23 December: On This Day In History | What Special Day Is Today?

“23 December: What Happened On This Day In History?”


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.

23 December: On This Day In History | What Special Day Is 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.

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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.
  • 2001Announcement 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)
  • 1902Chaudhary 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)

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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.

Our readers like you are the inspiration for our good work. Your feedback helps us to serve you better content.

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On This Day:

31 December30 December29 December28 December27 December | 26 December | 25 December24 December22 December | 21 December | 20 December | 19 December | 18 December | 17 December | 16 December | 15 December | 14 December | 13 December | 12 December | 11 December | 10 December | 9 December | 8 December | 7 December | 6 December | 5 December | 4 December | 3 December | 2 December | 1 December


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Our team at BeAnInspirer.com include members who write Inspirational articles for this inspiring blog. Page maintained by Krishnendu Pramanick.

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