What Happened On This Day – December 23
1994 Organized crime boss Whitey Bulger goes into hiding
The convicted murderer stayed out of sight for 16 years causing great embarrassment to the American Federal Bureau of Investigations. He was finally arrested in 2011.
1990 Slovenian referendum on independence from Yugoslavia
The Eastern European country had joined the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a socialist republic state in 1945. Actual independence for the country did not occur until June of 1991, when the Slovenians rejected Yugoslavian interference in the form of a 10-day war that ended on July 7, 1991. A new constitution for the country came into force on December 23, 1991.
1975 Metric Conversion Act signed by U.S. President Gerald Ford
The act made the metric system the preferred system of weights and measures in the United States. Today, the metric system is predominantly only used by scientists and academics in the U.S. Common people tend to follow the customary units that were developed before American Independence. The U.S. is 1 of 3 countries in the world that do not use the metric system. Liberia and Burma are the other two.
1958 Tokyo Tower opened to the public
At 333 meters tall, it is world's tallest, self-supported steel tower. It is based on the Eiffel Tower and is used for communication purposes.
1888 Vincent van Gogh cuts off his ear
It is now believed that the Dutch painter was suffering from a psychotic break at the time of the event. After cutting off his left ear, van Gogh bandaged his head and took the severed ear to a prostitute for safekeeping.
Births On This Day – December 23
1967 Carla Bruni
Italian/French singer-songwriter, model
1964 Eddie Vedder
American singer-songwriter, guitarist
1963 Jim Harbaugh
American football player
1944 Wesley Clark
1918 Helmut Schmidt
German politician, 5th Chancellor of Germany
Deaths On This Day – December 23
2009 Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme
2007 Oscar Peterson
Canadian pianist, composer
2004 P. V. Narasimha Rao
Indian lawyer, politician, activist, 9th Prime Minister of India
1953 Lavrentiy Beria
1795 Henry Clinton
English general, politician