2023: Facts & Events That Happened in This Year

2023: Facts & Historical Events That Happened in This Year




2023 was a year of change. The WHO finally declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, India overtook China to become the most populous country, and artificial intelligence overtook our lives!

Seriously, AI’s influence was everywhere, although, despite these advances, the tech industry took a tumble with layoffs across the board.

Barbie, Oppenheimer, and the FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup captivated the world, but not quite as much as Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, which saw her become Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

However, not everything went smoothly this year. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensified, Israel launched a full-scale war on HAMAS in Palestinian Gaza, wildfires devastated Greece amid broken summer temperature records, and Oceangate’s Titan submarine tragically claimed the lives of its crew.

On a lighter note, tropical nations celebrated the approval of a new malaria vaccine, the UK introduced a drug with the potential to halve breast cancer rates, and global leaders advanced plans to address climate change.

While there were plenty of lows in 2023, the overall outlook is positive, and progressions in medicine, technology, and equality leave us looking forward to the future!

Continue reading to delve into the events, news, music, quotes, and famous people’s deaths that shaped the year 2023.


Here you’ll discover a collection of fascinating and unforgettable events that shaped the world in 2023.

Jan 1

Croatia replaced its national currency, the kuna, with the euro.

OTD in 2023: Croatia replaced its national currency

Jan 10

The UK’s Prince Harry published Spare, his tell-all memoir on his upbringing with the Royal Family.

Jan 20

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the Moon, married Anca Faur on his 93rd birthday.

Jan 24

The Doomsday Clock was set at 90 seconds to midnight after new escalations in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Doomsday Clock represents how close the world is to a major catastrophe or all-out nuclear war. This adjustment brought the clock the closest it had ever been to midnight since its creation in 1947.

Feb 1

Legendary rock singer Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement from touring.

The 74-year-old had faced health complications for years, including a spine injury and a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. After a number of canceled shows, he made the hard decision to quit touring to take care of his health.

Feb 6

Turkey and Syria were struck by a catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed 59,259 people.

OTD in 2023: Turkey and Syria were struck by a catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed 59

Over the next three weeks, the region was hit with over 10,000 aftershocks. It was the deadliest earthquake in Turkey since 526 AD and Syria since 1822.

Feb 11

The Armenian-Turkish land border opened for the first time in 35 years.

The border was opened briefly to allow a convoy of vehicles carrying aid to disaster-struck areas of Turkey affected by the 2023 Turkey-Syria Earthquake. The last time the border opened was in 1988 when Turkey sent aid to Armenia after another devastating earthquake.

Feb 28

The FBI publicly confirmed that they believed COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.

Mar 9

The US record industry reported that for the first time since 1987, sales of vinyl records exceeded CD sales.

Mar 14

OpenAI released GPT-4, an upgraded version of their popular artificial intelligence chatbot.

Mar 17

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The warrant was issued for the crime of forcefully deporting children from Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine into Russia. A warrant for the same crime was also issued against Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights.

Mar 31

Italy banned the use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT over data security concerns.

OTD in 2023: Italy banned the use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT over data security concerns.

Instead of responding to the concerns raised by Italy’s data privacy regulators, OpenAI simply pulled the plug for Italian users. ChatGPT was restored the following month with changes that allowed users to prevent the chatbot from using their data.

Apr 3

NASA announced the astronauts for the first trip to the moon in over 50 years.

OTD in 2023: NASA announced the astronauts for the first trip to the moon in over 50 years.

Commander Reid Wiseman, mission specialist Jeremy Hansen, flight engineer Christina Koch, and pilot Victor J. Glover were chosen for Artemis II, a fly-by mission to the moon.

Apr 4

Finland officially joined Nato, becoming the 31st member of the security alliance.

Apr 20

SpaceX’s Starship rocket exploded four minutes into its first full flight test.

The Starship rocket, the most powerful rocket ever built, is set to one day carry human colonists to Mars. Despite the explosion, SpaceX’s engineers celebrated the launch, as it provided invaluable data.

Apr 29

Legendary country musician Willie Nelson held a two-day music concert for his 90th birthday party.

May 1

Geoffrey Hinton, the “Godfather of AI,” resigned from Google amidst growing concerns over AI.

The so-called godfather, who gained his nickname for his pioneering work in the AI field, resigned to help spread the word about the dangers of the emerging technology.

May 2

The Writers Guild of America went on strike after a labor dispute.

The strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) was the largest stoppage interruption to US film and TV production since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Guild members headed to picket lines demanding increased wages and better job security.

May 4

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

May 25

The FDA gave Elon Musk the go-ahead to trial his Neuralink brain implants on humans.

OTD in 2023: The FDA gave Elon Musk the go-ahead to trial his Neuralink brain implants on humans.

Jun 8

Former US President Donald Trump was formally accused of mishandling classified documents.

Jun 16

The rules for the Grammy Awards were updated to restrict AI-generated songs.

The new rules clarified that songs that are fully generated by AI will not be considered for awards. Songs that are only partly written by AI and have “meaningful” human contributions are still allowed.

Jun 18

OceanGate’s Titan submersible imploded during an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic.

