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Major historical anniversaries in 2023 


The end of any year is often a time of reflection, to look back upon the past 12 months and ponder what the next 12 will have in store. With that in mind, let us look ahead to 2023 and discover some of the major anniversaries the world will be marking.


4 January - 75th anniversary of Burma gaining independence from the UK.

British rule in the Southeast Asian country (now called Myanmar) began in 1824 and lasted until 1948, at which point Burma chose to become fully independent.

7 January - Marks 80 years since the passing of famed scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla.

A pioneer of the electrical revolution, the Serbian-American invented the first alternating current (AC) motor and developed AC generation and transmission technology.

17 January - 250 years since Captain James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to venture south of the Antarctic Circle.

During his second voyage, Captain Cook and his ship Resolution succeeded in reaching 67° 15ʹ south, the first known ship to have ever gone that far.


2 February - 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad.

The largest and bloodiest battle the world has ever seen marked the first major defeat for Hitler’s army. The Battle of Stalingrad's vicious urban conflict cost the lives of around 2 million.

16 February - 100 years since Howard Carter opened the door to Tutankhamun's tomb.

In 1923, British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter gazed upon the wonders held within the golden walls of King Tut’s tomb for the first time. It is considered one of the greatest archaeological finds in history.


3 March - 50th anniversary of the ‘Bloody Thursday’ bombings in London.

Two IRA bombs exploded in the capital, leading to the death of one person whilst nearly 250 were injured.


8 April - 50 years have passed since the death of Pablo Picasso.

One of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was believed to have created nearly 50,000 works of art during his lifetime.

13 April - 70th anniversary of the first James Bond novel.

On this day in 1953, British writer Ian Fleming published Casino Royale, the first of 12 books featuring secret agent James Bond.

30 April - 60 years since the Bristol Bus Boycott began.

By 1963, the state-owned Bristol Omnibus Company was yet to employ a single non-white driver or conductor in its network. The boycott, spearheaded by the West Indian Development Council (WIDC), was a watershed moment in black British history that led to meaningful change in the country's discrimination laws.


1 May - 50 years since 1.6 million workers went on strike over pay and prices.

Government pay restraints coupled with price rises led to a one-day strike across the nation causing widespread disruption.

16 May - 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid.

During the night of 16/17 May 1943, No. 617 Squadron RAF Bomber Command (aka the Dam Busters), dropped special bouncing bombs to breach various German dams in the Ruhr Valley.


22 June (1948) - 75th anniversary of the ship Empire Windrush arriving in Britain.

The vessel carried many hundreds of Caribbean people to a new life in the UK, kickstarting the era of multiculturalism in this nation.


5 July - 75th anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service (NHS).

The National Health Service Act 1946 came into effect, establishing a national public health system in the UK.

17 July - 10 years since the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

The bill completed its historic journey through Parliament by receiving Royal Assent, officially making it law. It was now legal for same-sex couples to be married in England and Wales.

26 July - 50 years since The Wicker Man was released.

The British film became a cult classic and changed the face of horror. Other significant movies to also celebrate 50 years in 2023 include Live and Let Die (6 July), Enter the Dragon (26 July), Disney’s Robin Hood (8 November) and The Exorcist (26 December).


8 August - 60th anniversary of the Great Train Robbery.

A 15-member gang led by Bruce Reynolds stopped The Royal Mail's Glasgow to London train by tampering with the signals. The men stole £2.6 million in what was one of the most audacious crimes in British history.

23 August - 75 years since the end of the Battle of Kursk.

Known as one of the largest tank battles in history, Kursk bore witness to 8,000 mechanised vehicles squaring off as German and Soviet forces clashed. The Soviets won the day and ended Hitler’s dream of conquering Russia.


2 September - 50 years have passed since the death of J. R. R. Tolkein.

The famous English writer was the author of the incredibly popular fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

26 September - 50th anniversary of Concorde crossing the Atlantic.

Concorde (the world's first supersonic passenger plane) made its first transatlantic crossing in a record-breaking time; 3 hours, 32 minutes.


16 October - Marks 100 years since the founding of the Disney Brothers Studio.

Created by American animator and entrepreneur Walt Disney and his brother, the studio would go on to become one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.

29 October - 100th anniversary of the founding of Turkey.

With the demise of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire after WWI, Turkey was officially declared a republic on 29 October 1923.


12 November - 90th anniversary of the first photo of Nessy.

The first ever image of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster was taken by a man called Hugh Gray.

22 November - 60th anniversary of the assassination of JFK.

American President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald as his motorcade travelled through the city of Dallas, Texas.

23 November - 60 years since the first episode of Doctor Who aired.

On this day in 1963, English actor William Hartnell became the first of many to play The Doctor. The show is now the world's longest-running science fiction drama.


5 December - 10 years since the death of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist who served as South Africa’s first black president. He was also a Nobel peace prize winner and a well-known advocate of reconciliation and equality.

16 December - 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

Two and a half centuries have passed since the famous political protest at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. Angry American colonists dumped 342 chests of tea (imported by the British East India Company) into the harbour, making the event a significant precursor to the American Revolutionary War.

31 December - 50 years since the Three-Day Work Order was introduced.

In the wake of failed negotiations between the government and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) over pay, the Tories were forced to introduce a Three-Day Week to conserve coal stocks. The country was plunged into a darkness that would last until the beginning of March 1973.