On this day: iPod launched | Battle of El Alamein

The Battle of El Alamein began in Egypt on this day in 1942. Picture: Getty
The Battle of El Alamein began in Egypt on this day in 1942. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 October

23 October

1295: Treaty between King John Balliol of Scotland and King Philippe le Bel of France, made at Paris for military help against the English – “the Auld Alliance.”

1707: The first Parliament of Great Britain met.

1822: The Caledonian Canal, 60 miles long, was opened.

1897: First Post Office motor van, a Daimler, went into service in London.

1911: Winston Churchill took over as First Lord of the Admiralty.

1917: United States troops saw first action in First World War near Luneville, France.

1922: Lilian Gatlin became first woman to fly across the United States, in 27 hours 11 minutes.

1941: Premiere of the Walt Disney cartoon film Dumbo, about a flying elephant, in New York.

1942: The Battle of El Alamein in Egypt began.

1946: First meeting of United Nations General Assembly took.

1958: Soviet Union approved loan to United Arab Republic for Aswan Dam, in Egypt.

1962: Soviet Union issued warning that a US quarantine of arms shipments to Cuba risked a thermonuclear war.

1970: World record speed for rocket-engine car set at 631mph by American Gary Gabelich on Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

1972: Access credit cards were launched in Britain.

1975: Leading cancer expert Professor Gordon Fairley was killed when a car bomb exploded as he walked past the parked Jaguar of his next-door neighbour, Hugh Fraser, MP.

1983: Suicide bombers blew up US Marine headquarters building at Beirut Airport, Lebanon, and nearby French headquarters with bomb-laden trucks, killing 241 marines and 58 Frenchmen.

1987: Lester Piggott, 11 times champion jockey and later a top trainer, was jailed for three years for tax evasion. He was later stripped of his OBE.

1989: In Leipzig, East Germany, 200-300,000 people marched through the city demanding reforms.

1991: The House of Lords ruled that husbands could legally be convicted of raping their wives.

2001: Apple announced launch of the iPod.

2004: Earthquake hit Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, killing 35 people, injuring 2,200 and leaving 85,000 homeless.

2009: Due to a strike, the Royal Mail was forced to admit it had a backlog of 30 million letters.

2012: BBC Ceefax, the world’s first teletext service, was turned off as the UK’s digital switchover was completed.


Pelé (born Edson Arantes do Nascimento), Brazilian footballer, 73; Cat Deeley, television presenter, 37; Briana Evigan, actress, 27; Izabel Goulart, model, 29; Steve Harmison, cricketer, 35; Ang Lee, film director, 59; Martin Luther King III, human rights advocate, 56; Sam Raimi, film director, 54; Ryan Reynolds, actor, 37.


Births: 1773 Lord Jeffrey, judge and literary critic; 1817 Pierre Larousse, lexicographer and encyclopaedist; 1844 Robert Bridges, Poet Laureate in 1913; 1906 Gertrude Ederle, first woman to swim the Channel; 1924 Michael Crichton, best-selling author; 1931 Diana Dors, actress; 1942 Dame Anita Roddick, Body Shop founder.

Deaths: 42BC Brutus (fell on his own sword in Rome); 1921 John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish vet and pioneer of pneumatic tyre; 1939 Zane Grey, writer of western novels; 1950 Al Jolson, singer; 1998 Christopher Gable, dancer, actor and choreographer; 2006 Sir Malcolm Arnold, composer.