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June 13 - China President Li abandons his residence because a warlord has commanded forces to surround the mansion and cut off its water and electric supplies, in order to force him to abandon his post.


The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes.

The quake was later estimated to have had a magnitude between 7.9 and 8.4 on the Richter scale, with its focus deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay. It devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. The power and intensity of the earthquake is easy to underestimate, but the 1923 earthquake managed to move the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura. The statue slid forward almost two feet.

Casualty estimates range from about 100,000 to 142,000 deaths, the latter figure including approximately 37,000 who went missing and were presumed dead. According to the Japanese construction company Kajima Kobori Research's report of September 2005, there were 105,000 confirmed deaths in the 1923 quake.

December 27 - The crown prince of Japan survives an assassination attempt in Tokyo.

§Central America


A Anna Mitchell-Hedges, at the age of 16, claims to have found a crystal skull in the ruins of a Mayan pyramid. The crystal skull was originally called the "Skull of Dunn" after an associate on one of the expeditions to Lubaantun (Belize).


January 11 - Troops from France and Belgium occupy the Ruhr area to force Germany to pay its reparation payments.


§Belgian Industry

May 23 - Belgium's SABENA Airlines is created.


June 9 - A military coup in Bulgaria ousts prime minister Aleksandar Stamboliyski (he is killed June 14).


Under the Treaty of Lausanne, the nascent Turkish republic relinquished any claim to Cyprus.


April 26 - Prince Albert marries Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Westminster Abbey.

November 12 - Her Highness Princess Maud of Fife marries Captain Charles Alexander Carnegie in Wellington Barracks, London.


August 13 - Gustav Stresemann is named Chancellor of Germany and founds a coalition government for the Weimar Republic.

September 26 - In Bayern, Gustav Ritter von Kahr declares independence from Berlin.

November 8 - Beer Hall Putsch: In Munich, Adolf Hitler leads the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government; police and troops crush the attempt the next day. Hitler was emboldened enough to attempt to overthrow the government of Bavaria by force, which he hoped would eventually lead to the overthrow of the national government in Berlin.There was widespread sympathy for Hitler's aims

November 15 - The hyperinflation in Germany reaches its height. One United States dollar is worth 4,200,000,000,000,000 Papiermark (4.2 quadrillion). Gustav Stresemann abolishes the old currency (see inflation in the Weimar Republic).

November 23 - Gustav Stresemann's coalition government collapses in Germany.


September 6 - The Italian navy occupies Corfu in retaliation for the murder of an Italian officer. The League of Nations protests and they leave on September 29.


May 24 - The Irish Civil War ends.

September 10 - Ireland joins the League of Nations.


June 18 - Mount Etna erupts in Italy, making 60,000 homeless.

December 12 - In Italy, the Po River dam bursts, killing 600.


August 13 - The first major seagoing ship arrives at Gdynia, the newly constructed Polish seaport.


§Spanish Industry

January 17 - Juan de la Cierva invents the autogyro, a rotary-winged aircraft with an unpowered rotor.

February 23 - Albert Einstein visits Barcelona, Spain, at the invitation of scientist Esteban Terradas i Illa.

September 13 - Military coup in Spain: Miguel Primo de Rivera takes over, setting up a dictatorship. Trade unions are banned for 10 years.


July 24 - The Treaty of Lausanne, settling the boundaries of modern Turkey, is signed in Switzerland by Greece, Bulgaria and other countries that fought in the First World War.

§Middle East


October 26 - In Persia, Reza Khan became Ahmad Shah Qajar's prime minister.


September 9 - Turkish head of state Atatürk founds the CHP.

October 13 - Ankara replaces İstanbul as the capital of Turkey.

October 29 - Turkey becomes a republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

§North America


July 19 - July 20 - Pancho Villa is assassinated.

§United States

Georges Claude and his French company Claude Neon, introduced neon gas signs to the United States, by selling two to a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles. Earle C. Anthony purchased the two signs reading "Packard" for $1,250 apiece. Neon lighting quickly became a popular fixture in outdoor advertising.

September 8 - Honda Point Disaster: Seven U.S. Navy destroyers run aground off the California coast.

September 15 - Oklahoma placed under martial law by Oklahoma Governor John Calloway Walton to stem the terrorist activities of the Ku Klux Klan.

§U.S. Politics

August 2 - Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, (1921 - 1923) dies in office and is succeeded by Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929).

§U.S. Economy

By 1923, the United States had accumulated close to $4.5 billion of the $6 billion in gold reserves of the four major economic powers, far in excess of what it needed to sustain its economy. About $400 million circulated in the form of coins; the remainder consisted of ingots, small bars the size of a quart of milk, each weighing about twenty-five pounds, stored in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Banks and the Treasury. The largest hoard lay under lower Manhattan, about $1.5 billion in the Treasury repository at the legendary intersection of Broad and Wall Streets, and at the New York Fed. The remainder was scattered among the eleven other Federal Reserve Banks across the country.

§U.S. Industry

Firestone begins producing inflatable automobile tires.

Liberty Coaster Company is founded eventually to become the Radio Steel and Manufacturing company, maker of the steel red wagon.

March 2 - Time Magazine hits newsstands for the first time.

September 4 - In Lakehurst, New Jersey, the first American airship, the USS Shenandoah, takes to the sky for the first time.

September 18 - September 26 - Newspaper printers strike in New York.

The Westman Publishing Company, American publishers of Handel's Messiah, filed a plagiarism suit against the composers of the hit tune "Yes, We Have No Bananas," claiming that it had been stolen from the opening bars of the Hallelujah Chorus. The publishers won.

§U.S. Religion

January 1 - The 5,300 seat, Foursquare Gospel Angelus Temple was dedicated. Aimee Semple McPherson had her inspiration for the "Four Square Gospel" while preaching the previous year.


§Soviet Union

March 9 - Vladimir Lenin suffers his third stroke, which renders him bedridden and unable to speak; consequently he retires his position as Chairman of the Soviet government.

June 16 - The storming of Ayan in Siberia concludes the Yakut Revolt and the Russian Civil War.

July 10 - Large hailstones kill 23 in Rostow, Soviet Union.

§South Pacific


February 8 - Billy Hughes resigns as Prime Minister of Australia, after the Country Party refuses to govern in coalition with him as the leader of the Nationalist Party. Hughes is succeeded by his Treasurer, Stanley Bruce.


Hawaii passed the Anti-Picketing law to try and stop organized labor. The penalty for violating this law was 10 years in prison.

§New Zealand

April 1 - The Kaihu Valley & Railway Company (KV&RC) opened the final extension to Donnellys Crossing.


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