This Day In History : August 23

1914 Germany

Japan declares war on Germany in World War I

Japan declared war on Germany on August 23, 1914, during World War I. This action was part of Japan's efforts to honor its alliance with Britain and to gain control of German-held territories in the Pacific and China. Japan's involvement in World War I led to the capture of German possessions such as Tsingtao in China and various islands in the Pacific.

Also on This Day in History August 23

Discover what happened on August 23 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, August 23
  • 1783 William Tierney Clark

    English civil engineer who designed the Hammersmith Bridge in London

  • 1928 Vera Rubin

    American scientist who discovered dark matter

  • 1933 Manfred Donike

    German cyclist and chemist drug test pioneer

  • 1887 Bradley Dewey

    American chemical engineer, industrialist and inventor who left M.I.T. with Charles Almy

  • 1875 William Henry Eccles

    English physicist and radio pioneer

Deaths on This Day, August 23
  • 1888 Philip Henry Gosse

    English naturalist (created 1st public aquarium at London Zoo, coined term 'aquarium')

  • 1965 Jan Antonín Bata

    Czech shoe manufacturer (Bata)

  • 1974 Roberto Assagioli

    Italian psychiatrist and writer (Psychosynthesis)

  • 1995 Gordon White

    British business tycoon and co-founder of corporate raider Hanson Group

  • 2019 David Koch

    American businessman and philanthropist (Koch Industries)


Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from the Moon

Lunar Orbiter 1, launched by NASA on August 10, 1966, was the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon and capture detailed photographs of the lunar surface. Its primary mission objective was to photograph potential landing sites for the upcoming Apollo missions. On August 23, 1966, it successfully transmitted the first-ever photograph of Earth taken from the vicinity of the Moon, showcasing a crescent Earth rising above the lunar horizon.

The 1st man-powered flight by Bryan Allen in a Gossamer Condor

Bryan Allen achieved the first human-powered flight aboard the Gossamer Condor on August 23, 1977 in Shafter, California. During this historic flight, he pedaled the aircraft for a remarkable 7 minutes and 27.5 seconds.

World's largest frog (3.3 kg) caught (Equatorial Guinea)

The world's largest frog, known as the Goliath frog, was caught in Equatorial Guinea and weighed 3.3 kg (7.3 pounds). The Goliath frog, scientifically named Conraua goliath, is the largest frog species in the world and is native to the rainforests of central Africa, particularly in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. These frogs can reach lengths of up to 32 cm (12.6 inches), not including their legs.

Armenia declares sovereignty

Armenia declared its sovereignty on August 23, 1990. This declaration was a significant step towards the country's eventual independence from the Soviet Union, which it achieved on September 21, 1991. The sovereignty declaration asserted Armenia's right to self-determination and the establishment of its own independent state.
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