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This Day in History - January 5

January 5

1477 – Charles, the Bold of Burgundy, is defeated by the Swiss at the Battle of Nancy

1589 – Italian and French wife of Henry II of France, Catherine de’ Medici dies

1643 – Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted the first divorce of the colonies, from her adulterous husband, Denis Clarke

1779 – American naval hero, and youngest captain in the history of the US Navy, Stephen Decatur, is born

1781 – American traitor and British Brigadier General Benedict Arnold captures a virtually undefended capital of Richmond in Virginia, and burns it

1815 – New England Federalists draw up the Hartford Convention in anger over the War of 1812, and demand changes in the US Constitution

1825 – Author of The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, fights his first duel

1846 – The US House of Representatives passes a resolution calling for an end to British-American sharing of the disputed Oregon Territory

1861 – The ship Star of the West heads for Fort Sumter carrying troops and supplies in response to a rebel attack

1876 – The first chancellor of post-World War II West Germany, Konrad Adenauer, is born

1895 – French Jewish officer, Alfred Dreyfus, is stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment in a public ceremony in the courtyard of Paris’ Ecole Militaire, in an event known as the Dreyfus Affair.  Dreyfus was convicted on weak evidence and demonstrates the widespread anti-Semitism that flowed through France’s military at the time

1904 – American Marines arrive in Seoul, Korea to guard the US legation

1914 – Henry Ford announces that he will pay a minimum wage of $5 per day and will share $10 million of the prior year’s profits with his employees

1916 – British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith introduces the first military conscription bill in the country’s history, to the House of Commons

1917 – Bulgarian and German troops occupy the Port of Braila

1919 – The headquarters of the Bolshevik in Riga are shelled by the British

1919 – The National Socialist Party (Nazi) forms as German Farmer’s Party

1920 – GOP women demand equal representation at the Republican National Convention to be held in June

1920 – The New York Yankees announce the purchase of outfielder George Herman “Babe” Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for $125,000

1921 – The German opera, Wagner’s “Die Walkyrie” opens in Paris

1922 – Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton dies

1923 – The US Senate discusses the benefits of Peyote for the American Indian

1925 – The first woman governor in the US, Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming, is sworn in

1928 – 42nd Vice President of the US, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1984, Ambassador to Japan, Walter Mondale, is born

1928 – 4th President of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is born

1930 – Mao Zedong writes that “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire.”

1932 – Italian novelist Umberto Eco is born

1933 – Construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

1933 – 30th President of the US Calvin Coolidge dies

1936 – Daggaboer, Ethiopia is bombed by the Italians

1938 – Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, is born

1945 – Japanese pilots receive their first order to become kamikaze or suicidal 

1947 – Great Britain nationalizes its coal mines

1949 – President Harry Truman delivers his State of the Union address, announcing that every American has the right to expect a “Fair Deal” from the US government

1951 – The UN forces abandon Inchon, South Korea to the advancing Chinese Army

1952 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Washington to meet with President Harry Truman

1957 – US President Dwight Eisenhower announces his “Eisenhower Doctrine” to Congress, establishing the Middle East as a Cold War battlefield

1967 – Amphibious operations are conducted in the Kien Hoa Province in the Mekong Delta by the 1st Battalion, 9th US Marines and South Vietnamese Marine Brigade Force Bravo, to locate Communist ammunition dumps, engineering and ordinance workshops, hospitals and indoctrination centers

1968 – US forces in Vietnam launch Operation Niagara 1 to locate the enemy units around the Marine base at Khe Sanh

1968 – The “Prague Spring” begins in Czechoslovakia, a brief period of “communism with a human face” started by liberal reforms under Alexander Dubcek

1969 – President Richard Nixon appoints Henry Cabot Lodge as negotiator at the Paris Peace Talks

1969 – American singer, songwriter, actor, and director Marilyn Manson is born

1970 – Union leader Jock Yablonski and his wife and daughter are found dead in their Clarksville, Pennsylvania home, although they had been dead for almost a week.  Nine people were convicted of a conspiracy to murder Yablonski, whereas United Mine Workers union leadership hired killers to carry out the crime.  The murders ended widespread corruption including misuse of funds and nepotism in the union, which was under the leadership of UMW President Tony Boyle.  Boyle was among those convicted, and he died in prison

1970 – Nobel Prize-winning German physicist Max Born dies

1971 – President Richard Nixon names Robert Dole as the chairman of the Republican National Party

1972 – President Richard Nixon signs a bill authorizing $5.5 million in funding to develop a space shuttle, thus launching the space shuttle program

1976 – Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot announces a new name for Cambodia: Kampuchea, and a new constitution legalizing its Communist government that will see the deaths of an estimated 1-2 million Cambodians and a decimation of the region’s economy

1982 – A Federal judge voids an Arkansas state law requiring balanced classroom treatment of evolution and creationism, defining evolution as science and creationism as religion

1982 – Landslides, 18,000 separate slides, near San Francisco, California kills 33 people and forces the Golden Gate Bridge to close.  Over $100 million in damages occurred and the region was declared a federal disaster area

1991 – The South Ossetia War begins as Georgian forces enter Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia, Georgia

1993 – The oil tanker MV Braer runs aground off the coast of the Shetland Islands in Scotland, spilling twice as much crude oil as the Exxon Valdez in 1989

1994 – Former Speaker of the House, Thomas P. Tip O’Neill dies

1998 – Performer and California US Congressman Sonny Bono is killed in a skiing accident in which he hit a tree while skiing alone, suffering massive head injuries

2005 – Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System, is discovered in images that were taken in October of 2003 at Palomar Observatory

2016 – French pianist, composer, and conductor Max Born dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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