Today's History Trivia for July 23
2002 Iraq War - Downing Street memo A British Prime Minister's meeting discusses the Bush administration's intention for war in Iraq. According to the memo: "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" and "Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran." The minutes of this meeting would later be leaked to the press.
1986 Royal Wedding Prince Andrew marries Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson, the Duchess of York, at London's Westminster Abbey.
1984 First Miss America to Resign Vanessa Williams - the first black Miss America - relinquishes her crown after Penthouse magazine announces it will publish nude photos of her with another woman.
1982 Helicopter Crash While Filming Twilight Zone-The Movie A helicopter crash during a stunt scene kills actor Vic Morrow and two illegally employed children. Morrow and one of the children were decapitated by the helicopter blades and the other child was crushed. Producer John Landis, associate producer George Folsey, Jr., production manager Dan Allingham, pilot Dorcey Wingo, and explosives specialist Paul Stewart were tried and acquitted on charges of manslaughter.
1967 12th Street Riot Race riots begin in Detroit, Michigan, lasting five days. Forty-three people were killed and 2,000 were injured.
1904 The ice cream cone is invented, by Charles E. Minches, St. Louis, Missouri.
1886 A man jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge on a bet and lives.
1851 Sioux Indians relinquish their land in Iowa and Minnesota to the U.S. with the signing of the Treaty of Traverse.
1846 Henry David Thoreau is jailed for refusing to pay his poll tax, prompting him to write Civil Disobedience.
1827 First public swimming pool in the U.S. opens, Boston Massachusetts.
1766 First U.S. Medical Society is formed, Brunswick, New Jersey.
Today's Birthdays for July 23
1961 Woody Harrelson (Woodrow Tracy Harrelson), American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Cheers (1985-93, Woody). Movies: White Men Can't Jump (1992), Natural Born Killers (1994), and Zombieland (2009).
1954 Janet Cooke American journalist. As a reporter for the Washington Post, she won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for her story of an 8-year-old heroin addict. It was later revealed that she made the story up.
1950 Belinda Montgomery Canadian-born actress. TV: Doogie Howser, M.D (Katherine).
1947 David Essex British singer. Music: Rock On (1973) and I'm Gonna Make You A Star (1974, #1).
1936 Don Drysdale d. 1993 American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, sportscaster. TV: Monday Night Baseball.
1936 Anthony M. Kennedy U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
1933 Bert Convy d. 1991 American Emmy-winning game show host, actor. TV: Super Password.
1928 Vera Rubin d. 2016 American astronomer. Her discovery of the "galaxy rotation problem" contributed to the theory of dark matter. The galaxy rotation problem states that galaxies are rotating so fast that if the only the gravity of their stars was holding them together, they should fly apart. But since they aren't, a huge amount of unseen mass must be holding them together, thus the concept of dark matter was used to explain this phenomenon. In fact, Rubin's calculations showed that galaxies must contain at least ten times as much dark mass as can be accounted for by the visible stars.
1925 Gloria DeHaven d. 2016 American actress. TV: Ryan's Hope (Bess Shelby), As the World Turns (Sara Fuller), and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Annie "Tippy-toes" Wylie).
1921 Robert Brown d. 2003 British actor. 'M' in the James Bond movies starting with Octopussy (1983) till License to Kill (1989).
1921 Calvert DeForest d. 2007 American actor. TV: Late Night with David Letterman (Larry "Bud" Melman).
1891 Harry Cohn d. 1958 American movie executive, founded (1924) Columbia Pictures.
1771 Robert Gibbon Johnson d. 1850 American horticulturist. According to legend, he ate a tomato in front of the Salem, New Jersey courthouse, shocking onlookers and proving that they were not poisonous as generally believed. A woman screamed fainted of the sight of him eating the "poisonous" tomato.
1649 Clement XI d. 1721 Italian religious leader, 243rd Pope (1700-21).
Deaths for July 23
1885 Ulysses Simpson Grant b. 1822 (Hiram Ulysses Grant), 18th U.S. President (1869-77). He was commanding general (1864-69) for the Union Army during the Civil War. When entering West Point, he name was mistakenly written down as "Ulysses S. Grant", which he began using as his name.
2012 Sally Kristen Ride b. 1951 American astronaut. First U.S. woman in space (1983).
1982 Vic Morrow b. 1929 American actor. TV: Combat! (1962-67, Sgt. Chip Saunders). He was killed in a helicopter crash while filming Twilight Zone-The Movie.
1973 Eddie Rickenbacker b. 1890 American aviator and race car driver, called "The Ace of Aces." He was the most decorated pilot of World War I.
1955 Cordell Hull b. 1871 American statesman, Nobel Peace Prize winner (1945). He served in both houses of Congress and as secretary of state (1933-44). He is noted for his contributions to the establishment of the United Nations.
1951 Robert Joseph Flaherty b. 1884 American filmmaker, father of the film documentary. Film: Nanook of the North (1922), which was the first commercially successful feature length documentary.
1948 D.W. Griffith b. 1875 American film producer, director, screenwriter, co-founder of United Artists (1919). Film: The Birth of a Nation (1915).
1942 Valdemar Poulsen b. 1869 Danish electrical engineer. Invented the telegraphone (1899), the forerunner to the modern tape recorder, and the arc transmitter (1903) used in early radio stations.
1930 Glenn Curtiss b. 1878 American aviation pioneer. He won the Scientific American prize for the first airplane flight of one kilometer (1908), opened the first U.S. flying school (1909), and invented the flying boat (1912).
1875 Isaac Merrit Singer b. 1811 American inventor. He invented the continuous-stitch sewing machine (1851).
1800 John Rutledge b. 1739 American statesman. Associate justice of the Supreme Court (1789-91) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1795). He was nominated for chief justice and served as a recess appointment. However, by the time of his formal nomination, his popularity had diminished due to his opposition to the Jay Treaty and his nomination was rejected.