This Day in History: Sept. 23

On this day, Sept. 23 …

1987: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., withdraws from the Democratic presidential race following questions about his use of borrowed quotations and the portrayal of his academic record.

Also on this day:

  • 63 B.C.: Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor, is born.
  • 1780: British spy John Andre is captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold’s plot to surrender West Point to the British.
  • 1806: The Lewis and Clark expedition returns to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.


  • 1846: Neptune is identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.
  • 1889: Nintendo is founded in Kyoto, Japan, as a playing card company.
  • 1926: Gene Tunney scores a 10-round decision over Jack Dempsey to win the world heavyweight boxing title in Philadelphia.
  • 1949: President Harry S. Truman announces there is evidence the Soviet Union conducted a nuclear test explosion. 

  • 1952: Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvages his vice-presidential nomination by appearing on television from Los Angeles to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising in what became known as the “Checkers” speech.

  • 1955: A jury in Sumner, Miss., acquits two White men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, of murdering Black teenager Emmett Till. (The two men later allegedly later admit to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.)
  • 1957: Nine Black students who entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas are forced to withdraw because of a White mob outside.

The Jetson family wave as they fly past buildings in space in their spaceship in a still from the animated television series, "The Jetsons," circa 1962. (Warner Bros./Courtesy of Getty Images)

  • 1962: “The Jetsons,” an animated cartoon about a space age family, premieres on ABC television as the network’s first program in color.
  • 2002: Gov. Gray Davis signs a law making California the first state to offer workers paid family leave.
  • 2014: In the first international test for his climate-change strategy, President Barack Obama presses world leaders at the United Nations to follow the United States’ lead on the issue.
  • 2018: Capping a comeback from four back surgeries, Tiger Woods wins the Tour Championship in Atlanta, the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.

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