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This Day In History

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
January 15

1559 - Elizabeth Tudor, the 25-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, is crowned Queen Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey in London.

1919 - Fiery hot molasses floods the streets of Boston killing 21 people and injuring scores of others. The molasses burst from a huge tank at the United States Industrial Alcohol Company building in the heart of the city.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
January 21

1793 - Louis XVI of France is executed by the guillotine in Paris, following his conviction for high treason. Louis' death emboldened revolutionaries within France, who would continue to alter the country's political and social structure radically over the next several years. Nine months after Louis' death, his wife Marie Antoinette, herself the former queen of France met her own death at the guillotine.

1924 - Vladimir Lenin, the architect of the Bolshevik Revolution and the first leader of the Soviet Union, dies of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 54.

1968 - The Battle of Khe Sanh begins when forces from the People’s Army of North Vietnam (PAVN) carried out a massive artillery bombardment on the U.S. Marine garrison at Khe Sanh, located in South Vietnam near the border with Laos. For the next 77 days, U.S. Marines and their South Vietnamese allies fought off an intense siege of the garrison, one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
January 26

1500 - Spanish explorer Vicente Yanez Pinzon, who had commanded the Nina during Christopher Columbus’ first expedition to the New World, reaches the northeastern coast of Brazil during a voyage under his command. Pinzon’s journey produced the first recorded account of a European explorer sighting the Brazilian coast; though whether or not Brazil was previously known to Portuguese navigators is still in dispute.

1788 - Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia.

1950 - The Indian constitution takes effect, making the Republic of India the most populous democracy in the world.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
January 28

814 - Charlemagne, called the "Father of Europe", founder of the Carolingian Empire dies at the age of 71.

1671 - Welsh pirate Henry Morgan captures Panama City from its Spanish defenders.

1986 - The Space Shuttle Challenger blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 11:38 am EST and breaks apart 73 seconds after liftoff killing all seven crew members aboard.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
January 28

661 - Ali ibn Abi Talib, a cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who ruled as the fourth caliph from 656 dies from wounds suffered in an attack two days earlier. He is one of the central figures in Shia Islam and is regarded as the rightful immediate successor to Muhammad as an Imam by Shia Muslims.

1891 - Nine days after her brother's death, in the presence of the cabinet ministers and the supreme court justices, Liliʻuokalani took the oath of office to uphold the constitution, and became the first and only queen of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

1979 - Deng Xiaoping, deputy premier of China, meets President Jimmy Carter, and together they sign historic new accords that reverse decades of U.S. opposition to the People’s Republic of China. Deng sought to open China to foreign investment and create closer ties with the West, and later that year the United States granted full diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
February 5

146 BC - The Roman Republic finally triumphed over its nemesis, Carthage, after over a century of fighting. The victory and subsequent destruction of the city of Carthage marked the end of the Punic Wars and represented Rome's replacement of Carthage as the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean, a position it would hold for the next several centuries.

1597 - 26 Catholics – four Spaniards, one Mexican, one Portuguese from India (all of whom were Franciscan missionaries), three Japanese Jesuits, and 17 Japanese members of the Third Order of St. Francis, including three young boys – were executed by crucifixion in Nagasaki on the orders of Hideyoshi Toyotomi. These individuals were raised on crosses and then pierced through with spears. The Martyrs of Japan were canonized by the Catholic Church on June 8, 1862, by Pope Pius IX.

1917 - After seven years of revolution and civil upheaval, Mexican President Venustiano Carranza proclaims the modern Mexican constitution, which promises the restoration of lands to native peoples, the separation of church and state, and dramatic economic and educational reforms. The progressive political document, approved by an elected constitutional convention, combined revolutionary demands for land reform with advanced social theory.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
February 8

1587 - Mary, Queen of Scots, is beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle aged 44 after being convicted of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth I in the Babington Plot.

1725 - Peter the Great, emperor of Russia, dies and is succeeded by his wife, Catherine I.

1862 - Union General Ambrose Burnside scores a major victory when his troops capture Roanoke Island in North Carolina.It was one of the first major Union victories of the Civil War and gave the Yankees control of the mouth of Albemarle Sound, allowing them to threaten the Rebel capital of Richmond, Virginia, from the south.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
February 11

660 BC - The foundation of Japan by the mythical Emperor Jimmu is celebrated based on the Nihon Shoki, which states that Emperor Jimmu ascended to the throne on the first day of the first month. There is, however, no historical evidence that Jimmu actually existed.

1809 - Robert Fulton is granted a patent for his invention of the steamboat.

1945 - The Declaration of Liberated Europe, created by Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin during the Yalta Conference is issued. It was a promise that allowed the people of Europe "to create democratic institutions of their own choice". The declaration pledged, "the earliest possible establishment through free elections governments responsive to the will of the people."

1990 - Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
February 23

303 - Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered that the newly built Christian church at Nicomedia be razed, its scriptures burned, and its treasures seized. The next day, Diocletian's first "Edict against the Christians" was published.

1836 - A Mexican force comprising somewhere between 1,800 and 6,000 men (according to various estimates) and commanded by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna began a siege of the Alamo Mission. The Texans held out for 13 days, but on the morning of March 6 Mexican forces broke through a breach in the outer wall of the courtyard and overpowered them. Santa Anna ordered his men to take no prisoners, and only a small handful of the Texans were spared.

1945 - During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event.

1954 - A group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.
 
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