Today in History: Jan. 19
by Robert Joseph Baker | January 19, 2019 12:00 am
Last Updated: January 12, 2018 at 11:54 pm
379 – Emperor Gratian elevates Flavius Theodosius at Sirmium to Augustus, and gives him authority over all the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.
639 – Clovis II, king of Neustria and Burgundy, is crowned.
649 – Conquest of Kucha: The forces of Kucha surrender after a forty-day siege led by Tang dynasty general Ashina She’er, establishing Tang control over the northern Tarim Basin in Xinjiang.
1419 – Hundred Years’ War: Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England, completing his reconquest of Normandy.
1511 – Mirandola surrenders to the French.
1520 – Sten Sture the Younger, the Regent of Sweden, is mortally wounded at the Battle of Bogesund.
1607 – San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed; it is the oldest church still standing in the Philippines.
1661 – Thomas Venner is hanged, drawn and quartered in London.
1764 – John Wilkes is expelled from the British House of Commons for seditious libel.
1788 – The second group of ships of the First Fleet arrive at Botany Bay.
1795 – The Batavian Republic is proclaimed in the Netherlands, bringing to an end the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
1806 – Britain occupies the Dutch Cape Colony after the Battle of Blaauwberg.
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.
1818 – French physicist Augustin Fresnel submits a “supplement” (signed four days earlier), which
shows that the addition of sinusoidal functions of the same frequency but different phases is analogous to the addition of forces with different directions,
restates Malus’s law in terms of amplitudes instead of intensities, and
reports that optical rotation can be imitated by “depolarizing” the light with a Fresnel rhomb (in the form of “coupled prisms”), then passing it through an ordinary birefringent lamina, then repolarizing it with a second Fresnel rhomb at 90° to the first.
1829 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy receives its premiere performance.
1839 – The British East India Company captures Aden.
1853 – Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il trovatore receives its premiere performance in Rome.
1861 – American Civil War: Georgia joins South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama in declaring secession from the United States.
1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Mill Springs: The Confederacy suffers its first significant defeat in the conflict.
1871 – Franco-Prussian War: In the Siege of Paris, Prussia wins the Battle of St. Quentin. Meanwhile, the French attempt to break the siege in the Battle of Buzenval will end unsuccessfully the following day.
1883 – The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey.
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 towns of Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn in the United Kingdom killing at least 20 people, in the first major aerial bombardment of a civilian target.
1917 – Seventy-three people are killed and 400 injured in an explosion in a munitions plant in London.
1920 – The United States Senate votes against joining the League of Nations.
1937 – Howard Hughes sets a new air record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds.
1940 – You Nazty Spy!, the very first Hollywood film of any kind to satirize Adolf Hitler and the Nazis premieres, starring The Three Stooges, with Moe Howard as the character “Moe Hailstone” satirizing Hitler.
1941 – World War II: The Greek Triton (Y-5) sinks the Italian submarine Neghelli in Otranto.
1942 – World War II: The Japanese conquest of Burma begins.
1945 – World War II: Soviet forces liberate the Łódź Ghetto. Of more than 200,000 inhabitants in 1940, less than 900 had survived the Nazi occupation.
1946 – General Douglas MacArthur establishes the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo to try Japanese war criminals.
1953 – Almost 72% of all television sets in the United States are tuned into I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth.
1960 – Japan and the United States sign the US–Japan Mutual Security Treaty
1969 – Student Jan Palach dies after setting himself on fire three days earlier in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to protest about the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968. His funeral turns into another major protest.
1974 – China gain control over all the Paracel Islands after a military engagement between the naval forces of the People’s Republic of China and Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam)
1977 – President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D’Aquino (a.k.a. “Tokyo Rose”).
1978 – The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany leaves VW’s plant in Emden. Beetle production in Latin America continues 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.
1986 – The first IBM PC computer virus is released into the wild. A boot sector virus dubbed (c)Brain, it was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to deter unauthorized copying of the software they had written.
1991 – Gulf War: Iraq fires a second Scud missile into Israel, causing 15 injuries.
1993 – Czech Republic and Slovakia join the United Nations.
1995 – After being struck by lightning the crew of Bristow Flight 56C are forced to ditch. All 18 aboard are later rescued.
1996 – The barge North Cape oil spill occurs as an engine fire forces the tugboat Scandia ashore on Moonstone Beach in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
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.
1999 – British Aerospace agrees to acquire the defence subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc, forming BAE Systems in November 1999.
2007 – Turkish-Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink is assassinated in front of his newspaper’s Istanbul office by 17-year-old Turkish ultra-nationalist Ogün Samast.
2012 – The Hong Kong-based file-sharing website Megaupload is shut down by the FBI.
2014 – A bomb attack on an army convoy in the city of Bannu kills at least 26 soldiers and injures 38 others.