OTD in 2023: OceanGate’s Titan submersible imploded during an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic.

All contact with the submersible was lost just one hour and forty-five minutes after Titan dove below the surface. Four days later, Titan’s wreckage was found about 1,600 feet (500 meters) from the Titanic. All five of the expedition’s participants, including Oceangate CEO Paul-Henri Nargeolet, perished.

Jun 30

Harrison returned to our screens for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”

The fifth and final installment of the Indiana Jones film series also starred John Rhys-Davies, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Antonio Banderas. It’s the only film in the series that Steven Spielberg didn’t direct.

Jul 8

Elton John ended his touring career with a final concert in Stockholm, Sweden.

OTD in 2023: Elton John ended his touring career with a final concert in Stockholm

Jul 21

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer opened in cinemas.

Many people flocked to cinemas to watch both films back-to-back, morphing the two films into a five-hour marathon delightfully coined as “Barbenheimer.”

Jul 22

Good Vibes Festival was canceled after The 1975’s lead singer kissed his bandmate on stage in protest of Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQIA+ laws.

Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country where homosexual activity is criminalized. Matty Healy, an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, kissed bassist Ross MacDonald to make a point and criticized the government’s stance on the matter.

Jul 26

Niger President Mohamed Bazoum was removed from office by a military coup.

This made the fifth coup in Niger since it gained independence from France in 1960. The coup was condemned by many of the world’s foremost institutions and political bodies, including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the African Union.

Aug 10

Two rival driverless taxi companies were given approval to operate 24/7 in San Francisco, California.

The two companies, Cruise and Waymo, had been testing their services in the city for a year before they were given full approval.

Aug 19

Russia’s Luna 25 lunar lander mission crash-landed on the Moon.

The mission was Roscosmos’ (Russia’s space agency) first attempt to send a spacecraft to the moon. The last Russian attempts occurred in the 70s under the Soviet space program.

Aug 23

India became the fourth nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon.

OTD in 2023: India became the fourth nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon.

India followed in the footsteps of Russia, China, and the US with the touchdown of its Chandrayaan-3 Moon Lander. India’s Moon landing is quite different from all other landings, though, as it was the first to land on the Moon’s unexplored south pole.

Aug 24

Donald Trump became the first former US President to have their mug shot taken.

Trump surrendered to the Fulton County jail for 13 felony charges related to his attempts to interfere in the 2020 Presidential election. This was the fourth time in six months that Trump turned himself in due to criminal charges being laid against him.

Sep 12

Kim Jong-Un arrived in Russia by armored train to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin regarding potential military cooperation.

OTD in 2023: Kim Jong-Un arrived in Russia by armored train to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin regarding potential military cooperation.

Sep 13

“UFO expert” Jaime Maussan presented the bodies of two alleged aliens before the Mexican Congress.

Maussan had made several debunked claims in the past, and on this day, he presented the mummified “aliens” with the claim that they are “not part of our terrestrial evolution.” Scientists worldwide have since decried the entire thing as yet another elaborate hoax.

Sep 16

Rolling Stone magazine removed one of its co-founders, Jann Wenner, from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The decision came soon after Wenner released a book titled “The Masters,” in which he exclusively interviewed white male musicians, and the magazine’s board of directors removed Wenner from the list following racist and sexist remarks he made regarding why he didn’t feature any female or Black artists.

Sep 27

The Writers Guild of America strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers ended.

The 148-day strike was the second-longest strike the Writers Guild had ever undertaken. Writers took to picket lines to demand better pay and benefits while also seeking to safeguard their jobs from potential replacement by AI chatbots like ChatGPT.

Oct 5

Research into fossil footprints at White Sands National Park in New Mexico confirmed humans were in the Americas at least 21,000 years ago.

According to former theories, the Americas was only populated about 15,000 years ago via the Bering Strait between modern-day Russia and Alaska. The new research used multiple methods to determine the footprints’ age, with all results pointing to a date between 21,000 and 23,000 years ago.

Oct 8

Israel formally declared war on Hamas following a surprise attack by Hamas operatives in Israeli-controlled territory.

At the point of the declaration, the death toll had already risen to 1,100 from both sides.

Oct 13

Microsoft purchased Activision Blizzard in a record-breaking $69 billion takeover.

OTD in 2023: Microsoft purchased Activision Blizzard in a record-breaking $69 billion takeover.

Microsoft’s chief gaming executive announced that despite the takeover, gamers’ favorite franchises would remain accessible to the usual platforms.

Oct 30

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to guide the use of AI within federal agencies.

Nov 1

Collins Dictionary announced “AI” as the most notable word in 2023.

Nov 10

Colombia began a campaign to sterilize Pablo Escobar’s wild hippos.

Infamous cartel leader Pablo Escobar smuggled four hippos into the country back in the 1980s. Following his demise in 1993, the hippos were left to nature. Without any natural predators, their population grew to as many as 170, and they became an invasive species.

Nov 24

A four-day ceasefire in Gaza between HAMAS and Israeli forces began.

