On This Day … 23 January


  • 971 – Using crossbows, Song dynasty troops soundly defeat a war elephant corps of the Southern Han at Shao.
  • 1264 – In the conflict between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort, King Louis IX of France issues the Mise of Amiens, a one-sided decision in favour of Henry that later leads to the Second Barons’ War.
  • 1368 – In a coronation ceremony, Zhu Yuanzhang ascends the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming dynasty rule over China that would last for three centuries.
  • 1570 – James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, regent for the infant King James VI of Scotland, is assassinated by firearm, the first recorded instance of such.
  • 1793 – Second Partition of Poland.
  • 1795 – After an extraordinary charge across the frozen Zuiderzee, the French cavalry captured 14 Dutch ships and 850 guns, in a rare occurrence of a battle between ships and cavalry.
  • 1870 – In Montana, US cavalrymen kill 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in what becomes known as the Marias Massacre.
  • 1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: the Battle of Rorke’s Drift ends.
  • 1900 – Second Boer War: The Battle of Spion Kop between the forces of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State and British forces ends in a British defeat.
  • 1937 – The trial of the anti-Soviet Trotskyist center sees seventeen mid-level Communists accused of sympathizing with Leon Trotsky and plotting to overthrow Joseph Stalin’s regime.
  • 1941 – Charles Lindbergh testifies before the US Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Rabaul commences Japan’s invasion of Australia’s Territory of New Guinea.
  • 1943 – World War II: Troops of the British Eighth Army capture Tripoli in Libya from the German–Italian Panzer Army.
  • 1945 – World War II: German admiral Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal.
  • 1963 – The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence officially begins when PAIGC guerrilla fighters attack the Portuguese army stationed in Tite.
  • 1973 – United States President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
  • 2018 – A double car bombing in Benghazi, Libya, kills at least 33 people and wounds “dozens” of others. The victims include both military personnel and civilians, according to local officials.

People (Births)

  • 1737 – John Hancock, American general and politician, 1st Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1793).
  • 1780 – Georgios Karaiskakis, Greek general (d. 1827).
  • 1828 – Saigō Takamori, Japanese samurai (d. 1877).
  • 1855 – John Browning, American weapons designer, founded the Browning Arms Company (d. 1926).
  • 1897 – William Stephenson, Canadian captain and spy (d. 1989).
  • 1923 – Walter M. Miller, Jr., American soldier and author (d. 1996).
  • 1924 – Frank Lautenberg, American soldier, businessman, and politician (d. 2013).
  • 1947 – Tom Carper, American captain and politician, 71st Governor of Delaware.

People (Deaths)

  • 1800 – Edward Rutledge, American captain and politician, 39th Governor of South Carolina (b. 1749).
  • 1812 – Robert Craufurd, Scottish general and politician (b. 1764).
  • 1833 – Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, English admiral and politician (b. 1757).
  • 1993 – Keith Laumer, American soldier, author, and diplomat (b. 1925).
  • 1994 – Nikolai Ogarkov, Russian field marshal (b. 1917).
  • 2005 – Morys Bruce, 4th Baron Aberdare, English lieutenant and politician (b. 1921).
  • 2010 – Kermit Tyler, American colonel and pilot (b. 1913).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.