Today in History – November 23

534 BC – Thespis of Icaria became the first recorded actor to portray a character on stage.

1499 – Pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck was hanged for reportedly attempting to escape from the Tower of London. He had invaded England in 1497, claiming to be the lost son of King Edward IV of England.

1644 – John Milton published Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship.

1733 – The start of the 1733 slave insurrection on St. John in what was then the Danish West Indies.

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Chattanooga began: Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant reinforced troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and counter-attacked Confederate troops.

1867 – The Manchester Martyrs were hanged in Manchester, England, for killing a police officer while freeing two Irish Republican Brotherhood members from custody.

1876 – Corrupt Tammany Hall leader William Magear Tweed (better known as Boss Tweed) was delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain.

1889 – The first jukebox made its debut in San Francisco, at the Palais Royale Saloon.

1890 – King William III of the Netherlands died without a male heir and a special law was passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to succeed him.

1910 – Johan Alfred Ander became the last person to be executed in Sweden.

1914 – Mexican Revolution: The last of U.S. forces withdrew from Veracruz, occupied seven months earlier in response to the Tampico Affair.

1924 – Edwin Hubble’s discovery, that the Andromeda “nebula” was actually another island galaxy far outside our own Milky Way, was first published in The New York Times.

1943 – World War II: Tarawa and Makin atolls fell to American forces.

1959 – French President Charles de Gaulle declared in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for “Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals”.

1963 – The BBC broadcast An Unearthly Child (starring William Hartnell), the first episode of the first story from the first series of Doctor Who, which is now the world’s longest running science fiction drama.

1964 – The Rolling Stones show up late for the BBC radio shows, “Top Gear” and “Saturday Club” and are banned by the BBC.

1970 – George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” was released in the U.S.

1971 – Representatives of the People’s Republic of China attended the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, for the first time.

1972 – The Soviet Union made its final attempt at launching the N1 rocket.

1976 – Jacques Mayol was the first man to reach a depth of 100 m undersea without breathing equipment.

1976 – Police arrested Jerry Lee Lewis outside the gates of Graceland after he showed up for the second time that night and made a scene by shouting, waving a pistol and demanding to see Elvis Presley.

1981 – Iran–Contra affair: Ronald Reagan signed the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), which gave the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1985 – Gunmen hijacked EgyptAir Flight 648 en route from Athens to Cairo. When the plane landed in Malta, Egyptian commandos stormed the aircraft, but 60 people died in the raid.

1990 – MTV banned Madonna’s “Justify My Love” video.

1991 – Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury announced in a statement that he was HIV-positive. He died the following day.

1992 – The first smartphone, the IBM Simon, was introduced at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

1998 – Donald Bohana, 61, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the drowning death of Delores “DeeDee” Jackson, the ex-wife of Tito Jackson (Jackson 5).

2007 – MS Explorer, a cruise liner which carried 154 people, sank in the Antarctic Ocean south of Argentina after hitting an iceberg near the South Shetland Islands. There were no fatalities.

2015 – Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle became the first rocket to successfully fly to space and then return to Earth for a controlled, vertical landing.

2019 – The last Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia, Imam, died, making the species officially extinct in the country.

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