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.

1896: Woolwich Arsenal full-back Joe Powell suffers a horrific broken arm in a United League match at Kettering Town. Dirt gets into the wound, causing tetanus and the arm is amputated. The 26-year old dies six days later.

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.

1976: Ten hours after his last arrest, Jerry Lee Lewis is collared 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. On the same day, Scotland’s top ref, John Gordon, and linesmen Rollo Kyle and David McCartney are suspended by the Scottish FA after admitting they accepted ‘excessive hospitality’ from AC Milan before the UEFA Cup tie against Levski Spartak.

1979: Keith Richards’ girlfriend Anita Pallenburg is 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.

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.


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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, dies 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 dies 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.

1997: Singles chart:

  1. Perfect Day – Various Artists
  2. Barbie Girl – Aqua
  3. Wind Beneath My Wings – Steven Houghton
  4. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
  5. Never Ever – All Saints
  6. Ain’t That Just The Way – Lutricia McNeal
  7. Tell Him – Barbra Streisand & Celine Dion
  8. Smack My Bitch Up – The Prodigy
  9. Crush On You – Aaron Carter
  10. Let’s Go Round Again – Louise
1997: The Verve – Urban Hymns

Album chart:

  1. Let’s Talk About Love – Celine Dion
  2. Spiceworld – The Spice Girls
  3. Urban Hymns – The Verve
  4. Reload – Metallica
  5. Greatest Hits – Eternal
  6. Like You Do: Best Of – The Lightning Seeds
  7. Paint The Sky With Stars: The Best Of: Enya
  8. White On Blonde – Texas
  9. Backstreet’s Back – The Backstreet Boys
  10. Lennon Legend: The Very Best Of – John Lennon

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.

2020: AstraZeneca is the third drug maker to report an effective vaccine for COVID-19.

BIRTHDAYS: Alan Mullery, footballer, 80; Franco Nero, actor, 80; Alan Paul (Wichinsky), singer (Manhattan Transfer) 72; Marcia Griffiths, singer, 72; Bruce Hornsby, singer/pianist, 67; Shane Gould, Australian swimmer, 65; John “Jellybean” Benitez, music producer, 64; Vincent Cassel, actor, 55; Russell Watson, singer, 55; Kirsty Young, journalist/broadcaster, 53; Zoë Ball, broadcaster, 51; Alf-Inge Håland, Norwegian footballer, 49; Kayvan Novak, actor/comedian, 44; Alison Mosshart, singer-songwriter (The Kills/The Dead Weather) 43; Kelly Brook (Parsons) model/broadcaster, 42; Miley Ray (Destiny Hope) Cyrus, singer/actress, 29; James Maddison, footballer, 25.

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