August 23: Facts & Historical Events On This Day

Did you know that on this day, August 23, 1541, French explorer Jacques Cartier arrived in the city of Quebec?

August 23rd is known as Sponge Cake Day and Ride The Wind Day.

We made it to day 235 of the year and there’s only 130 days left to go until we reach the new year.

If today is a special day for you, or you just want to know more about it then you’re going to love our selection of historical events that all happened on this day.

Did you know that on this day in 1541, French explorer Jacques Cartier arrived in the city of Quebec? He is credited with naming Canada by referring to Quebec using the native’s word for village, “kanata.”

Keep reading for more interesting facts about August 23rd in history!

What Events Happened On August 23 In History?

2007 Chris Messina Tweeted #barcamp, which became the first use of a hashtag on Twitter.

OTD in 2007: Chris Messina Tweeted #barcamp

Messina co-founded BarCamp, a technology and web event that's been held in more than 350 cities.

1990 Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

1970 The largest farm worker strike in US history began.

The Salad Bowl Strike, led by the United Farm Workers union, was a series of general strikes, boycotts, and mass pickets to fight for the collective bargaining rights of agricultural workers. The strikes lasted just over seven months. The farm workers got their demands met four years later when the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act was passed into law.

1966 The first-ever photograph was taken of the Earth from the surface of the Moon.

Lunar Orbiter 1 sent the photo back to earth on this day on its 16th orbit. The photograph was received by the NASA tracking station near Madrid, Spain.


1948 The World Council of Churches (WCC) was founded with 147 churches from 44 countries.

1924 Mars had a “close encounter” with Earth at 34.8 million miles apart.

OTD in 1924: Mars had a "close encounter" with Earth at 34.8 million miles apart.

1914 During World War I, Japan officially declared war on Germany.

1899 The first-ever message was sent from a ship to the shore at Cliff House, San Francisco.

The message received by the station was, "Sherman is sighted."


1873 The Albert Bridge opened in London, England.

The bridge, designed by Rowland Mason Ordish, crosses the River Thames connecting Chelsea to Battersea. It is 710 feet long, 41 feet wide, and 66 feet high.

1799 Napoleon Bonaparte left Egypt to return home to France.

1793 During the French Revolution, a mass levy was adopted, making it compulsory for any able-bodied men aged 18 to 25 to join military service.

1541 French explorer Jacques Cartier arrived in the city of Quebec during his third voyage to Canada.

1305 Scottish knight William Wallace was executed for treason by being hung, drawn, and quartered by order of King Edward I of England.

OTD in 1305: Scottish knight William Wallace was executed for treason by being hung

Famous People Born On August 23

Is today your birthday? If so, you share this special day with Kobe Bryant! Check out more famous people born on this day below.

1978 Kobe Bryant

American Basketball Player

Kobe Bryant
Died On:
Jan 26, 2020 (Age 41)
Born In:
Pennsylvania, USA

1970 River Phoenix

American Actor

River Phoenix
Died On:
Oct 31, 1993 (Age 23)
Born In:
Oregon, USA

1994 Francesca Reale

American Actress

Francesca Reale
28 years old
Born In:
California, USA

1978 Julian Casablancas

American Singer

Julian Casablancas
44 years old
Born In:
New York, USA

Special Holidays On August 23

If you can spare some time today, here are some unique holidays you could get involved with.

August 23: National Sponge Cake Day

National Sponge Cake Day

It’s hard to believe, but the simple sponge cake has only been around since the 18th century. This culinary masterpiece is seen in so many different forms of desserts you’d think it’s been around forever! Celebrate Sponge Cake Day today by eating, you guessed it, sponge cake!

August 23: National Ride The Wind Day

National Ride The Wind Day

On August 23, 1977, the Gossamer Condor 2 became the world’s first successful human-powered aircraft. Celebrate National Ride The Wind Day by reading up on this momentous occasion, or try to ride the wind yourself by paragliding or windsurfing!

THe Fact Site's

Fun Fact Of The Day

Joe Arridy had an IQ of 46 and is known as the “happiest prisoner on death row.” He went into the gas chamber with a smile. It turned out he was innocent.

August 23 Birthday Facts, Zodiac & Birthstone

Everyone who was born on August 23rd shares the star sign of Virgo.

Virgo is represented by the Virgin and is the sixth sign in the zodiac. Anyone who was born between August 23 and September 22 falls into this astrological sign.

If you were born in August, Peridot is your assigned birthstone. The largest peridot stone discovered was found on Zagbargad Island, Egypt. It weighs an incredible 311.8 carats and is now located at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

For those of you who were born on Aug 23, you were likely conceived the previous year on November 30.

A baby that is conceived on August 23, 2023, will likely be born around May 16, 2024.

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