Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 23 December
1030: The Falling Man in the cathedral of Tournai, Belgium, was completed by its architect shortly before he plunged to his death from scaffolding.
1728: Treaty of Berlin between Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and Frederick William of Prussia.
1831: Outbreak of cholera in Scotland.
1834: Hansom cabs were patented by Joseph Hansom, who immediately sold his rights for £10,000 – but was never paid.
1845: Britain’s longest railway tunnel, three miles and 13 yards long, was opened through the Pennines.
1848: The first special number of a Christmas magazine, the Illustrated London News, was published.
1888: Vincent Van Gogh, suffering severe depression, exacerbated by companion Paul Gauguin’s decision to leave their lodgings at Arles to escape winter, cut off his ear.
1890: More than 60 ships were lost in the North Atlantic during severe storms.
1913: The United States Federal Reserve Bank was founded.
1922: The BBC began regular daily news broadcasts.
1948: Tokyo’s former premier, Hideki Tojo, and six other Japanese war leaders were executed in Tokyo for war crimes.
1972: Earthquake that struck Managua, Nicaragua, was reported to have taken up to 12,000 lives.
1986: Voyager, piloted by American Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, landed in California’s Mojave Desert at end of the first non-stop flight round the world without refuelling.
1989: Hundreds died in fierce street fighting in Bucharest between the army and pro-Ceausescu Securitate. Nicolae Ceausescu and wife Elena fled by helicopter, but were later arrested. They were condemned to death in a two-hour trial and were executed two days later.
1990: Plebiscite in Yugoslavian republic of Slovenia showed 90 per cent majority in favour of independence.
1990: The propellers of the QE2 were given a super-shine, resulting in a fuel saving of £4,000 for every day the liner was at sea.
1995: Sixteen members of a Swiss Doomsday cult were found dead in the Alps. Police said they were murdered.
2002: A MQ-1 Predator was shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.
2010: Disgraced former MSP Tommy Sheridan was convicted of perjury at the High Court in Glasgow.
Carol Ann Duffy, Glasgow-born poet laureate, 58; Akihito, emperor of Japan, 80; Graham Kelly, chief executive, Football Association 1989-98, 68; Belinda Lang, actress, 58; Kenny Miller, Scottish football player, 34; Helmut Schmidt, chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany 1974-82, 95; Queen Silvia of Sweden, 70; Carol Smillie, broadcaster, 52; Eddie Vedder, rock singer (Pearl Jam), 49; Nigel Paulet, 18th Marquess of Winchester, 72.
Births: 1732 Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of mechanical cotton spinning processes; 1812 Samuel Smiles, Haddington-born writer and moralist, author of Self Help (1859); 1888 J Arthur Rank, Lord Rank, film magnate; 1908 Yousuf Karsh, photographer.
Deaths: 1834 Thomas Robert Malthus, economist; 1923 Gustave Eiffel, builder of the Paris tower; 2000 Sir Jimmy Shand, accordionist and country dance-band leader.