This Day in History: January 23

Mitch Moskowitz, Reporter

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 10.23.03 AM1556- The deadliest earthquake on record hits Shaanxi, China, killing approximately 830,000 individuals. While the earthquake’s 8.3 magnitude does not even come close to the strongest tremor on record, the quake’s location attributed to its destruction. The epicenter of the earthquake was in the Wei River Valley in the Shaanxi Province, near the cities of Huaxian, Weinan and Huayin. In Huaxian, every single building and home collapsed, killing more than half the residents of the city, a number estimated in the tens of thousands.

1962- Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1947, Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Over the span of his 9 year career in the MLB, all of it spent playing for the Dodgers, Robinson was a six time all-star, the National League MVP in 1949, and amassed a 0.311 batting average.

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1964- The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, barring poll taxes in federal elections. While all American citizens had the right to vote, tactics such as poll taxes had practically disenfranchised a large population of African Americans, many of whom lived in poverty. Often forced to choose between buying food to eat or paying a poll tax in order to vote, many poorer individuals chose the latter, thereby silencing a significant portion of the African American population’s voice within American politics.