On This Day in History January 21

January 21 – Events:

  • 1189 – Philip II of France and Richard I of England begin to assemble troops to wage the Third Crusade.
  • 1287 – The treaty of San Agayz is signed. Minorca is conquered by King Alfons III of Aragon.
  • 1525 – The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.
  • 1643 – Abel Tasman was the first European to reach Tonga.
  • 1720 – Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Stockholm.
  • 1749 – The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was destoyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1754.
  • 1789 – The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, is printed in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1793 – After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France was executed by the guillotine.
  • 1799 – Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccination is introduced.
  • 1853 – Envelope-folding machine patented by Russell Hawes, Worcester, MA.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis resigns from the United States Senate.
  • 1864 – The Tauranga Campaign starts during the Maori Wars.
  • 1887 – Brisbane receives a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.
  • 1893 – The Tati Concessions Land, formerly part of Matabeleland, was formally annexed to the Bechuanaland Protectorate which is now Botswana.
  • 1899 – Opel manufactured its first automobile.
  • 1908 – New York City passes the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, only to have the measure vetoed by the mayor.
  • 1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally.
  • 1915 – Kiwanis International was founded in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1919 – Meeting of the First Dáil Éireann in the Mansion House Dublin, Sinn Féin adopts Ireland’s first constitution. The first engagement of Irish War of Independence, Sologhead Beg, County Tipperary.
  • 1921 – The Italian Communist Party was founded at Livorno.
  • 1922 – First slalom ski race run, Murren, Switzerland.
  • 1924 – Vladimir Lenin dies; a lengthy power struggle emerges between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin begins, culminating to the latter’s consolidation of power c. 1928.
  • 1925 – Albania declares itself a republic.
  • 1941 – World War II: Australian and British forces attack Tobruk, Libya.
  • 1948 – The Flag of Quebec is adopted and flown for the first time, over the National Assembly of Quebec. The day is marked annually as Quebec Flag Day.
  • 1950 – Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury.
  • 1954 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched in Groton, Connecticut by Mamie Eisenhower, then the First Lady of the United States.
  • 1958 – The last Fokker C.X in military service, the Finnish Air Force FK-111 target tower, crashed, killing the pilot and winch-operator.
  • 1960 – Rock fall traps 437 at Coalbrook South Africa; 417 die of methane poisoning.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war begins.
  • 1969 – An experimental underground nuclear reactor at Lucens Vad, Switzerland, released radiation into a cavern, which was then sealed.
  • 1971 – “Alias Smith & Jones” premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1972 – Tripura becomes a full-fledged state in India.
  • 1974 – Gold hits record $161.31 an ounce in London.
  • 1974 – Silver hits record $3.97 an ounce in London.
  • 1976 – Commercial service of Concorde begins with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes.
  • 1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada.
  • 1978 – Bee Gees’ “Saturday Night Fever” album goes #1 for 24 weeks.
  • 1979 – Steelers beat Cowboys (35-31), first team to win 3 Super Bowls (XIII).
  • 1980 – Gold hits record $850 an ounce.
  • 1986 – 100 participate in Nude Olympics race in 38 degrees F (3 degrees C), Indiana.
  • 1987 – B.B. King donates his 7,000 record collection to University of Mississippi
  • 1999 – War on Drugs: In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepts a ship with over 4,300 kgs (9,500 pounds) of cocaine on board.
  • 2002 – The Canadian Dollar sets all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).
  • 2004 – Canada: The residence of reporter Juliet O’Neill is searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigating leaks concerning the deportation of Maher Arar.
  • 2005 – In Belmopan, Belize, the unrest over the government’s new taxes erupts into riots.
  • 2008 – Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%.
  • 2008 – The Eyak language in Alaska becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies.

January 21 – Birthdays:

  • 1338 – King Charles V of France (d. 1380)
  • 1721 – James Murray, British military officer, governor of Quebec (d. 1794)
  • 1804 – Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (d. 1887)
  • 1813 – John C. Frémont, American army officer, explorer and presidential candidate (d. 1890)
  • 1815 – John Bingham, American politician and lawyer (d. 1900)
  • 1824 – Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American, Confederate army general (d. 1863)
  • 1825 – Imre Madách, Hungarian writer (d. 1864)
  • 1827 – Ivan Mikheevich Pervushin, Russian mathematician (d. 1900)
  • 1829 – King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway (d. 1907)
  • 1848 – Henri Duparc, French composer (d. 1933)
  • 1860 – Karl Staaff, Prime Minister of Sweden (d. 1915)
  • 1867 – Ludwig Thoma, German writer (d. 1921)
  • 1867 – Maxime Weygand, French general (d. 1965)
  • 1882 – Pavel Florensky, Russian mathematician (d. 1937)
  • 1883 – Olav Aukrust, Norwegian poet (d. 1929)
  • 1884 – Roger Baldwin, American social activist (d. 1981)
  • 1885 – Umberto Nobile, Italian politician (d. 1978)
  • 1887 – Georges Vézina, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1926)
  • 1895 – Cristóbal Balenciaga, Spanish couturier (d. 1972)
  • 1897 – René Iché, French sculptor (d. 1954)
  • 1899 – Alexander Tcherepnin, Russian born American composer (d. 1977)
  • 1901 – Ricardo Zamora, Spanish footballer (d. 1978)
  • 1905 – Christian Dior, French fashion designer (d. 1957)
  • 1905 – Karl Wallenda, German acrobat (d. 1978)
  • 1906 – Igor Moiseyev, Russian choreographer (d. 2007)
  • 1909 – Todor Skalovski, Macedonian composer (d. 2004)
  • 1910 – Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai composer and bandleader (d. 1981)
  • 1912 – Konrad Emil Bloch, German-born biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 2000)
  • 1918 – Richard D. Winters, American war hero
  • 1921 – Howard Unruh, American mass murderer
  • 1922 – Paul Scofield, English actor
  • 1923 – Lola Flores, Spanish singer (d. 1995)
  • 1924 – Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer (d. 1992)
  • 1924 – Telly Savalas, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1926 – Steve Reeves, American actor (d. 2000)
  • 1927 – Clive Churchill, Australian rugby league footballer (d. 1985)
  • 1932 – John Chaney, American basketball coach
  • 1933 – Joseph W. Eschbach, American doctor (d. 2007)
  • 1934 – Audrey Dalton, Irish actress
  • 1936 – Koji Hashimoto, Japanese film director (d. 2005)
  • 1937 – Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria
  • 1938 – Wolfman Jack, American disk jockey and actor (d. 1995)
  • 1938 – John Savident, British actor
  • 1940 – Jack Nicklaus, American golfer
  • 1941 – Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor
  • 1941 – Stathis Giallelis, Greek actor
  • 1941 – Richie Havens, American musician
  • 1941 – Mike Medavoy, American film producer
  • 1941 – Ivan Putski, Polish-born American professional wrestler
  • 1942 – Edwin Starr, American singer (d. 2003)
  • 1942 – Mac Davis, American musician
  • 1946 – Johnny Oates, American baseball player and manager (d. 2004)
  • 1947 – Jill Eikenberry, American actress
  • 1947 – Pye Hastings, English singer and musician (Caravan)
  • 1947 – Michel Jonasz, French singer and composer
  • 1950 – Billy Ocean, West Indian musician
  • 1952 – Marco Camenisch, Swiss environmental activist
  • 1952 – Louis Menand, American writer and critic
  • 1953 – Paul Allen, American entrepreneur
  • 1955 – Jeff Koons, American artist
  • 1956 – Robby Benson, American actor
  • 1956 – Geena Davis, American actress
  • 1957 – Greg Ryan, American soccer coach
  • 1958 – Michael Wincott, Canadian actor
  • 1959 – Alex McLeish, Scottish footballer and manager
  • 1962 – Marie Trintignant, French actress (d. 2003)
  • 1962 – Tyler Cowen, American economist
  • 1963 – Hakeem Olajuwon, Nigerian-born American basketball player
  • 1963 – Detlef Schrempf, German basketball player
  • 1965 – Jam Master Jay, American disc jockey (d. 2002)
  • 1966 – Robert Del Naja, English musician
  • 1966 – Candi Milo, American voice actress
  • 1968 – Ulrica Messing, Swedish politician
  • 1968 – Charlotte Ross, American actress
  • 1969 – Karina Lombard, American actress
  • 1969 – Tsubaki Nekoi, Japanese manga artist
  • 1970 – Ken Leung, American actor
  • 1970 – Mark Trojanowski, American musician (Sister Hazel)
  • 1971 – Alan McManus, Scottish snooker player
  • 1971 – Doug Weight, American ice hockey player
  • 1972 – Alan Benes, American baseball player
  • 1972 – Yasunori Mitsuda, Japanese composer
  • 1972 – Cat Power (Chan Marshall), American musician
  • 1974 – Rove McManus, Australian television host and comedian
  • 1974 – Alex Sperafico, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1975 – Ito, Spanish footballer
  • 1975 – Nicky Butt, English footballer
  • 1975 – Casey FitzRandolph, American speed skater
  • 1975 – Yuji Ide, Japanese racing driver
  • 1976 – Emma Bunton, English singer (Spice Girls)
  • 1977 – Al Baxter, Australian rugby union footballer
  • 1977 – Phil Neville, English footballer
  • 1977 – Rick Ross, American rapper
  • 1978 – Bryan Gilmore, National Football League player
  • 1978 – Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin, American Singer
  • 1978 – Faris al-Sultan, German-Iraqi triathlete
  • 1978 – Phil Stacey, American Idol finalist
  • 1978 – Andrei Zyuzin, Russian ice hockey player 
  • 1979 – Byung-Hyun Kim, Korean baseball player
  • 1979 – Spider Loc, American rapper, member of G-Unit
  • 1979 – Brian O’Driscoll, Irish rugby union footballer
  • 1980 – Dave Kitson, English footballer
  • 1980 – Nana Mizuki, Japanese voice actress and singer
  • 1981 – Gillian Chung Yan-tung, Hong Kong singer (Twins)
  • 1981 – Jamie Dalrymple, English cricketer
  • 1981 – Ivan Ergic, Serbian footballer
  • 1981 – Dany Heatley, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1981 – Andy Lee, Korean rapper (Shinhwa)
  • 1981 – Izabella Miko, Polish-born actress and model
  • 1981 – Alex Ubago, Spanish-Basque singer-songwriter
  • 1982 – Dean Whitehead, English footballer
  • 1983 – Maryse Ouellet, French-Canadian model and professional wrestler
  • 1983 – Moritz Volz, German footballer
  • 1983 – Peter Philipakos, Greek-American soccer player
  • 1985 – Alex Pérez, Spanish footballer
  • 1985 – Sasha Pivovarova, Russian Model
  • 1985 – Matt Unicomb, Australian basketball player
  • 1987 – Joe Ledley, Welsh footballer
  • 1988 – William Johansson, Swedish composer
  • 1990 – Jacob Smith, American actor
  • 2004 – Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

January 21 – Deaths:

  • 304 – Saint Agnes (martyred) (b. 291)
  • 917 – Erchanger, Duke of Swabia (c. 880)
  • 1118 – Pope Paschal II
  • 1519 – Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Spanish explorer (b. 1475)
  • 1527 – Juan de Grijalva, Spanish conquistador (c. 1489)
  • 1546 – Azai Sukemasa, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1491)
  • 1609 – Joseph Justus Scaliger, French Protestant scholar (b. 1540)
  • 1638 – Ignazio Donati, Italian composer (c. 1570)
  • 1683 – Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, British politician (b. 1621)
  • 1699 – Obadiah Walker, English writer (b. 1616)
  • 1706 – Adrien Baillet, French scholar and critic (b. 1649)
  • 1710 – Johann Georg Gichtel, German mystic (b. 1638)
  • 1722 – Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton, English supporter of William III of England (b. 1661)
  • 1731 – Thomas Woolston, English theologian (b. 1669)
  • 1766 – James Quin, English actor (b. 1693)
  • 1773 – Alexis Piron, French writer (b. 1689)
  • 1774 – Mustafa III, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1717)
  • 1775 – Yemelyan Pugachev, Russian rebel (b. 1740 or 1742)
  • 1793 – King Louis XVI of France (executed) (b. 1754)
  • 1795 – Samuel Wallis, English navigator (b. 1728)
  • 1809 – Josiah Hornblower, American statesman (b. 1729)
  • 1814 – Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, French writer and botanist (b. 1737)
  • 1823 – Cayetano José Rodríguez, Argentine cleric, journalist and poet (b. 1761)
  • 1831 – Ludwig Achim von Arnim, German poet (b. 1781)
  • 1851 – Albert Lortzing, German composer (b. 1801)
  • 1870 – Alexander Herzen, Russian writer (b. 1812)
  • 1872 – Franz Grillparzer, Austrian writer (b. 1791)
  • 1881 – Wilhelm Matthias Naeff, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1802)
  • 1891 – Calixa Lavallée, Canadian composer (b. 1842)
  • 1901 – Elisha Gray, American inventor (b. 1835)
  • 1914 – Theodor Kittelsen, Norwegian artist (b. 1857)
  • 1919 – Gojong of Joseon, Emperor of Korea (b. 1852)
  • 1924 – Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary (b. 1870)
  • 1926 – Camillo Golgi, Italian physician, recipient of the Nobel laureate (b. 1843)
  • 1928 – George Goethals, American army engineer (b. 1858)
  • 1931 – Felix Blumenfeld, Russian composer (b. 1863)
  • 1932 – Giles Lytton Strachey, British writer (b. 1880)
  • 1933 – George A. Moore, Irish novelist (b. 1852)
  • 1937 – Marie Prevost, Canadian actress (b. 1898)
  • 1948 – Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian composer (b. 1876)
  • 1950 – George Orwell, British writer (b. 1903)
  • 1955 – Archie Hahn, American athlete (b. 1880)
  • 1956 – Sam Langford, Canadian boxer (b. 1883)
  • 1959 – Cecil B. DeMille, American director (b. 1881)
  • 1959 – Carl Switzer, American actor (b. 1927)
  • 1961 – Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (b. 1887)
  • 1967 – Ann Sheridan, American actress (b. 1915)
  • 1968 – Will Lang Jr., American magazine executive (b. 1914)
  • 1977 – Sandro Penna, Italian poet (b. 1906)
  • 1978 – Freda Utley, British scholar and author. (b. 1898)
  • 1984 – Giannis Skaribas, Greek writer, dramatist, and poet (b. 1893)
  • 1984 – Jackie Wilson, American musician (b. 1934)
  • 1985 – James Beard, American chef and author (b. 1903)
  • 1985 – Eddie Graham, American professional wrestler and promoter (b. 1930)
  • 1987 – Charles Goodell, American politician (b. 1926)
  • 1989 – Billy Tipton, American musician (b. 1914)
  • 1989 – Carl Furillo, American Baseball player (b. 1922)
  • 1993 – Charlie Gehringer, American baseball player (b. 1903)
  • 1996 – René Marc Jalbert, sergeant-at-Arms at the National Assembly of Quebec (b. 1921)
  • 1997 – Colonel Tom Parker, American manager of Elvis Presley (b. 1909)
  • 1998 – Jack Lord, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 1999 – Charles Brown, American blues singer and pianist (b. 1920)
  • 1999 – Susan Strasberg, American actress (b. 1938)
  • 2001 – Byron De La Beckwith, American white supremacist (b. 1921)
  • 2002 – Peggy Lee, American singer (b. 1920)
  • 2003 – Paul Haines, American-born Canadian poet (b. 1933)
  • 2004 – Yordan Radichkov, Bulgarian writer (b. 1929)
  • 2005 – Theun de Vries, Dutch writer (b. 1907)
  • 2005 – John L. Hess, American journalist (b. 1917)
  • 2005 – Parveen Babi, Indian actress (b. 1955)
  • 2006 – Ibrahim Rugova, President of Kosovo (b. 1944)
  • 2007 – Maria Cioncan, Romanian athlete (b. 1977)
  • 2007 – U;Nee, Korean pop artist (b. 1981)
  • 2008 – Pam Barrett, Canadian politician (b. 1953)
  • 2008 – Marie Smith Jones, last native speaker of the Eyak language (b. 1918)