The first day saw Israel release 39 Palestinians in return for 24 hostages. In addition to the exchange, the ceasefire allowed international aid groups to bring much-needed emergency supplies to Gaza.

Nov 28

A Virgin Airlines plane became the first to fly using 100% sustainable jet fuel.

Flight VS100, which flew from London to New York, used a sustainable fuel made from a blend of used cooking oils, tallow, and other waste products. While planes using sustainable jet fuel emit the same amount of carbon, their net carbon emissions are 70% lower.

Dec 6

Taylor Swift was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

The famed pop singer and cultural icon was the first ever to win the prestigious award based on success in the arts. The award has traditionally been given to men, particularly those in traditional positions of power.

Dec 14

The European Union formally opened accession negotiations with Ukraine.

The decision, which required all EU member states to agree unanimously, meant that Ukraine could begin discussions to make changes to align themselves with the EU.

Dec 19

The Supreme Court of Colorado ruled that Donald Trump is ineligible to run again for President.

Ultimately, it was Trump’s actions in the leadup to the January 6 storming of the Capitol building that put him in hot water. It was decided that his actions counted as insurrection, and according to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, anyone engaged in such activities is forbidden from holding office.

Dec 26

The Detroit Pistons NBA team broke records after losing their 27th consecutive basketball game.

Famous Deaths

Here’s a glimpse at a few famous people who bid us farewell in 2023.



Tina Turner



Tina Turner



Tina Turner

Tina Turner was a Swiss singer born on November 26, 1939. She died on May 24, 2023, at age 83 in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

Died On:

May 24, 2023 (Age 83)

Died In:

Küsnacht, Switzerland



Matthew Perry



Matthew Perry



Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry was an American-Canadian actor born on August 19, 1969. He died on October 28, 2023, at age 54 in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Died On:

Oct 28, 2023 (Age 54)

Died In:

California, USA



Michael Gambon



Michael Gambon



Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon was an Irish-English actor born on October 19, 1940. He died on September 28, 2023, at age 82 in Witham, Essex, England, UK.

Died On:

Sep 28, 2023 (Age 82)

Died In:

England, UK



Lisa Marie Presley



Lisa Marie Presley



Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley was an American singer born on February 1, 1968. She died on January 12, 2023, at age 54 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Died On:

Jan 12, 2023 (Age 54)

Died In:

California, USA


Here’s a roundup of the most memorable quotes people said in 2023.

Nov 20

One of the challenges in the future will be how do we find meaning in life.

Dec 6

There’s no point in actively trying to “defeat your enemies…” Trash takes itself out every single time.

2023 In Music

2023 was a musical whirlwind that had us grooving and singing along all year long!

From the infectious rhythms of “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus to the empowering anthem “Kill Bill” by SZA, these tunes not only defined the year but also had us moving to the beat with an unbridled sense of freedom.

Discover the music highlights from 2023 that you need to know about.

Album of the Year

Harry Styles’ vibrant and infectious pop album “Harry’s House” lit up the music scene in 2023, earning him the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and solidifying his status as a charismatic and talented artist.

Song of the Year

In 2023, Bonnie Raitt won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year with her catchy hit “Just Like That.”

Best New Artist

Samara Joy’s exceptional talent and captivating jazz performances have earned her the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2023, establishing her as a rising star in the world of jazz music.

Eurovision Song Contest Winner

The 67th Eurovision Song Contest in 2023 brought the musical extravaganza to Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Sweden triumphed with the enchanting performance of “Tattoo” by Loreen, adding another memorable chapter to Eurovision history.

2023 in Numbers

Let’s look at some fun number facts! 2023 when written in Roman numerals is MMXXIII, and when written in binary, it’s 11111100111.

Harshad Number

2023 is a Harshad number, which is a number that can be evenly divided by the sum of its digits. It’s like a special math rule for some numbers.

To explain in more detail, we add up the digits (2 + 0 + 2 + 3), which equals 7. And now we see if 2023 can be divided evenly by 7, which it can! 2023 ÷ 7 = 289. So this makes 2023 a Harshad number.

Chinese Zodiac 2023

Chinese Zodiac 2023: Year of the Water Rabbit

According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, 2023 was The Year of the Rabbit, which occurs once every twelve years.

But did you know that the Chinese zodiac cycle also incorporates the five elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water? This actually makes 2023 the Year of the Water Rabbit, a cycle that repeats every sixty years.

Because the Chinese calendar works from the lunar cycle, in 2023 Chinese New Year actually began on January 22nd.

People born in the Year of the Rabbit tend to be gentle, compassionate, and artistic. They possess a harmonious nature, valuing peace and tranquility while showcasing their creativity and sensitivity.

Johnny Depp, Tessa Brooks and DJ Khaled are shining examples of the success and talent that can be found among those born in the Years of the Rabbit!

2023 Trivia

On July 4, 2023, Earth experienced its hottest day since at least 1979, with a global average temperature of 62.92°F (17.18°C).

Reported by the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction, this temperature milestone signifies a significant occurrence.

It has led some scientists to suggest that July 4 could be counted among the hottest days on Earth in approximately 125,000 years, attributing it to the impact of climate change on rising global temperatures.


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