On This Day … 01 February


  • 1329 – King John of Bohemia captures Medvėgalis, an important fortress of the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and baptizes 6,000 of its defenders.
  • 1411 – The First Peace of Thorn is signed in Thorn (Toruń), Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights (Prussia).
  • 1662 – The Chinese general Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.
  • 1713 – The Kalabalik or Tumult in Bendery results from the Ottoman sultan’s order that his unwelcome guest, King Charles XII of Sweden, be seized.
  • 1793 – French Revolutionary Wars: France declares war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States.
  • 1864 – Second Schleswig War: Prussian forces crossed the border into Schleswig, starting the war.
  • 1942 – World War II: Josef Terboven, Reichskommissar of German-occupied Norway, appoints Vidkun Quisling the Minister President of the National Government.
  • 1942 – World War II: US Navy conducts Marshalls–Gilberts raids, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theatre.
  • 1942 – Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States government, begins broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.
  • 1942 – Mao Zedong makes a speech on “Reform in Learning, the Party and Literature”, which puts into motion the Yan’an Rectification Movement.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan is recorded on motion picture film, as well as in an iconic still photograph taken by Eddie Adams.
  • 1968 – Canada’s three military services, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, are unified into the Canadian Forces.
  • 1998 – Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral.
  • 2005 – King Gyanendra of Nepal carries out a coup d’état to capture the democracy, becoming Chairman of the Councils of ministers.
  • Air Force Day (Nicaragua).

People (Births)

  • 1764 – George Duff, Scottish captain (d. 1805).
  • 1873 – John Barry, Irish soldier, Victoria Cross recipient (d. 1901).
  • 1887 – Charles Nordhoff, English-American lieutenant, pilot, and author (d. 1947).
  • 1890 – Nikolai Reek, Estonian general and politician, 11th Estonian Minister of War (d. 1942).
  • 1901 – Frank Buckles, American soldier (d. 2011).
  • 1910 – Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Chinese general and politician (d. 2009).
  • 1921 – Patricia Robins, British writer and WAAF officer (d. 2016).
  • 1923 – Ben Weider, Canadian businessman, co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (d. 2008).
  • 1944 – Mike Enzi, American soldier, accountant, and politician.
  • 1952 – Owoye Andrew Azazi, Nigerian general (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 1768 – Sir Robert Rich, 4th Baronet, English field marshal and politician (b. 1685).
  • 1936 – Georgios Kondylis, Greek general and politician, 128th Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1878).
  • 1957 – Friedrich Paulus, German general (b. 1890).
  • 2016 – Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores, Guatemalan general and politician, 27th President of Guatemala (b. 1930).

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