2023 – A Look at 100 Years Ago

What happened in 1923?

We made it another year. It is now 2023. I remember reading 2001: A Space Odyssey and feeling that that date was so far into the future. Well, I thought this would be a good time to look back 100 years, to 1923.

The burial chamber of King Tutankhamun, unearthed in 1922, was opened in the Valley of the Kings. Howard Carter opens the sealed doorway to King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber on February 16, 1923, and sees the sarcophagus.

The first home game is played at Yankee Stadium, on April 18, 1923, between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. At the time it had the largest number of seats of any ballpark in America, the first game ended with the Yankees beating the Boston Red Sox, by a score of 4-1, with Babe Ruth hitting a three-run homer into the right-field stands.

The original “Hollywood” sign was erected in 1923 and originally read “HollywoodLand” to promote the name of a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. It was a wooden sign in 30-foot-wide and 50-foot-high white block letters, studded with around 4,000 light bulbs, the completed sign alternated between flashing in successive segments “HOLLY,” “WOOD,” and “LAND” and as a whole.

Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner, on April 4, 1923, formally incorporated as Warner Bros. Pictures, Incorporated. The very first issue of Time Magazine was published on March 3, 1923, by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce, making it the first weekly news magazine in the United States. Vol. 1 Issue 1 featured Joseph G. Cannon on the cover. He was a politician from Illinois and leader of the Republican Party. Cannon served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1903 to 1911.

The Great Kanto earthquake, an 8.2 Richter Scale magnitude earthquake hits the Kanto Plain on the island of Honshu in Japan at about noon on September 1, 1923. It was followed by a forty-foot tsunami and then fires. The event killed 140,000 and injured more.

Wembley Stadium opens in Wembley, London, on April 28, 1923. It hosted the FA Cup[1] final annually, the first in 1923, which was the stadium’s inaugural event, the League Cup final annually, five European Cup finals, the 1966 World Cup Final, and the final of Euro 1996.

Roy and Walt Disney found The Walt Disney Company on October 16, 1923, at this time known as the Disney Brothers Studio. Early on, the company established itself as a leader in the animation industry, with the creation of the widely popular character Mickey Mouse, who is the company’s mascot, and the start of animated films. Mount Etna volcano erupts on June 19, 1923, making 60,000 homeless.

Hank Stram is born January 3, 1923, head coach for the Dallas Texans / Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). Stram enjoyed a long and successful career as a color commentator on CBS’ television and radio broadcasts of NFL games.

Record producer Sam Phillips is born on January 23, 1923. He was the founder of Sun Records, where he produced recordings by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Howlin’ Wolf. Phillips played a major role in the development of rock and roll during the 1950s, launching the career of Presley.

Larry Storch, best known as the voice on the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoon, Phineas J. Whoopie, and playing Agarn on “F-Troop”, was born on January 8, 1923. Wright King is born on January 11, 1923. He is best known for playing Jason Nichols in the television series “Wanted Dead or Alive’ (1958–1961). Ira Hayes is born on January 12, 1923. He is famous for being one of the Marines raising the victory flag on Iwo Jima[2].

Jean Stapleton is born on January 19, 1923. She is best known for her performance as the perpetually optimistic and devoted wife of Archie Bunker, on the 1970s sitcom “All in the Family”. Slim Whitman is born on January 20, 1923. He country music singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for his yodeling abilities and his use of falsetto.

Norman Mailer was born on January 31, 1923. He was a novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, activist, filmmaker, and actor. One of his best-known novels is “The Executioner’s Song”, the 1979 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Conrad Bain was a comedian and actor best known for his portrayal of Phillip Drummond in the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, and as Dr. Arthur Harmon on Maude. Claude King was born on February 5, 1923. He was a country music singer and songwriter, best known for his million-selling 1962 hit, “Wolverton Mountain”

Chuck Yeager was born on February 13, 1923. He was a United States Air Force officer, flying ace, and record-setting test pilot who in October 1947 became the first pilot in history confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight. Actor Charles Durning was born on February 28, 1923. His best-known films include “The Sting” (1973), “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975), “The Muppet Movie” (1979), “True Confessions” (1981), “Tootsie” (1982), “Dick Tracy” (1990), and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000).