January 21 – Holidays:

  • Flag Day – Quebec
  • International Spicy Food Day
  • Wellington Anniversary – New Zealand
  • Saint Agnes
  • Meinrad of Einsiedeln
  • Dominican Republic – Our Lady of Altagracia

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On This Day in History January 20

January 20 – Events:

  • 250 – Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabian was martyred. Afterwards the Donatist controversy over readmitting lapsed Christians disaffects many in North Africa.
  • 1156 – According to legend, freeholder Lalli slays English crusader Bishop Henry with an axe on the ice of lake Köyliönjärvi in Finland.
  • 1265 – In Westminster, the first English parliament conducts its first meeting in the Palace of Westminster, now also known as the “Houses of Parliament.”
  • 1320 – Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek becomes king of Poland.
  • 1356 – Edward Balliol abdicates as King of Scotland.
  • 1502 – The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored.
  • 1523 – Christian II is forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway.
  • 1576 – The Mexican city of León is founded by order of the viceroy Don Martín Enríquez de Almansa.
  • 1649 – Charles I of England goes on trial for treason and other “high crimes.”
  • 1667 – The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth cedes Kiev, Smolensk, and left-bank Ukraine to Imperial Russia in the treaty of Andrusovo.
  • 1783 – The Kingdom of Great Britain signs a peace treaty with France and Spain, officially ending hostilities in the Revolutionary War.
  • 1788 – The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides Botany Bay is unsuitable for location of a penal colony, and decides to move to Port Jackson.
  • 1801 – John Marshall is appointed the Chief Justice of the United States.
  • 1839 – In the Battle of Yungay, Chile defeats a Peruvian and Bolivian alliance.
  • 1840 – Dumont D’Urville discovers Adélie Land, Antarctica.
  • 1840 – Willem II becomes King of the Netherlands.
  • 1841 – Hong Kong Island is occupied by the British.
  • 1885 – L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster.
  • 1887 – The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
  • 1892 – At the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first official basketball game is played.
  • 1920 – The American Civil Liberties Union is founded.
  • 1921 – The first Constitution of Turkey is adopted, making fundamental changes in the source and exercise of sovereignty by consecrating the principle of national sovereignty.
  • 1929 – In Old Arizona, the first full-length talking film filmed outdoors, is released.
  • 1936 – Edward VIII becomes King of the United Kingdom.
  • 1937 – Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States. This is the first inauguration scheduled on January 20, following adoption of the 20th Amendment. Previous inaugurations were scheduled on March 4.
  • 1942 – World War II: Nazis at the Wannsee conference in Berlin agree on the “final solution to the Jewish problem.”
  • 1944 – World War II: The Royal Air Force drops 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.
  • 1945 – Hungary ends its involvement in the Second World War, agreeing to an armistice with the Allies.
  • 1954 – The National Negro Network is established with 40 charter member radio stations.
  • 1960 – Hendrik Verwoerd announces a plebiscite on whether South Africa should become a Republic.
  • 1961 – John F. Kennedy is inaugurated.
  • 1968 – The Houston Cougars defeat the UCLA Bruins 71-69 to win the Game of the Century.
  • 1969 – The first pulsar is discovered, in the Crab Nebula.
  • 1980 – President Jimmy Carter announces US boycott of Olympics in Moscow.
  • 1980 – Super Bowl XIV-Pittsburgh Steelers-31, Los Angeles Rams-19.
  • 1981 – Iran releases 52 American hostages twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as U.S. President.
  • 1985 – Super Bowl XIX-San Francisco 49’ers-38, Miami Dolphins-16.
  • 1986 – Martin Luther King, Jr., day is celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time.
  • 1986 – The United Kingdom and France announce plans to construct the Channel Tunnel.
  • 1987 – Church of England envoy Terry Waite is kidnapped in Lebanon.
  • 1990 – Black January – crackdown of Azerbaijani pro-independence demonstrations by Soviet army in Baku.
  • 1991 – Sudan’s government imposes Islamic law nationwide, worsening the civil war between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south.
  • 1992 – Air Inter Flight 148 crashes near Strasbourg, France, killing 82 passengers and 5 crew.
  • 1999 – The China News Service announces new government restrictions on Internet use aimed especially at Internet cafés.
  • 2001 – Philippine president Joseph Estrada is ousted in the EDSA II Revolution and is succeeded by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

January 20 – Birthdays:

  • 225 – Gordian III, Roman Emperor (d. 244)
  • 1292 – Elisabeth I of Bohemia (d. 1330)
  • 1358 – Eleanor of Aragon, wife of John I of Castile (d. 1382)
  • 1435 – Ashikaga Yoshimasa, Japanese shogun (d. 1490)
  • 1554 – King Sebastian of Portugal (d. 1578)
  • 1586 – Johann Schein, German composer (d. 1630)
  • 1664 – Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, Italian writer and jurist (d. 1718)
  • 1716 – King Charles III of Spain (d. 1788)
  • 1716 – Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer and numismatist (d. 1795)
  • 1775 – André-Marie Ampère, French physicist (d. 1836)
  • 1781 – Joseph Hormayr Freiherr zu Hortenburg, Austrian politician (d. 1848)
  • 1783 – Justus Johann Friedrich Dotzauer, German cellist and composer (d. 1860)
  • 1798 – Anson Jones, 5th and last President of Texas (d. 1858)
  • 1804 – Eugène Sue, French novelist (d. 1857)
  • 1812 – Thomas Meik, Scottish engineer (d. 1896)
  • 1834 – George D. Robinson, 34 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1896)
  • 1837 – David Josiah Brewer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (d. 1910)
  • 1855 – Ernest Chausson, French composer (d. 1899)
  • 1867 – Yvette Guilbert, French singer and actress (d. 1944)
  • 1873 – Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Danish Nobel laureate (d. 1950)
  • 1876 – Józef Hofmann, Polish pianist (d. 1967)
  • 1878 – Finlay Currie, British actor (d. 1968)
  • 1878 – Ruth St. Denis, dancer (d. 1968)
  • 1880 – Walter W. Bacon, Governor of Delaware (d. 1962)
  • 1889 – Allan H. Loughead, American aviation pioneer (Lockheed Corporation; d. 1969)
  • 1891 – Mischa Elman, Ukrainian born violinist (d. 1967)
  • 1893 – Georg Åberg, Swedish athlete (d. 1946)
  • 1894 – Walter Piston, American composer (d. 1976)
  • 1896 – George Burns, American actor, comedian (d. 1996)
  • 1896 – Isabel Withers, American actress (d. 1968)
  • 1898 – U Razak, Burmese politician (d. 1947)
  • 1899 – Kenjiro Takayanagi, Japanese development of television (d. 1990)
  • 1900 – Colin Clive, British actor (d. 1937)
  • 1902 – Leon Ames, American actor (d. 1993)
  • 1907 – Paula Wessely, Austrian actress (d. 2000)
  • 1910 – Joy Adamson, Austrian naturalist and writer (d. 1980)
  • 1915 – Ghulam Ishaq Khan, President of Pakistan (d. 2006)
  • 1919 – Juan García Esquivel, Mexican bandleader (d. 2002)
  • 1920 – Federico Fellini, Italian film director (d. 1993)
  • 1920 – DeForest Kelley, American actor (d. 1999)
  • 1920 – Thorleif Schjelderup, Norwegian author and ski jumper (d. 2006)
  • 1921 – Telmo Zarraonaindía, Spanish footballer (d. 2006)
  • 1922 – Ray Anthony, American trumpeter, bandleader, songwriter and actor
  • 1923 – Nora Brockstedt, Norwegian singer
  • 1924 – Slim Whitman, American singer
  • 1925 – Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan theologian and author and politician
  • 1926 – Jamiluddin Aali, Pakistani poet, essayist and columnist
  • 1926 – Qurratulain Hyder, Indian novelist (d. 2007)
  • 1926 – Patricia Neal, American actress
  • 1926 – David Tudor, American pianist and composer (d. 1996)
  • 1929 – Jimmy Cobb, American jazz drummer
  • 1929 – Bob Denard, French mercenary
  • 1929 – Arte Johnson, American actor
  • 1929 – Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, American race car driver (d. 1964)
  • 1930 – Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., astronaut
  • 1931 – David Lee, American physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate
  • 1932 – Lou Fontinato, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1933 – Ron Townson, American singer (The Fifth Dimension) (d. 2001)
  • 1934 – Tom Baker, British actor
  • 1937 – Dorothy Provine, American singer, dancer and actress
  • 1938 – William Berger, Austrian actor (d. 1993)
  • 1938 – Derek Dougan, Northern Irish footballer (d. 2007)
  • 1939 – Paul Coverdell, American politician (d. 2000)
  • 1940 – Carol Heiss, American figure skater
  • 1940 – Krishnam Raju, Indian actor and politician
  • 1941 – Pierre Lalonde, Quebec singer and television host
  • 1943 – Farhad Mehrad, Iranian musician
  • 1944 – José Luis Garci, Spanish filmmaker
  • 1945 – Robert Olen Butler, American writer
  • 1945 – Christopher Martin-Jenkins, cricket commentator and correspondent
  • 1945 – Eric Stewart, English musician and songwriter (10cc)
  • 1946 – David Lynch, American film director
  • 1947 – Cyrille Guimard, French cyclist
  • 1948 – Natan Sharansky, Russian-born physicist and politician
  • 1949 – Göran Persson, Prime Minister of Sweden
  • 1950 – Liza Goddard, British actress
  • 1950 – Edward Hirsch. American poet
  • 1950 – Chuck Lefley, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1950 – Mahamane Ousmane, President of Niger
  • 1951 – Ivan Fischer, Hungarian conductor
  • 1951 – Ian Hill, British musician (Judas Priest)
  • 1952 – Paul Stanley, American musician (Kiss)
  • 1955 – Wyatt Knight, American actor
  • 1955 – Joe Doherty, Provisional Irish Republican Army member
  • 1955 – Hiromi Ota, Japanese singer
  • 1956 – Maria Larsson, Swedish politician
  • 1956 – Bill Maher, American actor, comedian, and political analyst
  • 1958 – Lorenzo Lamas, American actor
  • 1960 – Scott Thunes, American musician (Frank Zappa)
  • 1960 – Will Wright, American computer game designer
  • 1963 – James Denton, American actor
  • 1964 – Kazushige Nojima, Japanese game scenario writer
  • 1965 – Colin Calderwood, Scottish footballer
  • 1965 – Greg Kriesel, American bassist (The Offspring)
  • 1965 – Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, the wife of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
  • 1965 – John Michael Montgomery, American singer
  • 1965 – Anton Weissenbacher, Romanian footballer
  • 1966 – Stacey Dash, American actress
  • 1966 – Tracii Guns, American guitarist
  • 1968 – Melissa Rivers, American reporter and actress
  • 1968 – Rainn Wilson, American actor
  • 1969 – Patrick K. Kroupa, American computer hacker
  • 1969 – Nicky Wire, British Musician (Manic Street Preachers)
  • 1970 – Mitch Benn, UK comedian, songwriter, actor
  • 1970 – Kerri Kenney-Silver, American actress
  • 1970 – Skeet Ulrich, American actor
  • 1971 – Derrick Green, American singer (Sepultura)
  • 1971 – Gary Barlow, English singer, pianist, songwriter, band member of Take That and
  • producer.
  • 1971 – Brian Giles, American baseball player
  • 1973 – Princess Mathilde, Duchess of Brabant
  • 1975 – David Eckstein, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Norberto Fontana, Argentine racing driver
  • 1976 – Gretha Smit, Dutch speed skater
  • 1977 – Melody, a Belgian singer
  • 1978 – Joy Giovanni, American actress and glamour model
  • 1978 – Sonja Kesselschläger, German heptathlete
  • 1978 – Allan Søgaard, Danish footballer
  • 1979 – Rob Bourdon, American musician (Linkin Park)
  • 1979 – Asaka Kubo, Japanese gravure idol of 20th Century
  • 1979 – Will Young, British singer
  • 1980 – Matthew Tuck, Welsh guitarist (Bullet for My Valentine)
  • 1980 – Philippe Cousteau Jr. Oceanographer/Environmentalist, grandson of Jacques Cousteau
  • 1981 – Freddy Guzmán, Dominican baseball player
  • 1981 – Christine Bleakley, BBC Television Host
  • 1981 – Owen Hargreaves, English international footballer
  • 1981 – Crystal Lowe, Canadian actress
  • 1983 – Paula Taylor, English-Thai actress, model and presenter
  • 1984 – Olivia Hallinan, English Actress
  • 1984 – Toni Gonzaga, Filipina Actress and Singer

January 20 – Deaths:

  • 1156 – Bishop Henry, patron saint of Finland
  • 1191 – Frederick VI, Duke of Swabia (b. 1167)
  • 1479 – King John II of Aragon (b. 1397)
  • 1568 – Myles Coverdale, English Bible translator
  • 1612 – Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1552)
  • 1666 – Anna of Austria, wife of Louis XIII of France and regent (b. 1601)
  • 1707 – Humphrey Hody, English theologian (b. 1659)
  • 1709 – François de la Chaise, French confessor of Louis XIV of France (b. 1624)
  • 1739 – Francesco Galli-Bibiena, Italian architect/designer (b. 1659)
  • 1751 – John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, English politician (b. 1665)
  • 1770 – Charles Yorke, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain (b. 1722)
  • 1779 – David Garrick, English actor (b. 1717)
  • 1810 – Benjamin Chew, Chief Justice of colonial Pennsylvania (b. 1722)
  • 1819 – King Charles IV of Spain (b. 1748)
  • 1848 – Christian VIII of Denmark (b. 1786)
  • 1850 – Adam Oehlenschläger, Danish poet (b. 1779)
  • 1873 – The Venerable Father Basil Anthony Marie Moreau, Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross (b. 1799)
  • 1875 – Jean-François Millet, French painter (b. 1814)
  • 1891 – David Kalakaua, King of Hawaii (b. 1836)
  • 1900 – John Ruskin, art critic (b. 1819)
  • 1901 – Zénobe Gramme, Belgian engineer (b. 1826)
  • 1920 – Georg Lurich, Estonian wrestler (b. 1876)
  • 1936 – King George V of the United Kingdom (b. 1865)
  • 1940 – Omar Bundy, U.S. army general (b. 1861)
  • 1944 – James McKeen Cattell, American psychologist (b. 1860)
  • 1947 – Josh Gibson, African-American baseball player (b. 1911)
  • 1954 – Fred Root, English cricketer (b. 1890)
  • 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, American poet (b. 1887)
  • 1965 – Alan Freed, American disk jockey (b. 1922)
  • 1971 – Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson, American actor, director, writer, and producer (b. 1880)
  • 1973 – Lorenz Böhler, Austrian physician (b. 1885)
  • 1979 – Gustav Winckler, Danish singer (b. 1925)
  • 1983 – Garrincha, Brazilian footballer (b. 1933)
  • 1984 – Johnny Weissmuller, American swimmer and actor (b. 1904)
  • 1988 – Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Pashtun Nationalist & non-violent freedom fighter (b. 1890)
  • 1988 – Dora Stratou, Greek choreographer and folklorist (b. 1903)
  • 1989 – Alamgir Kabir, Bangladeshi film director (b. 1938)
  • 1990 – Hayedeh, Persian singer (b. 1942)
  • 1990 – Barbara Stanwyck, American actress (b. 1907)
  • 1993 – Audrey Hepburn, Anglo-Dutch actress (b. 1929)
  • 1994 – Sir Matt Busby, Scottish football player and coach (b. 1909)
  • 1996 – Gerry Mulligan, American musician (b. 1927)
  • 1997 – Curt Flood, baseball player (b. 1938)
  • 1998 – Bobo Brazil, American professional wrestler (b. 1924)
  • 2002 – Carrie Hamilton, actress and singer (b. 1963)
  • 2003 – Al Hirschfeld, American caricaturist (b. 1903)
  • 2003 – Nedra Volz, American actress (b. 1908)
  • 2003 – Bill Werbeniuk, Canadian snooker player (b. 1947)
  • 2004 – Guinn Smith, American athlete (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Per Borten, Prime Minister of Norway (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – Roland Frye, American literary critic and theologian (b. 1921)
  • 2005 – Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, Polish journalist, writer, and politician (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – Miriam Louisa Rothschild, British zoologist, entomologist, and author (b. 1908)

