This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
April 23 is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 252 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1564, William Shakespeare born.
According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare’s date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before.
Shakespeare’s father was probably a common tradesman. He became an alderman and bailiff in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Shakespeare was baptized in the town on April 26, 1564. At age 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter in 1583 and twins in 1585. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died 11 years later, and Anne Shakespeare outlived her husband, dying in 1623. Nothing is known of the period between the birth of the twins and Shakespeare’s emergence as a playwright in London in the early 1590s, but unfounded stories have him stealing deer, joining a group of traveling players, becoming a schoolteacher, or serving as a soldier in the Low Countries.
Sometime later, Shakespeare set off for London to become an actor and by 1592 was well established in London’s theatrical world as both a performer and a playwright. The first reference to Shakespeare as a London playwright came in 1592, when a fellow dramatist, Robert Greene, wrote derogatorily of him on his deathbed. His earliest plays, including The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew, were written in the early 1590s. Later in the decade, he wrote tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet (1594-1595) and comedies including The Merchant of Venice (1596-1597). His greatest tragedies were written after 1600, including Hamlet (1600-01), Othello (1604-05), King Lear (1605-06), and Macbeth (1605-1606).
Shakespeare died in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1616. Today, nearly 400 years later, his plays are performed and read more often and in more nations than ever before. In a million words written over 20 years, he captured the full range of human emotions and conflicts with a precision that remains sharp today. As his great contemporary
215 BC – A temple is built on the Capitoline Hill dedicated to Venus Erycina to commemorate the Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene.
1014 – Battle of Clontarf: Brian Boru defeats Viking invaders, but is killed in battle.
1016 – Edmund Ironside succeeds his father Ethelred the Unready as king of England,
1343 – Estonia: St. George’s Night Uprising.
1348 – The founding of the Order of the Garter by King Edward III is announced on St George’s Day.
1521 – Battle of Villalar: King Charles I of Spain defeats the Comuneros.
1635 – The first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, is founded in Boston, Massachusetts.
1660 – Treaty of Oliwa is established between Sweden and Poland.
1661 – King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland is crowned in Westminster Abbey.
1815 – The Second Serbian Uprising – a second phase of the national revolution of the Serbs against the Ottoman Empire, erupts shortly after the annexation of the country to the Ottoman Empire.
1910 – Theodore Roosevelt made his The Man in the Arena speech.
1918 – World War I: The British Royal Navy makes a raid in an attempt to neutralise the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge.
1920 – The national council in Turkey denounces the government of Sultan Mehmed VI and announces a temporary constitution.
1920 – The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) is founded in Ankara.
1927 – Turkey Turkiye becomes the first country to celebrate Children’s Day as a national holiday.
1932 – The 153-year old De Adriaan Windmill in Haarlem, Netherlands burns down.
1935 – The Polish Constitution of 1935 is adopted.
1940 – The Rhythm Night Club fire at a dance hall in Natchez, Mississippi, kills 198 people.
1941 – World War II: The Greek government and King George II evacuate Athens before the invading Wehrmacht.
1942 – World War II: Baedeker Blitz – German bombers hit Exeter, Bath and York in retaliation for the British raid on Lubeck.
1949 – Chinese Civil War: Establishment of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
1955 – The Canadian Labour Congress is formed by the merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and the Canadian Congress of Labour.
1961 – Algiers putsch by French generals.
1968 – Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City take over administration buildings and shut down the university.
1985 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than 3 months.
1987 – 28 construction workers die when the L’Ambiance Plaza apartment building collapses while under construction in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
1990 – Namibia becomes the 160th member of the United Nations and the 50th member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
1993 – Eritreans vote overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia in a United Nations-monitored referendum.
1997 – Omaria massacre in Algeria: 42 villagers are killed.
2003 – Beijing closes all schools for two weeks because of the SARS virus.
2009 – The gamma ray burst GRB 090423 is observed for 10 seconds. The event signals the most distant object of any kind and also the oldest known object in the universe.
* Aragon Day (Aragon, Spain)
* Castile and Leon Day (Castile and Leon, Spain)
*Christian Feast Day
Adalbert of Prague
Gerard of Toul
April 23 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Independence Day (Conch Republic, Key West, Florida)
* National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Turkey and Northern Cyprus)
* St George’s Day and its related observances:
Canada Book Day (Canada)
La Diada de Sant Jordi (Catalonia, Spain)
World Book and Copyright Day (International)
International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day