On This Day … 23 August

Events

  • 30 BC – After the successful invasion of Egypt, Octavian executes Marcus Antonius Antyllus, eldest son of Mark Antony, and Caesarion, the last king of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt and only child of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.
  • 20 BC – Ludi Volcanalici are held within the temple precinct of Vulcan, and used by Augustus to mark the treaty with Parthia and the return of the legionary standards that had been lost at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.
  • AD 79 – Mount Vesuvius begins stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
  • 406 – Gothic king Radagaisus is executed after he is defeated by Roman general Stilicho and 12,000 “barbarians” are incorporated into the Roman army or sold as slaves.
  • 476 – Odoacer, chieftain of the Germanic tribes (Herulic – Scirian foederati), is proclaimed rex Italiae (King of Italy) by his troops.
  • 634 – Abu Bakr dies at Medina and is succeeded by Umar I who becomes the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate.
  • 1244 – Siege of Jerusalem: The city’s citadel, the Tower of David, surrenders to Khwarezmian Empire.
  • 1268 – The Battle of Tagliacozzo marks the fall of the Hohenstaufen family from the Imperial and Sicilian thrones, and leading to the new chapter of Angevin domination in Southern Italy.
  • 1305 – Sir William Wallace is executed for high treason at Smithfield, London.
  • 1328 – Battle of Cassel: French troops stop an uprising of Flemish farmers.
  • 1382 – Siege of Moscow: The Golden Horde led by Tokhtamysh lays siege to the capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.
  • 1514 – The Battle of Chaldiran ends with a decisive victory for the Sultan Selim I, Ottoman Empire, over the Shah Ismail I, founder of the Safavid dynasty.
  • 1521 – Christian II of Denmark is deposed as king of Sweden and Gustav Vasa is elected regent.
  • 1541 – French explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada.
  • 1572 – French Wars of Religion: Mob violence against thousands of Huguenots in Paris results in the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.
  • 1595 – Long Turkish War: Wallachian prince Michael the Brave confronts the Ottoman army in the Battle of Călugăreni and achieves a tactical victory.
  • 1600 – Battle of Gifu Castle: The eastern forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu defeat the western Japanese clans loyal to Toyotomi Hideyori, leading to the destruction of Gifu Castle and serving as a prelude to the Battle of Sekigahara.
  • 1655 – Battle of Sobota: The Swedish Empire led by Charles X Gustav defeats the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • 1703 – Edirne event: Sultan Mustafa II of the Ottoman Empire is dethroned.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: King George III delivers his Proclamation of Rebellion to the Court of St James’s stating that the American colonies have proceeded to a state of open and avowed rebellion.
  • 1784 – Western North Carolina (now eastern Tennessee) declares itself an independent state under the name of Franklin; it is not accepted into the United States, and only lasts for four years.
  • 1799 – Napoleon I of France leaves Egypt for France en route to seizing power.
  • 1813 – At the Battle of Großbeeren, the Prussians under Von Bülow repulse the French army.
  • 1831 – Nat Turner’s slave rebellion is suppressed.
  • 1839 – The United Kingdom captures Hong Kong as a base as it prepares for the First Opium War with Qing China.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The Union Navy captures Fort Morgan, Alabama, thus breaking Confederate dominance of all ports on the Gulf of Mexico except Galveston, Texas.
  • 1866 – Austro-Prussian War ends with the Treaty of Prague.
  • 1914 – World War I: The British Expeditionary Force and the French Fifth Army begin their Great Retreat before the German Army.
  • 1914 – World War I: Japan declares war on Germany.
  • 1921 – British airship R-38 experiences structural failure over Hull in England and crashes in the Humber Estuary. Of her 49 British and American training crew, only four survive.
  • 1923 – Captain Lowell Smith and Lieutenant John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.
  • 1939 – World War II: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland are divided between the two nations.
  • 1942 – World War II: Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad.
  • 1943 – World War II: Kharkiv is liberated by the Soviet Union after the Battle of Kursk.
  • 1944 – World War II: Marseille is liberated by the Allies.
  • 1944 – World War II: King Michael of Romania dismisses the pro-Nazi government of Marshal Antonescu, who is arrested. Romania switches sides from the Axis to the Allies.
  • 1944 – Freckleton Air Disaster: A US Army Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber crashes into a school in Freckleton, England, killing 61 people.
  • 1945 – World War II: Soviet–Japanese War: The USSR State Defence Committee issues Decree no. 9898cc “About Receiving, Accommodation, and Labor Utilization of the Japanese Army Prisoners of War”.
  • 1946 – Ordinance No. 46 of the British Military Government constitutes the German Länder (states) of Hanover and Schleswig-Holstein.
  • 1954 – First flight of the Lockheed C-130 multi-role aircraft.
  • 1958 – Chinese Civil War: The Second Taiwan Strait Crisis begins with the People’s Liberation Army’s bombardment of Quemoy.
  • 1985 – Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defects to East Germany.
  • 1990 – Saddam Hussein appears on Iraqi state television with a number of Western ‘guests’ (actually hostages) to try to prevent the Gulf War.
  • 1990 – Armenia declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
  • 1990 – West and East Germany announce that they will reunite on 03 October.
  • 1991 – The World Wide Web is opened to the public.
  • 1994 – Eugene Bullard, the only African American pilot in World War I, is posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force.
  • 2007 – The skeletal remains of Russia’s last royal family members Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and his sister Grand Duchess Anastasia are discovered near Yekaterinburg, Russia.
  • 2011 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the Libyan Civil War.
  • Battle of Kursk Day (Russia).
  • European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism or Black Ribbon Day (European Union and other countries), and related observances:
    • Liberation from Fascist Occupation Day (Romania).
  • International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

