.

1956: Vladimir Kuts of the Soviet Union runs Olympic record 28:45.6 to win the 10,000m at the Melbourne Olympics.

1963: The first episode of Doctor Who is broadcast on the BBC starring William Hartnell as the Doctor.

1970: Arthur Young resigns as Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

1975: Singles chart:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate
  3. D.I.V.O.R.C.E – Billy Connolly
  4. Love Hurts – Jim Capaldi
  5. Money Honey – The Bay City Rollers
  6. Imagine – John Lennon
  7. This Old Heart Of Mine – Rod Stewart
  8. Right Back Where We Started From – Maxine Nightingale
  9. Sky High – Jigsaw
  10. Space Oddity – David Bowie
1975: Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn

Album chart:

  1. 40 Greatest Hits – Perry Como
  2. 40 Golden Greats – Jim Reeves
  3. Favourites – Peters and Lee
  4. Ommadawn – Mike Odfield
  5. Siren – Roxy Music
  6. Atlantic Crossing – Rod Stewart
  7. All Around My Hat – Steeleye Span
  8. We All Had Doctors’ Papers – Max Boyce
  9. Make the Party Last – James Last
  10. Rock Of The Westies – Elton John

1976: Ten hours after his last arrest, Jerry Lee Lewis is nicked again after brandishing a Derringer pistol outside Elvis Presley’s Graceland’s home in Memphis, demanding to see the ‘King’.

1978: Birmingham nightclub Polyanna’s is ordered to stop operating a racist entry policy. It doesn’t comply and the owners are taken to court by the Commission for Racial Equality the following year.

1979: Keith Richards’ girlfriend Anita Pallenburg was cleared by a court of shooting a man found dead at her home. 17-year-old, Scott Cantrell, a part-time groundsman at the house, had shot himself in the head with a gun owned by Keith while in Pallenberg’s bed.


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1980: A series of earthquakes devastate southern Italy, killing 4,800.

1984: Almost 1,000 passengers are trapped in smoke-filled tunnels for three hours after a fire at Oxford Circus underground station.

1985: 58 die as Egyptian commandos storm a hijacked Egyptair jet in Malta. On the same day, Big Joe Turner, writer of the song Shake Rattle & Roll, died of a heart attack aged 75.

1990: Author Roald Dahl dies aged 74.

1991: Freddie Mercury confirms he has AIDS. On the same day, Evander Holyfield TKOs Bert Cooper in Round 7 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1992: Country music singer Roy Acuff died aged 89.

1994: Songwriter Tommy Boyce, whose songs including Last Train To Clarksville and Scooby Doo Where Are You sold over 40million records, commits suicide.

1995: Soul singer and saxophonist Junior Walker (Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr) dies of cancer aged 64.

1996: At least 100 passengers die after a hijacked passenger jet runs out of fuel and crashes into the Indian Ocean.

2003: Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze resigns following weeks of mass protests over flawed elections.

2011: After 11 months of protests, Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh signs a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity.

2013: Manny Pacquaio defeats Brandon Rios to win the WBO welterweight title.

2014: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake strikes central Japan. On the same day, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton wins the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit to clinch his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

2015: President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia bans female genital mutilation.

2017: Brazilian footballer Robinho is sentenced in his absence to nine years in prison for sexual assault in Italy. There is no extradition policy between Brazil and Italy.

2018: Alabama police kill the wrong suspect after a gunman shoots 18-year-old man and 12-year-old girl at Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoovermall.

2019: The Sumatran rhino is officially declared extinct in Malaysia after the last known specimen dies of cancer in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

BIRTHDAYS: Alan Mullery, footballer, 79; Franco Nero, actor, 79; Marcia Griffiths, singer, 71; Bruce Hornsby, singer/pianist, 66; Shane Gould, Australian swimmer, 64; John “Jellybean” Benitez, music producer, 63; Vincent Cassel, actor, 54; Kirsty Young, journalist/broadcaster, 52; Zoë Ball, broadcaster, 50; Alison Mosshart, singer-songwriter (The Kills/The Dead Weather) 42; Kelly Brook (Parsons) model/broadcaster, 41; Miley Ray (Destiny Hope) Cyrus, singer/actress, 28.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]