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This Day in History: November 23


1644 – John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship.

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Chattanooga begins: Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant reinforce troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and counter-attack Confederate troops.

1876 – Corrupt Tammany Hall leader William Magear Tweed (better known as Boss Tweed) is delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain.

1889 – The first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.

1914 – Mexican Revolution: The last of U.S. forces withdraw from Veracruz, occupied seven months earlier in response to the Tampico Affair.

1924 – Edwin Hubble's discovery that the Andromeda nebula is actually another island universe far outside of our own was first published in The New York Times.

1936 – Life magazine is reborn as a photo magazine and enjoys instant success.

1953 – Pilot Felix Moncla and Lieutenant Robert Wilson disappear while in pursuit of a mysterious craft over Lake Superior.

1971 – Representatives of the People's Republic of China attend the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, for the first time.

1981 – Iran–Contra affair: Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1992 – The first smartphone, the IBM Simon, is introduced at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.


1749 – Edward Rutledge, American captain and politician, 39th Governor of South Carolina (d. 1800)

1803 – Theodore Dwight Weld, American author and activist (d. 1895)

1804 – Franklin Pierce, American general, lawyer, and politician, 14th President of the United States (d. 1869)

1859 – Billy the Kid, American criminal (d. 1881)

1887 – Boris Karloff, English actor and singer (d. 1969)

1888 – Harpo Marx, American actor and singer (d. 1964)

1925 – Johnny Mandel, American composer and conductor

1940 – Luis Tiant, Cuban-American baseball player and coach

1992 – Miley Cyrus, American singer-songwriter and actress


1814 – Elbridge Gerry, American merchant and politician, 5th Vice President of the United States of America (b. 1744)

1984 – Leonard Baker, American historian and author (b. 1931)

2012 – Larry Hagman, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1931)

2014 – Marion Barry, American lawyer and politician, 2nd Mayor of the District of Columbia (b. 1936)

2014 – Tamir Rice, American shooting victim (b. 2002)