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What Happened on April 23?

  • William Shakespeare was born and died. (1564, 1616) Though Shakespeare's birthday is not conclusively known, researchers believe it was the 23rd due to baptismal records. His death, however, is conclusively known, and both his birth and death are celebrated on this day.

  • Sirhan Sirhan received the death penalty. (1969) Sirhan was convicted of assassinating the popular and charismatic Robert Kennedy, President Kennedy's brother. The Jordanian Sirhan claimed that he assassinated Kennedy because of his stance in the Arab-Israeli war, and was sentenced to death despite claims of being mentally unstable. His sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

  • The first McDonald's opened in Beijing. (1992) The restaurant was also the largest McDonald's at the time; it had 700 seats and around 30 cash registers. The branch served over 40,000 people on its first day of business.

  • The first public school in America was founded. (1635) The Boston Latin School was the first public school in the US, and eventually became one of the oldest, remaining open well into the 20th century. Famous alumni include Samuel Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Cotton Mather, and Leonard Bernstein.

  • Coca-Cola® changed its formula. (1985) The decision was extremely unpopular, and "New Coke" was pulled after only three months on shelves.

  • Judy Garland played Carnegie Hall. (1961) Garland's performance was ecstatically received, and it has been called the "greatest night in showbiz history."

  • George and Martha Washington moved into the first executive mansion. (1789) Now known as the Samuel Osgood House, Walter Franklin House was the first executive residence, and was where Washington lived for the two years while the US capitol was located in New York before it moved to D.C.

  • The first video was uploaded to YouTube. (2005) The phenomenally popular website was founded by three former PayPal™ employees. Within the next five years, YouTube became one of the most visited sites on the Internet, with well over 20 million visitors a month.

  • The Baedeker Raids began in England. (1942) The Baedeker Raids were some of the worst air raids in World War II. They got their unique name because German forces vowed to bomb any building the Baedeker guides, a famous brand of travel guides, had given more than three stars.

  • Physicist Max Planck was born. (1858) Though not as famous as his contemporary Albert Einstein, Planck essentially single-handedly founded modern quantum physics.

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