on this day … 8/23 1979 – Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York City.


1838 – The first class graduated from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, MA. It was one of the first colleges for women.

1839 – Hong Kong was taken by the British in a war with China.

1858 – “Ten Nights in a Barroom” opened in New York City at the National Theater. It was a melodrama about the evils of drinking.

1892 – The printed streetcar transfer was patented by John H. Stedman.

1904 – Hard D. Weed patented the grip-tread tire chain for cars.

1914 – Tsingtao, China, was bombarded as Japan declared war on Germany in World War I.

1939 – Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty.

1944 – During World War II, Romanian prime minister Ion Antonescue was dismissed. Soon after the country would abandon the Axis and join the Allies.

1944 – Marseilles was captured by Allied troops during World War II.

1952 – The security pact of the Arab League went into effect. 

1959 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Sally debuted as an infant.

1962 – The first live TV program was relayed between the U.S. and Europe through the U.S. Telstar satellite.

1970 – U.S. swimmer Gary Hall broke three world records at the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) outdoor swimming meet, held in Los Angeles, CA.

1979 – Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York City.

1982 – The parliament of Lebanon elected Bashir Bemayel president. He was assassinated three weeks later.

1982 – Gaylord Perry (Seattle Mariners) was tossed out of a game for throwing an illegal spitball.

1983 – The U.S. announced that it was nearly ready for a test flight of an anti-satellite missile.

1987 – Robert Jarvik and Marilyn Mach vos Savant were married. The event was called the “Union of Great Minds” since Savant had an IQ of 228 and Jarvik was the inventor of the artificial heart.

1990 – President Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi state television with a group of Western detainees that he referred to as “guests.” He told the group that they were being held “to prevent the scourge of war.”

1996 – U.S. President Clinton imposed limits on peddling cigarettes to children.

1998 – Protestors in Sudan carried a sign that bore the resemblance of Monica Lewinsky and the words “No War for Monika.” The anti-U.S. demonstration was in Khartoum, Sudan.

1998 – Boris Yeltsin dismissed the Russian government again.

1999 – Robert Bogucki was rescued after getting lost in the Great Sandy Desert of Australia on July 11. During the 43 day ordeal Bogucki lost 44 pounds.