On This Day in History January 3

January 3 – Events:

  • 1431 – Joan of Arc is handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon.
  • 1496 – Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine.
  • 1521 – Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.
  • 1749 – Benning Wentworth issues the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the establishment of Vermont.
  • 1777 – American general George Washington defeats British general Charles Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton.
  • 1815 – Austria, the United Kingdom, and France form a secret defensive alliance treaty against Prussia and Russia.
  • 1823 – Stephen F. Austin receives a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico.
  • 1834 – The government of Mexico imprisons Stephen F. Austin in Mexico City.
  • 1848 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts is sworn in as the first president of the independent African Republic of Liberia.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Delaware votes not to secede from the United States.
  • 1868 – Meiji Restoration in Japan: The Tokugawa shogunate is abolished; agents of Satsuma and Choshu seize power.
  • 1870 – The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins.
  • 1888 – The refracting telescope at the Lick Observatory, measuring 91 cm in diameter, is used for the first time. It was the largest telescope in the world at the time.
  • 1899 – The first known use of the word automobile, was seen in an editorial in The New York Times.
  • 1921 – Turkey makes peace with Armenia.
  • 1924 – English explorer Howard Carter discovers the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt.
  • 1925 – Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy.
  • 1932 – Martial law is declared in Honduras to stop revolt by banana workers fired by United Fruit.
  • 1933 – Minnie D. Craig becomes the first female elected as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, the first female to hold a Speaker position anywhere in the United States.
  • 1938 – The March of Dimes is established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • 1944 – World War II: Top Ace Major Greg “Pappy” Boyington is shot down in his Corsair by Captain Masajiro Kawato flying a Zero.
  • 1945 – World War II: Admiral Chester W Nimitz is placed in command of all U.S. Naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan.
  • 1947 – Proceedings of the U.S. Congress are televised for the first time.
  • 1953 – Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, become the first mother and son to serve simultaneously in the U.S. Congress.
  • 1956 – A fire damages the top part of the Eiffel Tower.
  • 1957 – The Hamilton Watch Company introduces the first electric watch.
  • 1958 – The West Indies Federation is formed.
  • 1959 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. State.
  • 1961 – The United States severs diplomatic relations with Cuba.
  • 1961 – The SL-1, a government-run reactor near Idaho Falls, Idaho, leaks radiation, killing three workers.
  • 1962 – Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
  • 1977 – Apple Computer is incorporated.
  • 1988 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the longest-serving British Prime Minister in the 20th
  • 1990 – Former leader of Panama Manuel Noriega surrenders to American forces.
  • 1993 – In Moscow, George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
  • 1994 – An Aeroflot Tupolev TU-154 crashes and explodes after takeoff from Irkutsk, Russia, killing 125 people including one on the ground.
  • 1997 – The People’s Republic of China announces it will spend $27.7 billion USD to fight erosion and pollution in the Yangtze and Yellow river valleys.
  • 1999 – The Mars Polar Lander was launched.
  • 1999 – Israel detains, and later expels, 14 members of Concerned Christians.
  • 2004 – Flight 604, a Boeing 737 owned by Flash Airlines, an Egyptian airliner, plunges into the Red Sea, killing all 148 people on board.
  • 2007 – National Express has its worst ever coach crash just outside Heathrow Airport.

January 3 – Birthdays:

