Today In History - Sunday, November 23rd


MS ''Explorer'', a cruise liner carrying 154 people, sank in the Antarctic Ocean south of Argentina after hitting an iceberg near the South Shetland Islands.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, elected president of Liberia, is the first woman to lead an African country.

Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze resigns following weeks of mass protests over flawed elections.

Convention on Cybercrime is signed in Budapest, Hungary.

Agreement between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his rival, prince Norodom Ranariddh.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 is hijacked, then crashes into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Comoros after running out of fuel, killing 125.
The Republic of Angola officially joins the World Trade Organization.

Rachel Whiteread wins both the £20,000 Turner Prize award for best British modern artist and the £40,000 K Foundation art award for the worst artist of the year.

The first all woman expedition to the south pole (3 Americans, 1 Japanese and 12 Russians), sets off from Antarctica on the 1st leg of a 70 day, 1287 kilometre ski trek.

Gunmen hijack EgyptAir Flight 648 while en route from Athens to Cairo. When the plane lands in Malta, Egyptian commandos storm the hijacked jetliner, but 60 people die in the raid.

Iran-Contra Affair: Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

A series of earthquakes in southern Italy kills approximately 4,800 people.

In Dublin, Ireland, Provisional Irish Republican Army member Thomas McMahon is sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten.

Apneist Jacques Mayol is the first man to reach a depth of 100 m undersea without breathing equipment.

The representatives of the People's Republic of China first attended the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, as China's representatives (See China and the United Nations).

The BBC broadcast the first ever episode of Doctor Who staring William Hartnell which would become Britain's longest Science-Fiction Drama to date.

General Charles de Gaulle, President of France, declares in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for a "Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals."

The Cocos Islands are transferred from the control of the United Kingdom to Australia.

The Workers Party of South Korea is founded.

World War II: The Deutsche Opernhaus on Bismarckstraße in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg is destroyed. It will eventually be rebuilt in 1961 and be called the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
World War II: Tarawa and Makin atolls fall to American forces.

World War II: Romania becomes a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.

The first edition of ''Life'' is published.

An Anglo-Ethiopian boundary commission in the Ogaden discovers an Italian garrison at Walwal, which lay well within Ethiopian territory. This leads to the Abyssinia Crisis.

Mexican Revolution: The last of U.S. forces withdraw from Veracruz, occupied seven months earlier in response to the Tampico Affair.

Colorado Governor James Peabody sends the state militia into the town of Cripple Creek to break up a miners' strike.

King William III of the Netherlands dies without a male heir and a special law is passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir.
General elections in Italy.

The first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.

Corrupt Tammany Hall leader William Marcy Tweed (better known as Boss Tweed) is delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain.

In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper ''Cutty Sark'' is launched - one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day.

The Manchester Martyrs were hanged in Manchester, England for rescuing two Irish men from jail.

American Civil War: Battle of Chattanooga begins - Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant reinforce troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee and counter-attack Confederate troops.

Independence of the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark.

French mathematician, scientist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal experiences an intense, mystical vision that marks him for life.

''Areopagitica'', a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton is published.

The Second war of Kappel results in the dissolution of the Protestant alliance in Switzerland.

Pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck is hanged for reportedly attempting to escape from the Tower of London. He had invaded England in 1497, claiming to be the lost son of King Edward IV of England.

Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile.

Polish Prince Leszek I the White is assassinated at an assembly of Piast dukes at Gąsawa.

Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III.