January 20 – Holidays:

  • Presidential Inauguration Day in the United States, held every four years since 1937.
  • Astrology: First day of sun sign Aquarius.
  • Ati-Atihan Festival in the Philippines
  • Sinulog Festival in the Philippines (2008)
  • Religious feasts:
    • Feast day of the following saints in the Roman Catholic Church:
      • Sebastian
      • Saint Fabian
      • Euthymius the Great
      • Desiderius
      • Meinrad
  • The Eve of St. Agnes
  • Abadios

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On This Day in HIstory January 19

January 19 – Events:

  • 1419 – Hundred Years’ War: Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy.
  • 1493 – France cedes Roussillon & Cerdagne to Spain by treaty of Barcelona.
  • 1511 – Mirandola surrenders to the French.
  • 1520 – Sten Sture the Younger, the Regent of Sweden, was mortally wounded at the Battle of Bogesund.
  • 1764 – John Wilkes is expelled from the British House of Commons for seditious libel.
  • 1788 – Second group of ships of the First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay.
  • 1795 – Batavian Republic is proclaimed in the Netherlands. End of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
  • 1806 – The United Kingdom occupies the Cape of Good Hope.
  • 1812 – Peninsular War: After a ten day siege, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, orders British soldiers of the Light and third divisions to storm Ciudad Rodrigo.
  • 1817 – An army of 5,423 soldiers, led by General José de San Martín, crosses the Andes from Argentina to liberate Chile and then Peru.
  • 1825 – Ezra Daggett & nephew Thomas Kensett patent food storage in tin cans.
  • 1829 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust Part 1 premieres.
  • 1839 – The British East India Company captures Aden.
  • 1840 – Captain Charles Wilkes circumnavigates Antarctica, claiming what became known as Wilkes Land for the United States.
  • 1853 – Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore premieres in Rome.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Mill Springs – The Confederacy suffers its first significant defeat in the conflict.
  • 1871 – Franco-Prussian War: Battle of St. Quentin is fought, resulting in a decisive Prussian victory.
  • 1883 – The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey.
  • 1893 – Henrik Ibsen’s play The Master Builder premieres in Berlin.
  • 1898 – Brown defeats Harvard 6-0 in first intercollegiate hockey game.
  • 1899 – Anglo-Egyptian Sudan is formed.
  • 1915 – Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising.
  • 1915 – World War I: German zeppelins bomb the cities of Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn in the United Kingdom killing more than 20, in the first major aerial bombardment of a civilian target.
  • 1917 – German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann sends the Zimmermann Telegram to Mexico, proposing a German-Mexican alliance against the United States.
  • 1917 – Silvertown explosion: 73 are killed and 400 injured in an explosion in a munitions plant in London.
  • 1918 – Finnish Civil War: The first serious battles between the Red Guards and the White Guard.
  • 1920 – The United States Senate votes against joining the League of Nations.
  • 1935 – Coopers Inc. sells the world’s first briefs.
  • 1937 – Howard Hughes sets a new air record by flying from Los Angeles, California to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds.
  • 1937 – Cy Young, Tris Speaker & Nap Lajorie elected to Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1939 – Ernest Hausen of Wisconsin sets chicken-plucking record 4.4 seconds.
  • 1941 – World War II: British troops attack Italian-held Eritrea.
  • 1942 – World War II: Japanese forces invade Burma.
  • 1945 – World War II: Soviet forces liberate the ghetto of Lódz. Out of 230,000 inhabitants in 1940, less than 900 had survived Nazi occupation.
  • 1946 – General Douglas MacArthur establishes the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo to try Japanese war criminals.
  • 1949 – Cuba recognizes Israel.
  • 1952 – PGA approves allowing black participants.
  • 1953 – Jesse Owens named Illinois Athletic Commission secretary.
  • 1953 – 68% of all television sets in the United States are tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth.
  • 1955 – “The Millionaire” TV program premiers on CBS.
  • 1955 – First Presidential news conference filmed for TV (Eisenhower).
  • 1961 – First episode for “The Dick Van Dyke Show” is filmed.
  • 1966 – Indira Gandhi is elected Prime Minister of India.
  • 1969 – Student Jan Palach dies after setting himself on fire 3 days earlier in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to protest the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968. His funeral turned into another major protest.
  • 1971 – The revival of No, No, Nanette premieres at the 46th Street Theatre, in New York City.
  • 1972 – Sandy Koufax, Yogi Berra, & Early Wynn elected to Hall of Fame.
  • 1974 – Notre Dame beats UCLA, ends NCAA-record 88-game basketball win streak.
  • 1975 – Triple J begins broadcasting in Sydney, Australia.
  • 1977 – President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D’Aquino (a.k.a. “Tokyo Rose”).
  • 1977 – Snow falls in Miami, Florida. This is the only time in the history of the city that snowfall has occurred. It also fell in the Bahamas.
  • 1978 – The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany leaves VW’s plant in Emden.  Beetle production in Latin America would continue until 2003.
  • 1981 – Iran Hostage Crisis: United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity.
  • 1983 – Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie is arrested in Bolivia.
  • 1983 – The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced.
  • 1991 – The Party of the Alliance of Youth, Workers and Farmers of Angola is founded in Luanda, Angola.
  • 1992 – Decree time is restored in Russia after its previous abolition in March 1991. 
  • 1997 – Yasser Arafat returns to Hebron after more than 30 years and joins celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city.
  • 2006 – Terrorist blows himself up in Tel Aviv, killing only himself but injuring 20 people, one of them seriously.
  • 2006 – A Slovak Air Force Antonov An-24 crashes in Hungary.
  • 2006 – The New Horizons probe is launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto.
  • 2006 – Jet Airways announces its purchase of Air Sahara, creating the largest domestic airline in India.

January 19 – Birthdays:

  • 399 – Pulcheria, Byzantine empress (d. 453)
  • 1544 – King Francis II of France (d. 1560)
  • 1736 – James Watt, Scottish inventor (d. 1819)
  • 1739 – Joseph Bonomi the Elder, Italian architect (d. 1808)
  • 1757 – Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf, German Princess (d. 1831)
  • 1807 – Robert E. Lee, American Confederate general (d. 1870)
  • 1808 – Lysander Spooner, American philosopher (d. 1887)
  • 1809 – Edgar Allan Poe, American writer and poet (d. 1849)
  • 1813 – Sir Henry Bessemer, English inventor (d. 1898)
  • 1832 – Ferdinand Laub, Czech violinist (d. 1875)
  • 1833 – Alfred Clebsch, German mathematician (d. 1872)
  • 1839 – Paul Cézanne, French painter (d. 1906)
  • 1848 – John F. Stairs, Canadian businessman (d. 1904)
  • 1851 – Jacobus Kapteyn, Dutch astronomer (d. 1922)
  • 1863 – Werner Sombart, German sociologist (d. 1941)
  • 1878 – Herbert Chapman, English football player and manager (d. 1934)
  • 1879 – Boris Savinkov, Russian writer (d. 1925)
  • 1887 – Alexander Woollcott, American intellectual (d. 1943)
  • 1892 – Ólafur Thors, Icelandic politician (d. 1964)
  • 1905 – Stanley Hawes, British-born Australian film producer, director and administrator (d. 1991)
  • 1908 – Aleksandr Gennadievich Kurosh, Russian mathematician (d. 1971)
  • 1909 – Hans Hotter, German bass-baritone (d. 2003)
  • 1912 – Leonid Kantorovich, Russian economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1986)
  • 1913 – Rex Ingamells, Australian poet (d. 1955)
  • 1913 – “Minnesota Fats”, American billiards player (d. 1996)
  • 1914 – Bob Gerard, British racing driver (d. 1990)
  • 1917 – John Raitt, American singer and actor (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – John H. Johnson, American publisher (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Peruvian United Nations Secretary General
  • 1921 – “Billy Batts” Devino, American gangster (d. 1970)
  • 1921 – Patricia Highsmith, American author (d. 1995)
  • 1922 – Guy Madison, American actor (d. 1996)
  • 1923 – Markus Wolf, German spy (d. 2006)
  • 1923 – Jean Stapleton, American actress
  • 1924 – Nicholas Colasanto, American actor (d. 1985)
  • 1924 – Jean-François Revel, French author (d. 2006)
  • 1926 – Fritz Weaver, American actor
  • 1930 – Tippi Hedren, American actress
  • 1931 – Robert MacNeil, Canadian journalist
  • 1932 – Richard Lester, British director
  • 1936 – Ziaur Rahman, President of Bangladesh (d. 1981)
  • 1939 – Phil Everly, American musician
  • 1940 – Paolo Borsellino, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • 1940 – Mike Reid, English comedian (d. 2007)
  • 1941 – Tony Anholt, British actor (d. 2002)
  • 1941 – Colin Gunton, British theologian (d. 2003)
  • 1942 – Michael Crawford, British singer and actor
  • 1943 – Janis Joplin, American singer (d. 1970)
  • 1943 – Petchara Chaowarat, Thai film actress
  • 1943 – Larry Clark, American film director
  • 1943 – Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
  • 1944 – Shelley Fabares, American actress
  • 1944 – Laurie London, English singer
  • 1944 – Peter Lynch, American investor
  • 1944 – Dan Reeves, American football coach
  • 1946 – Julian Barnes, English author
  • 1946 – Dolly Parton, American singer and actress
  • 1947 – Ann Compton, American news reporter
  • 1947 – Paula Deen, American chef and restaurateur
  • 1947 – Rod Evans, British musician (Deep Purple)
  • 1948 – Frank McKenna, Canadian politician
  • 1949 – Robert Palmer, English singer and guitarist (d. 2003)
  • 1949 – Dennis Taylor, Northern Irish snooker player
  • 1950 – Sébastien Dhavernas, Quebec actor
  • 1950 – Grant Nordman, Canadian politician
  • 1951 – Dewey Bunnell, American singer and songwriter (America)
  • 1953 – Desi Arnaz, Jr., American actor
  • 1953 – Linda Hayden, English actress
  • 1953 – Richard Legendre, Canadian politician
  • 1954 – Ted DiBiase, American professional wrestler
  • 1954 – Katey Sagal, American actress
  • 1954 – Cindy Sherman, American artist
  • 1954 – Katharina Thalbach, German actress and film director
  • 1955 – Simon Rattle, English conductor
  • 1955 – Paul Rodriguez, Mexican-born actor and comedian
  • 1956 – Carman Licciardello, American Christian singer
  • 1957 – Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rican politician
  • 1962 – Hans Daams, Dutch cyclist
  • 1963 – Michael Adams, American basketball player
  • 1963 – Martin Bashir, Pakistani-born reporter
  • 1963 – Caron Wheeler, British singer (Soul II Soul)
  • 1964 – Janine Antoni, Bahamian artist
  • 1964 – Ricardo Arjona, Guatemalan singer
  • 1966 – Floris Jan Bovelander, Dutch field hockey player
  • 1966 – Sylvain Côté, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1966 – Stefan Edberg, Swedish tennis player
  • 1966 – Lena Philipsson, Swedish singer
  • 1967 – Javier Cámara, Spanish actor
  • 1969 – Edwidge Danticat, Haitian-born American author
  • 1969 – Predrag Mijatovic, Yugoslavian footballer
  • 1969 – Junior Seau, American football player
  • 1969 – Steve Staunton, Irish footballer
  • 1969 – Luc Longley, Australian basketball player
  • 1970 – Udo Suzuki, Japanese comedian
  • 1971 – Shawn Wayans, American actor and producer
  • 1971 – John Wozniak, American singer and songwriter (Marcy Playground)
  • 1972 – Joana Benedek, Mexican actress
  • 1972 – Elena Kaliská, Slovak slalom canoer
  • 1972 – Ron Killings, American professional wrestler
  • 1972 – Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, titular Bulgarian royal family
  • 1972 – Troy Wilson, Australian racing driver and AFL player
  • 1973 – Drea de Matteo, American actress
  • 1973 – Antero Manninen, Finnish Cellist
  • 1974 – Frank Caliendo, American comedian
  • 1974 – Ian Laperrière, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1974 – Jaime Moreno, Bolivian footballer
  • 1976 – Tarso Marques, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1977 – Lauren Etame Mayer, Cameroonian footballer
  • 1977 – Nicole, Chilean singer
  • 1977 – Cocco, Ryukyuan singer
  • 1979 – Svetlana Khorkina, Russian gymnast
  • 1979 – Josu Sarriegi, Spanish/Basque footballer
  • 1979 – Wiley, English Rapper (Grime)
  • 1980 – Jenson Button, English Formula One driver
  • 1981 – Asier Del Horno, Spanish footballer
  • 1981 – Lucho González, Argentine footballer
  • 1982 – Angela Chang, Taiwanese singer and actress
  • 1982 – Mike Komisarek, American ice hockey player
  • 1982 – Jodie Sweetin, American child actress
  • 1983 – Utada Hikaru, American-born Japanese singer and songwriter
  • 1984 – Karun Chandhok, Indian racing driver
  • 1984 – Thomas Vanek, Austrian ice hockey player
  • 1985 – Benny Feilhaber, American soccer player
  • 1985 – Esteban Guerrieri, Argentine racing driver
  • 1985 – Rika Ishikawa, Japanese singer (Morning Musume)
  • 1987 – Edgar Manucharyan, Armenian footballer
  • 1991 – Erin Sanders, American child actress

January 19 – Deaths:

