This Day in History
November 23rd: The Beginning of the Battle of Chattanooga Is Fought, the First Smartphone Is Introduced and Other Events of the Date
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November 23rd: The Beginning of the Battle of Chattanooga Is Fought, the First Smartphone Is Introduced and Other Events of the Date


A number of important events have taken place on November 23rd in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

1863 – American Civil War: Chattanooga Campaign: the beginning of the Battle of Chattanooga

The Chattanooga Campaign that took place in Tennessee closer to the end of 1863 turned out to be a decisive Union victory, as the Confederates were losing the war and didn’t have much time left to defend their country. And the key battle of the campaign was the series of battles of Chattanooga – strategically important town located in the south-east of Tennessee.

Back on November 23, 1863, the Union army observed columns of Cleburne's and Buckner's men marching away from Missionary Ridge nearby and also heard some claims from Confederate deserters that the entire army of the South was falling back.

The prominent American General Grant became concerned that his Confederate opponent, General Bragg, was massively reinforcing his ally, General Longstreet, and sought to disrupt the movement. So, he ordered Brigadier General Thomas J. Wood to advance in a reconnaissance in force and instructed him to avoid any military engagement with the enemy, so he had to return to the fortifications prepared when the strength of the Confederate line was revealed.

At around 1:30 p.m., no less than 14000 Union soldiers moved forward at the double quick, sweeping across the plain, stunning the 600 Confederate defenders, who were able to fire only a single volley before they were overrun. Casualties were relatively small on both sides, but the main series of battle for Chattanooga were yet to be fought.

1936 – The modern-day Life magazine is launched

Earlier that year, publisher Henry Luce had paid $92,000 to the owners of Life, so as to revive it.

“To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things — machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon; to see man’s work — his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women that men love and many children; to see and take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed...” – these were the words of Luce that were included to the manifesto of Life magazine, as the first issue of it in the brand-new “shell” went out on this date 82 years ago.

Despite being founded back in the end of the 19th century, the golden era of the magazine that lasted from 1936 to 1972 was marked with a radically new approach to covering the most important events throughout the world and in the U.S. in particular via photo illustrations.

1992 – The first smartphone is introduced to the public at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Despite looking not very much like the smartphones of our era, this event marked a true breakthrough in communication technologies. The IBM Simon Personal Communicator (also known as just IBM Simon) was a handheld, touchscreen smartphone designed and engineered by IBM.

This model was assembled under contract by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. IBM Simon was distributed by BellSouth Cellular Corporation, and no less than 50000 units were sold between August 1994, when it got to the markets, and till February 1995 when it was recognized as “out of date” one.

Bad thing for Simon, its battery lasted only an hour, and flip phones became slimmer and slimmer which led to its demise.

These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on November 23rd, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really