  • 106 BC – Cicero, Roman statesman and philosopher (d. 43 BC)
  • 1196 – Emperor Tsuchimikado of Japan (d. 1231)
  • 1698 – Pietro Metastasio, Italian poet (d. 1782)
  • 1710 – Richard Gridley, American Revolutionary soldier (d. 1796)
  • 1719 – Francisco José Freire, Portuguese historian (d. 1773)
  • 1722 – Fredric Hasselquist, Swedish naturalist (d. 1752)
  • 1733 – Sir Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor (d. 1792)
  • 1760 – John Storm, American Revolutionary soldier (d. 1835)
  • 1778 – Antoni Melchior Fijalkowski, Polish bishop (d. 1861)
  • 1793 – Lucretia Mott, American women’s rights activist (d. 1880)
  • 1802 – Charles Pelham Villiers, British House of Commons member (d. 1898)
  • 1803 – Douglas William Jerrold, British playwright (d. 1857)
  • 1806 – Henriette Sontag, German soprano (d. 1854)
  • 1810 – Antoine Thomson d’Abbadie, French geographer (d. 1897)
  • 1819 – Charles Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal for Scotland (d. 1900)
  • 1836 – Sakamoto Ryoma, Japanese revolutionary (d. 1867)
  • 1840 – Father Damien, Flemish missionary (d. 1889)
  • 1855 – Hubert Bland, English socialist (d. 1914)
  • 1861 – William Renshaw, British champion tennis player (d. 1904)
  • 1862 – Sir Matthew Nathan, British Governor of Queensland and other places (d. 1939)
  • 1865 – Henry Lytton, British actor and opera singer (d. 1936)
  • 1870 – Henry Handel Richardson, Australian author (d. 1946)
  • 1873 – Ichizo Kobayashi, Japanese businessman (d. 1957)
  • 1876 – Wilhelm Pieck, first President of East Germany (d. 1960)
  • 1879 – Grace Coolidge, First Lady of the United States (d. 1957)
  • 1883 – Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1967)
  • 1884 – Raoul von Koczalski, Polish pianist and composer (d. 1948)
  • 1886 – Josephine Hull, American actress (d. 1957)
  • 1887 – August Macke, German painter (d. 1914)
  • 1892 – J. R. R. Tolkien, British writer (d. 1973)
  • 1894 – ZaSu Pitts, American actress (d. 1963)
  • 1897 – Marion Davies, American actress (d. 1961)
  • 1898 – Carlos Keller, Chilean fascist politician (d. 1974)
  • 1905 – Anna May Wong, American actress (d. 1961)
  • 1905 – Ray Milland, Welsh actor (d. 1986)
  • 1909 – Victor Borge, Danish entertainer (d. 2000)
  • 1910 – Frenchy Bordagaray, American baseball player (d. 2000)
  • 1911 – John Sturges, American director (d. 1982)
  • 1912 – Renaude Lapointe, Canadian journalist and senator (d. 2002)
  • 1912 – Armand Lohikoski, Finnish director (d. 2005)
  • 1916 – Betty Furness, American actress (d. 1994)
  • 1916 – Maxene Andrews, American singer (The Andrews Sisters) (d. 1995)
  • 1916 – Bernard Greenhouse, U.S. cellist
  • 1917 – General Vernon Walters, U.S. military officer, diplomat (d. 2002)
  • 1917 – Roger W. Straus, Jr., American publisher (d. 2004)
  • 1920 – Renato Carosone, Italian musician (d. 2001)
  • 1921 – John Russell, American actor (d. 1991)
  • 1922 – Bill Travers, English actor and director (d. 1994)
  • 1922 – Ronald Smith, British pianist (d. 2004)
  • 1923 – Hank Stram, American football coach (d. 2005)
  • 1923 – Charles Tingwell, Australian actor
  • 1924 – André Franquin, Belgian cartoonist (Gaston Lagaffe) (d. 1997)
  • 1924 – Nell Rankin, American singer (d. 2005)
  • 1924 – Doug Ellis, British entrepreneur
  • 1926 – George Martin, British producer
  • 1929 – Sergio Leone, Italian director (d. 1989)
  • 1929 – Ernst Mahle, Brazilian composer
  • 1930 – Marcel Dubé, Quebec playwright