  • 639 – Dagobert I, King of the Franks (c. 603)
  • 1526 – Isabella of Burgundy, wife of Christian II of Denmark (b. 1501)
  • 1547 – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, English poet (b. 1517)
  • 1576 – Hans Sachs, German Meistersinger (b. 1494)
  • 1661 – Thomas Venner, Fifth Monarchist (executed) (b. 1799)
  • 1729 – William Congreve, English playwright (b. 1670)
  • 1757 – Thomas Ruddiman, Scottish classical scholar (b. 1674)
  • 1766 – Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni, Italian-born French architect and painter (b. 1695)
  • 1785 – Jonathan Toup, English classical scholar and critic (b. 1713)
  • 1833 – Louis Joseph Ferdinand Herold, French composer (b. 1791)
  • 1847 – Charles Bent, New Mexico pioneer (assassinated)
  • 1851 – Esteban Echeverría, Argentine writer (b. 1805)
  • 1865 – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, French philosopher and anarchist (b. 1809)
  • 1869 – Carl Reichenbach, German chemist and philosopher (b. 1788)
  • 1874 – August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, German poet (b. 1798)
  • 1878 – Henri Victor Regnault French physicist and chemist (b. 1810)
  • 1905 – Debendranath Tagore, Indian philosopher (b. 1817)
  • 1927 – Empress Carlotta of Mexico (b. 1840)
  • 1929 – Liang Qichao, Chinese scholar (b. 1873)
  • 1939 – Cliff Heathcote, American baseball player (b. 1898)
  • 1948 – Tony Garnier, French architect (b. 1869)
  • 1954 – Theodor Kaluza, German scientist (b. 1885)
  • 1957 – József Dudás, Romanian/Hungarian resistance fighter (b. 1912)
  • 1964 – Firmin Lambot, Belgian cyclist (b. 1886)
  • 1968 – Ray Harroun, American race car driver (b. 1879)
  • 1969 – Jan Palach, Czech student and political activist (suicide) (b. 1948)
  • 1971 – Harry Shields, American musician (b. 1899)
  • 1972 – Michael Rabin, American violinist (b. 1936)
  • 1973 – Max Adrian, Northern Irish actor (b. 1903)
  • 1975 – Thomas Hart Benton, American painter (b. 1889)
  • 1980 – William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1898)
  • 1982 – Elis Regina, Brazilian singer (b. 1945)
  • 1984 – Max Bentley, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1920)
  • 1990 – Rajneesh, Indian religious leader (b. 1931)
  • 1990 – Semprini, English musician (b. 1908)
  • 1990 – Herbert Wehner, German politician (b. 1906)
  • 1991 – John Russell, American actor (b. 1921)
  • 1991 – Marcel Chaput, Quebec politician (b. 1918)
  • 1995 – Gene MacLellan, Canadian composer and singer (b. 1938)
  • 1996 – Don Simpson, American film producer (b. 1943)
  • 1997 – James Dickey, American writer (b. 1923)
  • 1997 – Adriana Caselotti, American actress (b 1916)
  • 1998 – Carl Perkins, American guitarist (b. 1932)
  • 1999 – Ivan Francescato, Italian rugby union footballer (b. 1967)
  • 2000 – Bettino Craxi, Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1934)
  • 2000 – Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-born actress (b. 1913)
  • 2001 – Dario Vittori, Argentinean actor (b. 1921)
  • 2003 – Françoise Giroud, French writer and journalist (b. 1916)
  • 2004 – Harry E. Claiborne, American judge (suicide) (b. 1917)
  • 2004 – David Hookes, Australian cricketer and coach (b. 1955)
  • 2005 – Bill Andersen, New Zealand communist and trade union leader (b. 1924)
  • 2005 – K. Sello Duiker, South African novelist (b. 1974)
  • 2006 – Anthony Franciosa, American actor (b. 1928)
  • 2006 – Wilson Pickett, American singer (b. 1941)
  • 2006 – Aoun Al-Sharif Qasim, Sudanese writer and Islamic scholar (b. 1933)
  • 2006 – Geoff Rabone, New Zealand cricket player (b. 1921)
  • 2007 – Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow, American professional wrestler (b. 1961)
  • 2007 – Hrant Dink, Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor (b. 1954)
  • 2007 – Denny Doherty, Canadian singer (The Mamas and the Papas) (b. 1940)
  • 2007 – Murat Nasyrov, Russian singer and composer (b. 1969)
  • 2008 – Suzanne Pleshette, American actress (b. 1937)
  • 2008 – John Stewart, American musician (The Kingston Trio) (b. 1939)
  • 2008 – Don Wittman, Canadian sportscaster for CBC (b. 1936)

January 19 – Holidays:

  • Confederate Heroes Day in Texas.
  • The Poe Toaster commemorates the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe at his grave in Baltimore.
  • Religious feasts:
    • Maris, Martha, Abachum and Audifax
    • Canute IV of Denmark
    • Henry of Uppsala
    • Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester
    • Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy — Julian Calendar Theophany (Epiphany).
    • St. Mark of Ephesus feast day.

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On This Day in History January 18

January 18 –Events:

  • 350 – Generallus Magnentius deposes Roman Emperor Constans and proclaims himself Emperor.
  • 474 – Leo II briefly becomes Byzantine emperor.
  • 532 – Nika riots in Constantinople fail.
  • 1126 – Emperor Huizong abdicates the Chinese throne in favour of his son Emperor Qinzong.
  • 1486 – King Henry VII of England marries Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV.
  • 1520 – King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Åsunden.
  • 1535 – Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the capital of Peru.
  • 1562 – Pope Pius IV reopens the Council of Trent for its third and final session.
  • 1670 – Henry Morgan captures Panama.
  • 1701 – Frederick I becomes King of Prussia.
  • 1777 – Representatives of the New Hampshire Grants declare the independence of the Vermont Republic from Britain.
  • 1777 – San Jose, CA founded.
  • 1778 – James Cook is the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he names the “Sandwich Islands.”
  • 1788 – The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from England to Australia arrives at Botany Bay.
  • 1861 – American Civil War – Georgia joins South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama in seceding from the United States.
  • 1871 – Wilhelm I of Germany is proclaimed the first German Emperor in the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ of the Palace of Versailles towards the end of the Franco-Prussian War. The empire was known as The Second Reich to the Germans.
  • 1884 – Dr. William Price attempts to cremate the body of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom.
  • 1886 – Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England.
  • 1896 – The X-ray machine is exhibited for the first time.
  • 1903 – President Theodore Roosevelt sends a radio message to King Edward VII: the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States.
  • 1911 – Eugene B. Ely lands on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania stationed in San Francisco harbor, marking the first time an aircraft landed on a ship.
  • 1912 – British explorer Robert Falcon Scott arrives at the South Pole only to find that Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, had preceded them by just over a month.
  • 1913 – A Greek flotilla defeats the Ottoman Navy in the Naval Battle of Lemnos during the First Balkan War, securing the islands of the Northern Aegean Sea for Greece.
  • 1915 – Japan issues the “Twenty-One Demands” to the Republic of China in a bid to increase its power in East Asia.
  • 1916 – A 611 gram chondrite type meteorite stikes a house near the village of Baxter in Stone County, Missouri.
  • 1919 – World War I: The Paris Peace Conference opens in Versailles, France.
  • 1919 – Ignacy Jan Paderewski becomes Prime Minister of the newly independent Poland.
  • 1919 – Bentley Motors Limited is founded.
  • 1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • 1944 – The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz concert for the first time. The performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.
  • 1944 – Soviet forces liberate Leningrad, effectively ending a three year Nazi siege, known as the Siege of Leningrad.
  • 1945 – Liberation of the Budapest ghetto by the Red Army.
  • 1955 – Battle of Yijiangshan occurred.
  • 1958 – Willie O’Ree, the first African Canadian National Hockey League player, makes his NHL debut.
  • 1967 – Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler,” is convicted of numerous crimes and is sentenced to life in prison.
  • 1967 – Yellowknife replaces Ottawa as capital of NW Territories, Canada.
  • 1969 – United Airlines Flight 266 crashes into Santa Monica Bay resulting in the loss of all 32 passengers and six crew members.
  • 1974 – A Disengagement of Forces agreement is signed between the Israeli and Egyptian governments, ending conflict on the Egyptian front of the Yom Kippur War.
  • 1974 – “The $6 Million Man” starring Lee Majors premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1975 – “The Jeffersons,” spin-off from “All in the Family,” premiers on CBS.
  • 1976 – Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in Super Bowl X.
  • 1977 – Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires’ disease.
  • 1977 – Australia’s worst rail disaster occurs at Granville, Sydney killing 83.
  • 1978 – The European Court of Human Rights finds the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.
  • 1979 – Peter Jenkins finishes “A Walk Across America”, Florence, OR.
  • 1980 – Gold reaches $1,000 an ounce.
  • 1980 – Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” hits #1.
  • 1981 – Iran accepts US offer of $7.9 billion in frozen assets.
  • 1983 – The International Olympic Committee restores Jim Thorpe’s Olympic medals to his family.
  • 1986 – An Aerovias aircraft crashes into San Benito Peten jungle in Guatemala (close to the Mayan Ruins of Tikal) resulting in the loss of all 110 passengers, mainly tourists from all over the world, including the Venezuelan politician Aristides Calvani and members of his family.
  • 1989 – Otis Redding, Dion, Rolling Stones, Temptations & Stevie Wonder inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • 1990 – Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
  • 1991 – Eastern Air Lines goes out of business after 62 years, citing financial problems.
  • 1993 – For the first time, Martin Luther King Day is officially observed in all 50 states.
  • 1994 – The Cando event, a possible bolide impact in Cando, Spain. Witnesses claim to have seen a fireball in the sky lasting for almost one minute.
  • 1995 – Cave paintings and engravings over 17,000 years old are discovered in southern France near Vallon-Pont-d’Arc.
  • 1997 – In north west Rwanda, Hutu militia members kill 3 Spanish aid workers, 3 soldiers and seriously wound one other.
  • 1997 – Boerge Ousland of Norway becomes the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided.
  • 1998 – Lewinsky scandal: Matt Drudge breaks the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair story on his website The Drudge Report.
  • 2000 – The Tagish Lake meteorite impacts the Earth.
  • 2002 – Sierra Leone Civil War was finally declared over.
  • 2003 – A bushfire kills 4 people and destroys more than 500 homes in Canberra, Australia.
  • 2005 – A United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan begins.
  • 2007 – The strongest storm in the United Kingdom in 17 years kills 14 people, Germany sees the worst storm since 1999 with 13 deaths. Hurricane Kyrill, causes at least 44 deaths across 20  countries in Western Europe. Other losses include the Container Ship MSC Napoli destroyed by the storm off the coast of Devon, England.

January 18 – Birthdays:

  • 885 – Daigo, Emperor of Japan (d. 930)
  • 1519 – Isabella Jagiello, queen of Hungary (d. 1559)
  • 1543 – (baptised) Alfonso Ferrabosco (I), Italian composer (d. 1588)
  • 1641 – François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, French war minister (d. 1691)
  • 1672 – Antoine Houdar de la Motte, French writer (d. 1731)
  • 1688 – Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (d. 1765)
  • 1689 – Montesquieu, French writer (d. 1755)
  • 1779 – Peter Roget, British lexicographer (d. 1869)
  • 1782 – Daniel Webster, American statesman (d. 1852)
  • 1795 – Anna Pavlovna of Russia, queen of The Netherlands (d. 1865)
  • 1813 – Joseph Glidden, American farmer who patented barbed wire (d. 1906)
  • 1815 – Constantin von Tischendorf, German biblical scholar (d. 1874)
  • 1840 – Henry Austin Dobson, English poet (d. 1921)
  • 1841 – Emmanuel Chabrier, French composer (d. 1894)
  • 1842 – Albert Alonzo Ames, Mayor of Minneapolis (d. 1911)
  • 1848 – Ioan Slavici, Transylvanian writer (d. 1925)
  • 1849 – Edmund Barton, 1st Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1920)
  • 1850 – Seth Low, American politician (d. 1916)
  • 1854 – Thomas Watson, American telephone pioneer (d. 1934)
  • 1856 – Daniel Hale Williams, African-American surgeon (d. 1931)
  • 1867 – Rubén Darío, Nicaraguan Journalist, Diplomat, Poet (d. 1916)
  • 1877 – Samuel Zemurray, U.S. businessman (d.1961)
  • 1879 – Henri Giraud, French general (d. 1949)
  • 1881 – Gaston Gallimard, French publisher (d. 1975)
  • 1882 – A. A. Milne, English author (d. 1956)
  • 1886 – Clara Nordström, German writer and translator (d. 1962)
  • 1888 – Thomas Sopwith, British aviation pioneer (d. 1989)
  • 1892 – Oliver Hardy, American comedian and actor (d. 1957)
  • 1892 – Paul Rostock, German surgeon (d. 1956)
  • 1901 – Ivan Petrovsky, Russian mathematician (d. 1973)
  • 1904 – Cary Grant, English actor (d. 1986)
  • 1904 – Anthony Galla-Rini, American accordionist (d. 2006)
  • 1905 – Joseph Bonanno, Italian-born gangster (d. 2002)
  • 1908 – Jacob Bronowski, Polish-born mathematician, poet, and physicist (d. 1974)
  • 1908 – Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (d. 1972)
  • 1910 – Kenneth E. Boulding, English economist (d. 1983)
  • 1913 – Danny Kaye, American actor (d. 1987)
  • 1914 – Arno Schmidt, German author (d. 1979)
  • 1915 – Vassilis Tsitsanis, Greek singer and songwriter (d. 1984)
  • 1917 – Wang Yung-ching, Taiwanese businessman
  • 1918 – Gustave Gingras, French Canadian physician (d. 1996)
  • 1922 – Bob Bell, American clown (d. 1997)
  • 1925 – Gilles Deleuze, French philosopher (d. 1995)
  • 1927 – Sundaram Balachander, Indian veena player (d. 1990)
  • 1931 – Chun Doo-hwan, President of South Korea
  • 1932 – Robert Anton Wilson, American author (d. 2007)
  • 1933 – John Boorman, Irish film director
  • 1933 – Ray Dolby, American inventor (Dolby noise reduction system)
  • 1934 – Raymond Briggs, English writer and illustrator
  • 1935 – Albert Millaire, Quebec actor and theatre director
  • 1935 – Jon Stallworthy, English poet
  • 1935 – Gad Yaacobi, Israeli minister (d. 2007)
  • 1937 – John Hume, Northern Irish politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998
  • 1938 – Curt Flood, American baseball player (d. 1997)
  • 1940 – Pedro Rodriguez, Mexican racing driver (d. 1971)
  • 1941 – Denise Bombardier, Quebec journalist, television host and novelist
  • 1941 – Bobby Goldsboro, American country/pop singer
  • 1941 – David Ruffin, American singer (The Temptations) (d. 1991)
  • 1943 – Kay Granger, American politician
  • 1944 – Paul Keating, twenty-fourth Prime Minister of Australia
  • 1944 – Carl Morton, American baseball player (d. 1983)
  • 1945 – José Luis Perales, Spanish singer
  • 1946 – Joseph Deiss, Swiss Federal Councilor
  • 1947 – Takeshi Kitano, Japanese actor and director
  • 1949 – Philippe Starck, French designer
  • 1949 – Bill Keller, American newspaper editor
  • 1950 – Gilles Villeneuve, Canadian race car driver (d. 1982)
  • 1951 – Bob Latchford, English footballer
  • 1951 – Bram Behr, Surinamese journalist (d. 1982)
  • 1952 – R. Stevie Moore, American singer, songwriter, and home recording pioneer
  • 1953 – Brett Hudson, American actor
  • 1955 – Kevin Costner, American actor
  • 1955 – Fergus Martin, Irish artist
  • 1956 – Sharon Mitchell, American porn actress
  • 1956 – Tom Bailey, English singer (Thompson Twins)
  • 1961 – Mark Messier, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1961 – Jeff Yagher, American actor
  • 1962 – Alison Arngrim, American actress
  • 1963 – Maxime Bernier, French Canadian politician
  • 1963 – Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland
  • 1963 – Yury Zakharevich, Soviet Olympic Weightlifter
  • 1964 – Jane Horrocks, British actress
  • 1964 – Enrico Lo Verso, Italian actor
  • 1965 – Dave Attell, American writer and comedian
  • 1966 – Alexander Khalifman, Russian chess player
  • 1966 – André Ribeiro, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1967 – Kim Perrot, American basketball player (d. 1999)
  • 1967 – Iván Zamorano, Chilean footballer
  • 1968 – Frank Quitely, Scottish comic book artist
  • 1969 – Jesse L. Martin, American actor and singer
  • 1969 – Batista, American professional wrestler
  • 1969 – Jim O’Rourke, American musician and producer (Loose Fur and Wilco)
  • 1970 – DJ Quik, American rapper
  • 1970 – Peter van Petegem, Belgian cyclist
  • 1971 – Jonathan Davis, American singer (Ko?n)
  • 1971 – Christian Fittipaldi, Brazilian race car driver
  • 1971 – Josep Guardiola, Spanish footballer
  • 1971 – Seamus O’Regan, Canadian broadcast journalist
  • 1972 – Mike Lieberthal, American baseball player
  • 1973 – Anthony Koutoufides, Australian rules footballer
  • 1973 – Crispian Mills, British musician (The Jeevas and Kula Shaker)
  • 1974 – Michael Tunn, Australian television and radio
  • 1974 – Christian Burns, English musician (BBMak)
  • 1974 – Devon Odessa, American actress
  • 1974 – Maulik Pancholy, American actor
  • 1974 – Princess Claire of Belgium
  • 1976 – Damien Leith, Australian Idol 2006
  • 1977 – Curtis Cregan, American actor
  • 1977 – Alina Jidkova, Russian tennis player
  • 1978 – Brian Falkenborg, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Jay Chou, Taiwanese singer and producer
  • 1979 – Paulo Ferreira, Portuguese footballer
  • 1979 – Brian Gionta, American ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Kenyatta Jones, former National Football League player
  • 1980 – Robert Green, English footballer
  • 1980 – Julius Peppers, National Football League defensive end
  • 1981 – Kang Dong-won, South Korean model and actor
  • 1981 – Khari Stephenson, Jamaican footballer
  • 1982 – Joanna Newsom, American harpist/singer-songwriter
  • 1983 – Samantha Mumba, Irish singer and actress
  • 1984 – Benji Schwimmer, American dancer
  • 1984 – Michael Kearney, American child prodigy
  • 1984 – Maarja Kivi, Estonian singer
  • 1985 – Dale Begg-Smith, Australian freestyle skier
  • 1985 – Riccardo Montolivo, Italian soccer player
  • 1988 – Ronald Guglielmone Jr., American singer-songwriter
  • 1993 – Morgan York, American Actress

