On This Day in History: January 23

Today in history saw a breakthrough for diabetic patients with the introduction of insulin injections. What else happened on January 23 throughout history?

1556: Deadliest Earthquake in China

Today is the anniversary of the deadliest earthquake in history, which hit Shaanxi, China in 1556. An estimated 830,000 people were killed, and even though the counting of casualties in the past is often inaccurate and difficult, it is still considered the deadliest ever. While the earthquake hit in the late evening, the aftershocks continued throughout the night. Scientists now believe that the magnitude was between 8.0 and 8.3 on the Richter scale. While this is not the strongest ever recorded, the destruction happened due to poorly constructed homes and buildings, as well as landslides.

Edouard Manet

1849: First Female M.D.

In history today, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female M.D. New York’s Geneva Collage granted her a medical degree, officially recognizing of a physician. She had been born in Britain, but came to the United States for a brighter future. When she graduated college, she had the highest grades in her class. Initially working in private practice, she moved into the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, where her sister also worked as a doctor. She eventually returned to Britain, becoming the London School of Medicine for Women’s gynecology professor, which was an area developed mainly due to Blackwell herself.

1922: The First Insulin Injections

On this day in history, the first insulin injection was offered as a diabetes treatment. Canadian Leonard Thompson, 14, was the first patient to receive it at Toronto General Hospital. While diabetes was known about for 3,000 years, the exact cause was not discovered until the 1900s. It took until the 1920s for researchers to find the link with the pancreas gland and sugar. A change in diet, opting for low carbohydrates and high protein, helped patients live for about a year after diagnosis. This breakthrough led to longer lives and allowed diabetic patients to live a more “normal” life. From 1923, the insulin was widely available to help save lives around the world.

1983: The Debut of The A-Team

Today in history, The A-Team first debuted on NBC.  The first ever episode introduced the Vietnam veterans as soldiers for hire when Melinda Culea’s Amy Allen hired them to help find her missing colleague. The TV show would become a hit around the world, and Mr. T would soon become a firm favorite. The National Coalition on Television Violence ranked the show as the most violent on TV at the time.

Famous Birthdays on January 23

President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock–1737

French painter Edourad Manet—1832

US comedian Ernie Kovacs—1919

General Hospital and MacGyver actor Richard Dean Anderson—1950

Caroline, Princess of Monaco—1957

Law & Order: SUV actress Mariska Hargitay—1964

Model Lisa Snowdon—1972

Saved by the Bell actress Tiffani Thiessen–1974

Model Doutzen Kroes–1985

R&B singer Ariyanna Ingram—1999



Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Image of Edouard Manet in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89douard_Manet#/media/File:%C3%89douard_Manet-crop.jpg)

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