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History Happens Every Day: 2023

Updated: Jan 4

What happens today is history tomorrow. Here is a run-down on some of the most newsworthy stories from across the year.

(This blog is updated monthly with new stories).


January

Top left to bottom right.


📝 China opened its borders to international visitors for the first time since bans were put in place back in March 2020. At the same time many countries-imposed travel restrictions on China due to growing COVID-19 cases within the country as covid policies are relaxed. (3 Jan & 8 Jan)


📝In a shock announcement t New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigns her post (19 Jan)


📝In Brazil supporters of the former President storm the National Congress, the Federal Court & the Presidential Palace hoping to overthrow the new democratically elected President. A State of Emergency was declared and after five hours all three locations were cleared of protesters. The buildings were extensively vandalized with many historic artworks stolen or destroyed. Around the world the riot has been condemned. (8 Jan)


📝Widespread protests & unrest erupt in Israel following an Israeli military raid that left 9 Palestinians dead. In retaliation 7 Jews are killed. This comes at a time when there is mass opposition to the newly appointed government in Israel which is implementing measures to limit the powers of other judiciary bodies. (30 Jan)


February

Top left to bottom


📝Chinese spy balloons make world news as they are tracked across mainland USA before being shot down. Reports began on the 3 February however it is thought the incident began at the end of January.


📝An earthquake measuring 7.8 strikes the Turkey-Syria region on 6 February causing at least 50,000 deaths and more than 122,000 injuries with widespread damage. A second earthquake measuring 6.4 hit on the 20 February in southern Turkey. It was also felt in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.


📝One year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine is marked, 24 February.


(Images: The Guardian, Scientific America and the New York Post).


March and April 2023

The last two months don’t seem to have come with much great news when it comes to global affairs.


In March the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Putin. This was the first time such a warrant was issued against a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. (17 March)


In April fighting broke out across Sudan between the Sudanese armed forces and a paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces (RSF). RSF capture key infrastructure points including the international airport and presidential palace. (15 April)


A few days later in Yemen, at least 90 people are killed in a stampede during a charity event as part of Ramadan in Sanaa. At least another 322 are injured in the crush. (19 April)


One bright spot of the last few months was the admission of Finland into NATO, adding another NATO country to the Russian border. (4 April)


📷 Pictured Top left to bottom right: President Putin (ABC News); RSF in Sudan, 23 April 2023 (The Guardian); Aftermath of Yemen crowd surge (CNN) and Finnish foreign affairs minister with Secretary of State & NATO Secretary-General in Brussels, Belgium (NBC News).


May 2023

What happens today is history tomorrow.


• The World Health Organization (WHO) ends the declaration that COVID-19 is a global health emergency (5 May)


• The coronation of King Charles III and his wife Camilla is held (6 May)


• Cyclone Mocha kills over 400 people and injures a further 700 when it hits Myanmar and Bangladesh (9 May)


• Sweden wins the Eurovision Song contest (13 May)


Not pictured: Over 400 people are killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo following a series of floods and landslides (4 May)


📷: WHO announces the end of COVID-19 as pandemic Status (Source: CCN); King Charles & Queen Camilla (Source: Town & Country Magazine); the path of Cyclone Mocha (Source: Weather.com) and Loreen of Sweden wins Eurovision (Source: Eurovisionworld).


The Impact of the War in Sudan on the National Museum:

Each day we hear the horrors occurring all over the world. At the moment the places we hear about the most are Ukraine and Sudan. The constant stream of media round these places can become overwhelming & it can be confusing keeping up with what is transpiring. Sometimes stories emerge from these war zones though that stick with you and one such story came out of Sudan, involving the National Museum of Sudan.


The report told of scenes of destruction and vandalism as RSF troops (the rogue paramilitary force) were seen entering the 6 and opening storage units containing mummies and other human remains.


The Museum’s Director, Dr Ghalia Gharelnabi (who had already fled to the Netherlands after artillery had hit her home), told journalists that the Museum’s staff were “in a state of shock” and fearful for what else was occurring in the Museum, noting that just a small snippet of the RSF actions had made it onto social media.


Sudan’s National Museum has a collection of over 100,000 items that date back as far as 2,500 BC, making the collection one of the oldest in the world. The Museum’s staff had been forced to flee back on 15 April as fighting intensified however a staff member who lived nearby had been checking on the Museum until they were recently forced to flee their home.


Following the release of the RSF footage, the faction issued a statement denying they had caused any damage to the Museum and invited Museum staff to enter and confirm their claims. It is obviously very unsafe for staff to do so, and those monitoring the situation by satellite have confirmed they can see damage to the building.


In a war that has displaced over 1.2 million people and killed countless innocent individuals I doubt the Museum would be left undisturbed.