January 18 – Deaths:

  • 52 BC – Publius Clodius Pulcher (murdered)
  • 474 – Leo I, Byzantine Emperor (b. 401)
  • 1367 – King Peter I of Portugal (b. 1320)
  • 1425 – Edmund de Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, English politician (b. 1391)
  • 1471 – Emperor Go-Hanazono of Japan (b. 1419)
  • 1586 – Margaret of Austria, regent of The Netherlands (b. 1522)
  • 1664 – Moses Amyraut, French theologian (b. 1596)
  • 1677 – Jan van Riebeeck, Dutch merchant (b. 1619)
  • 1803 – Ippolit Bogdanovich, Russian poet (b. 1743)
  • 1862 – John Tyler, 10th President of the United States (b. 1790)
  • 1873 – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, English author (b. 1803)
  • 1878 – Antoine César Becquerel, French physicist (b. 1788)
  • 1892 – Anton Anderledy, Swiss Superior General of the Society of Jesus (b. 1819)
  • 1896 – Charles Floquet, French statesman (b. 1828)
  • 1923 – Wallace Reid, Actor (b. 1891)
  • 1936 – Rudyard Kipling, British writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1865)
  • 1940 – Kazimierz Tetmajer, Polish writer (b. 1865)
  • 1952 – Curly Howard, American actor and comedian (b. 1903)
  • 1954 – Sydney Greenstreet, English actor (b. 1879)
  • 1963 – Hugh Gaitskell, leader of the British Labour Party (b. 1906)
  • 1966 – Kathleen Norris, American writer (b. 1880)
  • 1967 – Goose Tatum, American basketball player (b. 1921)
  • 1969 – Hans Freyer, German sociologist (b. 1887)
  • 1970 – David O. McKay, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1873)
  • 1978 – Hasan Askari, Pakistani philosopher, critic and writer (b. 1919)
  • 1978 – Carl Betz, American film and television actor (b. 1921)
  • 1980 – Sir Cecil Beaton, English fashion designer (b. 1904)
  • 1984 – Vassilis Tsitsanis, Greek singer and songwriter (b. 1915)
  • 1985 – Wilfrid Brambell, Irish actor (b. 1912)
  • 1989 – Bruce Chatwin, English novelist (b. 1940)
  • 1990 – Rusty Hamer, American actor (b. 1947)
  • 1993 – Eleanor Hibbert, British author (b. 1906)
  • 1995 – Adolf Butenandt, German chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Ron Luciano, American baseball umpire (b. 1937)
  • 1996 – Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, Indian actor (b. 1923)
  • 1997 – Paul Tsongas, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (b. 1941)
  • 2000 – Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Austrian architect (b. 1897)
  • 2001 – Al Waxman, Canadian actor (b. 1935)
  • 2003 – Edward “The Sheik” Farhat, American professional wrestler (b. 1924)
  • 2005 – Lamont Bentley, American actor (b. 1973)
  • 2006 – Jan Twardowski, Polish poet (b. 1915)
  • 2007 – Brent Liles, American musician (Agent Orange/Social Distortion) (b. 1963)
  • 2008 – Georgia Frontiere, American football team owner (b. 1927)
  • 2008 – Frank Lewin, American composer and music theorist (b. 1925)
  • 2008 – John Stroger, first African-American Cook County Board President (b. 1929)

January 18 – Holidays:

  • Paryaya festival at Udupi held every alternate year — 2006, 2008, 2010 etc.
  • Religious observances:
    • Saint Margaret of Hungary
    • The Feast of the Confession of Peter observed in Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches.
    • Feast day of Saint Athanasius (Eastern Orthodox)
    • Feast day of Saint Cyril of Alexandria
    • Feast day of Saint Volusianus

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On This Day in History January 17

January 17 – Events:

  • 38 BC – Octavian marries Livia Drusilla.
  • 1287 – King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca.
  • 1377 – Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.
  • 1524 – Beginning of Giovanni da Verrazzano’s voyage to find a passage to China.
  • 1562 – France recognizes the Huguenots under the Edict of Saint-Germain.
  • 1595 – Henry IV of France declares war on Spain.
  • 1605 – First publication of Don Quixote.
  • 1648 – England’s Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.
  • 1773 – Captain James Cook and his crew become the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.
  • 1781 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Cowpens – Continental troops under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan defeat British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton at the battle in South Carolina.
  • 1799 – Maltese patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri, along with a number of other patriots were executed.
  • 1852 – The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.
  • 1861 – Flush toilet patented by Thomas Crapper.
  • 1873 – First Battle of the Stronghold in the United States Modoc War.
  • 1885 – A British force defeats a large Dervish army at the Battle of Abu Klea in the Sudan.
  • 1893 – The Citizen’s Committee of Public Safety, led by Lorrin A. Thurston overthrows the government of Queen Liliuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
  • 1899 – The United States takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1904 – Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.
  • 1912 – Sir Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.
  • 1913 – Raymond Poincaré is elected President of France.
  • 1916 – Professional Golfer Association (PGA) formed in New York.
  • 1917 – The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.
  • 1929 – Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.
  • 1941 – Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-Shek open fire at communist forces, resuming the Chinese Civil War after World War II.
  • 1945 – Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw.
  • 1945 – The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in.
  • 1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg disappears in Hungary while in Soviet custody.
  • 1946 – The UN Security Council holds its first session.
  • 1949 – The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, first airs.
  • 1950 – The Great Brinks Robbery – 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car Company’s offices in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1954 – Jacques Cousteau’s first network telecast airs on “Omnibus” (CBS).
  • 1955 – Submarine Nautilus begins first nuclear-powered test voyage
  • 1961 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military-industrial complex.” 
  • 1971 – Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts-16, Dallas Cowboys-13.
  • 1973 – Ferdinand Marcos becomes “President for Life” of the Philippines.
  • 1977 – Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States.
  • 1982 – “Cold Sunday” in the United States would see temperatures fall to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities.
  • 1984 – Supreme Court rules (5-4) private use of home VCRs to tape TV programs for later viewing does not violate federal copyright laws.
  • 1985 – British Telecom announces the retirement of the United Kingdom’s red telephone boxes.
  • 1987 – BBC Breakfast Time launched at 6:30am on BBC One. BBC Radio Devon and BBC Radio Cornwall launched on the same day.
  • 1989 – Stockton massacre: Patrick Purdy opens fire with an assault rifle at the Cleveland Elementary School playground, killing five children and wounding 29 others and one teacher before taking his own life.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation.
  • 1991 – Harald V becomes King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V.
  • 1994 – 1994 Northridge Earthquake: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Northridge, California.
  • 1995 – The Great Hanshin earthquake: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits near Kobe, Japan, causing extensive property damage and killing 6,434 people.
  • 1996 – The Czech Republic applies for membership of the European Union.
  • 1997 – A Delta 2 carrying a GPS2R satellite explodes 13 seconds after launch, dropping 250 tons of burning rocket remains around the launch pad.
  • 1998 – Paula Jones accuses President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
  • 2001 – President Bill Clinton posthumously raises Captain Meriwether Lewis’ rank from Lieutenant to Captain.
  • 2002 – Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.
  • 2007 – The Doomsday Clock is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing.

January 17 – Birthdays:

  • 1463 – Friedrich III, Elector of Saxony (d. 1525)
  • 1484 – George Spalatin, German reformer (d. 1545)
  • 1501 – Leonhart Fuchs, German physician and botanist (d. 1566)
  • 1504 – Pope Pius V (d. 1572)
  • 1560 – Gaspard Bauhin, Swiss botanist (d. 1624)
  • 1600 – Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish playwright (d. 1681)
  • 1612 – Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron, English Civil War general (d. 1671)
  • 1666 – Antonio Maria Valsalva, Italian anatomist (d. 1723)
  • 1686 – Archibald Bower, Scottish historian (d. 1766)
  • 1706 – Benjamin Franklin American statesman (d. 1790)
  • 1712 – John Stanley, English composer (d. 1786)
  • 1719 – William Vernon, American merchant (d. 1806)
  • 1732 – Stanislaw II August Poniatowski, King and Grand Duke of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (d. 1798)
  • 1734 – François-Joseph Gossec, Belgian composer (d. 1829)
  • 1761 – James Hall, Scottish geologist (d. 1832)
  • 1789 – August Neander, German theologian (d. 1850)
  • 1814 – ‘Mrs Henry Wood’, English novelist (d. 1887)
  • 1820 – Anne Brontë, British author (d. 1849)
  • 1828 – Eduard Remenyi, Hungarian violinist (d. 1898)
  • 1828 – Lewis A. Grant, American Civil War general (d. 1918)
  • 1831 – Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria (d. 1903)
  • 1832 – Henry Martyn Baird, American educationalist (d. 1906)
  • 1834 – August Weismann, German biologist (d. 1914)
  • 1850 – Aleksandr Taneyev, Russian composer (d. 1918)
  • 1851 – A. B. Frost, American illustrator (d. 1928)
  • 1853 – Alva Belmont, American socialite (d. 1933)
  • 1857 – Eugene Augustin Lauste, French inventor (d. 1935)
  • 1857 – Wilhelm Kienzl, Austrian composer (d. 1941)
  • 1858 – Tomás Carrasquilla, Colombian writer (d. 1940)
  • 1860 – Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland (d. 1949)
  • 1863 – David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1945)
  • 1863 – Constantin Stanislavski, Russian theatre practitioner (d. 1938)
  • 1865 – Gen Sir Charles Fergusson, Governor-General of New Zealand (d. 1951)
  • 1867 – Carl Laemmle, German-born film executive (d. 1939)
  • 1871 – David Earl Beatty British admiral (d. 1936)
  • 1871 – Nicolae Iorga, Romanian writer (d. 1940)
  • 1875 – Florencio Sánchez, Uruguayan dramatist (d. 1910)
  • 1877 – May Gibbs, Australian children’s author (d. 1969)
  • 1880 – Mack Sennett, Canadian film director (d. 1960)
  • 1881 – Antoni Lomnicki, Polish mathematician (d. 1941)
  • 1882 – Noah Beery, Sr., American actor (d. 1946)
  • 1883 – Sir Compton Mackenzie, Scottish novelist (d. 1972)
  • 1886 – Ronald Firbank, British novelist (d. 1926)
  • 1886 – Glenn L. Martin, American aviation pioneer (d. 1955)
  • 1897 – Marcel Petiot, French mass murderer (d. 1946)
  • 1899 – Al Capone, American gangster (d. 1947)
  • 1899 – Nevil Shute, English author (d. 1960)
  • 1901 – Aron Gurwitsch, Lithuanian-born philosopher (d. 1973)
  • 1903 – Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Assamese poet, playwright, film maker (d. 1953)
  • 1905 – Guillermo Stábile, Argentine footballer (d. 1966)
  • 1905 – Peggy Gilbert, American jazz saxophonist and bandleader (d. 2007)
  • 1905 – Ray Cunningham, American baseball player (d. 2005)
  • 1907 – Henk Badings, Dutch composer (d. 1987)
  • 1908 – Cus D’Amato, American boxing manager (d. 1985)
  • 1911 – George Joseph Stigler, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1991)
  • 1914 – William Stafford, American poet and essayist (d. 1993)
  • 1914 – Anacleto Angelini, Chilean businessman (d. 2007)
  • 1914 – Irving Brecher, American Screenwriter
  • 1917 – M. G. Ramachandran, Indian politician, actor (d. 1987)
  • 1917 – Ramón Cardemil, Chilean huaso (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Keith Joseph, British politician (d. 1994)
  • 1921 – Antonio Prohias, Cuban cartoonist (d. 1998)
  • 1922 – Luis Echeverría Álvarez, President of Mexico
  • 1922 – Nicholas Katzenbach, American politician
  • 1922 – Betty White, American actress
  • 1923 – Carol Raye, Australian actress
  • 1925 – Robert Cormier, American author (d. 2000)
  • 1925 – Abdul Kardar, Pakistani cricketer
  • 1926 – Newton N. Minow, American lawyer and statesman
  • 1926 – Moira Shearer, Scottish actress (d. 2006)
  • 1927 – Dr Tom Dooley, American humanitarian (d. 1961)
  • 1927 – Norman Kaye, Australian actor and musician (d. 2007)
  • 1927 – Eartha Kitt, American actress and singer
  • 1928 – Jean Barraqué, French composer (d. 1973)
  • 1928 – Vidal Sassoon, English cosmetologist
  • 1929 – Jacques Plante, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1986)
  • 1930 – Eddie LeBaron, American football player
  • 1931 – James Earl Jones, American actor
  • 1931 – L. Douglas Wilder, 66th Governor of Virginia
  • 1931 – Don Zimmer, American baseball coach
  • 1932 – Sheree North, American actress (d. 2005)
  • 1933 – Dalida, French singer (d. 1987)
  • 1933 – Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French UN High Commissioner for Refugees (d. 2003)
  • 1933 – Shari Lewis, American ventriloquist (d. 1998)
  • 1935 – Ruth Ann Minner, Governor of Delaware
  • 1939 – Maury Povich, American talk show host
  • 1940 – Kipchoge Keino, Kenyan runner
  • 1941 – Dame Gillian Weir, New Zealand organist
  • 1942 – Muhammad Ali, American boxer
  • 1942 – Ita Buttrose, Australian journalist and businesswoman
  • 1942 – Ulf Hoelscher, German violinist
  • 1942 – Nancy Parsons, American actress (d. 2001)
  • 1943 – René Préval, President of Haiti
  • 1943 – Geoffrey Deuel, American actor
  • 1943 – Chris Montez, American singer
  • 1944 – Françoise Hardy, French singer
  • 1945 – Javed Akhtar, Indian lyricist, poet and scriptwriter
  • 1946 – Michèle Deslauriers, Quebec actress
  • 1948 – Davíð Oddsson, former Prime Minister of Iceland
  • 1948 – Jim Ladd, American freeform (radio format) Disc Jockey
  • 1948 – Anne Queffélec, French pianist
  • 1949 – Mick Taylor, British musician (The Rolling Stones)
  • 1949 – Andy Kaufman, American comedian (d. 1984)
  • 1952 – Darrell Porter, American baseball player (d. 2002)
  • 1952 – Larry Fortensky, seventh husband of Elizabeth Taylor
  • 1952 – Ryuichi Sakamoto, Japanese musician
  • 1954 – Susan Kiefel, Australian lawyer and judge
  • 1954 – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., American lawyer and environmental activist
  • 1955 – Steve Earle, American musician
  • 1956 – Paul Young, English musician
  • 1957 – Keith Chegwin, English television presenter
  • 1957 – Steve Harvey, American actor, comedian and radio personality
  • 1959 – Susanna Hoffs, American musician
  • 1959 – Momoe Yamaguchi, Japanese singer and actress
  • 1960 – John Crawford, American musician
  • 1960 – Chili Davis, Jamaican-born American baseball player
  • 1960 – Chatchai Plengpanich, Thai actor
  • 1961 – Brian Helgeland, American writer and film director
  • 1962 – Jim Carrey, Canadian actor and comedian
  • 1962 – Sebastian Junger, American journalist and author
  • 1963 – Kai Hansen, German singer and guitarist (Gamma Ray)
  • 1964 – Andy Rourke, English bass guitarist (The Smiths)
  • 1964 – Michelle Obama, wife of Barack Obama
  • 1965 – Sylvain Turgeon, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1965 – Nikos Nioplias, Greek footballer
  • 1966 – Stephin Merritt, American singer and songwriter (The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, The Gothic Archies)
  • 1966 – Joshua Malina, American actor
  • 1966 – Shabba Ranks, Jamaican singer
  • 1967 – Richard Hawley, English singer, guitarist and songwriter (Pulp, The Longpigs)
  • 1967 – Filippo Raciti, Italian police officer (d. 2007)
  • 1967 – Song Kang-ho, South Korean actor
  • 1968 – Craig Strong, American actor & voice actor
  • 1968 – Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Dutch writer
  • 1968 – Svetlana Masterkova, Russian athlete
  • 1969 – Lukas Moodysson, Swedish film writer and director
  • 1969 – Naveen Andrews, British actor
  • 1969 – Tijs Verwest, (DJ Tiësto) Dutch DJ
  • 1970 – Jeremy Roenick, American ice hockey player
  • 1970 – Genndy Tartakovsky, Russian-born animator
  • 1970 – James Wattana, Thai snooker player
  • 1971 – Kid Rock, American singer
  • 1971 – Richard Burns, English rally driver (d. 2005)
  • 1971 – Leonardo Ciampa, Italian-American musician
  • 1971 – Youki Kudoh, Japanese actress
  • 1971 – Sylvie Testud, French actress
  • 1971 – Ann Wolfe, female boxer
  • 1972 – Ken Hirai, Japanese singer and songwriter
  • 1972 – Benno Fürmann, German actor
  • 1972 – Lil Jon, American rapper/producer
  • 1973 – Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Mexican footballer
  • 1973 – Liz Ellis, Australian netball captain
  • 1973 – Aaron Ward, Canadian ice hockey player 1974 – Yang Chen, Chinese footballer
  • 1974 – Derrick Mason, American football player
  • 1974 – Vesko Kountchev, Bulgarian musician
  • 1975 – Tom Jenkinson, English musician (Squarepusher)
  • 1975 – Freddy Rodriguez, Puerto Rican-American actor
  • 1975 – Rami Yacoub, Swedish songwriter/producer
  • 1977 – Kevin Fertig, American professional wrestler
  • 1977 – Leigh Whannell, Australian screenwriter/actor
  • 1980 – Zooey Deschanel, American actress
  • 1980 – Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Ukrainian ballroom dancer
  • 1980 – Kimberly Spicer, American model
  • 1980 – Gareth McLearnon, Northern Irish flautist
  • 1981 – Warren Feeney, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1981 – Scott Mechlowicz, American actor
  • 1981 – Ray J, American R&B singer
  • 1982 – Dwyane Wade, American basketball player
  • 1982 – Amanda Wilkinson, Canadian singer
  • 1982 – Alex Varkatzas, American Singer (Atreyu)
  • 1983 – Alvaro Arbeloa, Spanish Footballer
  • 1983 – Johannes Herber, German basketball player
  • 1983 – Andrea Lowell, American Model 
  • 1983 – Rick Kelly, Australian racing driver
  • 1985 – Simone Simons, Dutch singer (Epica)
  • 1985 – Riyu Kosaka, Japanese singer BeForU
  • 1985 – Kang-In, South Korean singer/dancer/actor/MC/DJ(Super Junior)
  • 1994 – Ryan O’Grady, Eating Machine

