|December 23 in recent years
December 23 is the 357th day of the year (358th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 8 days remaining until the end of the year.
It is the first day of the Winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, in the Southern Hemisphere, the last day of the spring season.
- 1493 - Georg Alt's German translation of Hartmann Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle is published.
- 1783 - George Washington resigns as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis.
- 1793 - The Battle of Savenay, decisive defeat of the royalist counter-revolutionaries in Revolt in the Vendée during the French Revolution.
- 1823 - The poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (AKA The Night Before Christmas) is published in the Sentinel.
- 1888 - Vincent van Gogh cuts off the lower part of his left ear, takes it to a brothel, and gives it to a prostitute named Rachel.
- 1911 - Stanislavski and Craig's seminal production of Hamlet opened at the Moscow Arts Theatre.
- 1913 - The Federal Reserve Act is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve.
- 1914 - World War I: The Australian and New Zealand troops arrive in Cairo.
- 1916 - World War I: Battle of Magdhaba - Allied forces defeat Turkish forces in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.
- 1921 - Visva-Bharati University inaugurated.
- 1936 - Colombia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
- 1937 - First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.
- 1938 - South Africa Discovery of the first modern coelacanth.
- 1940 - World War II: Greek submarine Papanikolis (Υ-2) sinks the Italian motor ship Antonietta.
- 1941 - World War II: Japanese Imperial Army occupied Wake Island.
- 1947 - The transistor is first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.
- 1948 - Seven Japanese convicted of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East were executed at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo.
- 1954 - The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.
- 1958 - Dedication of Tokyo Tower, world's highest self-supporting iron tower.
- 1972 - The Nicaraguan capital of Managua is struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, killing more than 10,000.
- 1972 - The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster are rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.
- 1972 - The Pittsburgh Steelers win their first ever post-season NFL game, defeating the Oakland Raiders 13-7, on a last second play that would become known as The Immaculate Reception.
- 1979 - Soviet war in Afghanistan: Soviet forces occupy Kabul, the Afghan capital.
- 1982 - The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces it has identified dangerous levels of dioxin in the soil of Times Beach.
- 1986 - Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California and becomes the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world.
- 1990 - History of Slovenia: 88% of Slovenia's population vote for independence from Yugoslavia in a referendum.
- 2002 - A MQ-1 Predator was shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.
- 2004 - Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean is hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.
- 2005 - Azerbaijan Airlines Flight 217 from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Aktau, Kazakhstan crashed shortly after takeoff killing 23 people.
- 2005 - Chad declares a state of war against Sudan following a December 18th attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.
- 245- Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra
- 1173 - Louis I (d. 1231)
- 1513 - Thomas Smith, English diplomat and scholar (d. 1577)
- 1537 - King John III of Sweden (d. 1592)
- 1582 - Severo Bonini, Italian composer (d. 1663)
- 1597 - Martin Opitz von Boberfeld, German poet (d. 1639)
- 1613 - Carl Gustaf Wrangel, Swedish soldier (d. 1676)
- 1621 - Edmund Berry Godfrey, English magistrate (d. 1678)
- 1621 - Heneage Finch, Lord Chancellor of England (d. 1682)
- 1689 - Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, French composer (d. 1755)
- 1732 - Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor (d. 1792)
- 1743 - Ippolit Bogdanovich, Russian poet (d. 1803)
- 1750 - King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony (d. 1827)
- 1777 - Tsar Alexander I of Russia (d. 1825)
