Following are some of the major events to have occurred on October 23


1942 - British and Commonwealth forces led by General Bernard Montgomery launched a huge offensive against German and Italian forces under General Erwin Rommel at El Alamein, Egypt.

1950 - Al Jolson, who described himself as the "world's greatest entertainer", died. A stage performer since 1899, he starred in the first talking picture, "The Jazz Singer", in 1927.

1983 - Shi'ite Muslim suicide bombers blew up the U.S. and French headquarters in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. marines and 58 French paratroopers.

1991 - Delegates from 19 nations signed a U.N.-brokered peace deal in Paris aimed at ending the 13-year civil war in Cambodia.

1996 - Gro Harlem Brundtland announced her resignation as Norway's prime minister after dominating Norwegian politics for 15 years.

1999 - Seven-times Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti won his second judicial victory when a court in Palermo cleared him of charges he was the Mafia's "godfather" in government.

1999 - Illinois Governor George Ryan became the first U.S. governor to visit communist Cuba.

2001 - The Irish Republican Army (IRA) said it had begun to disarm, an unprecedented step to end decades of bloodshed and boost Northern Ireland's shaky peace process.

2002 - Adolph Green, the screenwriter and lyricist who collaborated with Betty Comden to write some of stage and screen's greatest musical comedies, including the exuberant '50s classic "Singin' in the Rain," died. He was 86.

2005 - A Guyuexuan 'Pheasant' vase is sold for HK$115,480,000 (US$14,887,682), setting a world record for Qing porcelain.

2006 - Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeff Skilling was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for leading a financial fraud that destroyed the company.