Today In History, 23 December: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (23 December): The demise of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the birth of P.V. Narasimha Rao, National Farmers Day (India), the 1912 assassination attempt at Viceroy of India Lord Hardinge, the first successful kidney transplant in history, invention of transistor, and more.
This day in history (23 Dec): Assassination Attempt at Viceroy Lord Hardinge In 1912
This day in history (23 Dec): Assassination Attempt at Viceroy Lord Hardinge In 1912

Today in History: We’re only three days away from Christmas, one of the most popular festivals in the world. Today is 23 December. While it may not appear special on the surface, December 23 holds a significant place in world history. Many key events took place on this day (23 Dec).

From the demise of the creator of the most famous assault rifle in history, the birth of the founder of the spinning frame and the world’s first successful kidney transplant to the assassination attempt on the Viceroy of India in 1912, December 23 is a defining day in history.

Dive in to know what happened on this day (Dec. 23) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events on This day

  • In 1888, renowned painter Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear with a razor after an argument with a fellow painter, Paul Gauguin.
  • In 1912, an Indian revolutionary group led by Rash Behari Bose attempted to assassinate the Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, by throwing a homemade bomb. Lord Hardinge had arrived on an elephant to mark the transfer of British India’s capital from Calcutta to New Delhi.
  • In 1921, Rabindranath Tagore founded the Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal.
  • In 1947, the transistor was invented by John Bardeen, Walter H. Bratton, and William Shockley at Bell Labs.
  • In 1954, the first human kidney transplant was performed by Dr Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • In 1968, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders became the first humans to orbit the moon.
  • In 1994, notorious American mobster James Whitey Bulger fled Boston, fearing arrest by the FBI, and successfully evaded them for 16 years.
  • In 2002, the first combat engagement between a drone and a fighter plane took place. Iraqi MiG-25 shot down a U.S. MQ-1 Predator.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1997, Barcelona and Brazil striker Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or award, becoming the best football player in Europe ahead of Zinedine Zidane and Predrag Mijatovic.
  • In 2000, New Zealand beat Australia by 4 runs to win the Cricket Women’s World Cup.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1815, English author Jane Austen’s classic novel "Emma" was published.
  • In 1893, the famous opera "Hansel und Gretel" by Engelbert Humperdinck and his sister Adelheid Wette premiered in Weimar and was conducted by Richard Strauss.
  • In 1924, the classic German silent film The Last Laugh, directed by F.W. Murnau and starring Emil Jannings, was released.

Important Days

  • National Farmers Day (India): The birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a farmer who became the Prime Minister of India is celebrated as the National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas in India.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Swami Shraddhanand, Indian independence activist and an Arya Samaj Sanyasi, who propagated the teachings of Dayananda Saraswati



Sebastian Shaw, veteran British actor, director, playwright, and poet known for starring in High Season, Ace of Spades and Return of the Jedi



P.V. Narasimha Rao, Indian lawyer and politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of Indian from 1991 to 1996



Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian general and weapons designer who created the well-known AK-47 rifle

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Richard Arkwright, English entrepreneur who invented the spinning frame, revolutionizing the fabric industry and introducing faster, cheaper way of making clothes



Chaudhary Charan Singh, Indian politician who rose from a peasant family and became the fifth Prime Minister of India



Chet Baker, American jazz musician and trumpeter whose relaxed tones earned him the nickname “prince of cool”



Akhito, Emperor of Japan who reigned over the country from 1989 to 2019



Carla Bruni, Italian-French model and singer known for her best-selling album Quelqu’un M’a Dit



Finn Wolfhard, Canadian actor and musician best known for playing Mike Wheeler in the blockbuster Netflix series Stranger Things

Also Read | Today in History (22 December)

Also Read | Today in History (21 December)

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