Doc Watson was born on March 3, 1923. He was a guitarist, songwriter, and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, and gospel music. Ed McMahon was born on March 6, 1923. He was an announcer, game show host, comedian, actor, singer, and combat aviator best known for his role as Johnny Carson’s sidekick, Star Search host, and presenting sweepstakes for American Family Publisher.

Marcel Marceau was born on March 22, 1923. He was a French actor and mime artist famous for his stage persona, “Bip the Clown”. Character actor Murray Hamilton was born on March 24, 1923. He appeared in such films as “Anatomy of a Murder”, “The Hustler”, “The Graduate”, “Jaws”, and “The Amityville Horror”.

Don Adams was born on April 13, 1923, and is best known as Agent Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) in the television situation comedy “Get Smart” (1965–1970). Model Bettie Page was born on April 22, 1923. She gained notoriety in the 1950s for her pin-up photos. Television producer Aaron Spelling was born on April 22, 1923. His productions included the TV series “Charlie’s Angels” (1976–1981), “The Love Boat” (1977–1986), “Hart to Hart” (1979–1984), “Dynasty” (1981–1989), “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1990–2000), “Melrose Place” (1992–1999), “7th Heaven” (1996–2007), and “Charmed” (1998–2006).

Albert King was born on April 25, 1923. He was a guitarist and singer who is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential blues guitarists of all time. Al Lewis was born on April 30, 1923, and is best known for his role in “Car 54, Where are You?” and as Grandpa in “The Munsters” TV series and movies.

James Arness was born May 26, 1923, and is best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon for 20 years in the CBS television series “Gunsmoke”. Rose Marie was born on August 15, 1923. She was an actress, singer, comedian, and vaudeville performer with a career ultimately spanning nine decades, which included film, radio, records, theater, nightclubs, and television. She played Sally Rogers on the CBS situation comedy “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961–1966).

Country music singer Jim Reeves was born on August 20, 1923, and known as “Gentleman Jim”. Cartoonist Mort Walker was born September 3, 1923, and is known for his comic strip “Beetle Bailey”. Cliff Robertson was born on September 9, 1923, and was an actor who portrayed a young John F. Kennedy in the 1963 film “PT 109”, and won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film “Charly”. Country music icon Hank Williams was born on September 17, 1923.

Actor Charlton Heston was born on October 4, 1923. He played Moses in the epic film “The Ten Commandments” (1956), “Ben Hur” (1959), “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952), “Planet of the Apes” (1968), “The Omega Man” (1971), and “Soylent Green” (1973). Frank Sutton was born on October 23, 1923, and was best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter on the CBS television series “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

Astronaut Alan Shepard was born on November 18, 1923. In 1961, he became the second person and the first American to travel into space and, in 1971, he became the fifth and oldest person to walk on the Moon at age 47. James Karen was born on November 28, 1923, and is known for his roles in “Poltergeist”, “The China Syndrome”, “Wall Street”, “The Return of the Living Dead”, “Invaders from Mars”, and “The Pursuit of Happyness”.

Ted Knight was born on December 7, 1923, and is best known for his roles as Ted Baxter in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, Henry Rush in “Too Close for Comfort”, and Judge Elihu Smails in “Caddyshack”. Bob Barker was born on December 12, 1923, and is known for hosting the game shows “Truth or Consequences” from 1956 to 1975, and “The Price Is Right” from 1972 to 2007.

Musician Bob Dorough was born December 12, 1923, and was the composer and performer of songs in the TV series Schoolhouse Rock! George Patton IV, born December 24, 1923, was a major general in the United States Army and the son of World War II General George S. Patton Jr. He served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Mechanical engineer and physicist Wilhelm Röntgen died on February 10, 1923. produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays or Röntgen rays earning him the Nobel Prize. Edward Morley died on February 24, 1923. He was an American scientist known for his precise and accurate measurement of the atomic weight of oxygen, and for the Michelson–Morley[3] experiment.

