This Day in History, October 23

  • 2001 Apple announces the first iPod Player

    The iPod is the world’s best-selling portable media player. Already 6 years after its initial launch, Apple announced that 100 million devices had been sold. The company has been criticized for its aggressive policies forcing users to use only original batteries and preventing them from freely sharing content with others.

  • 2002 Dubrovka Theater Hostage Crisis

    About 50 Chechen rebels led by Movsar Barayev took over the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow during the performance of Nord-Ost, a musical. The rebels took about 850 hostages and demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. The siege lasted for about 3 days and ended after Russian security forces released a chemical gas in the theater. All of the rebels and about 170 hostages died during the siege.

  • 1998 Swatch Announces Internet Time

    The Swiss watch company invented a new unit of time called the .beat, which corresponds to 1 minute and 26.4 seconds. Under the Internet Time system, a day is divided into 1000 .beats.

  • 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing

    Two bombs exploded in front of American and French barracks during the Lebanese Civil War, killing about 300 French and American military personnel. Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the bombings.

  • 1964 Jean-Paul Sartre Turns Down Nobel Prize

    The French existentialist philosopher and writer published a letter in the newspaper Le Figaro to explain why he did not want to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature he had been awarded the day before on October 22. In his letter, he said he did not want to take sides in the East and West struggle of the Cold War, by accepting an award that was given out by Western institutions.

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