June 23rd in History

Robert Clive and Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, 1757, by Francis Hayman.

Today in History

  • Robert Clive’s forces defeat Siraj-ud-doula at the Battle of Plassey, setting the stage for the British takeover of India (1757)
  • American Civil War: The last major Confederate army surrenders (1865)
  • The typewriter is patented (1868)
  • The first SAT exam is administered (1926)
  • Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off in the first attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engined airplane (1931)

* The true story of the Battle of Plassey as told by the last heir to the throne of Bengal is told in Humayun Mirza’s From Plassey to Pakistan, published by Timespinner Press. An excerpt describing the battle is in the anthology Improbable History, edited by Michael Dobson, also from Timespinner Press.



  • Caesarion, son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, king of Egypt (47 BCE)
  • Alfred Kinsey, sexologist (1894)
  • Edward VIII, abdicated monarch (1894)
  • Jean Anouilh, playwright (1910)
  • Alan Turing, mathematician (1912)
  • Art Modell, football team owner (1925)
  • Bob Fosse, director and choreographer (1927)
  • Michael Shaara, author (1928)
  • June Carter Cash, singer-songwriter (1929)
  • Donn F. Eisele, astronaut (1930)
  • Stuart Sutcliffe, fifth Beatle (1940)
  • Vint Cerf, computer scientist (1943)
  • Clarence Thomas, jurist (1948)
  • Joss Whedon, director, producer, and screenwriter (1964)


  • Vespasian, Roman emperor (79)
  • John Mill, theologian (1707)
  • James Mill, philosopher (1836)
  • Roscoe Turner, pilot (1970)
  • Jonas Salk, biologist and physician (1995)
  • Betty Shabazz, activist (1997)
  • Maureen O’Sullivan, actress (1998)
  • Aaron Spelling, producer (2006)
  • Ed McMahon, announcer (2009)
  • Peter Falk, actor (2011)
  • Bobby Bland, singer-songwriter (2013)
  • Richard Matheson, author and screenwriter (2013)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Father’s Day (Nicaragua, Poland)
  • Grand Duke’s Official Birthday (Luxembourg)
  • International Widows Day (international)
  • National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism (Canada)
  • Okinawa Memorial Day
  • St John’s Eve and the first day of the Midsummer celebrations [although this is not the real summer solstice; see June 20] (Roman Catholic Church, Northern Europe):
  • Bonfires of Saint John (Spain)
  • First day of Golowan Festival (Cornwall)
  • First night of Ivan Kupala Day
  • Jaaniõhtu (Estonia)
  • Jāņi (Latvia)
  • Last day of Drăgaica fair (Buzău, Romania)
  • Festa de São João do Porto
  • United Nations Public Service Day (International)
  • Victory Day (Estonia)
Informal and made-up holidays include Let It Go Day, National Columnists’ Day, Pink Flamingo Day, Public Service Day, Runner’s Selfie Day, and SAT Math Day.
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June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years). There are 191 days remaining until the end of the year.