On this day: Historic events that took place on 23 March

On this day: Historic events that took place on 23 March

Mar 23, 2023 - 09:30
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On this day: Historic events that took place on 23 March

The day, 23 March, occupies a significant place in history, courtesy to a number of memorable events that have occurred over the years. On this day in 1983, the Strategic Defense Initiative, also known as Star Wars, was proposed by US President Ronald Reagan. On the same day in 1998, Titanic created history by bagging 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards. The USSR-launched space station Mir returned to the earth after spending 15 years in space on 23 March 2001. On that very day in 2021, mega-freighter Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal, resulting in a six-day-long blockage in the major trade route.

Suez Canal Blockage; 2021: 

On 23 March 2021, the Suez Canal, which is one of the world’s busiest trade routes, was blocked after a container ship named Ever Given ran aground. It remained in that situation for six days, restricting all traffic across the waterway. According to Egyptian authorities, technical or human error could have also been a factor that led to the blockage, which occurred in the southern portion. As two channels were completely shut in that section, no other ships could move past Ever Given. The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) hired Boskalis through its subsidiary Smit International to oversee marine salvage activities. As a result of the Suez Canal obstruction, trade between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East suffered significantly.

Strategic Defense Initiative; 1983: 

US President Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative for the first time on 23 March 1983 during a nationwide television speech. As it would have space-based components, Reagan’s proposed defensive system was given the name “Star Wars” in reference to the space-based weaponry in the same-named popular movie franchise. The SDI was designed to protect the United States from attack by Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) by intercepting the missiles at different points during their flight.

Titanic won 11 Academy Awards; 1998: 

On 23 March 1998, James Cameron’s epic directorial Titanic scripted history by bagging as many as 11 Academy Awards in the 70th edition of the coveted event. With the groundbreaking success, the Romantic drama equalled the tally of the previous record holder – the 1959 film Ben-Hur. While Titanic won the Best Picture award, James Cameron took home the Oscars in the Best Director category. Interestingly, Leonardo Dicaprio was not even nominated for the Best Actor section.

USSR space station Mir returned to the earth; 2001: 

On 23 March 2001, the Soviet-Russian modular space station Mir reentered Earth’s atmosphere. Since being launched by the USSR in 1986, Mir had completed 15 years in orbit before collapsing into the South Pacific Ocean. During the period, it hosted almost 100 guests from 12 different nations. Though Mir was only intended to last five years, it continued to operate despite a string of equipment problems and mishaps.

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