July 23, 1914. Austria-Hungary issues an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia is asked to autorise Austria to conduct an investigation to determine the murderer of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. The assassination killed the Archduke, heir of the empire, and his wife the Duchess of Hohenberg. The murderer was a Serb nationalist of Bosnia, and Serbia rejects the ultimatum on July 28. This will lead to a declaration of war from Austria and these events are said to mark the outbreak of World War I.
Also on July 23: The Ford Motor Company sells its first car (1903); The Fascist government in Italy bans the use of foreign words (1929); The post-war legal processes against Philippe Pétain begin (1945); The Greek military junta collapses, and former Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis is invited to lead the new government (1974); The International Whaling Commission decides to end commercial whaling by 1985-86 (1982); Vanessa Williams becomes the first Miss America to resign when she surrenders her crown after nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse magazine (1984); A Vatican commission, led by Joseph Ratzinger, establishes that it is necessary to limit rights of homosexual people and non-married couples (1992); Comet Hale–Bopp is discovered and will become visible to the naked eye nearly a year later (1995);
Born on July 23: Pope Clement XI (1649), Antonio Sacchini, Italian composer (1734), Max Heindel (1865), Gustav Heinemann (1899), Vladimir Prelog (1906), Slash (1965), Monica Lewinsky (1973), Michelle Williams (1980), Daniel Radcliffe (1989).