August 23 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 23.

August 23

Events on August 23

93 CE Ghaeus Julius Agricola, Roman general renowned for his conquests in Britain, dies in Rome.

1305 Sir William Wallace, Scottish patriot who demanded independence for his country, is hung, drawn and quartered in London.

1680 Death of Captain Blood, who tried to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in May 1671.

1818 The first steam ship service opens on the Great Lakes in North America.

1933 Gandhi is released from Poona jail after his hunger strike (against the government’s attitude to untouchables) almost kills him.

1939 British driver John Cobb reaches 368.85 mph (590 kph) at Bonneville Flats, Utah.

1939 Germany and the USSR sign the Molotov-Ribbentropp non-aggression pact.

1940 German bombers begin night raids on London.

1944 The pro-Nazi dictator of Romania, General Ion Antonescu is overthrown.

1987 French racing driver Didier Peroni is killed in a power boat race off the Isle of Wight.

1990 The German states choose October 3 as the date for reunification.

1995 Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu ushers in the cell phone revolution in India by making the first call to Union Telecom Minister Sukh Ram.

Famous Birthdays on August 23

Louis XVI 1754, French monarch responsible for the Revolution and the last king of France.

Gene Kelly 1912, American dancer, choreographer, singer, actor and director who starred in Hollywood musicals, including Anchors Aweigh, Singin’ in the Rain and his Invitation to Dance.

Willy Russell 1947, English playwright from Liverpool whose plays includes Educating Rita.

Quotes from Legend

My principal is: France before everything.

- Napoleon I, French Emperor, in a letter to Eugène Beauharnais, 1810.

Historical News on August 23

Death of A Dream Lover

Death of a dream lover Rudolph Valentino on August 23
Death of a dream lover Rudolph Valentino

1926 Screen actor Rudolph Valentino, the idol of millions, died today of peritonitis in New York’s Polyclinic Hospital, Valentino, 31, was in New York to publicize his latest film, The Son of the Sheikh, In five short years and a dozen films, including The Sheikh and Blood and Sand, Italian born Valentino carved a unique image for himself as the epitome of virility, Recently, though, he hand been the subject of unkind comments in the media.

Last month the Chicago Tribune suggested that “pink powder pull” was a more apt label for the looks-conscious slar than “the great lorer”.

The revelation that both of his ex-wifes, Jean Acker and Natacha Ramlova, are lesbian also caused much speculation abount Valentino’s own sexual orientation.

For many, though, he was the dream lover.

News of his demise has reportedly provoked a rush of suicides worldwide.

Love at First Flight

1988 British Airways showed off its first husband and wife team of pilot recruits today.

The couple, Anna and Danish-born Morten Riis, begin their intensive pilots’ course with BA tomorrow.

After training, they will be assigned to separate aircrafts as co-pilots.

The couple met on a commercial pilot’s course at Perth in Scotland and married precisely two years and five days later.

Goths Gatecrash Rome

410 CE The disintegration of the once-mighty Roman is continuing apace with the fall of Rome to the Visigoths.

Alaric, King of the Visigoths, ordered his men to storm the city after the refusal by the Roman emperor of the West, Honorius, to agree to his terms.

The citizens of Rome are paying the price for their emperor’s delusions of power.

While he remains in the safety of his new and impregnable capital, Ravenna, they are being sacked.

Two years ago, when Alaric first threatened the city, the Roman authorities contemplated offering Sacrifices to the gods as a means of keeping the Visigoths at bay.

On this occasion, the authorities needed only to offer land and subsidies.

Fortunately for those who treasure Rome’s beauty, first reports of the sack suggest that booty rather than wholesale destruction is the main aim of the invaders.

The biggest loss from the fall of the capital is to Roman prestige.

1960 A new type of show is the talk of this year’s Edinburgh fringe: Beyond the Fringe, the work of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore, brings political satire to intimate revue.

Critics are hailing it as the best thing to hit Edinburgh for many a year.

Prejudice Threatens True Justice

Prejudice threatens true justice on August 23
Prejudice threatens true justice

1927 In one of the most controversial cases in American legal history, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti went to the electric chair today.

In July 1921 a jury found the men guilty of the murders of a factory paymaster and a guard during a robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts.

The guilty verdict was challenged on the grounds that the judge and jury had been prejudiced against the two political anarchists and immigrants.

Calls for a retrial were denied, even when in 1925 condemned criminal Celestino Madeiros gave evidence that the murders had been committed by the Morelli Gang Governor AT.

Fuller refused clemency for the two Italians, supported by an independent committee inspecting the case.

Questions concerning – administration of justice remain to be answered.

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