On This Day … 22 January


  • 613 – Eight-month-old Constantine is crowned as co-emperor (Caesar) by his father Heraclius at Constantinople.
  • 871 – Battle of Basing: The West Saxons led by King Æthelred I are defeated by the Danelaw Vikings at Basing.
  • 1506 – The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrives at the Vatican.
  • 1517 – The Ottoman Empire under Selim I defeats the Mamluk Sultanate and captures present-day Egypt at the Battle of Ridaniya.
  • 1555 – The Ava Kingdom falls to the Taungoo Dynasty in what is now Myanmar.
  • 1689 – The Convention Parliament convenes to determine whether James II and VII, the last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Ireland and Scotland, had vacated the thrones of England and Ireland when he fled to France in 1688.
  • 1808 – The Portuguese royal family arrives in Brazil after fleeing the French army’s invasion of Portugal two months earlier.
  • 1824 – The Ashantis defeat British forces in the Gold Coast.
  • 1849 – Second Anglo-Sikh War: The Siege of Multan ends after nine months when the last Sikh defenders of Multan, Punjab, surrender.
  • 1863 – The January Uprising breaks out in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. The aim of the national movement is to regain Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth from occupation by Russia.
  • 1879 – The Battle of Isandlwana during the Anglo-Zulu War results in a British defeat.
  • 1879 – The Battle of Rorke’s Drift, also during the Anglo-Zulu War and just some 15 km away from Isandlwana, results in a British victory.
  • 1917 – World War I: President Woodrow Wilson of the still-neutral United States calls for “peace without victory” in Europe.
  • 1919 – Act Zluky is signed, unifying the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian National Republic.
  • 1941 – World War II: British and Commonwealth troops capture Tobruk from Italian forces during Operation Compass.
  • 1943 – World War II: Australian and American forces defeat Japanese army and navy units in the bitterly fought Battle of Buna–Gona.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Allies commence Operation Shingle, an assault on Anzio and Nettuno, Italy.
  • 1946 – In Iran, Qazi Muhammad declares the independent people’s Republic of Mahabad at Chahar Cheragh Square in the Kurdish city of Mahabad; he becomes the new president and Haji Baba Sheikh becomes the prime minister.
  • 1946 – Creation of the Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.
  • 1957 – Israel withdraws from the Sinai Peninsula.
  • 1963 – The Élysée Treaty of cooperation between France and Germany is signed by Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer.
  • 1968 – Operation Igloo White, a US electronic surveillance system to stop communist infiltration into South Vietnam begins installation.
  • 1992 – Rebel forces occupy Zaire’s national radio station in Kinshasa and broadcast a demand for the government’s resignation.
  • 1995 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict: Beit Lid massacre: In central Israel, near Netanya, two Gazans blow themselves up at a military transit point, killing 19 Israelis.

People (Births)

  • 1552 – Walter Raleigh, English poet, soldier, courtier, and explorer (d. 1618).
  • 1740 – Noah Phelps, American soldier, lawyer, and judge (d. 1809).
  • 1869 – José Vicente de Freitas, Portuguese colonel and politician, 97th Prime Minister of Portugal (d. 1952).
  • 1939 – Jørgen Garde, Danish admiral (d. 1996).
  • 1955 – Thomas David Jones, American captain, pilot, and astronaut.

People (Deaths)

  • 1552 – Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, English general and politician, Lord High Treasurer of England (b. 1500).
  • 1779 – Claudius Smith, American guerrilla leader (b. 1736).
  • 1879 – Anthony Durnford, Irish colonel (b. 1830).
  • 1879 – Henry Pulleine, English colonel (b. 1838).
  • 1921 – George Streeter, American captain and businessman (b. 1837).
  • 1973 – Lyndon B. Johnson, American lieutenant and politician, 36th President of the United States (b. 1908).
  • 1978 – Oliver Leese, English general (b. 1894).
  • 2003 – Bill Mauldin, American soldier and cartoonist (b. 1921).
  • 2007 – Ngô Quang Trưởng, Vietnamese general (b. 1929).
  • 2008 – Miles Lerman, Polish Holocaust survivor and activist (b. 1920).
  • 2015 – Wendell H. Ford, American lieutenant and politician, 53rd Governor of Kentucky (b. 1924).

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