This Day in History

April 23


303      George, a Roman soldier from Syria, is executed after becoming a Christian—immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon   1714
871      Alfred the Great becomes King of the Anglo-Saxons (age about 22) upon the death of Æthelred of Wessex—would reign for 28 years   1146
1014      Battle of Clontarf near Dublin results in the end of Viking power in Ireland   1003
1016      Æthelred the Unready, King of England dies—his son Edmund Ironside or Edmund II becomes king   1001
1124      Alexander I, King of the Scots, dies in Stirling after a reign of 17 years, age 44   893
1200      Song dynasty Confucian scholar and philospher Zhu Xi dies, age 69   817
1348      King Edward III founds the Order of the Garter—highest order of English knighthood   669
1564      traditional date of the birth of William Shakespeare, based upon baptism date, in Stratford-upon-Avon   453
1616      William Shakespeare dies in Stratford-upon-Avon, age about 52   401
1616      Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra tilts his last windmill, dies in Madrid, age 68   401
1635      Boston Latin School founded—first public school and oldest existing school in U.S.   382
1655      English are defeated in the attempt to take the town of Santo Domingo, Hispaniola, by a much smaller force of Spanish defenders   362
1661      Charles II is crowned in Westminster Abbey—British monarchy is restored   356
1702      British Margaret Fell, a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, dies, age about 88   315
1775      English painter J.M.W. Turner born in Covent Garden, London   242
1838      Sirius arrives in New York—first ship to cross the Atlantic using steam power only   179
1850      English romantic poet William Wordsworth dies in Cumberland, age 80   167
1858      Max Planck, physicist, born   159
1888      Nicola Tesla develops the alternating current motor   129
1914      first baseball game played in Weeghman Park in Chicago now called Wrigley Field—Cubs would begin playing there in 1916   103
1927      Cardiff City Football Club beats Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup Final—only only time it has been won by a team not based in England   90
1940      Rhythm Club fire in Natchez, Mississippi kills 209 mostly African Americans   77
1967      launch of Soyuz 1 with Vladimir Komarov, first cosmonaut to fly twice—first manned flight in the Soyuz program   50
1982      motivated by a U.S. Border Patrol roadblock, Key West declares itself the "Conch Republic", declares war, and surrenders after 1 minute   35
1988      Daedalus sets record of 72 mi (116 km) for human-powered flight   29
1999      St. Louis Cardinal Fernando Tatís hits two grand slam home runs in a single inning against the Dodgers   18
2001      first unmanned non-stop flight across the Pacific—Global Hawk flies from California to South Australia   16
2005      first video uploaded to YouTube, "Me at the Zoo," shows founder Jawed Karim at San Diego Zoo   12
2007      at age 75 American Barbary Hillary becomes the first black woman and oldest person to reach the North Pole   10
2008      Cubs become the second MLB franchise to win their 10,000th game—beat the Rockies 7-6   9
2009      Swift detects a gamma-ray burst from GRB 090423—observations establish it as one of the earliest objects detected   8
2012      first inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame announced by the Internet Society   5
2013      English-American mathematician Frank William John Olver dies in Maryland, age 88   4
2015      Nasdaq Composite Index reaches record high close of 5056.06—previous record was set 15 years ago at peak of boom   2

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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