Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: JAN 21



1968 – The Battle of Khe Sanh begins, It is one of the most publicized battles of the Vietnam War.

1077 – German King Henry IV petitions Pope Gregory VII for forgiveness

1324 – Zen Buddhist religious debate between Tendai & Shingon

1522 – Head inquisitor Adrian Florisz Boeyens elected pope

1525 – Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union

1549 – Act of Uniformity passed by the English Parliament requiring clergy use The Book of Common Prayer

1677 – 1st medical publication in America (pamphlet on smallpox), published in Boston

1720 – Sweden and Prussia sign a peace treaty ending hostilities between them during the Great Northern War

1789 – W.H. Brown’s “Power of Sympathy” was published. It was the first American novel to be published. The novel is also known as the “Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth”.

1793 – Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine in Paris, following his conviction for “high treason” by the newly created French Parliament (Convention nationale), during the French Revolution

1812 – The Y-bridge in Zanesville, OH, was approved for construction.

1818 – Keats writes his poem “On a Lock of Milton’s Hair”

1846 – The first issue of the “Daily News,” edited by Charles Dickens, was published.

1861 – The future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, resigned from the U.S. Senate. Four other Southerners also resigned.

1865 – An oil well was drilled by torpedoes for the first time.

1899 – Opel builds its first automobile

1900 – Canadian troops set sail to fight in South Africa. The Boers had attacked Ladysmith on January 8, 1900.

1908 – In New York City, the Sullivan Ordinance was passed. It made smoking in public places by women illegal. The measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. two weeks later.

1911 – The first Monte Carlo car rally was held. Seven days later it was won by Henri Rougier.

1919 – Irish militant nationalist party Sinn Féin creates its own parliament in Dublin and declares Ireland independent of Great Britain, sparking the Irish War of Independence

1924 – Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died. Joseph Stalin began a purge of his rivals for the leadership of the Soviet Union.

1934 – Parisian baker and “student of medieval life” Henri Littière appears in court charged with forcing his adulterous wife Juliette to wear a chastity belt. Having committed the same offence in 1932, he was sentenced to three months in prison and fined 50 francs for cruelty to his wife

1938 – Dutch government starts obligatory unemployment insurance

1941 – The British communist newspaper, the “Daily Worker,” was banned due to wartime restrictions.

1942 – Bronx magistrate rules all pinball machines illegal

1950 – New York jury finds former State Department official Alger Hiss guilty of perjury

1954 – The Nautilus was launched in Groton, CT. It was the first atomic-powered submarine. U.S. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow.

1954 – The gas turbine automobile was introduced in New York City.

1960 – Rock falls traps 437 at Coalbrook, South Africa; 417 die of methane poisoning

1965 – Iranian premier Hassan Ali Mansur assassinated by 17-year-old Mohammad Bokharaei, a member of the Fadayan-e Islam

1968 – The Battle of Khe Sanh begins, It is one of the most publicized battles of the Vietnam War.  https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-for-khe-sanh-begins

Battle of Khe Sanh: A 66-day Siege During the Vietnam War

1969 – A partial meltdown at the Lucens nuclear reactor in Switzerland seriously contaminating the cavern containing the reactor; the plant is sealed and decommissioned

1970 – ABC-TV presented “The Johnny Cash Show” in prime time.

1976 – The French Concorde SST aircraft began regular commercial service for Air France and British Airways.

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

1979 – Neptune becomes outermost planet (Pluto moves closer)

1981 – Norman Stronge and his son James (both former Ulster Unionist Members of Parliament) are assassinated by the Irish Republican Army at their home Tynan Abbey, which is then burnt down

1983 – President Reagan certifies El Salvador human-rights abuses have decreased making country eligible for US military aid

1986 – Bomb attack in East-Beirut, 27 killed

1988 – US accepts immigration of 30,000 US-Vietnamese children

1991 – CBS News correspondant Bob Simon and four TV crew captured and held for 40 days by Iraqis in the Persian Gulf

1992 – UN serves Libya a resolution to hand over intelligence agents accused of two airliner bombings

1993 – Nigerian singer Fela Kuti arrested on suspicion of murder

1994 – A jury in Manassas, VA, acquitted Lorena Bobbitt by reason of temporary insanity of maliciously wounding (severing his penis) her husband John. She accused him of sexually assaulting her.

1997 – Newt Gingrich was fined as the U.S. House of Representatvies voted for first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.

1998 – Pope John Paul II visits Cuba, It was the first time any Pope visited the country.

1999 – The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a ship headed for Houston, TX, that had over 9,500 pounds of cocaine aboard. It was one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history.

2002 – In Goma, Congo, about fifty people were killed when lava flow ignited a gas station. The people killed were trying to steal fuel from elevated tanks. The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo began on January 17, 2002.

2002 – In London, a 17th century book by Capt. John Smith, founder of the English settlement at Jamestown, was sold at auction for $48,800. “The General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles” was published in 1632.

2003 – It was announced by the U.S. Census Bureau that estimates showed that the Hispanic population had passed the black population for the first time.

2004 – Canada: The residence of reporter Juliet O’Neill is searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigating leaks concerning the deportation of Maher Arar

2004 – NASA’s MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies with Flash Memory management and is fixed remotely from Earth on February 6.

2005 – In Belmopan, Belize, the unrest over the government’s new taxes erupts into riots

2013 – 30 people are killed in a car bombing in Salamiyeh, Syria

2017 – More than 2 million people protest worldwide in the ‘Women’s March’ against Donald Trump, with 500,000 marching in Washington, D.C.

2018 – Gambian Dictator Yahya Jammeh finally concedes office and leaves Gambia 2 months after losing the presidential election

2020 – World’s oldest asteroid impact at 2.2 billion years old found in Yarrabubba, Western Australia, may have ended an ice age, reported in “Nature Communications”

2022 – Yemen detention centre in Saada held by rebel Houthis bombed killing more than 70 people

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com

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