Today in History: September 23

1561 – King Philip II of Spain issued cedula, which ordered a halt to colonizing efforts in Florida.

1641 – The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure of over 100,000 pounds of gold (worth over £1 billion today), was lost at sea off Land’s End, England.

1642 – The first commencement exercises occurred at Harvard College.

1779 – American Revolution: John Paul Jones, naval commander of the United States, on board the USS Bonhomme Richard, won the Battle of Flamborough Head.

1780 – American Revolution: British Major John André was arrested as a spy by American soldiers which exposed Benedict Arnold’s change of sides.

1806 – Lewis and Clark returned to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

1845 – The Knickerbockers Baseball Club, the first baseball team to play under the modern rules, was founded in New York.

1846 – Astronomers Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams and Johann Gottfried Galle collaborated on the discovery of Neptune.

1868 – Grito de Lares (“Lares Revolt”) occurred in Puerto Rico against Spanish rule.

1889 – Nintendo Koppai (Later Nintendo Company, Limited) was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market the playing card game Hanafuda.

1899 – The American Asiatic Squadron destroyed a Filipino battery at the Battle of Olongapo.

1911 – Pilot Earle Ovington made the first official airmail delivery in America under the authority of the United States Post Office Department.

1913 – Roland Garros of France became the first to fly in an airplane across the Mediterranean (from St. Raphael in France to Bizerte, Tunisia).

1942 – World War II: The Matanikau action on Guadalcanal began: U.S. Marines attacked Japanese units along the Matanikau River.

1950 – Korean War: The Battle of Hill 282 was the first US friendly-fire incident on British military personnel since World War II.

1952 – Hank Williams did his last recording session.

1956 – Micky Dolenz began his television career in NBC’s Circus Boy series. He later became a member of the Monkees.

1962 – The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened in New York City.

1967 – “People Are Strange” was released by the Doors.

1969 – It was reported by The London Daily Mirror that Paul McCartney was dead. It was the first time the rumor was printed.

1974 – Robbie McIntosh (Average White Band) died of a heroin overdose at the age of 24.

1977 – The album Love You Live was released by the Rolling Stones.

1980 – Bob Marley performed his last show in Pittsburgh, PA. He died seven months later of cancer.

1986 – Houston Astros’ Jim Deshaies set a record when he struck out the first eight batters he faced against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1997 – Elton John’s single “Candle in the Wind 1997” was released in the U.S.

2002 – The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox (“Phoenix 0.1”) was released.

2019 – The British travel company, Thomas Cook Group, declared bankruptcy, leaving employees without jobs and 600,000 customers stranded abroad. Hotels throughout the world were stuck with £338 million (U.S. $415 million) in unpaid bills.

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