2022 December

December 23: Facts & Historical Events On This Day

Facts & Historic Events That Happened on December 23
You are currently viewing December 23, 2022. Click below for this day in 2021. December 23, 2021

December 23rd is the day we officially celebrate Roots Day & Pfeffernusse Day.

We are now on the 357th day of the year, congratulations for making it this far! There’s only 2 days left until Christmas.

This day in history has been an interesting one! Here you’re going to learn something new about this special day, and what exactly made this day so special.

Did you know that on this day in 1972, the survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 plane crash were rescued? They had been struggling to stay alive for 72 days in a remote part of the Andes mountains.

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

What Events Happened On December 23 In History?


A gas explosion occurred in Guoqiao, Kai, Chongqing, China.

A gas well belonging to PetroChina's Southwest Oil in the Chuandongbei gas field exploded, releasing highly toxic hydrogen sulfide. This incident killed 233 people and injured at least 9,000.

Rom-com movie “As Good as It Gets” was released in theaters in the US.

OTD in 1997: Rom-com movie "As Good as It Gets" was released in theaters in the US.
It was written and directed by James L. Brooks and starred Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

Whitey Bulger, an organized crime boss, fled Boston after fearing arrest from the FBI.

He successfully hid from law enforcement for 16 years.

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who was serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford, escaped from Alderson Prison.


The first aircraft flew around the world without stopping or refueling.

OTD in 1986: The first aircraft flew around the world without stopping or refueling.
The experimental airplane "Voyager" was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager on a non-stop flight around the world – a journey that took nine days.

A 6.25 magnitude earthquake destroyed central Managua, Nicaragua, killing about 10,000 people.


Plane crash survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued.

OTD in 1972: Plane crash survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued.
Sixteen plane crash survivors were rescued after being stranded in the Andes for seventy days. Although 33 of the 45 onboard survived the crash, injuries and severe weather conditions killed many more. Survivors had to resort to cannibalism in order to stay alive.

After eleven months of imprisonment, 83 men from the US Navy were released by North Korea.

On January 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo, a spy ship, was captured along with its crew by the North Korean armed forces. While the US Navy claimed that the Pueblo was outside of North Korea's waters, North Korea claimed otherwise. The captives were only released after the US signed a statement that they were indeed within North Korea's territory and that they would never do it again.

Dr. Joseph E. Murray performed the first human kidney transplant at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.


Cinderella, the first full-length ballet by Frederick Ashton with music by Sergei Prokofiev, was first presented at Covent Garden, London, by Sadler’s Wells Ballet.


Vincent van Gogh cut his left ear off with a razor after an argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin.

He sent it to a prostitute for safekeeping.

The novel Emma by Jane Austen was first published.


Yohl Ikʼnal ascended to the throne of Palenque, making her the first queen regnant in Maya history.

December 23 Birthday Facts, Zodiac & Birthstone

For those of you who were born on December 23, your zodiac sign is Sagittarius.

Capricorns are ambitious, determined and will consistently apply efforts to any task at hand to get the job done. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, or indeed, how many times they might fail.

People born in December share the Blue Topaz birthstone. The blue topaz promotes harmony, serenity, tranquility and helps the wearer to overcome pain and hurt.

If you were born on this day, you were likely conceived on the week of April 1st in the same year.

Are you celebrating your birthday today? If so, did you know that you share the same birthday as Harry Judd? See what other famous people were born on this day.

Famous People Born On December 23

Finn Wolfhard

Finn Wolfhard

Canadian Actor
Birthday: December 23, 2002
Age: 19 years old
Born In: British Columbia, Canada
Harry Judd

Harry Judd

English Musician
Birthday: December 23, 1985
Age: 36 years old
Born In: England, United Kingdom
Corey Haim

Corey Haim

Canadian Actor
Birthday: December 23, 1971
Died On: Mar 10, 2010 (Age 38)
Born In: Ontario, Canada
Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

American Religious Leader
Birthday: December 23, 1805
Died On: Jun 27, 1844 (Age 38)
Born In: Vermont, USA

Special Holidays On December 23rd

Are you looking for something to do today? Well, here’s a few special days that might just give you some ideas.

December 23: National Roots Day

National Roots Day

Did you know that on this day, December 23rd 1972, the survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 plane crash were rescued?