Today in History: March 23

1743 George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

1775 – American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivered his speech – “Give me liberty, or give me death!” – at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia.

1801 – Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death inside his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle.

1806 – After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their arduous journey home.

1839 – The first recorded use of “OK” [oll korrect] (Boston’s Morning Post).

1857 – Elisha Otis’s first elevator was installed at 488 Broadway New York City.

1862 – American Civil War: The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, marked the start of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign. Although a Confederate defeat, the engagement distracted Federal efforts to capture Richmond.

1903 – The Wright brothers first filed a patent for a flying machine, which was granted 3 years later.

1909 – Theodore Roosevelt left New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.

1913 – A tornado outbreak killed more than 240 people in the central United States, while an ongoing flood in the Ohio River watershed was killing 650 people.

1919 – In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement.

1922 – The first airplane landed at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

1929 – The first telephone was installed at the President’s desk under the Hoover administration at the White House.

1933 – The Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which made Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

1936 – Physician Joseph G. Hamilton injected a leukemia patient with a sodium radioisotope, the first intravenous injection of a human with a radioisotope.

1957 – The US Army sold its last homing pigeons.

1964 – “In His Own Write”, a book of short stories, poems and drawings by John Lennon, was published.

1965 – NASA launched Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).

1970 – “Hello Darlin'” single released by Conway Twitty (Billboard Song of the Year, 1970).

1972 – Geoge Harrison and Friends’ “The Concert for Bangladesh” concert film, directed by Saul Swimmer. was released in the US.

1977 – The first of The Nixon Interviews (12 were recorded over four weeks) was videotaped with British journalist David Frost interviewing former United States President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal and the Nixon tapes.

1977 – Elvis Presley began his final concert tour.

1983 – Strategic Defense Initiative: President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashed, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground. This became known as the Green Ramp disaster.

2001 – The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.

2007 – After some initial hesitation, Emma Watson signed on to appear as Hermione in the final three Harry Potter films.

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