On This Day … 23 October


  • 42 BC – Liberators’ civil war: Mark Antony and Octavian decisively defeat Brutus’s army at the Battle of Philippi.
    • Brutus commits suicide.
  • 1086 – Spanish Reconquista: At the Battle of Sagrajas, the Almoravids defeats the Castilians, but are unable to take advantage of their victory.
  • 1157 – The Battle of Grathe Heath ends a civil war in Denmark.
  • 1295 – The first treaty forming the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France against England is signed in Paris.
  • 1641 – Irish Catholic gentry from Ulster attempt to seize control of Dublin Castle, the seat of English rule in Ireland, so as to force concessions.
  • 1642 – The Battle of Edgehill is the first major battle of the English Civil War.
  • 1707 – The First Parliament of Great Britain convenes.
  • 1739 – The War of Jenkins’ Ear begins when Prime Minister Walpole reluctantly declares war on Spain.
  • 1812 – A French general begins a conspiracy to overthrow Napoleon, claiming that the Emperor died in Russia.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Westport is the last significant engagement west of the Mississippi River.
  • 1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont flies an airplane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe.
  • 1911 – The Italo-Turkish War sees the first use of an airplane in combat when an Italian pilot makes a reconnaissance flight.
  • 1912 – First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo between the Serbian and Ottoman armies begins.
  • 1942 – World War II: Allied forces commence the Second Battle of El Alamein, which proves to be the key turning point in the North African campaign.
  • 1942 – All 12 passengers and crewmen aboard American Airlines Flight 28 are killed when it collides with a USAAF bomber near Palm Springs, California.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle for Henderson Field begins on Guadalcanal.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Battle of Leyte Gulf begins.
  • 1955 – Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm defeats former emperor Bảo Đại in a referendum and founds the Republic of Vietnam.
  • 1955 – The people of the Saar region vote in a referendum to unite with Germany instead of France.
  • 1956 – Secret police shoot several anti-communist protesters, igniting the Hungarian Revolution.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: The 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), in conjunction with South Vietnamese forces, launches an operation seeking to destroy Communist forces during the siege of Plei Me.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Operation Linebacker, a US bombing campaign against North Vietnam in response to its Easter Offensive, ends after five months.
  • 1983 – Lebanese Civil War: The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut is hit by a truck bomb, killing 241 US military personnel.
    • A French army barracks in Lebanon is also hit that same morning, killing 58 troops.
  • 1991 – Signing of the Paris Peace Accords which ends the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.
    • Paris Peace Agreement Day (Cambodia).
  • 1993 – The Troubles: A Provisional IRA bomb prematurely detonates in Belfast, killing the bomber and nine civilians.
  • 1998 – Israel and the Palestinian Authority sign the Wye River Memorandum.
  • 2002 – Chechen terrorists seize the House of Culture theatre in Moscow and take approximately 700 theatre-goers hostage.
  • 2011 – The Libyan National Transition Council deems the Libyan Civil War over.
  • Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle (Republic of North Macedonia).
  • Liberation Day (Libya).

People (Births)

  • 1705 – Maximilian Ulysses Browne, Austrian field marshal (d. 1757).
  • 1766 – Emmanuel de Grouchy, Marquis de Grouchy, French general (d. 1847).
  • 1863 – Mirko Breyer, Croatian writer, bibliographer, antiquarian, and one of the notable alleged and false victims of the Stara Gradiška concentration camp (d. 1946).
  • 1876 – Franz Schlegelberger, German judge and politician, Reich Ministry of Justice (d. 1970).
  • 1896 – André Lévêque, French soldier and engineer (d. 1930).
  • 1897 – John Baker, English air marshal (d. 1978).
  • 1937 – Carlos Lamarca, Brazilian captain (d. 1971).
  • 1949 – Krešimir Ćosić, Croatian soldier and politician.
  • 1957 – Paul Kagame, Rwandan soldier and politician, 6th President of Rwanda.

People (Deaths)

  • 42 BC – Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, Roman general and politician (b. 85 BC).
  • 891 – Yazaman al-Khadim, Abbasid general and politician.
  • 1764 – Emmanuel-Auguste de Cahideuc, Comte Dubois de la Motte, French admiral (b. 1683).
  • 1916 – Richard McFadden, Scottish footballer and soldier (b. 1889).
  • 1944 – Hana Brady, Czech holocaust victim (b. 1931).
  • 2003 – Soong Mei-ling, Chinese wife of Chiang Kai-shek, 2nd First Lady of the Republic of China (b. 1898).
  • 2012 – Roland de la Poype, French soldier and pilot (b. 1920).

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