March 23

1026 - Koenraad II crowned himself king of Italy. 

1066 - The 18th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet took place. 

1490 - The first dated edition of Maimonides "Mishna Torah" was published. 

1657 - France and England formed an alliance against Spain. 

1775 - American revolutionary Patrick Henry declared, "give me liberty, or give me death!" 

1794 - Josiah G. Pierson patented a rivet machine. 

1806 - Explorers Lewis and Clark, reached the Pacific coast, and began their return journey to the east. 

1808 - Napoleon's brother Joseph took the throne of Spain. 

1835 - Charles Darwin reached Los Arenales, in the Andes. 

1836 - The coin press was invented by Franklin Beale. 

1839 - The first recorded use of "OK" [oll korrect] was used in Boston's Morning Post. 

1840 - The first successful photo of the Moon was taken. 

1848 - Hungary proclaimed its independence of Austria. 

1857 - Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building. It was at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City. 

1858 - Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar. 

1861 - John D. Defrees became the first Superintendent of the United States Government Printing Office. 

1861 - London's first tramcars began operations. 

1868 - The University of California was founded in Oakland, CA. 

1880 - John Stevens patented the grain crushing mill. The mill increased flour production by 70 percent. 

1881 - The Boers and Britain signed a peace accord ending the first Boer war. 

1881 - A gas lamp caused a fire in an opera house in Nice, France. 70 people were killed. 

1889 - U.S. President Harrison opened Oklahoma for white colonization. 

1901 - Dame Nellie Melba, revealed the secret of her now famous toast. 

1901 - It was learned that Boers were starving in British concentration camps in South Africa. 

1901 - Shots were fired at Privy Councilor Pobyedonostzev, who was considered to be Russia's most hated man. 

1902 - In Italy, the minimum legal working age was raised from 9 to 12 for boys and from 11 to 15 for girls. 

1903 - The Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent. 

1903 - U.S. troops were sent to Honduras to protect the American consulate during revolutionary activity. 

1909 - British Lt. Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole. 

1909 - Theodore Roosevelt began an African safari sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society. 

1910 - In the Canary Islands, women offered candidates for legislative elections. 

1912 - The Dixie Cup was invented. 

1917 - Austrian Emperor Charles I made a peace proposal to French President Poincare. 

1917 - In the Midwest U.S., four tornadoes kill 211 people over a four day period. 

1918 - Lithuania proclaimed independence. 

1919 - Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy. 

1920 - Britain denounced the U.S. because of their delay in joining the League of Nations. 

1920 - The Perserikatan Communist of India (PKI) political party was formed. 

1921 - Arthur G. Hamilton set a new parachute record when he safely jumped from 24,400 feet. 

1922 - The first airplane landed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC

1925 - The state of Tennessee enacted a law that made it a crime for a teacher in any state-supported public school to teach any theory that was in contradiction to the Bible's account of man's creation. 

1932 - In the U.S., the Norris-LaGuardia Act established workers' right to strike. 

1933 - The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act. The act effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers. 

1934 - The U.S. Congress accepted the independence of the Philippines in 1945. 

1936 - Italy, Austria & Hungary signed the Pact of Rome. 

1937 - The L.A. Railway Co. started using PCC streetcars. 

1940 - "Truth or Consequences" was heard on radio for the first time. 

1942 - The Japanese occupy the Andaman Islands. 

1942 - During World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers. 

1950 - "Beat the Clock" premiered on CBS-TV. 

1951 - U.S. paratroopers descended from flying boxcars in a surprise attack in Korea. 

1956 - Pakistan became the first Islamic republic. It was still within the British Commonwealth. 

1956 - Sudan became independent. 

1957 - The U.S. Army sold the last of its homing pigeons. 

1965 - America's first two-person space flight took off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. The craft was the Gemini 3

1965 - The Moroccan Army shot at demonstrators. About 100 people were killed. 

1967 - Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. called the Vietnam War the biggest obstacle to the civil rights movement. 

1970 - Mafia "Boss" Carlo Gambino was arrested for plotting to steal $3 million. 

1972 - The U.S. called a halt to the peace talks on Vietnam being held in Paris. 

1972 - Evel Knievel broke 93 bones after successfully jumping 35 cars. 

1973 - The last airing of "Concentration" took place. The show had been on NBC for 15 years. 

1980 - The deposed shah of Iran, Muhammad Riza Pahlavi, left Panama for Egypt. 

1981 - U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law making statutory rape a crime for men but not women. 

1981 - CBS Television announced plans to reduce "Captain Kangaroo" to a 30-minute show each weekday morning. 

1983 - U.S. President Reagan first proposed development of technology to intercept enemy missiles. The proposal became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative and "Star Wars." 

1983 - Dr. Barney Clark died after 112 days with a permanent artificial heart. 

1989 - A 1,000-foot diameter asteroid missed Earth by 500,000 miles. 

1989 - Joel Steinberg was sentenced to 25 years for killing his adopted daughter. 

1989 - Two electrochemists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman, announced that they had created nuclear fusion in a test tube at room temperature. 

1990 - Former Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood was ordered to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay $50,000 in restitution for the 1989 oil spill. 

1993 - U.N. experts announced that record ozone lows had been registered over a large area of the Western Hemisphere. 

1994 - Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexico's leading presidential candidate, was assassinated in Tijuana. Mario Aburto Martinez was arrested at the scene and confessed to the killing. 

1994 - Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe's National Hockey League (NHL) career record with his 802nd goal. 

1994 - Howard Stern formally announced his Libertarian run for New York governor. 

1996 - Taiwan held its first democratic presidential elections. 

1998 - Germany's largest bank pledged $3.1 million to Jewish foundations as restitution for Nazi looting. 

1998 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that term limits for state lawmakers were constitutional. 

1998 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his Cabinet. 

1998 - The movie "Titanic" won 11 Oscars at the Academy Awards. 

1998 - The German company Bertelsmann AG agreed to purchase the American publisher Random House for $1.4 billion. The merger created the largest English-language book-publishing company in the world. 

1999 - Paraguay's Vice President Luis Maria Argana was shot to death by two gunmen. 

1999 - NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana gave formal approval for air strikes against Serbian targets. 

1999 - Near Mandi Bahauddin, Pakistan, a bus fell into a fast-moving canal. Nine were confirmed dead, 31 were missing and presumed dead, and 20 were injured. 

2001 - Russia's orbiting Mir space station plunged into the South Pacific after its 15-years of use.