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On January 21st...

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1677 The first medical publication in America, a pamphlet on smallpox, was published in Boston, Massachusetts.

King Louis XVI1793 King Louis XVI of France was executed.
1793 Prussia and Russia signed a treaty dividing Poland between themselves.

1813 Don Francisco de Paula y Marin introudced coffee plants to Hawaii.
John C. Fremont1813 Explorer John C. Frémont was born.

1815 Horace Wells, the first to use nitrous oxide as a surgical anesthetic, was born.

1821 American politician John C. Breckinridge.

Stonewall Jackson1824 American Civil War General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was born.

1829 Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, was born.

1853 The envelope-folding machine was patented by Russell Hawes.

1880 The first sewage disposal system separated from storm drains in the United States began operation in Memphis, Tennessee.

1884 Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, was born.

1887 The Amateur Athletic Union was formed.

1899 Opel manufactured its first automobile.

1903 Harry Houdini escaped from the Halvemaansteeg police station in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1905 Fashion designer Christian Dior was born.

1908 New York City, New York, enacted a law making it illegal for women to smoke in public.

1915 Kiwanis International was founded.

1919 Sinn Fein created its own parliament and declared Ireland independent of Great Britain.

1921 The Italian Communist Party was founded at Livorno.

1924 Comedian Benny Hill was born.
Vladimir Lenin1924 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, founder of the Soviet Communist Party, died.

Albania1925 Albania declared itself a republic.

George Goethals1928 George W. Goethals, engineer who oversaw construction of the Panama Canal, died.

1935 The Wilderness Society was founded.

Georges Melies1938 Pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès died.

1939 Disc jockey Robert Weston Smith, aka Wolfman Jack, was born.

1940 Golfer Jack Nicklaus was born.

1941 The first commercial extraction of magnesium from seawater was accomplished at Freeport, Texas.
1941 Singer Placido Domingo was born.

1942 Singer Mac Davis was born.
1942 Musician Edwin Starr was born.

1945 Hungary declared war on Germany.

1947 Actress Jill Eickenberry was born.

1949 The inaugural parade for Harry S. Truman became the first to be televised.

Alger Hiss1950 Alger Hiss was convicted of two counts of perjury.
1950 Singer Billy Ocean was born.
1950 Author George Orwell died.

1951 Mount Lamington in Papua New Guinea erupted, killing almost 3,000 persons.
Kirstie Alley1951 Actress Kirstie Alley was born.

1953 Paul Allen, co-founder Microsoft, was born.

1954 The first gas turbine automobile was exhibited in New York City, New York.

1956 Actress Geena Davis was born.

World Beauty1957 The largest U.S.-built oil tanker, World Beauty, was launched.

1959 Film director Cecil B. DeMille died.

1960 Thirty-seven persons were killed when a Colombian airliner crashed and burned while landing at Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Coalbrook mine collapse1960 A collapse deep inside the Clydesdale Colliery at Coalbrook, South Africa, trapped 435 miners undergound.

1962 Snow fell in San Francisco, California.

1963 Basketball player Hakeem Olajuwan was born.

1964 Relay II was launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida.

1968 Four unarmed hydrogen bombs were fragmented and scattered when a U.S. Air Force B-52 crashed near Thule, Greenland.
1968 North Korean commandos infiltrated Seoul, South Korea, in a failed attempt to assassinate South Korean President Chung Hee Park.

1971 "Alias Smith and Jones" premiered on ABC-TV.

Concorde1976 The first commercial flight of the Concorde took off (and landed).

1977 U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

1979 The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 35-31, Super Bowl XIII.

1984 Singer Jackie Wilson died.

1990 John McEnroe became the first player ever to be expelled from the Australian Open.

1997 Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, died.

1998 Actor Jack Lord died.

2002 Singer Peggy Lee died.

2004 NASA lost communication with the Mars Rover Spirit.

2013 A car bomb killed 30 persons in Salamiyeh, Syria.
2013 Two trains collided in Vienna, Austria, injuring 41 persons.
2013 A bus fell down a ravine in Yungas, Bolivia, killing 18 persons and injuring 24.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on January 20, 2018.