- 1790 - Jean François Champollion, French Egyptologist (d. 1832)
- 1804 - Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, French literary critic (d. 1869)
- 1805 - Joseph Smith (1805-1844), American founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- 1819 - Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (d. 1889)
- 1822 - Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer (d. 1875)
- 1843 - Richard Conner, American Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient (d. 1924)
- 1854 - Henry B. Guppy, British botanist (d. 1926)
- 1864 - Zorka of Montenegro, Princess of Serbia (d. 1890)
- 1867 - Madam C.J. Walker, American philanthropist and tycoon(d. 1919)
- 1878 - Stephen Timoshenko, Ukrainian-born mechanical engineer (d. 1972)
- 1885 - Pierre Brissaud, French artist (d. 1964)
- 1891 - Alexandr Rodchenko, Russian painter and photographer (d. 1956)
- 1900 - Otto Soglow, American comics artist (d. 1975)
- 1902 - Norman Maclean, American author (d. 1990)
- 1907 - Avraham Stern, Polish-born Zionist leader (d. 1942)
- 1908 - Yousuf Karsh, Turkish-born, Canadian portrait photographer (d. 2002)
- 1911 - Niels Kaj Jerne, English-born immunologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1994)
- 1911 - James Gregory, American actor (d. 2002)
- 1918 - Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of Germany
- 1918 - José Greco, Italian-born flamenco dancer (d. 2001)
- 1921 - Guy Beaulne, French Canadian actor and theatre director (d. 2001)
- 1922 - Micheline Ostermeyer, French athlete and musician (d. 2001)
- 1923 - Günther Schifter, Austrian music journalist
- 1923 - Claudio Scimone, Italian conductor
- 1923 - James Stockdale, U.S. Navy admiral (d. 2005)
- 1923 - Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (d. 1954)
- 1926 - Robert Bly, American poet
- 1928 - Chronis Aidonidis, Greek singer
- 1929 - Chet Baker, American jazz trumpet player (d. 1988)
- 1931 - Ronnie Schell, American actor
- 1933 - Akihito, Emperor of Japan
- 1935 - Paul Hornung, American football player
- 1935 - Esther Phillips, American singer (d. 1984)
- 1936 - Frederic Forrest, American actor
- 1937 - Barney Rosenzweig, American television producer
- 1938 - Bob Kahn, American Internet pioneer
- 1940 - Jorma Kaukonen, American musician
- 1940 - Robert Labine, former mayor of old city of Gatineau
- 1940 - Eugene Record, American singer (The Chi-Lites) (d. 2005)
- 1941 - Tim Hardin, American musician (d. 1980)
- 1942 - John Peterman, American fashion designer
- 1943 - Mikhail Gromov, Russian-born mathematician
- 1943 - Harry Shearer, American actor
- 1943 - Ron Allen, baseball player
- 1943 - Elizabeth Hartman, American actress (d. 1987)
- 1943 - Silvia Sommerlath, Queen of Sweden
- 1944 - Wesley Clark, U.S. general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander
- 1945 - Ron Bushy, American drummer (Iron Butterfly)
- 1946 - Edita Gruberova, Slovak operatic soprano
- 1946 - Susan Lucci, American actress
- 1947 – Heikki Lahtinen, Finnish race walker
- 1948 - Jack Ham, American football player
- 1949 - Adrian Belew, American musician
- 1950 - Michael C. Burgess, American politician
- 1950 - Ilchi Lee, Korean educator and author
- 1951 - Anthony Phillips, British guitarist (Genesis)
- 1952 - William Kristol, American political commentator
- 1956 - Dave Murray, English guitarist (Iron Maiden)
- 1956 - Michele Alboreto, Italian Formula one driver (d. 2001)
- 1957 - Dan Bigras, Canadian singer
- 1957 - Trisha Goddard, English television presenter
- 1958 - Victoria Williams, American singer
- 1958 - Joan Severance, American actress
- 1959 - Geoff Willis, British engineer
- 1961 - Carol Smillie, British television personality
- 1962 - Keiji Muto, Japanese professional wrestler
- 1962 - Bertrand Gachot, Belgian racing driver
- 1963 - Jim Harbaugh, American football player
- 1963 - Donna Tartt, American author
- 1964 - Eddie Vedder, American musician (Pearl Jam)
- 1968 - Carla Bruni, Italian-French model, songwriter and singer
- 1969 - Martha Byrne, American actress
- 1970 - Catriona LeMay Doan, Canadian speed skater
- 1970 - Raymont Harris, American football player
- 1971 - Corey Haim, Canadian actor
- 1971 - Masayoshi Yamazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter
- 1971 - Michalis Klokidis, Greek footballer
- 1971 - Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, British socialite
- 1974 - Agustín Delgado, Ecuadorian footballer
