This Day in History

March 23


625      Meccans meet Muslim forces led by Muhammad in the Battle of Uhud—Meccans prevail when Muslim forces disobey orders and plunder   1392
1400      Tràn dynasty of Vietnam comes to end after 175 years   617
1540      Waltham Abbey is surrendered to Henry VIII—last religious community closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries   477
1708      James Francis Edward Stuart, claimant to the throne of Scotland, attempts to land in the Firth of Forth—is driven away by the English fleet   309
1749      birth of French mathematician Pierre-Simon de Laplace in Normandy   268
1775      Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" speech at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia   242
1791      HMS Pandora reaches Tahiti in search of Bounty mutineers—find and arrest 14   226
1801      Tsar Paul I of Russia is assassinated after a reign of four years, age 46—succeeded by his son Alexander I   216
1839      first recorded use of 'OK' by Boston Morning Post   178
1843      John Wycliffe arrives in Dunedin, New Zealand with 97 Scottish settlers that found the Province of Otego   174
1857      first Otis safety elevator installed—New York City   160
1868      University of California founded   149
1882      Amalie Emmy Noether, mathematician, born in Bavaria, Germany   135
1888      The Football League first meets at Anderton's Hotel in London—world's oldest professional Association Football league   129
1900      German-American social psychologist Erich Seligmann Fromm born   117
1901      first Chicago Auto Show opens in the Coliseum exposition hall   116
1910      French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist, and balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (Nadar) dies in Paris, age 89   107
1912      German-born American rocket engineer Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun born   105
1927      French oil painter, pastel artist, and drypoint etcher Paul César Helleu dies in Paris, age 67   90
1946      American physical chemist Gilbert Newton Lewis dies in Berkeley, California, age 70   71
1956      Pakistan becomes first Islamic republic   61
1961      cosmonaut Valentin Vasiliyevich Bondarenko dies (age 24) from burns in a spaceflight training exercise—first death in the space program   56
1965      Gemini 3, first manned flight of the Gemini program—Gus Grissom and John Young   52
1973      Richard Wilmarth wins first Iditarod Race   44
1994      Wayne Grezsky breaks career NHL goal-scoring record with his 802nd goal—sets the career record of 894 goals   23
2001      end of Mir—destroyed upon reentry into atmosphere over the southern Pacific Ocean   16
2003      Desmond Thomas Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor, dies in Piedmont, Alabama, age 87   14
2006      American songwriter and country music singer Cindy Walker dies in Mexia, Texas, age 87   11
2007      American mathematician and Fields Medal winner Paul Joseph Cohen dies in Stanford, California, age 72   10
2010      president Barack Obama signs into law landmark Health Care Reform Legislation   7
2011      British-born American actress Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor dies in Los Angeles, age 79   6
2014      130 billion liter release of water by U.S. and Mexico through the dry Colorado River delta is begun to help restore the ecosystems   3
2015      Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore, dies, age 91   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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