January 17 – Deaths:

  • 395 – Theodosius I, Roman Emperor
  • 1229 – Albert of Buxhoeveden, German soldier
  • 1369 – King Peter I of Cyprus (murdered) (b. 1328)
  • 1468 – Skanderbeg, Albanian leader (b. 1405)
  • 1598 – Fyodor I Tsar of Russia (b. 1557)
  • 1617 – Faust Vrancic, Croatian inventor (b. 1551)
  • 1654 – Paulus Potter, Dutch painter (b. 1625)
  • 1705 – John Ray, English naturalist (b. 1627)
  • 1718 – Captain Benjamin Church, Plymouth Colony settler and military leader
  • 1737 – Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, German architect (b. 1662)
  • 1738 – Jean-François Dandrieu, French composer (b. 1682)
  • 1751 – Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer (b. 1671)
  • 1826 – Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga, Spanish composer (b. 1806)
  • 1834 – Giovanni Aldini, Italian physicist (b. 1762)
  • 1861 – Lola Montez, Irish-born adventurer (b. 1821)
  • 1863 – Horace Vernet, French painter (b. 1789)
  • 1869 – Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky, Russian composer (b. 1813)
  • 1874 – Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins (b. 1811)
  • 1884 – Hermann Schlegel, German ornithologist (b. 1804)
  • 1887 – William Giblin, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1840)
  • 1891 – George Bancroft, U.S. historian (b. 1800)
  • 1893 – Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States (b. 1822)
  • 1903 – Ignaz Wechselmann, Hungarian architect and philanthropist (b. 1828)
  • 1908 – Ferdinand IV Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1835)
  • 1909 – Sir Francis Smith, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1819
  • 1911 – Sir Francis Galton, English polymath, anthropologist, eugenicist (b. 1822)
  • 1927 – Juliette Gordon Low, American founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA (b. 1860)
  • 1931 – Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich of Russia, son of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich (b. 1864)
  • 1932 – Albert Jacka, VC, Australian soldier (b. 1893)
  • 1933 – Louis Comfort Tiffany, American artist and designer (b. 1848)
  • 1942 – Walther von Reichenau, German field marshal (b. 1884)
  • 1947 – Pyotr Krasnov, Russian counter-revolutionary (b. 1869)
  • 1947 – Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve, French Archbishop of Quebec (b. 1883)
  • 1961 – Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (b. 1925)
  • 1964 – T.H. White, English author (b. 1906)
  • 1967 – Evelyn Nesbit, American actress (b. 1884)
  • 1970 – Simon Kovar, Russian-American bassoonist (b. 1890)
  • 1970 – Billy Stewart, American singer (b. 1937)
  • 1972 – Betty Smith, American writer and singer (b. 1896)
  • 1977 – Gary Gilmore, American murderer (b. 1940)
  • 1981 – Loukas Panourgias, Greek footballer (b. 1899)
  • 1983 – Doodles Weaver, American actor (b. 1911)
  • 1987 – Hugo Fregonese, Argentine film director (b. 1908)
  • 1991 – King Olav V of Norway (b. 1903)
  • 1993 – Albert Hourani, English historian (b. 1915)
  • 1994 – Helen Stephens, American runner (b. 1918)
  • 1994 – Yevgeny Ivanov, Soviet spy involved in the Profumo affair (b. 1926)
  • 1996 – Amber Hagerman, American namesake of the Amber Alert system (b. 1986)
  • 1996 – Barbara Jordan, American politician (b. 1936)
  • 1996 – Mostafa Sid Ahmed, Sudanese singer (b. 1953)
  • 1997 – Clyde Tombaugh, American astronomer (b. 1906)
  • 1997 – Bert Kelly, Australian politician (b. 1912)
  • 1998 – Junior Kimbrough, American bluesman (b. 1930)
  • 2000 – Philip Jones, British trumpeter (b. 1928)
  • 2001 – Gregory Corso, American poet (b. 1930)
  • 2002 – Bishop Karas, First Coptic Bishop of St. Antony Monastery (b. 1955)
  • 2002 – Camilo Jose Cela, Spanish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1916)
  • 2003 – Richard Crenna, American actor (b. 1926)
  • 2003 – Balint Vazsonyi, Hingarian pianist (b. 1936)
  • 2004 – Harry Brecheen, American baseball player (b. 1914)
  • 2004 – Czeslaw Niemen, Polish musician (b. 1939)
  • 2004 – Ray Stark, American stage and film producer (b. 1915)
  • 2004 – Noble Willingham, American actor (b. 1931)
  • 2005 – Charlie Bell, Australian fast food executive (b. 1960)
  • 2005 – Virginia Mayo, American actress (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Albert Schatz, American microbiologist (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Zhao Ziyang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Clarence Ray Allen, American murderer, death by lethal injection administered at San Quentin prison (b. 1930)
  • 2006 – Pierre Grondin, French Canadian cardiac surgeon (b. 1925)
  • 2007 – Art Buchwald, American humorist (b. 1925)
  • 2007 – Yevhen Kushnaryov, Ukrainian politician (b. 1951)
  • 2008 – Bobby Fischer, American chess player (b. 1943)
  • 2008 – Ernie Holmes, American football player (b. 1948)
  • 2008 – Allan Melvin, American actor (b. 1923)

January 17 – Holidays:

  • Ancient Latvia – Zirgu Diena observed
  • Religious observances:
    • Catholicism – Feast day of the following saints:
      • St. Anthony
      • Amelbert
      • Sulpitius the Pious
      • Eastern (Byzantine) Catholic Church: Venerable Anthony the Great

 

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On This Day in History January 16

January 16 – Events:

  • 27 BC – The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate.
  • 550 – Gothic War (535–552): The Ostrogoths, under King Totila, conquer Rome after a long siege, by bribing the Isaurian garrison.
  • 1120 – The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
  • 1362 – A great storm tide in the North Sea destroys the German island of Strand and the city of Rungholt.
  • 1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.
  • 1492 – The first grammar of a modern language, in the Spanish language, is presented to Queen Isabella.
  • 1547 – Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia.
  • 1556 – Philip II becomes King of Spain.
  • 1572 – Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.
  • 1581 – The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.
  • 1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid.
  • 1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
  • 1761 – The British capture Pondicherry, India from the French.
  • 1777 – Vermont declares its independence from New York.
  • 1780 – American Revolution: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
  • 1795 – France occupies Utrecht, Netherlands.
  • 1809 – Peninsular War: The British defeat the French at the Battle of La Coruña.
  • 1847 – John C. Fremont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.
  • 1864 – Second Schleswig War: King Christian IX of Denmark declares war on the German Confederation in order to occupy Schleswig.
  • 1878 – Captain Burago with a squadron of Russian Imperial army dragoons liberates Plovdiv from Ottoman rule.
  • 1883 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
  • 1896 – Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.
  • 1900 – The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
  • 1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
  • 1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
  • 1920 – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. is founded on the campus of Howard University.
  • 1920 – 18th Amendment, prohibition, goes into effect; repealed in 1933.
  • 1941 – War Department forms first Army Air Corps squadron for black cadets.
  • 1942 – William Knudsen becomes first civilian appointed a general in US army.
  • 1944 – General Eisenhower took command of Allied Invasion Force in London
  • 1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
  • 1956 – President Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.
  • 1957 – 3 B-52s leave California for first non-stop round the world flights.
  • 1963 – Khrushchev claims to have a 100-megaton nuclear bomb.
  • 1964 – “Hello, Dolly!” starring Carol Channing, opens on Broadway.
  • 1966 – Harold R. Perry becomes 2nd black Roman Catholic bishop in US.
  • 1968 – The Youth International Party is founded.
  • 1969 – Czech student Jan Palach commits suicide by self-immolation in Prague, in protest against the Soviets’ crushing of the Prague Spring the year before.
  • 1969 – The Metroliner train enters into service.
  • 1970 – NFL realigns into 3 divisions (down from 4).
  • 1972 – Super Bowl VI-Dallas Cowboys-24, Miami-3.
  • 1976 – “Donny & Marie” musical variety show premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1979 – The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocates to Egypt.
  • 1980 – Paul McCartney jailed in Tokyo for 10 days on marijuana possession.
  • 1981 – Leon Spinks is mugged, his assailants even take his gold teeth.
  • 1984 – Paul & Linda McCartney arrested in Barbados-possession of marijuana.
  • 1988 – Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder fired from CBS for racial remarks.
  • 1988 – NFL St Louis Cardinals announce move to Phoenix.
  • 1991 – The United States goes to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).
  • 1992 – El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending a 12-year civil war that claimed at least 75,000.
  • 1996 – Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou resigns from office for health reasons.
  • 2001 – Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
  • 2001 – US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.
  • 2002 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.
  • 2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one.  Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
  • 2005 – Adriana Iliescu becomes the oldest woman in the world to give birth, at age 66.
  • 2006 – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia’s new president. She becomes Africa’s first female elected head of state.

