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Today in History, April 23

by Janie Cahill (2020-05-23)

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303 - Death of St George, patron saint of England.

1014 - High King of Ireland Brian Boru is killed repelling Viking invaders at the battle of Clontarf.

1533 - Catholic Church inquiry declares the marriage of Catherine of Aragon to England's King Henry VIII void.

1616 - Death of two literary giants: British playwright and poet William Shakespeare, aged 52, and Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, whose works included Don Quixote.

1661 - Charles II is crowned King of England.

1728 - Fire destroys a large part of Copenhagen.

1788 - NSW Governor Arthur Phillip selects the site of Parramatta.

1848 - French voters, with universal male suffrage for the first time, go to the polls to elect a national assembly.

1896 - The Vitascope system for projecting movies onto a screen is demonstrated in New York City by Thomas Edison.

1915 - Rupert Brooke, British World War I poet, dies of blood poisoning off the Greek island thác bản giốc of Skiros.

1938 - Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia demand full autonomy.

1941 - King George of the Hellenes and the Greek government flee the Greek mainland from advancing Germans during World War II, and the Greek army surrenders.

1945 - Field Marshal Herman Goering sends a telegram to Adolf Hitler, besieged in Berlin, proposing he take control as Hitler's deputy. Hitler orders his immediate arrest.

1964 - Unknown attackers saw off the head of Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue.

1969 - Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death for the assassination of US Senator Robert F Kennedy, a sentence later reduced to life imprisonment.

1972 - Two US Apollo 16 astronauts blast off from the moon and rejoin command ship for journey back to earth.

1975 - South Vietnam's cabinet resigns as panic grips Saigon and US President Gerald Ford declares the Vietnam War is over.

1980 - Saudi Arabia expels the British ambassador following the showing on British TV of Death Of A Princess, a docu-drama about a Saudi Arabian princess who was publicly executed for adultery.

1985 - The Coca-Cola Co announces it is changing Coke's secret flavour formula, but negative public reaction later forces the company to resume selling the original version.

1986 - White-led South African government commits itself to scrapping dozens of laws restricting movements of blacks.

1988 - A truck rigged with explosives rips through a vegetable market in Tripoli, Libya, killing 54 people.

1990 - Major flooding hits Nyngan, NSW.

1992 - President F W de Klerk of South Africa proposes to hold a multiracial election; Indian film director Satyajit Ray dies three weeks after being awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar.

1993 - Lalith Athulathmudali, Sri Lanka's top opposition leader, is assassinated.

1995 - Hideo Murai, number two official in the Aum Shinri Kyo sect accused of involvement in fatal gas attacks in Tokyo, is assassinated outside the sect's headquarters.

1996 - Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating resigns from federal parliament, ending a 27-year political career; Fire races through deserted villages around the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine, sending radioactive particles skyward, 10 years after the world's worst nuclear accident.

1999 - On the first day of a 50th anniversary NATO summit in Washington, Western leaders pledge to intensify military strikes against Yugoslavia.

2000 - A group of 21 tourists and workers is kidnapped from a Malaysian diving resort by Abu Sayyaf rebels.

2002 - Pope John Paul II opens a meeting at the Vatican with 12 of the 13 US cardinals and the heads of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops about the mishandling of sexual abuse cases in the US church.

2003 - The US and North Korea hold their first direct talks in Beijing since North Korea admitted it had been secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

2004 - US President George W Bush takes steps to restore normal trade and investment ties with Libya as a reward to Muammar Gaddafi for eliminating Libya's biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.

2006 - Hungary's Socialist-led governing coalition wins run-off parliamentary ballots, becoming the nation's first administration to win re-election since communism fell.

2007 - Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin dies, aged 76.

2009 - Suicide bomb blasts tear through crowds waiting for food aid in central Baghdad and inside a roadside restaurant filled with Iranian pilgrims, killing at least 78 people.

2010 - The US and NATO agree to start transferring control of Afghanistan back to its leaders by year's end but acknowledge that achieving stability will take decades.

2012 - Sudanese warplanes bomb a market and an oil field in South Sudan, killing at least two people after Sudanese ground forces had reportedly crossed into South Sudan with tanks and artillery, elevating the risk of all-out war between the two old enemies.

2013 - NSW becomes the first state to sign the schools funding agreement with the Commonwealth.

2014 - Australian government announces it will spend $12 billion on 58 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

2015 - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says a new extradition treaty to detain and deport potential Australian jihadists from Turkey will make it harder for them to reach conflict zones in the Middle East.

2016 - North Korea is accused of firing a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its east coast.

2018 - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome a son at St Mary's hospital in London. The baby boy is fifth in line to the British throne.

2019 - A study shows some lakes in Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area have metal contamination levels among the highest ever recorded.


William Shakespeare, English poet-playwright (1564-1616); William Turner, English painter (1775-1851); Max Planck, German physicist (1858-1947); Sergei Prokofiev, Soviet composer (1891-1953); Haldor Laxness, Icelandic writer (1902-1998); Roy Orbison, US singer (1936-1988); Shirley Temple Black, US actor and diplomat (1928-2014); Lee Majors, US actor (1939-); Sandra Dee, US actor (1942-2005); Michael Moore, US director (1954-); Judy Davis, Australian actor (1955-); Jim Stynes, Irish-Australian footballer (1966-2012); John Oliver, British comedian (1977-); Dev Patel, British actor (1990-); Gigi Hadid, US model (1995-).


Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. - From Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

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