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FUN FACTS from September 1923


In sports: Triple play!

Boston Red Sox first baseman George Burns completes an unassisted triple play against the Cleveland Indians. The infamous play includes catching a line drive, tagging a player coming from first, and beating another player back to second!


In pageantry: Crowning achievement!

Mary Katherine Campbell becomes the first and only woman to win the Miss America pageant for the second time. The following year, she almost wins again. This streak causes the Miss America Organization to change the rules so that a contestant can only win the title once.


In literature: Poetry, still in motion

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, a work of captivating poems, is first released. Philosophical and mystical, the book sells out within the first month. These days, The Prophet continues to be a “self-help” classic, having been translated into more than 50 languages and selling tens of millions of copies.


In natural events: Shocking news

The Great Kanto Earthquake shakes parts of the world with a magnitude of 8.2 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the quake was south of Tokyo, leaving 90 percent of all homes in Yokohama damaged or destroyed.


In aviation: Flying through history

The USS Shenandoah, the first rigid airship built in the United States and the first in the world to be inflated with helium, revolutionizes American airship aviation. It takes its first flight, and ultimately makes the first airship crossing of North America. 

In sports: A stroke of perseverance

Henry Sullivan, from Lowell, Massachusetts, is the third man to swim the English Channel. He’s 34 years old and this is his seventh attempt. Sullivan finally accomplishes this feat in less than 27 hours. Today, there’s a Channel Swimming Association for this international sport. The association reports that the fastest swim to date is a little over seven hours!


In toys: Time to “log” in!

Lincoln Logs, named after former President Abraham Lincoln, who lived in a log cabin, registers their trademark. These notched wooden toys patented by John Lloyd Wright, son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, provide children and families with hours of fun and continues to do so for decades to come.

In movies: Does this one ring a bell?

It’s the premier of the silent film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (based on the book by Victor Hugo) starring Lon Chaney as Quasimodo. The nearly two-hour movie is the most expensive and highest-grossing production yet for Universal Pictures and it establishes Chaney as the premier horror film actor of the 1920s.

And just for fun…1923 was not a leap year!


And for a little extra fun…

  • Gooey! Baby Ruth candy bars with tiny parachutes attached drop from airplanes as a promotional stunt by the candy maker.
  • Packy! Coca-Cola’s innovative ‘6-pack’ is introduced to encourage more soda consumption, especially now that more people have refrigerators.
  • Cool! Clarence Birdseye invents frozen foods, warming the world up to a food preparation revelation.