- 1975 - Sky Lopez, American actress
- 1975 - Vadim Sharifijanov, Russian ice hockey player
- 1976 - Brad Lidge, American baseball player
- 1976 - Dimitris Mavrogenidis, Greek footballer
- 1976 - Jamie Noble, American professional wrestler
- 1977 - Alge Crumpler, American football player
- 1977 - Jari Mäenpää, Finnish guitarist and singer
- 1977 - Paul Shirley, American basketball player
- 1978 - Andra Davis, American football player
- 1978 - Esthero, Canadian musician and singer
- 1978 - Jodie Marsh, British pornographic model
- 1978 - Víctor Martínez, Venezuelan baseball player
- 1978 - Estella Warren, Canadian model and actress
- 1979 - Summer Altice, American model and actress
- 1979 - Scott Gomez, American ice hockey player
- 1981 - Beth, Spanish singer
- 1983 - Michael Chopra, English footballer
- 1983 - Hanley Ramírez, Dominican baseball player
- 1985 - Harry Judd, British drummer (McFly)
- 1985 - Luke O'Loughlin, Australian actor
- 1988 - Eri Kamei, Japanese singer
- 1990 - Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, American actress, model, and singer
- 910 - Naum of Preslav, Bulgarian scholar
- 913 - Conrad of Franconia
- 918 - Conrad I of Germany
- 1230 - Berengaria of Navarre, queen of Richard I of England
- 1556 - Nicholas Udall, English playwright (b. 1504)
- 1568 - Roger Ascham, tutor of Elizabeth I of England
- 1575 - Akiyama Nobutomo, Japanese warrior (hanged) (b. 1531)
- 1588 - Henry I, French Catholic leader (b. 1550)
- 1631 - Michael Drayton, English poet (b. 1563)
- 1646 - François Maynard, French poet (b. 1582)
- 1652 - John Cotton, founder of Boston, Massachusetts (b. 1585)
- 1675 - Caesar, French marshal and diplomat (b. 1602)
- 1722 - Pierre Varignon, French mathematician (b. 1654)
- 1771 - Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, Canadian saint (b. 1701)
- 1761 - Alestair Ruadh MacDonnell, Scottish Jacobite spy
- 1779 - Augustus Hervey, British admiral and politician (b. 1724)
- 1789 - Charles-Michel de l'Épée, French philanthropist and developer of signed French (b. 1712)
- 1793 - Johann Adolph Hasse, German composer (b. 1699)
- 1793 - Antoine François Prévost, French author and novelist (b. 1697)
- 1795 - Henry Clinton, British general (b. 1730)
- 1805 - Pehr Osbeck, Swedish explorer and naturalist (b. 1723)
- 1834 - Thomas Malthus, English demographer and economist (b. 1766)
- 1846 - Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent, French naturalist (b. 1780)
- 1902 - Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1821)
- 1912 - Otto Schoetensack, German anthropologist (b. 1850)
- 1931 - Wilson Bentley, American scientist
- 1939 - Anthony Fokker, Dutch aircraft manufacturer (b. 1890)
- 1946 - John A. Sampson, American gynecologist (b. 1873)
- 1948 - Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan (hanged) (b. 1884)
- 1948 - Akira Muto, Japanese army commander (hanged) (b. 1883)
- 1953 - Lavrenty Beria, Soviet Communist leader (b. 1899)
- 1954 - René Iché, French sculptor (b. 1897)
- 1970 - Charles Ruggles, American actor (b. 1886)
- 1972 - Andrei Tupolev, Soviet aircraft designer (b. 1888)
- 1973 - Charles Atlas, Italian-born bodybuilder (b. 1892)
- 1973 - Irna Phillips, American television writer, director, and producer (b. 1901)
- 1979 - Peggy Guggenheim, American art collector (b. 1898)
- 1982 - Jack Webb, American actor, producer, and director (b. 1920)
- 1983 - Colin Middleton, Northern Irish artist (b. 1910)
- 1992 - Vincent Fourcade, French American interior designer and socialite (b. 1934)
- 1992 - Eddie Hazel, American guitarist (Funkadelic) (b. 1950)
- 1994 - Sebastian Shaw, English actor (b. 1905)
- 1997 - Stanley Cortez, American cinematographer (b. 1908)
- 2000 - Noor Jehan, Mallika-e-Tarranum (Queen of Melody) (b. 1926)
- 2000 - Billy Barty, American actor (b. 1924)
- 2000 - Victor Borge, Danish-born comedian and pianist (b. 1909)
- 2004 - P. V. Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister of India (b. 1921)
- 2005 - Norman D. Vaughan, polar explorer and dogsled driver (b. 1905)
- 2005 - Lajos Baróti, Hungarian footballer and coach (b. 1914)
- 2006 - Charlie Drake, English comedian (b. 1925)
- 2006 - Marilyn Waltz, American actress, model & Playboy Playmate (b. 1931)
Holidays and observances
110 Familypedia people were born on December 23
134 Familypedia people died on December 23
102 Familypedia people were first married on December 23