This Day in History

October 23


42BC  forces commanded by Mark Antony and Octavian decisively defeat Brutus's army—Marcus Junius Brutus commits suicide, age 43   2058
425      Valentinian III is installed as Western Emperor in Rome, age 6—reign for over 29 years   1592
1134      Andalusian polymath Abu al-Salt dies in Bejaia, Algeria, age approximately 66   883
1642      Battle of Edgehill—first major battle of the English civil war—ends with an inconclusive result   375
1707      first Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain convenes   310
1739      England declares war against Spain after Spanish officer captured and severed the left ear of Robert Jenkins, merchant captain   278
1774      Jesuit scientist in the service of the Chinese Qianlong Emperor for thirty years Michel Benoist dies in Beijing, age 69   243
1850      first National Women's Rights Convention is held in Worcester, Massachusetts   167
1875      American physical chemist Gilbert Newton Lewis born in Weymouth, Massachusetts   142
1906      Alberto Santos-Dumont flies an airplane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe at Champs de Bagatelle, Paris, France   111
1910      Chulalongkorn (Rama V), King of Siam, dies after a reign of 42 years, age 57   107
1911      first use of an aircraft in war—an Italian pilot uses his plane to observe Turkish army lines during the Turco-Italian War   106
1939      western author Zane Grey dies, age 67   78
1939      first flight of the Mitsubishi G4M (Betty) Japanese land-based medium Navy bomber   78
1944      Battle of Leyte Gulf, one the largest naval battles in history, begins—ends with Allied victory over Japanese Naval forces   73
1946      United Nations General Assembly first meets in New York   71
1950      American singer, film actor, and comedian Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson) dies in San Francisco, age 64   67
1956      Harry W. Cooper is issued a U.S. patent for cyanoacrylate adhesive—super glue   61
1958      The Smurfs by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo first appear in the Belgian comics magazine Spirou   59
1964      Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina wins her 18th Olympic medal in Tokyo establishing the Olympic record   53
1989      devastating explosion and fire rip through the Phillips 66 Houston Chemical Complex—23 die, 314 others injured   28
1989      Hungary becomes a democratic parliamentary republic after 44 years of communist rule   28
1998      digital projector technology publicly demonstrated for the first time with the release of "The Last Broadcast"   19
2001      Apple introduces the first iPod   16
2001      NASA's Mars Odyssey inserted into orbit around Mars   16
2002      40 armed Chechens seize Dubrovka Theater with 850 hostages—ends 3 days with 130 hostages and all attackers killed   15
2004      6.8 earthquake hits Niigata prefecture, northern Japan—kills 35, injures 2,200, and leaves 85,000 homeless   13
2007      Discovery launches to dock with International Space Station—both spacecraft commanded by women   10
2010      continuous occupation of International Space Station exceeds record of Mir—3644 days   7
2011      American mathematician and Nobel laureate (Chemistry, 1095) Herbert Aaron Hauptman dies, age 94   6
2011      7.1 earthquake near Van in eastern Turkey kills over 600, injures 4150 others, and leaves 60,000 homeless   6
2012      world's first teletext information service (BBC's Ceefax) ceases broadcast due to Northern Ireland completing the digital switchover   5
2013      last command sent to ESA's Planck space telescope terminating its mission after almost 4.5 years   4
2015      Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane in the eastern Pacific, makes landfall in southwestern Mexico near Playa Perula in Jalisco State   2
2016      Colts Adam Vinatieri sets an NFL record with 43 consecutive field goals   1
   Mole Day—celebrated from 6:02am to 6:02pm 

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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