#TodayInHistory – October 234 min read
October 23 – Some important events on this day.
4004 BC 👉🏼 Archbishop James Ussher, Primate of All Ireland, announced in 1650 that the universe had been created at 8pm on 23 October 4004 BC.
It was a claim famously put to the test in the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925 when American teacher John Scopes was accused of violating Tennessee state law by teaching evolution instead of the divine creation of man. Top lawyer Clarence Darrow appeared for the defence while former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan led the prosecution.
Using court testimony, the case was dramatised in the 1960 movie, “Inherit The Wind”.
42 BC 👉🏼 Roman Republican civil wars: Second Battle of Philippi – Brutus’s army is decisively defeated by Mark Antony and Octavian. Brutus commits suicide.
425 👉🏼 Valentinian III is elevated to Roman Emperor, at the age of 6
1091 👉🏼 Tornado (possible T8/F4) strikes the heart of London killing two and demolishing the wooden London Bridge
1157 👉🏼 The Battle of Grathe Heath ends the civil war in Denmark. King Sweyn III is killed and Valdemar I restores the country.
1814 👉🏼 1st plastic surgery is performed (England)
1854 👉🏼 English newspaper “The Times” gives precise British positions in Crimea during Crimean War
1911 👉🏼 1st aerial reconnaissance mission is flown by an Italian pilot over Turkish lines during the Italo-Turkish War.
In the years leading up to World War I, Italy became aggressive in pursuing claims to areas in Africa that were once part of the Roman Empire, which it saw itself as a successor to. Libya was the only other territory in Africa not claimed by another European power so it was the only possession Italy had a chance of dominating.
A rise in Italian colonial fervor coincided with the Ottoman Empire’s steady decline in the late 19th and early 20th century. Italy sent an ultimatum to the Ottomans on September 28, 1911, and the Ottomans attempted to negotiate, but Italy declared war the following day. The conflict lasted for a year and led to an Italian victory and control over what became Italian Libya. The conflict was minor in itself but was a significant precursor to World War I, weakening the Ottomans further, surging nationalism in the Balkans and causing the Balkan League to declare war on the Turks before the war had ended.
The war also had its share of technological advancements – including the airplane: on this day, the first aerial reconnaissance mission occurred, and on November 1, the first aerial bomb was dropped, both by an Italian aircraft. The Turks did not have anti-air defenses and became the first to shoot down an aircraft with rifle fire alone.
1915 👉🏼 An estimated 25,000 supporters in a women’s suffrage march on New York’s Fifth Ave, led by Dr. Anna Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the League of Women Voters.
In 1915 suffragettes organized a march down New York’s fifth Avenue in support of the up-coming referendum in the state on giving women the vote. The number of women marching was at least 25,000, though one spectator estimated 40,000 women marched five miles in a peaceful manner, all dressed in white, holding signs such as “You trust us with the children; trust us with the vote”.
The march ultimately failed and women in the state were not granted the right to vote until two years later in 1917. Nationally American women didn’t receive the vote until the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1919.
1941 👉🏼 Walt Disney’s animated film “Dumbo” released
1942 👉🏼 During WWII, Britain launches major offensive at El Alamein, Egypt
1958 👉🏼 The smurfs first appear in the story “Johan and Pirlouit” by Belgium cartoonist Peyo (Pierre Culliford).
The first appeared in 1958 with another cartoon story “Johan et Pirlouit” and were originally called “Schtroumpf”, translated into German as Smurf.
The Smurfs first appeared in their own cartoons in 1959 and in their own movie “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” in 1976. Hanna-Barbera Productions then produced a widely popular cartoon series in 1981 which ran until 1990. Sony pictures went on to release the first live-action/computer-animated Smurf film in 2011.
1977 👉🏼 Paleontologist Elso Barghoorn announces discovery of a 3.4-billion year old one-celled fossil, one of the earliest life forms on Earth
1981 👉🏼 US national debt hits $1 trillion
1991 👉🏼 “Les Miserables” opens at Mogador Theatre, Paris
2001 👉🏼 The Provisional Irish Republican Army of Northern Ireland commences disarmament after peace talks
2015 👉🏼 Adele releases her single “Hello” – becomes 1st song with more than a million downloads in 1st week (1.1m)
2018 👉🏼 Microplastics found in human stools for the first time by Austrian scientists
2018 👉🏼 World’s oldest intact shipwreck, ancient Greek vessel 2,400 years old, found at bottom of the Black Sea by archaeologists