On This Day … 01 January

Events

  • 193: The Senate chooses Pertinax against his will to succeed Commodus as Roman emperor.
  • 404: Saint Telemachus tries to stop a gladiatorial fight in a Roman amphitheatre, and is stoned to death by the crowd. This act impresses the Christian Emperor Honorius, who issues a historic ban on gladiatorial fights.
  • 417: Emperor Honorius forces Galla Placidia into marriage to Constantius, his famous general (magister militum) (probable).
  • 1001: Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Sylvester II (probable).
  • 1068: Romanos IV Diogenes marries Eudokia Makrembolitissa and is crowned Byzantine Emperor.
  • 1259: Michael VIII Palaiologos is proclaimed co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea with his ward John IV Laskaris.
  • 1651: Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.
  • 1776: American Revolutionary War: Norfolk, Virginia is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.
  • 1776: General George Washington hoists the first United States flag; the Grand Union Flag at Prospect Hill.
  • 1781: American Revolutionary War: One thousand five hundred soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne’s command rebel against the Continental Army’s winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781.
  • 1801: The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is proclaimed.
  • 1803: Emperor Gia Long orders all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.
  • 1804: French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black-majority republic and second independent country in North America after the United States.
  • 1806: The French Republican Calendar is abolished.
  • 1808: The United States bans the importation of slaves.
  • 1810: Major-General Lachlan Macquarie officially becomes Governor of New South Wales.
  • 1861: Liberal forces supporting Benito Juárez enter Mexico City.
  • 1863: American Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory.
  • 1877: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India.
  • 1899: Spanish rule ends in Cuba.
  • 1901: Nigeria becomes a British protectorate.
  • 1910: Captain David Beatty is promoted to Rear admiral, and becomes the youngest admiral in the Royal Navy (except for Royal family members) since Horatio Nelson.
  • 1912: The Republic of China is established.
  • 1927: New Mexican oil legislation goes into effect, leading to the formal outbreak of the Cristero War.
  • 1928: Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin’s secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.
  • 1945: World War II: In retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops kill 60 German POWs at Chenogne.
  • 1945: World War II: The German Luftwaffe launches Operation Bodenplatte, a massive, but failed attempt to knock out Allied air power in northern Europe in a single blow.
  • 1947: Cold War: The American and British occupation zones in Allied-occupied Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, which later (with the French zone) became part of West Germany.
  • 1947: The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.
  • 1949: United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight. War between India and Pakistan stops accordingly.
  • 1956: Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.
  • 1957: George Town, Penang, is made a city by a royal charter of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
  • 1959: Cuban Revolution: Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro’s forces.
  • 1960: Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.
  • 1962: Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.
  • 1979: Normal diplomatic relations are established between the People’s Republic of China and the United States.
  • 1984: Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.
  • 1994: The Zapatista Army of National Liberation initiates twelve days of armed conflict in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

People (Births)

  • 1711: Baron Franz von der Trenck, Austrian soldier (d. 1749).
  • 1745: Anthony Wayne, American general and politician (d. 1796).
  • 1814: Hong Xiuquan, Chinese rebellion leader and king (d. 1864)
  • 1818: William Gamble, Irish-born American general (d. 1866).
  • 1819: Arthur Hugh Clough, English-Italian poet and academic (d. 1861).
  • 1819: George Foster Shepley, American general (d. 1878).
  • 1883: William J. Donovan, American general, lawyer, and politician (d. 1959).
  • 1884: Chikuhei Nakajima, Japanese lieutenant, engineer, and politician, founded Nakajima Aircraft Company (d. 1949).
  • 1887: Wilhelm Canaris, German admiral (d. 1945).
  • 1888: Georgios Stanotas, Greek general (d. 1965).
  • 1893: Mordechai Frizis, Greek colonel (d. 1940).
  • 1900: Chiune Sugihara, Japanese soldier and diplomat (d. 1986).
  • 1909: Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian soldier and politician (d. 1959).
  • 1914: Noor Inayat Khan, British SOE agent (d. 1944).
  • 1918: Patrick Anthony Porteous, British colonel, Victoria Cross recipient (d. 2000).
  • 1919: J. D. Salinger, American soldier and author (d. 2010).
  • 1922: Ernest Hollings, American soldier and politician, 106th Governor of South Carolina (d. 2019).
  • 1943: Tony Knowles, American soldier and politician, 7th Governor of Alaska.
  • 1944: Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese field marshal and politician, 7th President of Sudan.
  • 1947: Jon Corzine, American sergeant and politician, 54th Governor of New Jersey.
  • 1948: Pavel Grachev, Russian general and politician, 1st Russian Minister of Defence (d. 2012).
  • 1959: Azali Assoumani, Comorian colonel and politician, President of the Comoros.

People (Deaths)

  • 1992: Grace Hopper, American computer scientist and admiral, co-developed COBOL (b. 1906).
  • 1996: Arleigh Burke, American admiral (b. 1901).
  • 2003: Joe Foss, American soldier, pilot, and politician, 20th Governor of South Dakota (b. 1915).
  • 2016: Dale Bumpers, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 38th Governor of Arkansas (b. 1925).
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