This Day in History – October 23

Today is the 296th day of 2023. There are 69 days left in the year


2011: Andrew Holness becomes Jamaica’s ninth prime minister.

1998: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat agree on a breakthrough land-for-peace West Bank accord after eight days of negotiations in the United States.

2009: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declares that elections must be held in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza on January 24, 2010 in spite of the lack of agreement between his party, Fatah and Hamas, which rules Gaza.


1641: The Great Irish Massacre occurs after the discovery of a conspiracy against the British.

1956: An anti-Communist revolution breaks out in Hungary but is crushed by a Soviet invasion on November 4. Representatives of 82 nations vote unanimously to establish an international agency to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy throughout the world.

1960: Puerto Rico’s three Roman Catholic bishops order Catholics not to vote for Governor Luis Munoz Marin’s Popular Democratic Party in forthcoming elections.

1962: The Soviet Union warns that a US blockade of arms shipments to Cuba may risk a thermonuclear war.

1973: The Israeli military command announces that Israel and Egypt have agreed to a new ceasefire in their Middle East war.

1983: A terrorist bent on suicide drives a truckload of high explosives through a series of barricades and into the US Marine Corps headquarters at the Beirut Airport in Lebanon, killing 241 U.S. servicemen and 58 Frenchmen.

1988: Long-awaited Soviet election reform calls for a choice of candidates but limits sharply what they can advocate.

1991: The four warring factions in Cambodia sign a peace treaty in Paris, paving the way for the return of refugees and democratic elections.

1996: A historian reveals that the Swiss bank accounts of presumed Holocaust victims were used to settle Switzerland’s post-war compensation disputes with Poland and Hungary.

1997: South Africa’s Nelson Mandela receives a hero’s welcome in Libya and calls for the United Nations to lift sanctions that are harming “our African brothers and sisters”.

1999: Illinois’s George Ryan pays the first visit to communist Cuba by a US governor since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, declaring he has come “to build bridges between people”.

2001: Indonesia’s Parliament passes a Bill granting the rebellious province of Irian Jaya sweeping autonomy, a greater share of resource revenues and a new name — Papua.

2004: Suspected Islamic militants kill 16 people heading to a soccer match in a pre-dawn ambush south of Algeria’s capital — the first bloodshed since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

2006: Police in Hungary fire tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse protesters in anti-government demonstrations coinciding with the nation’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of its uprising against Soviet rule.

2007: A protest in Caracas by thousands of people against constitutional changes proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is thwarted by police.

2010: A US-born spokesman for al-Qaeda urges Muslims living in the United States and Europe to carry out attacks there, calling it a duty and an obligation.

2012: US oil output surges so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.

2018: Microplastics are found in human stools for the first time by Austrian scientists. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejects Saudi claim that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed accidentally and says it was premeditated murder.

2019: A lorry containing 39 bodies of Vietnamese nationals is found in Essex, England; one man is arrested for human smuggling and murder.

2021: The capture of Colombia’s most-wanted drug lord, Dairo Antonio Usuga “Otoniel”, in Colombia’s Uraba region is announced live on TV.


Ludwig Leichhardt, Prussian explorer and naturalist (1813 – 1848); Louis Riel, Canadian rebel leader (1844-1885); Johnny Carson, American former Tonight Show host (1925-2005); Pele, Brazilian soccer star (1940-2022); Michael Crichton, US author (1942-2008); Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director (1954- )

– AP/ Jamaica Observer