On This Day … 03 January


  • 1777: American General George Washington defeats British General Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton.
  • 1815: Austria, the United Kingdom, and France form a secret defensive alliance against Prussia and Russia.
  • 1823: Stephen F. Austin receives a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico.
  • 1833: The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
  • 1861: American Civil War: Delaware votes not to secede from the United States.
  • 1868 : Meiji Restoration in Japan: The Tokugawa shogunate is abolished; agents of Satsuma and Chōshū seize power.
  • 1871: In the Battle of Bapaume, an engagement in the Franco-Prussian War, General Louis Faidherbe’s forces bring about a Prussian retreat.
  • 1885: Sino-French War: Beginning of the Battle of Núi Bop.
  • 1919: At the Paris Peace Conference, Emir Faisal I of Iraq signs an agreement with Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
  • 1925: Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy.
  • 1932: Martial law is declared in Honduras to stop a revolt by banana workers fired by the United Fruit Company.
  • 1944: World War II: Top Ace Major Greg “Pappy” Boyington is shot down in his Vought F4U Corsair by Captain Masajiro Kawato flying a Mitsubishi A6M Zero.
  • 1945: World War II: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is placed in command of all US Naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima and Okinawa in Japan.
  • 1961: Cold War: The United States severs diplomatic relations with Cuba over the latter’s nationalisation of American assets.
  • 1961: A protest by agricultural workers in Baixa de Cassanje, Portuguese Angola, turns into a revolt, opening the Angolan War of Independence, the first of the Portuguese Colonial Wars.
  • 1990: United States invasion of Panama: Manuel Noriega, former leader of Panama, surrenders to American forces.
  • 1993: In Moscow, Russia, George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
  • 2002: Israeli–Palestinian conflict: Israeli forces seize the Palestinian freighter Karine A in the Red Sea, finding 50 tons of weapons.
  • 2015: Boko Haram militants raze the entire town of Baga in north-east Nigeria, starting the Baga massacre and killing as many as 2,000 people.

People (Births)

  • 169: Lü Bu, Chinese general and warlord (d. 199).
  • 1710: Richard Gridley, American soldier and engineer (d. 1796).
  • 1731: Angelo Emo, Venetian admiral and statesman (d. 1792).
  • 1836: Sakamoto Ryōma, Japanese samurai and rebel leader (d. 1867).
  • 1862: Matthew Nathan, English soldier and politician, 13th Governor of Queensland (d. 1939).
  • 1883: Clement Attlee, English soldier, lawyer, and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1967).
  • 1912: Federico Borrell García, Spanish soldier (d. 1936).
  • 1915: Jack Levine, American painter and soldier (d. 2010).
  • 1917: Vernon A. Walters, American general and diplomat, 17th United States Ambassador to the United Nations (d. 2002).

People (Deaths)

  • 1670: George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (b. 1608).
  • 1777: William Leslie, Scottish captain (b. 1751).
  • 1826: Louis-Gabriel Suchet, French general (b. 1770).
  • 1916: Grenville M. Dodge, American general and politician (b. 1831).
  • 1931: Joseph Joffre, French general (b. 1852).
  • 1958: Cafer Tayyar Eğilmez, Turkish general (b. 1877).
  • 1975: James McCormack, American general (b. 1910).
  • 2004: Des Corcoran, Australian soldier and politician, 37th Premier of South Australia (b. 1928).
  • 2013: William Maxson, American general (b. 1930).

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