January 16 – Birthdays:

  • 1245 – Edmund Crouchback, son of Henry III of England (d. 1296)
  • 1409 – René I of Naples (d. 1480)
  • 1477 – Johannes Schöner, German astronomer and cartographer (d. 1547)
  • 1501 – Anthony Denny, confidant of King Henry VIII of England (d. 1559)
  • 1616 – François de Vendôme, duc de Beaufort, French soldier (d. 1669)
  • 1626 – Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish painter (d. 1699)
  • 1634 – Dorthe Engelbrechtsdatter, Norwegian poet (d. 1716)
  • 1675 – Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, French writer (d. 1755)
  • 1728 – Niccolò Piccinni, Italian composer (d. 1800)
  • 1807 – Charles Henry Davis, American Civil War Admiral (d 1877)
  • 1815 – Henry W. Halleck, American Civil War general (d. 1872)
  • 1821 – John C. Breckinridge, U.S. Vice-President and Confederate general (d. 1875)
  • 1834 – Robert R. Hitt, American politician (d. 1906)
  • 1836 – King Francis II of the Two Sicilies (d. 1894)
  • 1838 – Franz Brentano, German philosopher and psychologist (d. 1917)
  • 1844 – Ismail Qemali, Albanian nationalist (d. 1919)
  • 1853 – Andre Michelin, French industrialist (d. 1931)
  • 1853 – Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson, English actor and theatre manager (d. 1937)
  • 1853 – Gen Sir Ian Hamilton, British military commander (d. 1947)
  • 1872 – Edward Gordon Craig, English actor, producer, director and scenic designer (d. 1966)
  • 1872 – Henri Busser, French composer (d. 1973)
  • 1874 – Robert W. Service, Canadian poet (d. 1958)
  • 1875 – Leonor Michaelis, German enzyme kinetic theorist (d. 1947)
  • 1878 – Harry Carey, American silent film actor (d. 1947)
  • 1885 – Zhou Zuoren, Chinese writer (d. 1967)
  • 1886 – John Hamilton, American actor (d. 1958)
  • 1888 – Osip Brik, Russian writer (d. 1945)
  • 1893 – Daisy Kennedy, Australian violinist (d. 1981)
  • 1894 – Irving Mills, American jazz music publisher (d. 1985)
  • 1895 – Nat Schachner, American author (d. 1955)
  • 1897 – Carlos Pellicer, Mexican poet (d. 1977)
  • 1898 – Irving Rapper, UK-US film director (d. 1999)
  • 1898 – Margaret Booth, American film editor (d. 2002)
  • 1901 – Fulgencio Batista, Cuban leader (d. 1973)
  • 1901 – Frank Zamboni, American inventor (d. 1988)
  • 1902 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner (d. 1945)
  • 1903 – William Grover-Williams, English-French racing driver and WWII resistance fighter (d. 1945, by execution)
  • 1905 – Ernesto Halffter, Spanish composer and conductor (d. 1989)
  • 1906 – Diana Wynyard, British actress (d. 1964)
  • 1907 – Alexander Knox, Canadian actor (d. 1995)
  • 1907 – Paul Nitze, American government official (d. 2004)
  • 1908 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (d. 1984)
  • 1908 – Günther Prien, German World War II submarine captain (d. 1941)
  • 1910 – Dizzy Dean, American baseball player (d. 1974)
  • 1911 – Roger Lapébie, French cyclist (d. 1996)
  • 1911 – Eduardo Frei Montalva, Chilean politician (d.1982)
  • 1914 – Roger Wagner, American choral musician (d. 1992)
  • 1916 – Philip Lucock, Australian politician and Presbyterian minister (d. 1996)
  • 1917 – Carl Karcher, founded the Carl’s Jr. hamburger chain (d. 2008)
  • 1918 – Nel Benschop, Dutch poet (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – Clem Jones, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Australia (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Stirling Silliphant, American writer (d. 1996)
  • 1920 – Alberto Crespo, Argentine racing driver (d. 1991)
  • 1921 – Francesco Scavullo, American photographer (d. 2004)
  • 1922 – Ernesto Bonino, Italian singer
  • 1923 – Anthony Hecht, American poet (d. 2004)
  • 1924 – Katy Jurado, Mexican actress (d. 2002)
  • 1928 – Pilar Lorengar, Spanish soprano (d. 1996)
  • 1928 – William Kennedy, American author
  • 1930 – Clarence Ray Allen, American murderer (d. 2006)
  • 1930 – Norman Podhoretz, US writer, foreign policy adviser
  • 1931 – Johannes Rau, German politician (d. 2006)
  • 1932 – Dian Fossey, American zoologist (d. 1985)
  • 1933 – Susan Sontag, American writer (d. 2004)
  • 1934 – Marilyn Horne, American opera singer
  • 1935 – A.J. Foyt, American race car driver and team owner
  • 1937 – Lorraine Bayly, Australian actress
  • 1937 – Luiz Bueno, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1938 – Jô Soares, Brazilian author, musician and TV personality
  • 1942 – René Angélil, Canadian music executive
  • 1942 – Barbara Lynn, American singer
  • 1943 – Gavin Bryars, English composer and double bassist
  • 1943 – Brian Ferneyhough, British composer
  • 1944 – Jim Stafford, American singer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Kabir Bedi, Indian actor
  • 1946 – Ronnie Milsap, American singer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Katia Ricciarelli, Italian soprano
  • 1947 – Laura Schlessinger, American radio talk show host
  • 1947 – Magdalen Nabb, British author (d. 2007)
  • 1947 – Harvey Proctor, British politician
  • 1948 – John Carpenter, American film director
  • 1948 – Dalvanius Prime, New Zealand entertainer (d. 2002)
  • 1948 – Cliff Thorburn, Canadian snooker player
  • 1948 – Ruth Reichl, American magazine editor
  • 1949 – Andrew Refshauge, Australian politician, Deputy Premier of New South Wales
  • 1950 – Debbie Allen, American dancer and choreographer
  • 1950 – Damo Suzuki, Japanese singer (Can)
  • 1951 – Glenn Ordway, American radio talk show host
  • 1952 – King Fuad II of Egypt
  • 1953 – Robert Jay Mathews, American neo-Nazi (d. 1984)
  • 1956 – Jennifer Dale, Canadian actress
  • 1956 – Martin Jol, Dutch football manager
  • 1956 – Ivan Safronov, Russian journalist (d. 2007)
  • 1958 – Anatoli Boukreev, Russian climber (d. 1997)
  • 1958 – Lena Ek, Swedish politician
  • 1959 – Juanita Bynum, American televangelist
  • 1959 – Sade, Nigerian-born singer
  • 1961 – Paul Raven, English musician (Killing Joke) (d. 2007)
  • 1961 – Jill Sobule, American singer-songwriter
  • 1962 – Paul Webb, British musician (Talk Talk, .O.rang)
  • 1962 – Joel Fitzgibbon, Australian Labor Party politician
  • 1963 – James May, English television presenter
  • 1965 – Maxine Jones, American singer (En Vogue)
  • 1968 – David Chokachi, American actor
  • 1969 – Roy Jones Jr., American boxer
  • 1969 – Dead, Swedish black metal vocalist (Mayhem) (d. 1991)
  • 1970 – Garth Ennis, Irish comic book author
  • 1970 – Brendan O’Hare, Scottish drummer (Teenage Fanclub, Telstar Ponies)
  • 1970 – Ron Villone, American baseball player
  • 1971 – Sergi Bruguera, Spanish tennis player
  • 1972 – Richard T. Jones, American actor
  • 1972 – Greg Page, Australian actor
  • 1973 – Josie Davis, American actress
  • 1974 – Marlon Anderson, American baseball player
  • 1974 – Kate Moss, English model
  • 1975 – Greg Strause, American visual effects creator
  • 1975 – Gillian Iliana Waters, American actress
  • 1976 – Viktor Maslov, Russian racing driver
  • 1976 – Martina Moravcová, Slovak female swimmer
  • 1977 – Jeff Foster, American basketball player
  • 1979 – Aaliyah, American singer (d. 2001)
  • 1979 – Brenden Morrow, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Jason Ward, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1980 – Albert Pujols, Dominican-born baseball player
  • 1980 – Michelle Wild, Hungarian model
  • 1980 – Seydou Keita, Malian footballer
  • 1981 – Bobby Zamora, English footballer
  • 1981 – Nick Valensi, American guitarist (The Strokes)
  • 1982 – Samuel Preston, British singer (The Ordinary Boys)
  • 1982 – Tuncay Sanli, Turkish footballer
  • 1983 – Emanuel Pogatetz, Austrian footballer
  • 1984 – Jared Slingerland, Canadian musician
  • 1987 – Lauren McAvoy, British fashion model
  • 1988 – Nicklas Bendtner, Danish footballer

January 16 – Deaths:

  • 960 – Polyeuctus, Patriarch of Constantinople
  • 1400 – John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter, English politician (executed) (b. 1352)
  • 1545 – George Spalatin, German reformer (b. 1484)
  • 1547 – Johannes Schöner, German astronomer and cartographer (b. 1477)
  • 1554 – Christiern Pedersen, Danish humanist (b. 1480)
  • 1585 – Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln, English admiral (b. 1512)
  • 1659 – Charles Annibal Fabrot, French lawyer (b. 1580)
  • 1710 – Emperor Higashiyama of Japan (b. 1675)
  • 1711 – Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Ceylon (b. 1651)
  • 1747 – Barthold Heinrich Brockes, German poet (b. 1680)
  • 1748 – Arnold Drakenborch, Dutch classical scholar (b. 1684)
  • 1750 – Ivan Trubetskoy, Russian field marshall (b. 1667)
  • 1752 – Francis Blomefield, English topographer (b. 1705)
  • 1794 – Edward Gibbon, English historian (b. 1737)
  • 1809 – John Moore, British general (b. 1761)
  • 1817 – Alexander J. Dallas, American statesman (b. 1759)
  • 1834 – Jean Nicolas Pierre Hachette, French mathematician (b. 1769)
  • 1856 – Thaddeus William Harris, American naturalist (b. 1795)
  • 1864 – Anton Schindler, Austrian biographer of Beethoven (b. 1795)
  • 1865 – Edmond François Valentin About, French writer (b. 1828)
  • 1879 – Octave Crémazie, French Canadian poet (b. 1827)
  • 1886 – Amilcare Ponchielli, Italian opera composer (b. 1834)
  • 1891 – Léo Delibes, French composer (b. 1836)
  • 1898 – Charles Pelham Villiers, longest-serving MP in the British House of Commons (b. 1802)
  • 1901 – Hiram Revels, U.S. Senator, first African-American to serve in the United States Congress (b. 1822)
  • 1901 – Jules Barbier, French opera librettist (b. 1825)
  • 1901 – Arnold Böcklin, Swiss painter (b. 1827)
  • 1906 – Marshall Field, founder of Marshall Field and Company (b. 1834)
  • 1917 – George Dewey, U.S. admiral (b. 1837)
  • 1919 – Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves, President of Brazil (b. 1848)
  • 1920 – Reginald De Koven, American music critic and composer of operettas (b. 1859)
  • 1924 – Winifred Cochrane, Countess of Dundonald, philanthropist (b. 1859)
  • 1935 – Ma Barker, American criminal (b. 1871)
  • 1936 – Albert Fish, American serial killer (b. 1870)
  • 1942 – Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria, Governor General of Canada (b. 1850)
  • 1942 – Carole Lombard, American actress (b. 1908)
  • 1957 – Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor (b. 1867)
  • 1957 – 1st Earl of Athlone, British royal, Governor-General of South Africa and Canada (b. 1874)
  • 1962 – Ivan Meštrovic, Croatian sculptor (b. 1883)
  • 1962 – Frank Hurley, Australian photographer (b. 1885)
  • 1963 – Ike Quebec, American tenor-saxophone player (b. 1918)
  • 1967 – Robert J. Van de Graaff, American nuclear physicist (b. 1901)
  • 1969 – Vernon Duke, American composer and songwriter (b. 1903)
  • 1969 – Jan Palach, Czech protester against the Soviet led invasion.(b. 1948)
  • 1971 – Philippe Thys, Belgian cyclist (b. 1890)
  • 1972 – Ross Bagdasarian, American actor and creator of The Chipmunks (b. 1919)
  • 1979 – Ted Cassidy, American actor (b. 1932)
  • 1979 – August Heissmeyer, German SS officer (b. 1897)
  • 1981 – Bernard Lee, English actor (b. 1908)
  • 1982 – Red Smith, American sports columnist (b. 1905)
  • 1985 – Robert Fitzgerald, U.S. poet and translator (b. 1910)
  • 1986 – Herbert W. Armstrong, American evangelist, author, and publisher (b. 1892)
  • 1987 – Bertram Wainer, Australian pro-abortion campaigner (b. 1928)
  • 1988 – Andrija Artukovic, Croatian war criminal (b. 1899)
  • 1988 – Ballard Berkeley, English actor (b. 1904)
  • 1993 – Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Icelandic strength athlete (b. 1960)
  • 1995 – Eric Mottram, English poet, teacher, critic, and editor (b. 1924)
  • 1996 – Marcia Davenport, American author and music critic (b. 1903)
  • 1997 – Ennis Cosby, son of entertainer Bill Cosby (murdered) (b. 1969)
  • 1998 – Dimitris Horn, Greek actor (b. 1921)
  • 1999 – Jim McClelland, Australian solicitor, politician, Minister, Royal Commissioner, judge (b. 1915)
  • 2000 – Will “Dub” Jones, American singer (The Coasters) (b. 1928)
  • 2000 – John Rankin, musical entertainer (b. 1959)
  • 2001 – Laurent-Désiré Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (b. 1939)
  • 2001 – Auberon Waugh, British author and journalist (b. 1939)
  • 2002 – Robert Hanbury Brown, British-Australian astronomer and physicist (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Michael Bilandic, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1923)
  • 2002 – Bobo Olson, American boxer (b. 1928)
  • 2002 – Eddie Meduza, Swedish composer (b. 1948)
  • 2002 – Ron Taylor, American actor (b. 1952)
  • 2003 – Richard Wainwright, English politician (b. 1918)
  • 2004 – Kalevi Sorsa, Prime Minister of Finland (b. 1930)
  • 2005 – Marjorie Williams, American journalist (b. 1958)
  • 2006 – Stanley Biber, American physician, pioneer of transgender surgery, (b. 1923)
  • 2007 – Ron Carey, American actor (b. 1935)
  • 2007 – Benny Parsons, American racecar driver and commentator (b. 1941)

January 16 – Holidays:

  • Teacher’s Day in Thailand
  • Thai Pongal in Tamil nadu, India
  • National Religious Freedom Day in the United States, to commemorate the adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786
  • Religious holidays:
    • Berard of Carbio
    • Saint Fursey
    • Honoratus of Arles

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On This Day in History January 15

January 15 – Events:

  • 588 BC – Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign.  The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.
  • 69 – Otho seizes power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, but only rules for three months before committing suicide.
  • 1535 – Henry VIII declares himself head of English Church
  • 1582 – Russia cedes Livonia and Estonia to Poland.
  • 1759 – The British Museum opens.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: New Connecticut (present day Vermont) declares its independence.
  • 1782 – Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris goes before the U.S. Congress to recommend establishment of a national mint and decimal coinage.
  • 1822 – Greek War of Independence: Demetrius Ypsilanti is elected president of the legislative assembly.
  • 1844 – University of Notre Dame receives its charter from the state of Indiana.
  • 1865 – American Civil War – Fort Fisher North Carolina falls to the Union, thus cutting off the last major seaport of the Confederacy.
  • 1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the United States Democratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).
  • 1892 – James Naismith publishes the rules for basketball.
  • 1907 – 3-element vacuum tube patented by Dr. Lee de Forest.
  • 1907 – Gold dental inlays first described by Williamm Taggart (inventor).
  • 1908 – The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority becomes the first Greek-letter organization founded and established by African-American college women.
  • 1919 – 2 million gallons of molasses “Tidal Wave” Boston MA, drowning 21.
  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two of the most prominent socialists in Germany, are tortured and murdered by the Freikorps.
  • 1936 – The first building to be completely covered in glass is completed in Toledo, Ohio (the building was for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company).
  • 1943 – World War II: The Japanese are driven off Guadalcanal.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Soviet counter-offensive at Voronezh begins.
  • 1943 – The world’s largest office building, The Pentagon, is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.
  • 1947 – The brutalized corpse of Elizabeth Short (“The Black Dahlia”) is found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California.
  • 1951 – “Cloud of Death” rolls down Mount Lamington, New Guinea kills 5,000
  • 1951 – Ilse Koch, The “Bitch of Buchenwald,” wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in West Germany.
  • 1965 – Rock group Who releases first album “I Can’t Explain”
  • 1967 – Green Bay Packers beat Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I.
  • 1969 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.
  • 1970 – After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafra surrenders.
  • 1970 – Muammar al-Qaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.
  • 1973 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
  • 1974 – “Happy Days” premiers on ABC.
  • 1974 – Expert panel reports 18 minute gap in Watergate tape, 5 separate erasures.
  • 1976 – Gerald Ford’s would-be assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is sentenced to life in prison.
  • 1977 – The Kälvesta air disaster kills 22 people, the worst air crash in Sweden’s history.
  • 1978 – Ted Bundy kills Florida State University coeds Lisa Levy & Margaret Bowman.
  • 1981 – “Hill Street Blues” premiers on NBC-TV.
  • 1984 – Hana Mandlikova ends Martina Navratilova’s 54-match winning streak.
  • 1985 – Tancredo Neves becomes first elected president of Brazil in 21 years
  • 1986 – The Living Seas opens at EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida.
  • 1990 – AT&T’s long distance telephone network suffers a cascade switching failure.
  • 1990 – 42 year old George Foreman KO’s George Cooney in 2 rounds
  • 1991 – The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.
  • 1992 – The international community recognizes the independence of Slovenia and Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
  • 1993 – Salvatore Riina, the Mafia boss known as ‘The Beast,’ is arrested in Sicily after three decades as a fugitive.
  • 1999 – The Racak incident: 45 Albanians in the Kosovo village of Racak are killed by Yugoslav security forces.
  • 2001 – Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.
  • 2005 – An intense solar flare blasts X-rays across the solar system.
  • 2005 – ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers elements such as calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon.
  • 2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court, are executed by hanging in Iraq.