People (Births)

  • 1741 – Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse, French admiral and explorer (d. 1788).
  • 1785 – Oliver Hazard Perry, American commander (d. 1819).
  • 1883 – Jonathan M. Wainwright, American general, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1953).
  • 1884 – Ogden L. Mills, American captain, lawyer, and politician, 50th United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 1937).
  • 1894 – John Auden, English solicitor, deputy coroner and a territorial soldier (d. 1959).
  • 1901 – John Sherman Cooper, American captain, lawyer, and politician, 2nd United States Ambassador to East Germany (d. 1991).
  • 1932 – Enos Nkala, Zimbabwean soldier and politician, Zimbabwean Minister of Defence (d. 2013).
  • 1933 – Pete Wilson, American commander and politician, 36th Governor of California.
  • 1943 – Nelson DeMille, American lieutenant and author.
  • 1944 – Antonia Novello, Puerto Rican-American physician and admiral, 14th Surgeon General of the United States.
  • 1961 – Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Iranian commander and politician, 54th Mayor of Tehran.
  • 1969 – Jack Lopresti, English soldier and politician.

People (Deaths)

  • AD 93 – Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman general and politician (b. AD 40).
  • 1305 – William Wallace, Scottish rebel commander (b. 1272).
  • 1328 – Nicolaas Zannekin, Flemish peasant leader (in the battle of Cassel).
  • 1519 – Philibert Berthelier, Swiss soldier (b. 1465).
  • 1652 – John Byron, 1st Baron Byron, English soldier and politician (b. 1600).
  • 1819 – Oliver Hazard Perry, American commander (b. 1785).
  • 1831 – August Neidhardt von Gneisenau, Prussian field marshal (b. 1760).
  • 1892 – Deodoro da Fonseca, Brazilian field marshal and politician, 1st President of Brazil (b. 1827).
  • 1900 – Kuroda Kiyotaka, Japanese general and politician, 2nd Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1840).
  • 1975 – Faruk Gürler, Turkish general (b. 1913).
  • 2015 – Paul Royle, Australian lieutenant and pilot (b. 1914).
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