Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Today in History....January 23

1368, in a coronation ceremony, Zhu Yuanzhang ascends to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that would last for three centuries

* 1556, the deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000

* 1793, Russia and Prussia partition Poland

* 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November

* 1897, Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction

* 1904, the Ålesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Ålesund is devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless and one person dead.
Kaiser Wilhelm II funds the rebuilding of the town in Jugendstil style

* 1920, the Netherlands refuses to surrender ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the Allies

* 1941, Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler, ym"sh

* 1943, Jewish-led Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

* 1950, the Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

* 1964, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified

* 1973, President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam

* 1985, O.J. Simpson becomes the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Football Hall of Fame

* 1996, the first version of the Java programming language is releasedn

* 1998, fighting scandal allegations involving Monica Lewinsky, President Bill Clinton assured his Cabinet during a meeting that he was innocent and urged them to concentrate on their jobs

* 2001, the Chinese Communist Party stages a self-immolation in Tiananmen Square to frame Falun Gong and escalate the persecution

* 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped -- and subsequently beheaded
-- in Karachi, Pakistan by practitioners of that "religion of peace"

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