On this day: January 23

Published On: Jan 22 2013 04:26:32 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 23 2014 01:00:00 AM CST

The deadliest earthquake in recorded history hits China, Duke Ellington plays Carnegie Hall, North Korea captures a U.S. Navy ship, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first class, all on this day.

OTD January 23 - Paul Robeson
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Library of Congress

1976: Actor, singer, football player and social activist Paul Robeson dies of stroke complications at the age of 77 in Philadelphia, Pa. Robeson became a football All-American and the class valedictorian at Rutgers University and went on to play in the NFL while attending Columbia Law School. At Columbia, he became a participant in the "Harlem Renaissance" with performances in stage productions "The Emperor Jones" and "All God's Chillun Got Wings." Robeson became an international cinematic star in roles in "Show Boat," "Bosambo" and "Sanders of the River," but turned his focus to civil rights, becoming politically involved in response to the Spanish Civil War, fascism and social injustices.

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