On this day: Hale-Bopp comet discovered

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 July

On this day in 1995 the Hale-Bopp comet was discovered separately by Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp. Picture: AFP

National day of Ethiopia and the United Arab Republic.

776 BC: The first Olympic Games opened in Olympia. The foot race was won by Koroibos, a cook.

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636 AD: Arabs gained control of most of Palestine from the Byzantine empire.

1637: During a presbyterian riot in St Giles’ Cathedral, Jenny Geddes cried out: “Dost thous say Mass in my lug?” and threw her chair at the pulpit.

1745: Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the “Young Pretender”, landed on Eriskay.

1834: HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, anchored in the Bay of Valparaiso.

1840: The province of Canada was established when the British parliament passed the Act of Union which united Upper and Lower Canada.

1851: The Sioux Indians and the USA signed the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux.

1903: The Ford Motor Company sold its first car.

1913: “Second Revolution” broke out in south China.

1914: Austria and Hungary issued ultimatum to Serbia after assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

1920: British East Africa was renamed Kenya and became British Crown colony.

1921: The Chinese Communist party was formed.

1929: The Fascist government of Italy banned use of foreign words.

1934: Don Bradman scored 304 runs in 430 minutes for Australia against England at Headingley.

1940: The Local Defence Volunteers were renamed by Winston Churchill as the Home Guard.

1940: The London blitz began with an all-night German air raid.

1945: Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, head of state of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944, was put on trial. He died on the same date in 1951 while serving a life sentence for collaboration.

1955: Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record on Ullswater when he reached 202.32mph in Bluebird.

1958: The first four women were named to the peerage in the House of Lords.

1973: President Richard Nixon refused to release tapes of conversations at the White House as part of the Watergate investigation.

1986: Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in Westminster Abbey, and was made Duke of York following a 600-year-old English tradition for the monarch’s second son.

1987: Said Aouita of Morocco ran a world record time of 12:58.39 for the 5,000 metres.

1989: Mark Calcavecchia shot 275 at Royal Troon to win the Open Championship.

1991: Sellafield, Cumbria, was chosen by Nirex as site for deep underground depository for low-level radioactive nuclear waste.

1994: Space Shuttle Columbia 17 landed after a record 14 days, 55 minutes.

1995: Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered.

1995: John Daly scored 282 to win the Open Championship at St Andrews.

2005: Three terrorist bombs killed 88 people in the Egyptian tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

2008: Canoeist John Darwin, who faked his own drowning in 2002, was jailed for six years at Teesside Crown Court for a £250,000 insurance fraud. His wife, Anne, who maintained the facade of a grieving widow for five years, was jailed for her part in the fraud.


Daniel Radcliffe, actor, 25; David Essex OBE, singer and actor, 67; Graham Gooch OBE, English cricketer and coach, 61; Woody Harrelson, actor, 53; Francis Healy, Scottish musician (Travis), 41; Monica Lewinsky, former White House intern who had “improper relationship” with then president Bill Clinton, 41; Lord Rogers of Riverside, architect, 81; Slash (born Saul Hudson), guitarist (Guns N’ Roses), 49; Jo Brand, comedienne and actress, 57; Martin Gore, musician (Depeche Mode), 53; Blair Thornton, rock guitarist (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), 64; Maurice Greene, retired athlete, former 100m record holder, 40.


Births: 1841 Edmund Armstrong, poet; 1883 Lord Alanbrooke, soldier; 1886 Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, Glasgow-born aviator and companion of Alcock on first transatlantic flight; 1888 Raymond Chandler, American writer; 1907 Elspeth Huxley, writer; 1913 Michael Foot, leader, Labour Party 1980-3; 1921 Peter Twiss OBE, British fighter ace and test pilot; 1942 Myra Hindley, Moors murderer; 1967 Philip Seymour Hoffman, American actor.

Deaths: 1403 Sir Henry Percy (“Harry Hotspur”), nobleman, captain in the Anglo-Scottish wars, slain at Shrewsbury; 1793 Roger Sherman, signatory to the US Declaration of Independence; 1885 Ulysses Grant, 18th United States president from 1869 to 1877; 1916 Sir William Ramsay, Glasgow-born chemist who discovered inert gases; 2011 Amy Winehouse, singer-songwriter.