This Day in History — January 23

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Today is the 23rd day of 2019. There are 342 days left in the year.


1977: The TV miniseries Roots, based on the Alex Haley novel about an African-American family’s heritage, begins airing on ABC television. It becomes one of the most-watched shows in US history.



1368: China’s Ming dynasty, which lasted nearly three centuries, begins as Zhu Yuanzhang is formally acclaimed emperor following the collapse of the Yuan dynasty.

1542: King Henry VIII takes the title of King of Ireland.

1570: Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, is assassinated.

1631: France, under the Treaty of Barwalde, undertakes to subsidise Sweden in Thirty Years’ War.

1789: Georgetown University is established in present-day Washington.

1845: US Congress decides all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

1849: Dr Elizabeth Blackwell receives the first doctor of medicine degree awarded to an American woman.

1918: The Soviet government officially severs relations with the church.

1933: The 20th Amendment to the US Constitution, the so-called Lame Duck Amendment, was ratified as Missouri approved it.

1937: Seventeen Communist leaders confess in Moscow that they conspired with Leon Trotsky to undermine Soviet regime of Josef Stalin in the “Great Purge”.

1944: Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (The Scream) dies near Oslo at age 80.

1950: The Knesset proclaims Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

1964: The 24th amendment to the US Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, is ratified.

1973: US President Richard M Nixon announces that an accord has been reached in the Vietnam War.

1985: Debate in Britain’s House of Lords is carried live on television for the first time.

1992: The Salvadoran legislature issues an amnesty for guerrilla fighters of a 12-year civil war, allowing them to return to society.

1993: Iraq denies its anti-aircraft batteries fired at US warplanes and again reaffirms a ceasefire it declared.

1996: Yigal Amir confesses in court to killing Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

1997: France’s highest court rejects a final appeal and orders Maurice Papon, a former Vichy official, to stand trial for deporting Jews to death camps during World War II.

1998: Pakistani Mir Aimal Kasi is sentenced to death in Fairfax, Virginia, for a politically motivated ambush outside the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency that left two men dead. He is executed in November 2002.

2001: A new administration in the Philippines moves to freeze the bank accounts of ousted President Joseph Estrada and begins a criminal investigation against him.

2002: A previously unknown militant group kidnaps Daniel Pearl, a reporter for The US’ Wall Street Journal newspaper, in Karachi, Pakistan. Pearl, who had been working on a story about Islamist militant groups in that country, is later killed.

2005: With Tamil Tiger rebels claiming the Sri Lankan government is blocking tsunami aid to rebel-controlled areas, Norwegian diplomats urge the two sides to create a joint body that would ensure fair distribution of humanitarian supplies.

2007: More than 100,000 mourners choke the streets of Istanbul for the funeral of Hrant Dink, the Armenian journalist who was gunned down in broad daylight on January 19 because of public statements made about the mass killings of Armenians by Turks in the early 20th century.

2009: French President Nicolas Sarkozy orders a frigate deployed immediately to the waters off Gaza in an effort to fight arms smuggling and consolidate a fragile ceasefire.

2011: Allies and adversaries of President Hugo Chavez take to the streets of the capital by the thousands, staging rival demonstrations to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of Venezuela’s democracy.

2012: France’s Parliament votes to make it a crime to deny that the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago constituted a genocide, risking more sanctions from Turkey.

2014: Syria’s Government says stopping terrorism — not talking peace — was its priority while the Western-backed opposition said the “road to negotiations” was open, offering a glimmering of hope for a way to half the violence that has killed 130,000 people.

2017: President Donald Trump withdraws the United States from the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, using one of his first actions in office to reject a proposed accord that was eagerly sought by American allies in Asia. Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick are elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.



Marie Henri Beyle Stendahl, French author (1783-1842); Edouard Manet, French artist (1832-1883); Jeanne Moreau, French actress (1928-2017); Derek Walcott, Caribbean poet and Nobel laureate (1930-2017); Rutger Hauer, Dutch-born actor (1944- ); Mariska Hargitay, US actress (1964- )

— AP

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