Today in History
August 23

1244   Turks expel the crusaders under Frederick II from Jerusalem.
1305   Scottish patriot William Wallace is hanged, drawn, beheaded, and quartered in London.
1541   Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec on his third voyage to North America.
1775   King George III of England refuses the American colonies’ offer of peace and declares them in open rebellion.
1821   After 11 years of war, Spain grants Mexican independence as a constitutional monarchy.
1863   Union batteries cease their first bombardment of Fort Sumter, leaving it a mass of rubble but still unconquered by the Northern besiegers.
1900   Booker T. Washington forms the National Negro Business League in Boston, Massachusetts.
1902   Fanny Farmer, among the first to emphasize the relationship of diet to health, opens her School of Cookery in Boston.
1914   The Emperor of Japan declares war on Germany.
1939   Joseph Stalin and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, freeing Adolf Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland.
1942   German forces begin an assault on the major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad.
1944   German SS engineers begin placing explosive charges around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
1950   Up to 77,000 members of the U.S. Army Organized Reserve Corps are called involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War.
1952   The Arab League security pact linking seven Arab States in a military, political and economic alliance goes into effect.
1954   The first flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft takes place.
1958   The Second Taiwan Strait crisis begins: the People’s Liberation Army bombards the island of Quemoy during Chinese Civil War.
1961   Belgium sends troops to Rwanda-Urundi during bloody Tutsi-Hutu conflict.
1966   Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from the moon.
1975   Pathet Lao communists occupy Vientiane, Laos.
1977   Bryan Allen, piloting the Gossamer Condor, wins the Kremer prize for the first human-powered aircraft to fly a one-mile, figure-eight course.
1979   The Iranian army opens an offensive against the Kurds.
1990   Armenia declares independence from the USSR.
1990   East and West Germany announce they will unite on Oct 3.
1996   Osama bin Laden issues a message entitled “A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.”
2011   Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi is overthrown after National Transitional Council forces take control of the Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan Civil War.
2011   A 5.8 earthquake centered at Mineral, Virginia, damages the Washington Monument, forcing the landmark to close for repairs.
Born on August 23
1754   Louis XVI, King of France during the French Revolution who met his fate at the guillotine.
1755   Jean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy, French geographer.
1883   Jonathan Wainwright, U.S. general who fought against the Japanese on Corregidor in the Philippines and was forced to surrender.
1898   Albert Claude, biologist who won the 1974 Nobel prize for his work on the sub-structure of the cell. He never graduated from high school.
1912   Gene Kelly, dancer, choreographer and actor.
1931   H.O. Smith, molecular biologist credited with helping ‘open the door’ on genetic engineering.
1934   Sonny (Christian) Jurgensen, professional football player and sports announcer.
1934   Barbara Eden, actress (I Dream of Jeannie TV series).
1935   Sir Roy Colin Strong, the youngest director of both Britain’s National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; recipient of the Shakespeare Prize.
1938   Roger John Reginald Greenaway, songwriter (“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,”), record producer. He and co-writer Roger Cook were the first UK team to receive an Ivor Novello Award as Songwriters of the Year in two successive years.
1942   Patricia McBride, ballerina; in 1961 became the youngest principal in the New York City Ballet.
1946   Keith Moon, drummer in The Who.
1951   Queen Noor of Jordan (Lisa Najeeb Halaby), queen consort 1978–99.
1951   Akhmad Kadyrov, President of Chechnya (Oct 5, 2003–May 9, 2004).
1956   Andreas Floer, mathematician, creator of the Floer homology.
1965   Roger Avary, screenwriter, director (Killing Zoe); shared the Academy Award with co-writer Quentin Tarantino for best original screenplay (Pulp Fiction).

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