23 December 2006

This day in history: 23 Dec

1783: George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

1888: Vincent van Gogh, stressing over his relationship with fellow artist Paul Gauguin, cut off part of his left ear and presented it to a prostitute.

1916: ANZAC forces defeated the Turks at the Battle of Magdhaba, in the Sinai.

1948: Hideki Tojo and six other Japanese (six other generals and the former foreign minister) were hanged for war crimes committed during World War II.

1954: The first human kidney transplant was performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray, in Boston, Massachusetts.

1972: The last group of survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which had crashed in the Andes on 13 October, were rescued.

1986: Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world.

1990: 88% of Slovenia's population voted for independence from Yugoslavia in a national referendum.

In addition to Tojo (1884-1948), Berengaria of Navarre (1160s-1230), Anton Fokker (1890-1939), Lavrentij Pavlovich Beriya (1899-1953), Charlie Ruggles (1886-1970), Andrej Nikolaevich Tupolev (1888-1972), Jack Webb (1920-1982), Victor Borge (1909-2000) and Billy Barty (1924-2000) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Tsar Aleksandr I Pavlovich (1777-1825), Jean-Fran├žois Champollion (1790-1832), Avraham Stern (1907-1942), James Gregory (1911-2002), James Stockdale (1923-2005) and Queen Silvia of Sweden (1943-TBD).

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