Dec 23 1888
After an argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh takes a razor and removes a portion of his left ear. Their quarrel regarded the prostitutes in Arles who seemed to prefer Gauguin over Van Gogh; the painter delivered his ear to one Rachel, who preferred Van Gogh. She fainted.
Dec 23 1948
Japanese Premier Tojo and 6 others hanged by the War Crimes Commission at Sugamo Prison, Tokyo, for the crime of starting an aggressive war. As he drops from the gallows, he screams “Banzai!”
Dec 23 1968
The first US incident of motion sickness in orbit. Was it Borman, Lovell, or Anders?
Dec 23 1972
Magnitude 6.25 Earthquake destroys central Managua Nicaragua, 10,000 die.
Dec 23 1975
Leftist members of November 17 faction murder Athens CIA station chief Richard Welch.
Dec 23 1985
In a school playground, James Vance presses a shotgun to his chin and pulls the trigger. He and cohort Raymond Belknap had forged a suicide pact while listening to Stained Class by Judas Priest. But where Belknap succeeded, Vance fails. The dumbshit survives, destroying his face. He later uses his disfigurement to his advantage, terrorizing small children on his bicycle. Both kids’ parents file suit against the band, but a judge ultimately rejects their subliminal message theory. Vance dies from painkillers on Thanksgiving three years later.
Dec 23 1995
Bodies of 16 members of the Solar Temple cult who had committed suicide are found on a plateau in the French Alps. Their bodies are charred and arranged in a star formation. Causes of death included stabbing, asphyxiation, gunshot, and poisoning. In 1994, 53 other members had suicided in similar fashion.
Dec 23 1997
Mayor Craig Johnson of Snow Hill, MD is arrested on two counts of misconduct in office, after he allows the squad car issued to him to be photographed for a pornographic Internet website “Wetlands”. One of the pictures shows Cherie Messner, wife of the Wetlands operator, apparently urinating on the squad car in question.