English mathematician, logician, and philosopher John Venn died on April 4, 1923, and was noted for introducing Venn diagrams[4], which are used in logic, set theory, probability, statistics, and computer science. Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa was assassinated on July 20, 1923. The 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died on August 2, 1923.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, starring Lon Chaney as Quasimodo was released on September 6, 1923. Cecil B. DeMille’s silent religious epic film “The Ten Commandments” was released on December 21, 1923.

Also Born in 1923
  • Anne Baxter – Actress
  • Ann Miller – Actress
  • Doris Dowling – Actress
  • Evelyn Ward – Actress (David Cassidy’s Mom)
  • Henry Kissinger – Politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant
  • John Bradley – US Navy flag raiser at Iwo Jima
  • Norma Zimmer – 22-year tenure as Lawrence Welk’s “Champagne Lady”
  • Dale Robertson – Actor
  • Bob Dole – Polititian
  • Estelle Getty – Actress best known for playing Sophia on “The Golden Girls”
  • Jim Marshall – British founder of Marshall Amplification
  • Eve Miller – Actress
  • John Stephenson – Voice-over actor (Mr. Slate on the Flinstones)
  • Rhonda Fleming – Actress
  • Carolina Slim – American Piedmont blues singer, guitarist
  • Glynis Johns – Actress
  • Linda Darnell – Actress
  • Roy Lichtenstein – American pop artist
  • Charles Nolte – Actor
  • Gloria Grahame – Actress
  • Dick Shawn – Actor, comedian, supporting roles, character actor
  • Stansfield Turner – American admiral, Director of Central Intelligence
  • Harold Gould – Actor
  • Dina Merrill – Actress
  • Mike Nussbaum – Actor

  1. The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men’s domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world. It is organized by and named after The Football Association (FA). Since 2015, it has been known as The Emirates FA Cup after its headline sponsor. [Back]
  2. Hayes was generally known as one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by photographer Joe Rosenthal. The first flag raised over Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945, at the south end of Iwo Jima, was deemed too small and replaced the same day by a larger flag. A photo of the second flag-raising, which included Hayes in it, became famous and was widely reproduced. After the battle, Hayes and two other men were identified as surviving second flag-raisers and were reassigned to help raise funds for the Seventh War Loan drive. In 1946, after his service in the Marine Corps, he was instrumental in revealing the correct identity of one of the Marines in the photograph. [Back]
  3. The Michelson–Morley experiment was an attempt to detect the existence of the luminiferous aether, a supposed medium permeating space that was thought to be the carrier of light waves. The experiment was performed between April and July 1887 by American physicists Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley at what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and published in November of the same year. The experiment compared the speed of light in perpendicular directions in an attempt to detect the relative motion of matter through the stationary luminiferous aether (“aether wind”). The result was negative, in that Michelson and Morley found no significant difference between the speed of light in the direction of movement through the presumed aether and the speed at right angles. This result is generally considered to be the first strong evidence against the then-prevalent aether theory, as well as initiating a line of research that eventually led to special relativity, which rules out a stationary aether. Of this experiment, Albert Einstein wrote, “If the Michelson–Morley experiment had not brought us into serious embarrassment, no one would have regarded the relativity theory as a (halfway) redemption.” Michelson–Morley-type experiments have been repeated many times with steadily increasing sensitivity. These include experiments from 1902 to 1905 and a series of experiments in the 1920s. More recently, in 2009, optical resonator experiments confirmed the absence of any aether wind at the 10−17 level. Together with the Ives–Stilwell, and Kennedy–Thorndike experiments, Michelson–Morley-type experiments form one of the fundamental tests of special relativity. [Back]
  4. A Venn diagram is a widely used diagram style that shows the logical relation between sets, popularized by John Venn (1834–1923) in the 1880s. The diagrams are used to teach elementary set theory, and to illustrate simple set relationships in probability, logic, statistics, linguistics, and computer science. A Venn diagram uses simple closed curves drawn on a plane to represent sets. Very often, these curves are circles or ellipses. [Back]

Further Reading


The People History
Historic Newspapers

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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