AUGUST 23 ~ ON THiS DAY in History

0079 ~ MOUNT VESUViUS began stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan on the 23rd August in the year 79. Mount Vesuvius (Italian: Monte Vesuvio) is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) east of Naples. Mount Vesuvius buried and destructed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing approximately 6,000 people due to hydrothermalpyroclastic flows. The only surviving eyewitness account of the event consists of 2 letters by Pliny the Younger sent to the historian TacitusVesuvius is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. It’s regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because It’s the most densely populated volcanic region in the world, with a population of 3,000,000 people living close-by, and its tendency towards explosive Plinian eruptions.

Vesuvius volcanic eruption Portici Naples Italy erupting volcano night painting Joseph Wright Derby 18th century 1700s red fire Art
Vesuvius volcanic eruption seen from Portici & painted by Joseph Wright of Derby in the 18th century (1774 – 1776) ~ painting from the Art collection of the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA

1541 ~ JACQUES CARTiER the French explorer landed near Quebec City on the 23rd August 1541, in his 3rd voyage to CanadaJacques Cartier claimed what is now Canada for France.

1805 ~ Anton von Schmerling the Austrian statesman was born on the 23rd August 1805 (died 1893).

1866 ~ Austro-Prussian War ended on the 23rd August 1866, with the Treaty of Prague.

1873 ~ Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London opened on the 23rd August 1873.

1898 ~ The Southern Cross Expedition, the 1st British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, departed from London on the 23rd August 1898.

1904 ~ Automobile tire chains were patented on the 23rd August 1904.

1914 ~ Japan declared war on Germany on the 23rd August 1914, and bombed Qingdao, China, during World War I.

1930 ~ Vera Miles the American actress was born on the 23rd August 1930.

1934 ~ Barbara Eden the American actress and singer was born on the 23rd August 1934.

1946 ~ Keith Moon the English drummer from The Who was born on the 23rd August 1946 (died 1978).

1948 ~ World Council of Churches was formed on the 23rd August 1948.

1949Shelley Long the American actress was born on the 23rd August 1949.

1949RiCK SPRiNGFiELD the Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor was born on the 23rd August 1949. Rick Springfield was a member the pop rock group Zoot from 1969 to 1971 before he started his solo career. In 1972 Rick relocated to the United States, where he won a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal for his No.1 hit Jessie’s Girl in 1981. As an actor, he portrayed Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.

1951 ~ PETER LAFFY the Australian singer and guitarist from the original lineup of Mondo Rock, Fox, Freeway and The King Bees was born in East Melbourne on the 23rd August 1951 (died 15th February 2011 age 59). Peter Julian Laffy was a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, television presenter on Asylum TV, radio presenter on Laffy’s Lounge radio show at 3MDR 97.1FM with Trevor Upton and Anton K. Kressnig. Peter Laffy wrote and performed songs with Ross Wilson in the Mondo Rock early years, which included Primal Park (1979), Love Shock (live on Countdown 1979, see video below), Fugitive Kind (1978 Countdown), and wrote Sure Fire Thing (1982) for The Runners which was No.22 on the 3XY Melbourne charts, and played some songs with Jim Keays and many others ~ see more exact details on the Peter Laffy Discography. Listen to Peter Laffy n’ Friends on

Press the the Reverbnation player button below to hear Peter Laffy singing and playing guitar with friends: Frog Legs, I Can’t Stand The Rain, Mercury Blues, Wind Cries Mary, Gangster of Love, Polk Salad Annie and Addicted To You…

Peter Julian Laffy passed away living in Honolulu, Hawaii on the 15th February 2011, aged 59, and is survived by his wife Gabriellene “Squeeky”, son Aidan, brothers Michael & Shane Laffy, and sisters Colleen Allan, Jody MacDonald & Mae Parker.

1954 ~ C-130 Hercules transport aircraft had its 1st flight on the 23rd August 1954.

1966 ~ Lunar Orbiter 1 took the 1st photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon on the 23rd August 1966.

1973 ~ The Norrmalmstorg bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden on the 23rd August 1973, went wrong when it turned into a hostage crisis, and over 5 days the hostages began to sympathise with their captors, leading to the term Stockholm syndrome.

1974Shifty Shellshock the American singer-songwriter from Crazy Town was born on the 23rd August 1974.

1977 ~ The Gossamer Condor won the Kremer prize on the 23rd August 1977, for human powered flight.

1978Julian Casablancas the American singer-songwriter from The Strokes was born on the 23rd August 1978.

1986 ~ SkyBlu the American singer and dancer from LMFAO was born Skyler Gordy on the 23rd August 1986. Sky Blu is a singer, rapper, producer, DJ and dancer best known as one half of the musical duo LMFAO with his uncle Redfoo.

1989 ~ Australian pilots’ strike: 1,645 Australian domestic airline pilots resigned on the 23rd August 1989, after the airlines threaten to fire them and sue them over a dispute.

1990Tim Berners-Lee opened the WWW – World Wide Web to new users on the 23rd August 1990.

1990Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on the 23rd August 1990.

1990West Germany & East Germany announced that they would reunite on the 3rd October 1990.

1993 ~ The Galileo spacecraft discovered a moon on the 23rd August 1993, which was later named Dactyl, the 1st known asteroid moon.

1994 ~ Eugene Bullard the only black pilot in World War I, was posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force on the 23rd August 1994.

2003Jack Dyer the Australian footballer died on the 23rd August 2003 (born 1913).

2006 ~ Natascha Kampusch escaped from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil on the 23rd August 2006, after 8 years of captivity.

2011 ~ Muammar Gaddafi the Libyan leader was overthrown on the 23rd August 2011, after the National Transitional Council forces took control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan civil war.

2012Col Campbell the New Zealand television presenter from Gardening Australia died on the 23rd August 2012 (born 1933).

2013International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition ~ see more information at

Today in History for August 23rd ~ video presented by the Associated Press… 

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