Today is the 215th day of 2023. There are 150 days left in the year.
2005: French authorities find 351 foetuses and stillborn babies stored in bags and jars at a Paris hospital.
1460: King James II of Scotland is killed by the blast of a cannon saluting the arrival of his wife, Queen Mary, at Roxburgh Castle, England.
1492: Christopher Columbus sets sail from Palos, Spain, looking for a route to India across the Atlantic, encountering the New World instead.
1589: Henry of Navarre, first of the Bourbon line, succeeds the assassinated Henry III as king of France.
1914: Germany declares war on France at the start of World War I.
1916: Irish-born British diplomat Roger Casement, a strong advocate of independence for Ireland, is hanged for treason.
1936: Jesse Owens of the United States wins the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he takes the 100-metre sprint.
1949: The National Basketball Association is formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
1958: The nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus becomes the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
1969: Israeli Government leaders announce they will retain the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and a major part of the eastern and southern Sinai Peninsula — the areas captured from the Arabs in the June 1967 war.
1972: The US Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The US unilaterally withdraws from the treaty in 2002.)
1987: The Iran-Contra congressional hearings end with none of the 29 witnesses tying President Ronald Reagan directly to the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.
1988: Hard-line leader Sein Lwin clamps indefinite martial law on the capital of Myanmar.
1990: The United States and the Soviet Union jointly condemn Iraq's invasion of Kuwait while Iraqi troops begin massing along Kuwaiti border with Saudi Arabia.
1991: Russian branch formally breaks off from the Soviet Union's Communist Party to form a new party led by reform-minded communists.
1997: Political moderate Mohammad Khatami takes over as president of Iran.
1999: The US Justice Department rules that the Government must pay the heirs of Abraham Zapruder US$16 million for his film of President John F Kennedy's assassination.
2000: The European Union opens an antitrust case against Microsoft.
2001: The International Monetary Fund announces it will loan US$1.2 billion to Argentina and extend US$15-billion line of credit to Brazil.
2002: Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian calls for legislation that would allow a referendum to be conducted on whether to declare independence from China.
2007: A 94-year-old great-great-grandmother, Phyllis Turner, who left school at the age of 12, becomes the world's oldest recipient of a master's degree from University of Adelaide in Australia. Toyota says its April-June 2007 profit has jumped 32.3 per cent to a then-record high for a quarter, lifted by strong overseas sales and a weaker yen. Iraqis welcome home their soccer team which had won the Asian Cup.
2009: Huge crowds reminiscent of the 1986 "people power" demonstration take to Manila's streets to honour the passing of former President Corazon Aquino, who captured the hearts of Filipinos by ousting a brutal dictator and keeping democracy alive in the Philippines.
2012: The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly denounces Syria's crackdown on dissent in a symbolic effort meant to push the deadlocked Security Council and the world at large into action on stopping the country's civil war. Michael Phelps rallied to win the 100-metre butterfly for his third gold of the London Games and No 17 of his career. Missy Franklin set a world record in the 200 backstroke for the 17-year-old's third gold in London. Falling at speeds of up to 220 mph, 138 skydivers shattered the vertical skydiving world record as they flew heads-down in a massive snowflake formation in northern Illinois. (This record was in turn eclipsed in 2015 by 164 skydivers plunging over central Illinois.)
2016: President Barack Obama cut short the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentences, in what the White House called the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century. An Emirates Boeing 777 crash-landed in Dubai and caught fire; all 300 people on board survived, but one firefighter was killed.
2021: Elaine Thompson-Herah becomes the first woman to win the 100 metre and 200 metre sprint double at two consecutive Olympic Games.
Koshaku Yamagata Aritomo, first prime minister of Japan (1838-1922); Dolores del Rio, US-Mexican film star (1905-1983); Phyllis Dorothy (PD) James, British mystery writer (1920-2014); Tony Bennett, US singer (1926-2023); Martin Sheen, US actor (1940- ); Martha Stewart, US lifestyle guru (1941- )
— AP/Jamaica Observer