23rd October 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Portland, Oregon – Arthur Ruitian Chen, US aviator of Chinese and Peruvian descent who joined the Guangdong Provincial Air Force in 1932, completed further flight training in Munich, Bavaria, Germany with the Luftwaffe before returning to China to fight the Japanese between 1937 and 1945. discharged from the Chinese air force in 1945 so that he could join the United States Army Air Forces.  After his death in 1997, posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Airpower Heritage Museum in Midland, Texas, United States and now recognised as the first American ace of World War 2.


Accidents: Manchester, Connecticut suffers its largest ever fire when local school buildings housing 1000 teachers and pupils are destroyed in an afternoon fire. “Because of the insistence of School Superintendent Fred A. Verplanck in conducting routine fire drills, all students and teachers escaped the burning building without loss of life and without serious injury” [Manchester Historical Society, September 2013].


Women’s suffrage: In protest at the arrest of Mary Richardson and Rachel Pease for arson, British suffragettes set light to and destroy the Bristol University Sports Pavilion, leaving a card demanding the release of Richardson who had been forcibly fed while awaiting trial.


Shipping accidents:

~ the French liner Amiral Exelmans runs aground and is lost on a reef at Tabou, on the West African coast, en route from  Dunkerque to Gabon. Her engine room is completely flooded when her hull is holed by the reef.

~ the steamship “Chesterfield” is lost off the mouth of the Brisbane River in Australia, with the loss of two lives.



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