23 December: In a year, the 23rd of December is the 357th day as per the Georgian Calendar. In a leap year, it is the 358th day of the year.
What special day is today?
On this day, the U.S. troops were defeated by Japanese forces (during an early phase in World War II) at the Battle of Wake Island; the first modern coelacanth was discovered in South Africa, and the very first demonstration of the transistor took place at Bell Laboratories.
Famous birthdays include Joseph Dunford, Samuel Smiles, and Charan Singh.
December 23 also marks Kisan Diwas or Farmers’ Day in India.
Let’s explore what happened today.
What Happened Today? On This Day in History: 23 December
Art & Artists
- 1815 – Emma, the fourth novel by the British writer Jane Austen was published.
- 1893 – Hansel and Gretel premiered in Weimar, Germany. It was an opera by the composer Engelbert Humperdinck. It was adopted from a German fairy tale collection bearing the same title.
Science & Technology
- 1947 – The very first demonstration of the transistor took place at Bell Laboratories.
- 1954 – First kidney transplant was performed successfully by Joseph Murray and J. Hartwell Harrison.
Leaders & Politics
- 1941 – The S. troops were defeated by Japanese forces (during an early phase in World War II) at the Battle of Wake Island.
- 2001 – Announcement of the deferment of payments by Argentina on its external debt. It was the biggest debt non-payment case in history.
People & Society
- 1968 – Release of Eighty-two crewmen of the environmental research ship USS Pueblo by North Korea. They were under captivity for a long 11 months for an alleged crossing into North Korean waters by the U.S. Navy intelligence ship.
- 1972 – Rescue of the sixteen lucky survivors of the catastrophic Andes flight disaster. They were eating each other (cannibalism) for a long 73 days, before being rescued.
Disasters: Natural & Man-made
- 1972 – More than 1,000 people were killed in an earthquake of high magnitude (6.5) that struck Managua, the capital city of Nicaraguan.
- 1978 – While approaching the Falcone Borsellino Airport (Palermo, Italy) Alitalia Flight 4128 smashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea killing no less than 234 people.
Discoveries & Explorations
- 1690 – Uranus was first observed by John Flamsteed, the English astronomer. However, he was unaware of the fact “it was undiscovered”.
- 1938 – The first modern coelacanth was discovered in South Africa.
Leisure & Sports
- 1984 – Viv Richards, the cricket legend from West Indies scored a double century (208) in a test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
- 1997 – Phil Jackson, the coach of ‘The Chicago Bulls’ reached 500 wins in 682 games he played. He became the quickest to achieve that fit.
Birth Anniversaries (23 December)
- 1812 – Samuel Smiles (Writer, Scotland)
- 1902 – Chaudhary Charan Singh (5th Prime Minister, India)
- 1933 – Akihito (Emperor, Japan)
- 1955 – Joseph Dunford (Army General, United States)
- 1955 – Carol Ann Duffy (Poet, Britain)
Death Anniversaries (23 December)
- 1872 – George Catlin (Artist and Author, American)
- 1972 – Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev (Soviet Aircraft Designer)
- 1973 – Gerard Peter Kuiper (Astronomer, America)
- 2004 – P.V. Narasimha Rao (9th Prime Minister Of India)
What Special Day is Today: (23 December)
- Victory Day (Egypt)
- Kisan Diwas or Farmers’ Day (India)
- Children’s Day (South Sudan and Sudan)
- Tibb’s Eve (Newfoundland and Labrador)
- Tom Bawcock’s Eve (Mousehole, Cornwall)
- Night of the Radishes (Oaxaca City, Mexico)
- HumanLight (Secular humanism in United States)
The mind-boggling story of the day (23 December) captures numerous vital moments that happened in various arenas across the globe.
People and places made news on this day in history for good or bad reasons.
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