On this day: Kim Philby defected to Russia

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 January

On this day in 1985,  House of Lords proceedings
were  televised for the first time. Picture: Getty
On this day in 1985, House of Lords proceedings were televised for the first time. Picture: Getty

23 January

1562: Licence granted for lead-mining in Upper Clydesdale.

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1668: England and Holland signed Alliance of The Hague.

1790: The Bounty mutineers landed on Pitcairn Island, with Fletcher Christian.

1849: Elizabeth Blackwell, from Bristol, became first woman doctor when she graduated from Medical School of Geneva, New York State.

1920: Netherlands refused to surrender Germany’s former Kaiser William II to Allies for punishment as First World War criminal.

1937: Seventeen Communist leaders confessed in Moscow that they conspired with Leon Trotsky to undermine Soviet regime of Josef Stalin.

1941: Nylon was first produced in Britain, at Coventry.

1943: Tripoli was captured by the British.

1963: Kim Philby, double agent, defected to Russia.

1964: Twenty-fourth Amendment to United States Constitution was ratified, barring poll tax in Federal elections.

1970: First jumbo jet arrival at Heathrow Airport, London, with 362 passengers. The airport could not cope with the extra luggage, and much of it went astray.

1973: US president Richard Nixon announced that accord had been reached in Vietnam War.

1979: Space Invaders game first seen in Britain, exhibited at London’s Amusement Trade Exhibition. Within 12 months, 70,000 had been sold.

1985: House of Lords debate was televised live for the first time.

1997: Madeleine Albright became the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.

2002: “American Taleban” John Walker Lindh returned to the US in FBI custody.

2002: Reporter Daniel Pearl ws kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan and subsequently murdered.

2008: The chestnut tree that Anne Frank wrote about in her diary as she hid from the Nazis during the Second World War in Amsterdam was saved. The diseased tree had been deemed dangerous by the authorities and was due to be chopped down.

2009: Figures revealed that the United Kingdom was officially in recession after the economy saw its worst output performance since 1980 in the final three months of 2008.


Ewen Bremner, Scottish actor, 42; Gary Burton, jazz vibes player, 71; Earl Falconer, bass player and singer in UB40, 59; Scott Gibbs, rugby league and union player, 43; Paula Hamilton, model, 56; Caroline, Princess of Hanover (Princess Caroline of Monaco), 57; Rutger Hauer, actor, 70; Andrei Kanchelskis, footballer, 45; Gary Mackay, Scottish footballer and agent, 50; Jeanne Moreau, actress, 86; Lisa Snowdon, model and television presenter, 42.


Births: 1783 Stendahl (Marie Henri Beyle), author; 1832 Edouard Manet, artist; 1898 Sergei Eisenstein, film director; 1900 Humphrey Bogart, actor (Warner Brothers changed his birthday to 25 December, 1899 and lopped a year off his age); 1903 Randolph Scott, film actor.

Deaths: 1570 James Stewart, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland; 1622 William Baffin, navigator and searcher for North-west Passage; 1806 William Pitt the Younger, Tory statesman and twice prime minister; 1875 Charles Kingsley, clergyman and author; 1931 Anna Pavlova, prima ballerina; 1944 Edvard Munch, painter; 1947 Pierre Bonnard, artist; 1976 Paul Robeson, singer and actor; 1994 Brian Redhead, radio presenter; 1989 Salvador Dali, artist.