January 15 – Birthdays:

  • 1342 – Philip II, Duke of Burgundy (d. 1404)
  • 1432 – King Afonso V of Portugal (d. 1481)
  • 1481 – Ashikaga Yoshizumi, Japanese shogun (b. 1511)
  • 1538 – Maeda Toshiie, Japanese general (d. 1599)
  • 1622 – Molière, French playwright (d. 1673)
  • 1671 – Abraham de la Pryme, English antiquarian (d. 1704)
  • 1674 – Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, French writer (d. 1762)
  • 1716 – Philip Livingston, American founding father (d. 1778)
  • 1747 – John Aikin, English doctor and writer (d. 1822)
  • 1754 – Richard Martin, Irish founder of the SPCA (d. 1834)
  • 1791 – Franz Grillparzer, Austrian writer (d. 1872)
  • 1795 – Alexandr Griboyedov, Russian playwright (d. 1829)
  • 1803 – Marjory Fleming, Scottish child writer and poet, who died aged 8 (d. 1811)
  • 1809 – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, French anarchist (d. 1865)
  • 1812 – Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Norwegian writer (d. 1885)
  • 1816 – Marie LaFarge, French murderer (d. 1852)
  • 1824 – Marie Duplessis, French courtesan, inspiration for La Dame aux Camelias (d. 1847)
  • 1841 – Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, Governor General of Canada (d. 1908)
  • 1842 – Blessed Mary McKillop, Australian candidate for sainthood (d. 1909)
  • 1842 – Josef Breuer, Austrian psychologist (d. 1925)
  • 1850 – Mihai Eminescu, Romanian poet (d. 1889)
  • 1850 – Sofia Kovalevskaya, Russian mathematician (d. 1891)
  • 1855 – Jacques Damala, Greek military officer and actor (d. 1889)
  • 1859 – Archibald Peake, Premier of South Australia (d. 1920)
  • 1863 – Wilhelm Marx, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1946)
  • 1866 – Nathan Söderblom, Swedish archbishop, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1931)
  • 1869 – Stanislaw Wyspianski, Polish dramatist (d. 1907)
  • 1870 – Pierre S. du Pont, President of the DuPont company (d. 1954)
  • 1872 – Arsen Kotsoyev, Russian writer (d. 1944)
  • 1875 – Tom Burke, American runner (d. 1929)
  • 1877 – Lewis Terman, U.S psychologist, inventor of the Stanford-Binet IQ test (d. 1956)
  • 1879 – Mazo de la Roche, Canadian author (d. 1961)
  • 1882 – Princess Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden (d. 1920)
  • 1885 – Lorenz Böhler, Austrian physician (d. 1973)
  • 1885 – Huang Yuanyong, Chinese writer (d. 1915)
  • 1885 – Grover Lowdermilk, American baseball player (d. 1968)
  • 1890 – Tommy Fleming, American soccer player (d. 1965)
  • 1891 – Ray Chapman, American baseball player (d. 1920)
  • 1891 – Osip Mandelstam, Russian poet (d. 1938)
  • 1892 – Rex Ingram, Irish director (d. 1950)
  • 1893 – Ivor Novello, Welsh composer and actor (d. 1951)
  • 1895 – Artturi Ilmari Virtanen, Finnish chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1973)
  • 1897 – Xu Zhimo, Chinese poet (d. 1931)
  • 1899 – Goodman Ace, American actor (d. 1982)
  • 1902 – King Saud of Saudi Arabia (d. 1969)
  • 1903 – Paul A. Dever, 58 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1958)
  • 1905 – Torin Thatcher, English actor (d. 1981)
  • 1906 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate (d. 1975)
  • 1908 – Edward Teller, Hungarian-born physicist (d. 2003)
  • 1909 – Jean Bugatti, German-born automobile designer (d. 1939)
  • 1909 – Gene Krupa, American drummer (d. 1973)
  • 1912 – Michel Debré, French politician (d. 1996)
  • 1912 – Harry Hay, Founder of American Gay Rights Movement (d. 2002)
  • 1913 – Lloyd Bridges, American actor (d. 1998)
  • 1913 – Miriam Hyde, Australian composer (d. 2005)
  • 1914 – Hugh Trevor-Roper, Baron Dacre of Glanton, English historian (d. 2003)
  • 1918 – João Figueiredo, President of Brazil (d. 1999)
  • 1918 – Édouard Gagnon, Canadian Roman Catholic cardinal (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Gamal Abdal Nasser, President of Egypt (d. 1970)
  • 1920 – John Cardinal O’Connor, American Catholic cardinal (d. 2000)
  • 1920 – Steve Gromek, American baseball player (d. 2002)
  • 1921 – Frank Thornton, English actor (Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served?)
  • 1922 – Sir Eric Willis, Australian politician, Premier of New South Wales (d. 1999)
  • 1923 – Ivor Cutler, Scottish poet (d. 2006)
  • 1923 – Lee Teng-hui, Taiwanese politician
  • 1925 – Ruth Slenczynska, U.S. pianist
  • 1926 – Florence Buchsbaum, theater director (d. 1996)
  • 1926 – Maria Schell, Swiss actress (d. 2005)
  • 1927 – Phyllis Coates, American actress
  • 1929 – Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1968)
  • 1930 – Eddie Graham, American professional wrestler (d. 1985)
  • 1933 – Ernest J. Gaines, American author
  • 1937 – Margaret O’Brien, American actress
  • 1938 – Chuni Goswami, Indian footballer and cricketer
  • 1939 – Tony Bullimore, English sailor, adventurer
  • 1941 – Captain Beefheart, American musician and visual artist
  • 1941 – Charo, Spanish-born singer
  • 1943 – Mike Marshall, American baseball player
  • 1945 – Vince Foster, American lawyer (d. 1993)
  • 1945 – William R. Higgins, USMC colonel (d. 1990)
  • 1945 – Princess Michael of Kent, British royal
  • 1947 – Andrea Martin, Canadian actress
  • 1948 – Ronnie Van Zant, American singer (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (d. 1977)
  • 1949 – Luis Alvarado, Puerto Rican baseball player (d. 1987)
  • 1949 – Panos Mihalopoulos, Greek actor
  • 1950 – Marius Trésor, French footballer
  • 1953 – Kent Hovind, American evangelist and Young Earth creationist
  • 1953 – Ta-Tanisha, American actress
  • 1953 – Randy White, American football player
  • 1954 – Nikos Sarganis, Greek footballer
  • 1955 – Nigel Benson, English author
  • 1956 – Mayawati, Indian politician
  • 1957 – Patrick Dixon, English entrepreneur
  • 1957 – Marty Lyons, American football player
  • 1957 – Mario Van Peebles, American actor
  • 1958 – Boris Tadic, President of Serbia
  • 1959 – Pete Trewavas, English bass guitarist (Marillion)
  • 1960 – Kelly Asbury, American director and actor
  • 1960 – Aaron Jay Kernis, American composer
  • 1961 – Yves P. Pelletier, Canadian comedian (Rock et Belles Oreilles), actor and film director
  • 1962 – Creflo Dollar, American televangelist
  • 1962 – Conrad Lant (aka Cronos), English musician
  • 1964 – Osmo Tapio Räihälä, Finnish composer
  • 1965 – Maurizio Fondriest, Italian cyclist
  • 1965 – Bernard Hopkins, American boxer
  • 1965 – Adam Jones, American musician (Tool)
  • 1965 – James Nesbitt, Northern Irish actor
  • 1968 – Chad Lowe, American actor
  • 1968 – Iñaki Urdangarín, Spanish royalty
  • 1969 – Delino DeShields, American baseball player
  • 1970 – Shane McMahon, American professional wrestler
  • 1971 – Max Beesley, English musician and actor
  • 1971 – Teanna Kai, American porn star
  • 1971 – Regina King, American actress
  • 1972 – Kobe Tai, American porn star
  • 1972 – Claudia Winkleman, English television presenter
  • 1973 – Essam El-Hadary, Egyptian footballer
  • 1974 – Ray King, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Edith Bowman, Scottish television and radio presenter
  • 1975 – Mary Pierce, French tennis player
  • 1976 – Corey Chavous, American football player
  • 1976 – Dorian Missick, American actor
  • 1978 – Eddie Cahill, American actor
  • 1978 – Franco Pellizotti, Italian cyclist
  • 1979 – Drew Brees, American football player
  • 1979 – Young Dro, American rapper
  • 1979 – Ken Chu, Taiwanese singer-actor and taichi champ
  • 1979 – Martin Petrov, Bulgarian footballer
  • 1980 – Matt Holliday, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Howie Day, American singer
  • 1981 – El Hadji Diouf, Senegalese footballer
  • 1981 – Sean Lamont, Scottish rugby union footballer
  • 1982 – Benjamin Agosto, American skater
  • 1982 – Armando Galarraga, Major League Baseball player
  • 1982 – Philip and Alexander, American-born princes of the Yugoslav Royal Family
  • 1983 – Jermaine Pennant, English footballer
  • 1983 – Hugo Viana, Portuguese footballer
  • 1984 – Megan Jendrick, American swimmer
  • 1984 – Megan Quann, American swimmer
  • 1984 – Victor Rasuk, American actor
  • 1985 – Kenneth Emil Petersen, Danish footballer
  • 1986 – Fred Davis, American football player
  • 1987 – Kelly Kelly, American WWE Diva
  • 1987 – David Knight, English footballer
  • 1987 – Michael Seater, Canadian actor
  • 1990 – Chris Warren Jr., American actor

January 15 – Deaths:

  • 69 – Galba, Roman Emperor (b. 3 BC)
  • 570 – Saint Ita, Irish nun (b. 475)
  • 936 – King Rudolph of France
  • 1345 – Martin Zaccaria, Italo-Greek ruler
  • 1595 – Murat III, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1546)
  • 1623 – Fra Paolo Sarpi, Italian patriot, scholar, scientist and church reformer (b. 1552)
  • 1672 – John Cosin, English clergyman (b. 1594)
  • 1683 – Philip Warwick, English writer and politician (b. 1609)
  • 1775 – Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Italian composer (b. 1700 or 1701)
  • 1781 – Marianne Victoria of Borbón, queen regent of Portugal (b. 1718)
  • 1790 – John Landen, English mathematician (b. 1719)
  • 1804 – Dru Drury, English entomologist (b. 1725)
  • 1815 – Emma, Lady Hamilton, English mistress of Lord Nelson (b. 1761
  • 1864 – Isaac Nathan, UK-Australian composer (b. 1792)
  • 1876 – Eliza Johnson, U.S. First Lady (b. 1810)
  • 1885 – Leopold Damrosch, German-American orchestral conductor (b. 1832)
  • 1893 – Fanny Kemble, British actress and author (b. 1809)
  • 1896 – Mathew Brady, U.S. photographer (b. 1822)
  • 1909 – Arnold Janssen missionary (b. 1837)
  • 1916 – Modest Tchaikovsky, Russian writer (b. 1850)
  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg, German politician (b. 1870)
  • 1919 – Karl Liebknecht, German politician (b. 1871)
  • 1926 – Enrico Toselli, Italian composer (b. 1883)
  • 1936 – Henry Forster, 1st Baron Forster, Governor-General of Australia (b. 1866)
  • 1945 – Wilhelm Wirtinger, Austrian mathematician (b. 1865)
  • 1947 – Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia (b. 1924)
  • 1950 – Gen Henry “Hap” Arnold, U.S. General of the Air Force (b. 1886)
  • 1952 – Ned Hanlon, Premier of Queensland (b. 1887)
  • 1955 – Yves Tanguy, French painter (b. 1900)
  • 1964 – Jack Teagarden, American musician (b. 1905)
  • 1967 – David Burliuk, Ukrainian artist (b. 1882)
  • 1968 – Bill Masterton, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1938)
  • 1970 – William T. Piper, American aircraft designer (b. 1881)
  • 1972 – Daisy Ashford, English child writer (The Young Visiters) (b. 1881)
  • 1973 – Ivan Petrovsky, Russian mathematician (b. 1901)
  • 1973 – Coleman Francis, American film director (b. 1919)
  • 1983 – Meyer Lansky, Russian-born gangster (b. 1902)
  • 1983 – Shepperd Strudwick, American actor (b. 1907)
  • 1987 – Ray Bolger, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1904)
  • 1988 – Seán MacBride, Irish statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1904)
  • 1990 – Dame Peggy van Praagh, British ballet dancer, choreographer, director (b. 1910)
  • 1990 – Gordon Jackson, Scottish actor (b. 1923)
  • 1992 – Dee Murray, English bassist (b. 1946)
  • 1993 – Sammy Cahn, American songwriter (b. 1913)
  • 1994 – Georges Cziffra, Hungarian-French pianist (b. 1921
  • 1994 – Harry Nilsson, American musician (b. 1941)
  • 1995 – Vera Maxwell, American fashion designer (b. 1901)
  • 1996 – Minnesota Fats, American billiards player (b. 1913)
  • 1996 – Les Baxter, American musician and composer (b. 1922)
  • 1996 – Paramount Chief Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho (b. 1938)
  • 1998 – Junior Wells, American musician (b. 1934)
  • 1999 – Betty Box, British film producer (b. 1915)
  • 2000 – Georges-Henri Lévesque, Canadian Dominican priest and sociologist (b. 1903)
  • 2000 – Fran Ryan, American actress (b. 1916)
  • 2000 – Željko Ražnatovic, aka Arkan, Serbian paramilitary leader (b. 1952)
  • 2001 – Ted Mann, American screenwriter (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Steve Gromek, American baseball player (b. 1920)
  • 2003 – Doris Fisher, American singer and songwriter (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Elizabeth Janeway, American author (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – Ruth Warrick, American actress (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Walter Ernsting, German author (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Victoria de los Angeles, Catalan soprano (b. 1923)
  • 2005 – Deem Bristow, American video game voice actor (b. 1947)
  • 2005 – Dan Lee, Canadian animator (b. 1969)
  • 2006 – Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Bo Yibo, Chinese politician (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – James Hillier, Canadian inventor of electron microscope (b. 1915)
  • 2007 – Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Iraqi Revolutionary Court (b. 1945) (executed)
  • 2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein (b. 1951) (executed)
  • 2007 – David Vanole, American soccer player (b. 1963)
  • 2008 – Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Game Designer (b. 1964)
  • 2008 – Brad Renfro, American actor (b. 1982)

January 15 – Holidays:

  • Roman Empire – Second day of the Carmentalia in honor of Carmenta.
  • Malawi – John Chilembwe Day.
  • North Korea – Korean Alphabet Day.
  • Kerala in India – Makaravilakku or Makara Sankranthy at Sabarimala.
  • Jallikattu in South India.
  • St. Abeluzius in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

 

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