23rd December

Born on this day 23rd December
1513 Thomas Smith
1621 Heneage Finch
1732 Sir Richard Arkwright
1854 Henry B. Guppy
1911 Niels Kaj Jerne
1925 Rayner Unwin
1933 Emperor Akihito
1947 Graham Bonnet
1951 Anthony Phillips
1953 Belinda Lang
1956 Dave Murray
1957 Trisha Goddard
1959 Geoff Willis
1961 Carol Smilie
1971 Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
1978 Jodie Marsh
1983 Michael Chopra
1984 Joseph Stacey
1985 Harry Judd


1893 The opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck is first performed.

1955 18 year old Shirley Bassey appearing in Al Reed’s ‘Such Is Life’ revue, signed to Philps Records

1964 Pirate station Radio London began broadcasting.

1969 Elton John wrote his first song with Bernie Taupin.


1987 24 year old David Duncan, one of the 25 British football supporters charged with manslaughter after the 1985 Heysel stadium riots, was released by a Brussels court.

People & Showbiz

1905 The final of Britain’s first recorded beauty contest took place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

1922 The BBC began its regular daily news broadcasts.

1970 Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ reached its 7511th consecutive performance to break the world record for the longest running play

General Events

1823 A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, is published anonymously.

1834 Hansom cabs were patented by English architect Joseph Hansom.

1937 First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.

1947 The transistor is first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.

1986 The US Voyager plane, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, completed the first non-stop flight around the world without refuelling.

1987 The first Scrooge Award by the Low Pay Unit was given to a Wiltshire stable owner who paid a qualified groom £28 a week. A doctor who employed a telephonist for 30 pence an hour was runner up. Both winners received a copy of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ as their prize.

1989 The Romanian army announced the capture of deposed Dictator Nicolae Ceaucsescu and his wife Nicole

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