  • 1930 – Robert Loggia, American actor
  • 1932 – Coo Coo Marlin, American race car driver (d. 2005)
  • 1932 – Dabney Coleman, American actor
  • 1935 – Raymond Garneau, French Canadian politician and businessman
  • 1936 – David Vine, British sports commentator
  • 1937 – Seri Wangnaitham, Thai dancer and choreographer (d. 2007)
  • 1939 – Nikos Alefantos, Greek football manager
  • 1939 – Janice Crosio, Australian politician
  • 1939 – Bobby Hull, Canadian hockey player
  • 1941 – Van Dyke Parks, American musician
  • 1942 – John Thaw, British actor (d. 2002)
  • 1942 – John Marsden, Australian lawyer, gay activist (d. 2006)
  • 1944 – David Atherton, English conductor
  • 1944 – Blanche d’Alpuget, Australian novelist, biographer and second wife of Bob Hawke
  • 1945 – Stephen Stills, American musician
  • 1946 – John Paul Jones, British musician (Led Zeppelin)
  • 1946 – Cissy King, American entertainer
  • 1949 – Sylvia Likens, American torture victim (d. 1965)
  • 1950 – Victoria Principal, American actress
  • 1951 – Gary Nairn, Australian politician
  • 1952 – Jim Ross, American wrestling announcer
  • 1954 – Dean Hart, Canadian wrestler (d. 1990)
  • 1954 – Ned Lamont, American businessman
  • 1955 – Palmolive, English musician (The Slits, The Raincoats)
  • 1956 – Mel Gibson, Australian actor and director
  • 1956 – Willy T. Ribbs, American race car driver
  • 1958 – Shim Hyung-rae, South Korean filmmaker
  • 1960 – Sandeep Marwah Founder of Film City, Noida, India
  • 1962 – Francesca Lia Block, American author
  • 1963 – Vic Grimes, American professional wrestler
  • 1963 – Jerome Young, American professional wrestler
  • 1964 – Bruce LaBruce, Canadian film-maker
  • 1966 – Martin Galway, Northern Ireland composer
  • 1969 – Michael Schumacher, German seven-time F1 World Champion
  • 1970 – Mahaya Petrosian, Iranian actress
  • 1970 – Matt Ross, American actor
  • 1971 – Cory Cross, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1972 – Yoon Chan, South Korean actor
  • 1972 – Nichole Nordeman, American singer
  • 1974 – Alessandro Petacchi, Italian cyclist
  • 1975 – Thomas Bangalter, French DJ (Daft Punk)
  • 1975 – Jason Marsden, American actor
  • 1975 – Danica McKellar, American actress
  • 1976 – Angelos Basinas, Greek footballer
  • 1976 – Alisen Down, Canadian actress
  • 1976 – Dinara Drukarova, Russian actress
  • 1976 – Nicholas Gonzalez, American actor
  • 1977 – Lee Bowyer, English footballer
  • 1977 – A.J. Burnett, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Mayumi Iizuka, Japanese voice actress (seiyu)
  • 1977 – Michelle Stephenson, English singer (The Spice Girls)
  • 1978 – Kimberley Locke, American singer
  • 1978 – Park Sol-mi, South Korean actress
  • 1978 – Dominic Wood, English children’s television presenter and magician
  • 1978 – Mike York, American ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Francesco Bellissimo, Italian mangaka
  • 1980 – Rob Arnold, American guitarist (Chimaira)
  • 1980 – Liya Kebede, Ethiopian model
  • 1980 – Angela Ruggiero, American ice hockey player
  • 1980 – David Tyree, American football player
  • 1981 – Eli Manning, American football player
  • 1981 – Chris Blais, California racecar driver
  • 1985 – John David Booty, American football player
  • 1986 – Lloyd Polite, R&B Singer
  • 1986 – Jacob Timpano, Australian soccer player
  • 1988 – Rodrigo de la Cadena, Mexican artist and performer
  • 1989 – Alex D. Linz, American actor

