#TodayInHistory – June 23
June 23 – Some important events on this day.
930 👉🏼 World’s oldest parliament, the Icelandic Parliament, the Alþingi (anglicised as Althing or Althingi), established. 🇮🇸
1683 👉🏼 William Penn signs friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape indians in Pennsylvania. It was only treaty “not sworn to, nor broken”.
An early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, William Penn was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.
1775 👉🏼 1st regatta held on river Thames, England.
1819 👉🏼 First editions of “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.” by Washington Irving released, featuring story “Rip Van Winkle”.
Washing Irving, called “first Americans man of letters” is famous for his short stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Both stories were published as part of Washington’s “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent in 1819–20.
Irving also wrote successful historical works, including biographies of George Washington and Muhammad. He was America’s first genuine internationally best-selling author, and advocated for writing as a legitimate profession.
1940 👉🏼 Hitler takes a tour of Paris.
On this day, Adolf Hitler surveys notable sites in the French capital, now German-occupied territory.
In his first and only visit to Paris, he made Napoleon’s tomb among the sites to see. “That was the greatest and finest moment of my life,” he said upon leaving. Comparisons between the Fuhrer and Napoleon have been made many times: They were both foreigners to the countries they ruled (Napoleon was Italian, Hitler was Austrian), both planned invasions of Russia while preparing invasions of England, both captured the Russian city of Vilna on June 24, both had photographic memories, both were under 1,75 meters tall, among other coincidences….
1960 👉🏼 1st contraceptive pill is made available for purchase in the U.S.
1972 👉🏼 Hurricane Agnes becomes America’s costliest natural disaster, effecting 15 states, with 119 deaths and $3 billion in damage 🌪
1974 👉🏼 1st extraterrestrial message sent from Earth into space 👽
1979 👉🏼 Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” becomes No. 1 album in the US featuring “Take the Long Way Home”
1981 👉🏼 Longest game in Professional Baseball: Pawtucket Red Sox finally beat Rochester Red Wings 3-2 in 33 innings (game began 18th April)
1989 👉🏼 Movie “Batman” premieres directed by Tim Burton, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson 🦇
1990 👉🏼 Moldavia declares independence 🇲🇩
1992 👉🏼 Mafia boss John Gotti, aka “Teflon Don,” sentenced to life.
After escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s, he is sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering. Moments after his sentence was read in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, hundreds of Gotti’s supporters stormed the building and overturned and smashed cars before being forced back by police reinforcements.
2016 👉🏼 Brexit referendum: United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union.
The UK’s membership in the European Union had been a thorny issue for many in British politics, particularly Eurosceptic members of the Conservative Party. In order to put the issue to bed once and for all, in 2013 then-Prime Minister David Cameron announced a plan for a referendum on the country’s membership in the EU.
Except the issue was not put to bed. Cameron and many senior government officials campaigned to stay in the EU, while others, such as Boris Johnson, campaigned to leave. On June 23, 2016, the UK voted to leave by 52% to 48%. This was an unexpected shock result and David Cameron resigned as a result.
British politics has been in turmoil ever since. Theresa May was elected leader, and has overseen the negotiations to leave for three years, only to have her deal voted down by Parliament three times. The original Brexit date was March 29, 2019, but this has since been postponed to 31 October 2019 as the UK attempts to find a way out of the crisis.