Smoke billows from the National Museum of Sudan, May 2023 (Source: The Guardian Newspaper)

June 2023

Here are some of the headlines:


•The Titan submersible implodes killing all five passengers while on a dive to view the wreck of the Titanic (18 June) [Pictured Top left, ABC News]


•A train collision in Odisha, India, causes at least 294 deaths and injury to over 1,100 others (2 June) [Pictured Top Right, Nine News]


•Sadly, the month featured the deaths of around 200 people due to drowning in boating accidents.

o106 in Nigeria when a wedding boat capsized (13 June) [Pictured bottom left, source Bangladesh News]


o At least 82 are killed, and a further 500 migrants are declared missing when a fishing boating sinks of the southern Greece coast (14 June)


o Around 35 migrants are killed when their dinghy sinks off the Canary Islands (21 June)


•The private military organisation, the Wagner Group, turns against their employers the Russian military. The next day, a peace deal is brokered, and the leader of the organisation is exiled (23 June) [Pictured bottom right, source NBC.COM]


July 2023

·Actors strike begins (it would end in late September). [14 July]


· The month of July is recorded as the hottest on average in global history with water temperatures exceeding 20.96⁰c, exceeding the record set in 2016.


· Tens of thousands of tourists are forced to flee wildfires in Rhodes, Greece. This is said to have been the largest evacuation in the country’s history. [23 July]


· The Niger President is toppled by a coup with a military junta installed [26 July]


Image Sources, top left to bottom right: Vanity Fair, NASA.com, Sydney Morning Herald and NBC.com.


August 2023

· Wildfires on the Hawaiian island Maui kill at least 97 and destroy over 17,000 acres. [8 August]


·Spain defeats England 1-0 in the final of the Women’s Soccer World Cup. [20 August]


·High ranking officials in the Wagner Group are killed when their plane crashes in Russia. [23 August]


· Following the re-election of Ali Bongo Ondimba as Gabon President, the military launched a successful coup ending 56 years of the Bongo families rule and establishing a transitional government. [30 August]


Image Sources, top left to bottom right: Wall Street Journal, ESPN.com, ABC Australia and NBC.com


September 2023

· A 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Marrakesh-Safi province in Morocco kills at least 2,946 people. [8 September]


· A cyclone-like storm makes landfall in Libya killing at least 5,000 people with up to 100,000 people declared as missing. In the city of Derna, two dams collapsed destroying at least 25% of the city. [10 September]


· Azerbaijan launches a military offensive against the Armenian supported Republic of Artsakh. After a swift Azerbaijan victory tens of thousands of Armenians flee the region. [19 September]


· The world’s oldest wooden structure is found in Zambia. It dates back 476,000 years. [20 September]


Image Sources, top left to bottom right: BBC World News, ABC, CNN and ABC Australia.


October 2023

·Hamas launch an incursion into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. In response Israel launches an air strike. [7 October] By the end of the month over 1.4 million Palestinians and 200,000 Israeli’s would be displaced with the death toll in the Gaza Strip estimated at over 10,000 and around 1,400 in Israel.


·An earthquake in Afghanistan kills over 1,000 people and injures thousands more. [7 October]


·Australian’s vote against an Indigenous voice to parliament in a federal referendum. [14 October]


Image Sources, top left to bottom right: CNN, Bloomberg and CNN.


November and December 2023

Pictured Top left to Bottom Right:


📝 Children attend Christmas Eve carols in the city of Lviv (Image Source: AlJazeera), just days later on 29 December Russia launches the largest number of drones and missiles on Ukraine since the start of the war. At least 54 people are killed and 160 are injured in the attack. In response Ukraine launched a drone attack the following day killing at least 21 people and injuring 110.


📝 Israel and Hamas agree to a four-day ceasefire, this is the first pause in fighting since the 7 October (22 November). [Image of attack in Palestine, undated, source CNN.com)


📝 On 22 December, the death toll in the Israel-Hamas War is reported to have surpassed 20,000 in Gaza, representing almost 1% of the population. (Image of damage after 16 December attack, source: AlJazeera)


📝 The year ended on 31 December with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announces she will abdicate effective from 14 January 2024. This means her son Crown Prince Frederick and his Australian wife Princess Mary will become the new monarchs. (Image of Queen Margrethe II, 31 December 2023, source: NBC).


Pop Culture in 2023

Top Grossing Films of the Year:

  1. Barbie ($1.4 Billion gross worldwide)

  2. The Super Mario Movie ($1.3 Billion Gross Worldwide)

  3. Oppenheimer ($955 million Gross Worldwide)

  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 ($845 million grossing worldwide)

  5. Fast X ($714 million grossing worldwide)


Top Artists of the Year:

  • Morgan Wallen with "Last Night" (spent 16 weeks atop the Billboard charts, in Australia he came in third with just 8 weeks at the top of the charts)

  • Miley Cyrus with "Flowers" (spent 8 weeks atop the Billboard charts and in Australia came out on top with 12 weeks at the top of the ARIA charts)

  • Doja Cat with "Paint the Town Red" (topped the ARIA charts in Australia for 10 weeks and the Billboard charts for three).





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