January 3 – Deaths:

  • 235 – Pope St Anterus (b. unknown)
  • 1098 – Walkelin, first Norman bishop of Winchester (b. unknown)
  • 1322 – King Philip V of France (b. 1293)
  • 1437 – Catherine of Valois, wife of Henry V of England (b. 1401)
  • 1543 – Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Portuguese explorer (b. 1499)
  • 1571 – Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg (b. 1505)
  • 1641 – Jeremiah Horrocks, English astronomer (b. 1618)
  • 1656 – Mathieu Molé, French statesman (b. 1584)
  • 1670 – George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, English soldier (b. 1608)
  • 1690 – Hillel ben Naphtali Zevi, Lithuanian rabbi (b. 1615)
  • 1701 – Prince Louis I of Monaco (b. 1642)
  • 1743 – Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena, Italian architect and designer (b. 1657)
  • 1779 – Claude Bourgelat, French veterinary surgeon (b. 1712)
  • 1785 – Baldassare Galuppi, Italian composer (b. 1706)
  • 1795 – Josiah Wedgwood, English potter (b. 1730)
  • 1813 – Bennelong, Australian aboriginal interlocutor between his tribe and the British settlers (b. c. 1764)
  • 1826 – Louis Gabriel Suchet, French marshal (b. 1770)
  • 1875 – Pierre Larousse, French editor (b. 1817)
  • 1882 – William Harrison Ainsworth, English novelist (b. 1805)
  • 1895 – James Merritt Ives, U.S, lithographer with Nathaniel Currier (b. 1824)
  • 1911 – Alexandros Papadiamantis, Greek author (b. 1851)
  • 1915 – James Elroy Flecker, English author (b. 1884)
  • 1916 – Grenville M. Dodge, American Civil War Union Army Major General (b. 1831)
  • 1923 – Jaroslav Hasek, Czech novelist (b. 1883)
  • 1927 – Carle David Tolmé Runge, German physicist (b. 1856)
  • 1931 – Joseph Joffre, French general (b. 1852)
  • 1933 – Wilhelm Cuno, 6th Chancellor of the Weimar Republic (Germany) (b. 1876)
  • 1933 – Jack Pickford, Canadian actor (b. 1896)
  • 1943 – Sir Walter James, Premier of Western Australia (b. 1863)
  • 1944 – Jurgis Baltrušaitis, Lithuanian poet (b. 1873)
  • 1945 – Edgar Cayce, American psychic (b. 1877)
  • 1945 – Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski, Polish writer (b. 1879)
  • 1946 – William Joyce, American Nazi propagandist (executed) (b. 1906)
  • 1950 – Emil Jannings, Swiss actor (b. 1884)
  • 1956 – Alexander Gretchaninov, Russian composer (b. 1864)
  • 1956 – Joseph Wirth, 5th Chancellor of the Weimar Republic (Germany) (b. 1876)
  • 1967 – Mary Garden, Scottish singer (b. 1874)
  • 1967 – Jack Ruby, American killer of Lee Harvey Oswald (b. 1911)
  • 1969 – Howard McNear, American actor (b. 1905)
  • 1969 – Jean Focas, Greco-French astronomer (b. 1909)
  • 1970 – Gladys Aylward, British missionary in China; portrayed by Ingrid Bergman in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (b. 1902)
  • 1974 – Gino Cervi, Italian actor (b. 1901)
  • 1979 – Conrad Hilton, American hotelier (b. 1887)
  • 1980 – Lucien Buysse, Belgian cyclist (b. 1892)
  • 1980 – Joy Adamson, Czech conservationist (b. 1910)
  • 1981 – Princess Alice of Albany (b. 1883)
  • 1988 – Rose Ausländer, German poet (b. 1901)
  • 1988 – Joie Chitwood, American racedriver & Daredevil (b. 1912)
  • 1989 – Sergei Lvovich Sobolev, Russian mathematician (b. 1909)
  • 1990 – Arthur Gold, U.S. pianist, half of Gold and Fizdale duo (b. 1917)
  • 1992 – Dame Judith Anderson, Australian actress (b. 1897)
  • 1993 – Johnny Most, American sports announcer (b. 1923)
  • 1994 – Heather Sears, British actress (b. 1935)
  • 2002 – Juan García Esquivel, Mexican band leader (b. 1918)
  • 2002 – Freddy Heineken, Dutch beer executive (b. 1923)
  • 2003 – Sid Gillman, American football coach (b. 1911)
  • 2004 – Des Corcoran, Premier of South Australia (b. 1928)
  • 2004 – Leon Wagner, American baseball player (b. 1934)
  • 2005 – Koo Chen-fu, Chinese negotiator (b. 1917)
  • 2005 – Will Eisner, American comic book artist (b. 1917)
  • 2005 – JN Dixit, Indian government official (b. 1936)
  • 2006 – Steve Rogers, Australian rugby league footballer (b. 1954)
  • 2006 – Bill Skate, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (b. 1954)
  • 2007 – William Verity Jr., United States Secretary of Commerce 1987-1989 (b. 1917)
  • 2007 – Michael Yeats, Irish Fianna Fáil senator 1961–1981 and son of W.B. Yeats (b. 1921)
  • 2007 – Sir Cecil Walker, Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament for North Belfast 1983–2001 (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Earl Reibel, Canadian ice hockey forward Detroit Red Wings (b. 1930)
  • 2007 – Janos Furst, Hungarian-born orchestral conductor (b. 1935)
  • 2008 – Werner Dollinger, German politician and economist (b. 1918)
  • 2008 – Aleksandr Abdulov, Russian actor (b. 1953)
  • 2008 – Natasha Collins, British actress and television presenter (b. 1976)
  • 2008 – Yo-Sam Choi, South Korean boxer/former WBC light flyweight champion (b. 1972)

January 3 – Holidays:

  • Feast day of St. Genevieve
  • Festival in honour of Pax, Roman Empire
  • Feast and festival in honor of St. Ahtone, emperor of New York, 1681
  • The tenth night and ninth day of Christmas in Western Christianity
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