This Day In History : October 23

1989 Hungary

Hungary declares itself a republic

In October 1989, Hungary proclaimed itself a republic and declared an end to communist rule. This event was part of the broader political changes sweeping across Eastern Europe during that period, often referred to as the fall of communism or the Revolutions of 1989. Hungary's transition included dismantling authoritarian structures, opening up to multiparty democracy, and laying the groundwork for a market economy.

Also on This Day in History October 23

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

Births on This Day, October 23
  • 1905 Gertrude Ederle

    American swimmer who became the first woman to swim across the English channel on August 6, 1926

  • 1905 Felix Bloch

    Swiss-American nuclear physicist (1st Director of CERN, Nobel Prize for Physics 1952)

  • 1873 William Coolidge

    American physicist and inventor (modern x-ray tube)

  • 1762 Samuel Morey

    American inventor of early internal combustion engines and a steamship pioneer

  • 1948 Hermann Hauser

    Austrian-born entrepreneur (Acorn Computers)

Deaths on This Day, October 23
  • 1921 John Boyd Dunlop

    Scottish inventor and vet (pneumatic rubber tire, Dunlop Rubber)

  • 1913 Edwin Klebs

    German physician and bacteriologist (bacterial theory of infection, diphtheria bacillus)

  • 1986 Edward A Doisy Sr

    American bio-chemist (Vitamin K1, Nobel 1943)

  • 1997 Luther Simjian

    Armenian-American Inventor (teleprompter and first self-posing portrait camera)

  • 2011 Herbert A. Hauptman

    American mathematician and Nobel laureate


Swatch Announces Internet Time

In 1998, Swatch announced "Internet Time," a new system of time measurement that divides the day into 1,000 ".beats" instead of hours and minutes. This concept aimed to create a universal time system without time zones, facilitating global synchronization, especially for online activities.

Apple announces the first iPod Player

On October 23, 2001, Apple Inc. announced the first iPod, revolutionizing the way people listen to music. The original iPod was a portable media player with a 5 GB hard drive capable of holding up to 1,000 songs. It featured a mechanical scroll wheel, a 2-inch monochrome display, and was compatible with Mac computers via FireWire. The iPod's introduction marked a significant milestone in digital music, offering a compact and user-friendly way to carry and enjoy a large music library on the go.

First US National Women's Rights convention opens in Brinley Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts

The first U.S. National Women's Rights Convention opened in Brinley Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 23-24, 1850. Organized by prominent activists such as Lucy Stone, Abby Kelley Foster, and Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis, this convention marked a significant moment in the women's rights movement. It brought together over 1,000 delegates from various states to discuss issues such as women's suffrage, legal rights, and social reforms.

Access credit cards introduced in Great Britain

Access was a British credit card brand launched by Lloyds Bank, Midland Bank and National Westminster Bank in 1972 to rival the already established Barclaycard. The business operated from Southend-on-Sea, until 1989 when part of the business was transferred to Basildon. In July 1991, First Data Resources purchased the business, and with the member banks being allowed to process their own transactions, the name disappeared from the market.
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