This Day in History - August 23

August 23

  634 – Arabian Caliph, Abu Bakr, dies

1244 – Frederick II and his Turks expel the Crusaders from Jerusalem

1305 – Scottish patriot William Wallace faces a gruesome death. He is hanged, drawn, beheaded and quartered in London

1541 – On his third voyage to North America, Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec

1711 – The British unsuccessfully attempt to invade Canada by sea

1754 – The King of France who was executed by guillotine, Louis XVI is born

1755 – French geographer, Jean-Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy, is born

1784 – During the American Revolution, four counties in North Carolina declare their independence as the state of Franklin. These counties would later become Tennessee

1814 – First lady Dolley Madison saves a portrait of George Washington from being stolen by looting British troops during the War of 1812

1819 – American naval officer, Oliver Hazard Perry, dies

1821 – Spain grants Mexican independence as a constitutional monarchy

1861 – Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow is placed under house arrest in Washington, D.C. by Allan Pinkerton, who was the head of the new secret service agency

1863 – Union forces cease their first attacks on Fort Sumter. It is badly broken up but unconquered

1864 – Prime Minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos, is born

1869 – Edgar Lee Master, the author of Spoon River Anthology, which will deeply influence writers in the 1920’s, is born

1877 – During the Old West, John Armstrong captures John Wesley Hardin in a Florida rail car and returns him to Texas to stand trial for murder

1883 – US general who fought against the Japanese on Corregidor in the Philippines but was forced into surrender, Jonathan Wainwright, is born

1898 – Biologist who despite never having graduated from high school, won the Nobel Prize for his work on the sub-structure of the cell, Albert Claude, is born

1900 – The National Negro Business League is established by Booker T. Washington in Boston, Massachusetts

1902 – Fanny Farmer, the pioneer of the nutrition for health movement and the woman who changed the way Americans prepare food by advocating the use of standardized measurements, opens the School of Cookery in Boston

1904 – Harold D. Weed of Canastota, New York, patents the tire chain

1912 – Dancer and actor, Gene Kelly, is born

1914 – Emperor of Japan declares war on Germany

1914 – In their first confrontation on European soil since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the British Expeditionary Force fight with the German 1st Army over the Mons Canal in Belgium. The Battle of Mons was the last of four Battles of the Frontiers during World War I

1926 – American actor Rudolph Valentino dies, leading to bizarre worldwide hysteria and even several suicides

1926 – Anthropologist, Clifford Geertz, is born

1927 – Immigrant laborers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed for a robbery they didn’t commit despite many protests. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis established a memorial in their honor in 1977

1931 – Molecular biologist H.O. Smith is born

1934 – Professional football player and sports announcer, Sonny “Christian” Jurgensen is born

1934 – Actress, Barbara Eden, is born

1935 – Shakespeare Prize recipient and the youngest director of both Britain’s National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Sir Roy Colin Strong, is born

1938 – Songwriter, Roger John Reginald Greenaway, is born

1939 – Joseph Stalin and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany allowing Adolf Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland

1942 – Germans attack major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad

1942 – Youngest principal in the New York City Ballet, ballerina Patricia McBride is born

1944 – German SS engineers begin placing explosive charges around the Eiffel Tower in Paris

1946 – Drummer in The Who, Keith Moon, is born

1950 – Approximately 77,000 members of the US Army Organized Reserve Corps are called involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War

1951 – Queen Noor of Jordan, born as Lisa Najeeb Halaby, is born

1951 – President of Chechnya, Akhmad Kadyrov, is born

1952 – Seven Arab States are linked in military, political and economic alliance as the Arab League security pact is signed

1954 – First flight of C-130 Hercules transport flight

1956 – Mathematician and creator of the Floer homology, Andreas Floer, is born

1958 – People’s Liberation Army bombards the island of Quemoy during Chinese Civil War beginning the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis

1961 – During the Tutsi-Hutu conflict, Belgium sends troops to Rwanda-Urundi

1965 – Screenwriter and director and Academy Award-winning co-writer of Pulp Fiction, Roger Avary, is born

1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from the moon

1966 – During the Vietnam War, American cargo ship, Baton Rouge Victory, hits a mine laid by the Viet Cong in the Tao River. Seven crewmen were lost, and the half-submerged ship blocked the route from the South Vietnamese capital to the sea

1968 – Communist forces launch an offensive, using rockets and mortar attacks on various cities and military installations, including the US airfield at Da Nang during the Vietnam War

1970 – Lou Reed plays his last show with the Velvet Underground

1975 – Pathet Lao communists occupy Vientiane, Laos

1977 – Bryan Allen and his Gossamer Condor, win the Kremer prize for the first human-powered aircraft to fly a one-mile, figure-eight course

1978 – Basketball player, Kobe Bryant, is born

1979 – Iranian army launches offensive against Kurds

1979 – Bolshoi Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defects in New York City during the Cold War

1988 – Basketball player Jeremy Lin is born

1989 – Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose accepts a punishment for betting on baseball and is banned permanently from the game

1990 – Armenia declares independence from USSR

1990 – East and West Germany announce they will unite on Oct. 3

1996 – Osama bin Laden issues warning entitled “A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.”

1999 – The first cases of West Nile Virus are reported in New York City

2000 – First Survivor finale airs and Richard Hatch is declared the winner

2006 – After eight years in captivity, Natascha Kampusch, abducted at the age of 10, escapes from captor Wolfgang Priklopil

2006 – Canadian bandleader and trumpet player, Maynard Ferguson, dies

2011 – National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab Al-Azizia compound during 2011 Libyan Civil War and overthrow Muammar al-Gaddafi

2011 – A 5.8 earthquake in Mineral, Virginia damages the Washington Monument leading it to close for repairs


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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