Today in History: November 23

Today in History: November 23

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1248

The city of Seville, Spain, surrenders to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege.

1785

John Hancock is elected president of the Continental Congress for the second time.

1863

Union forces win the Battle of Orchard Knob, Tennessee.

1863

The Battle of Chattanooga, one of the most decisive battles of the American Civil War, begins (also in Tennessee).

1903

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso makes his American debut in a Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi's Rigoletto.

1904

Russo-German talks break down because of Russia's insistence to consult France.

1909

The Wright brothers form a million-dollar corporation for the commercial manufacture of their airplanes.

1921

President Warren G. Harding signs the Willis Campell Act, better known as the anti-beer bill. It forbids doctors to prescribe beer or liquor for medicinal purposes.

1933

President Franklin D. Roosevelt recalls the American ambassador from Havana, Cuba, and urges stability in the island nation.

1934

The United States and Great Britain agree on a 5-5-3 naval ratio, with both countries allowed to build five million tons of naval ships while Japan can only build three. Japan will denounce the treaty.

1936

The United States abandons the American embassy in Madrid, Spain, which is engulfed by civil war.

1941

U.S. troops move into Dutch Guiana to guard the bauxite mines.

1942

The film Casablanca premieres in New York City.

1943

U.S. Marines declare the island of Tarawa secure.

1945

Wartime meat and butter rationing ends in the United States.

1953

North Korea signs 10-year aid pact with Peking.

1968

Four men hijack an American plane, with 87 passengers, from Miami to Cuba.

1980

In Europe's biggest earthquake since 1915, 3,000 people are killed in Italy.

1981

US Pres. Ronald Reagan signs top secret directive giving the CIA authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1990

The first all-woman expedition to South Pole sets off from Antarctica on the part of a 70-day trip; the group includes 12 Russians, 3 Americans and 1 Japanese.

1992

The first Smartphone, IBM Simon, introduced at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2005

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf elected president of Liberia; she is the first woman to lead an African nation.

2006

In the second-deadliest day of sectarian violence in Iraq since the beginning of the 2003 war, 215 people are killed and nearly 260 injured by bombs in Sadr City.

2011

Yemeni President Ali Abullah Saleh signs a deal to to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity; the agreement came after 11 months of protests.