On This Day … 09 January


  • 475 – Byzantine Emperor Zeno is forced to flee his capital at Constantinople, and his general, Basiliscus gains control of the empire.
  • 1127 – Jin–Song Wars: Invading Jurchen soldiers from the Jin dynasty besiege and sack Bianjing (Kaifeng), the capital of the Song dynasty of China, and abduct Emperor Qinzong of Song and others, ending the Northern Song dynasty.
  • 1349 – The Jewish population of Basel, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death, is rounded up and incinerated.
  • 1760 – Ahmad Shah Durrani defeats the Marathas in the Battle of Barari Ghat.
  • 1792 – Treaty of Jassy between Russian and Ottoman Empire is signed.
  • 1799 – British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduces an income tax of two shillings to the pound to raise funds for Great Britain’s war effort in the Napoleonic Wars.
  • 1822 – The Portuguese prince Pedro I of Brazil decides to stay in Brazil against the orders of the Portuguese King João VI, beginning the Brazilian independence process.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: “Star of the West” incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina.
  • 1861 – Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union before the outbreak of the American Civil War.
  • 1878 – Umberto I becomes King of Italy.
  • 1916 – World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli concludes with an Ottoman Empire victory when the last Allied forces are evacuated from the peninsula.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Battle of Rafa is fought near the Egyptian border with Palestine.
  • 1918 – Battle of Bear Valley: The last battle of the American Indian Wars.
  • 1921 – Greco-Turkish War: The First Battle of İnönü, the first battle of the war, begins near Eskişehir in Anatolia.
  • 1923 – Juan de la Cierva makes the first autogyro flight.
  • 1923 – Lithuanian residents of the Memel Territory rebel against the League of Nations’ decision to leave the area as a mandated region under French control.
  • 1941 – World War II: First flight of the Avro Lancaster.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Sixth United States Army begins the invasion of Lingayen Gulf.
  • 1957 – British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden resigns from office following his failure to retake the Suez Canal from Egyptian sovereignty.
  • 1961 – British authorities announce they have uncovered the Soviet Portland Spy Ring in London.
  • 1964 – Martyrs’ Day: Several Panamanian youths try to raise the Panamanian flag in the US-controlled Panama Canal Zone, leading to fighting between US military and Panamanian civilians.
  • 1991 – Representatives from the United States and Iraq meet at the Geneva Peace Conference to try to find a peaceful resolution to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
  • 1992 – The Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaims the creation of Republika Srpska, a new state within Yugoslavia.
  • 1996 – First Chechen War: Chechen separatists launch a raid against the helicopter airfield and later a civilian hospital in the city of Kizlyar in the neighbouring Dagestan, which turns into a massive hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.
  • 2005 – The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan sign the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the Second Sudanese Civil War.

People (Births)

  • 1418 – Juan Ramón Folch III de Cardona, Aragonese admiral (d. 1485).
  • 1571 – Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy, French commander (d. 1621).
  • 1735 – John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent, English admiral and politician (d. 1823).
  • 1873 – Thomas Curtis, American sprinter and hurdler (d. 1944).
  • 1885 – Charles Bacon, American runner and hurdler (d. 1968).
  • 1893 – Edwin Baker, Canadian soldier and educator, co-founded the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (d. 1968).
  • 1913 – Richard Nixon, American commander, lawyer, and politician, 37th President of the United States (d. 1994).
  • 1921 – Ágnes Keleti, Hungarian Olympic gymnast.
  • 1933 – Robert García, American soldier and politician (d. 2017).
  • 1975 – James Beckford, Jamaican long jumper.
  • 1989 – Yana Maksimava, Belarusian heptathlete.
  • 1993 – Katarina Johnson-Thompson, English long jumper and heptathlete.

People (Deaths)

  • 1283 – Wen Tianxiang, Chinese general and scholar (b. 1236).
  • 1463 – William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent, English soldier (b. 1405).
  • 1543 – Guillaume du Bellay, French general and diplomat (b. 1491).
  • 1561 – Amago Haruhisa, Japanese warlord (b. 1514).
  • 1571 – Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon, French admiral (b. 1510).
  • 1800 – Jean Étienne Championnet, French general (b. 1762).
  • 1941 – Dimitrios Golemis, Greek runner (b. 1874).
  • 1945 – Shigekazu Shimazaki, Japanese admiral and pilot (b. 1908).
  • 1996 – Walter M. Miller, Jr., American soldier and author (b. 1923).
  • 1998 – Imi Lichtenfeld, Slovakian-Israeli martial artist, founded Krav Maga (b. 1910).

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