On This Day … 25 January


  • AD 41 – After a night of negotiation, Claudius is accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate.
  • 750 – In the Battle of the Zab, the Abbasid rebels defeat the Umayyad Caliphate, leading to overthrow of the dynasty.
  • 1494 – Alfonso II becomes King of Naples.
  • 1515 – Coronation of Francis I of France takes place at Reims Cathedral, where the new monarch is anointed with the oil of Clovis and girt with the sword of Charlemagne.
  • 1554 – São Paulo, Brazil, is founded by Jesuit priests.
  • 1573 – Battle of Mikatagahara: In Japan, Takeda Shingen defeats Tokugawa Ieyasu.
  • 1575 – Luanda, the capital of Angola, is founded by the Portuguese navigator Paulo Dias de Novais.
  • 1704 – The Battle of Ayubale results in the destruction of most of the Spanish missions in Florida.
  • 1765 – Port Egmont, the first British settlement in the Falkland Islands near the southern tip of South America, is founded.
  • 1787 – Shays’s Rebellion: The rebellion’s largest confrontation, outside the Springfield Armory, results in the killing of four rebels and the wounding of twenty.
  • 1791 – The British Parliament passes the Constitutional Act of 1791 and splits the old Province of Quebec into Upper Canada and Lower Canada.
  • 1918 – The Ukrainian People’s Republic declares independence from Soviet Russia.
  • 1924 – The 1924 Winter Olympics opens in Chamonix, in the French Alps, inaugurating the Winter Olympic Games.
  • 1932 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Chinese National Revolutionary Army begins the defence of Harbin.
  • 1942 – World War II: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Battle of the Bulge ends.
  • 1946 – United Nations Security Council Resolution 1 relating to Military Staff Committee is adopted.
  • 1947 – Thomas Goldsmith Jr. files a patent for a “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device”, the first ever electronic game.
  • 1964 – Blue Ribbon Sports, which would later become Nike, is founded by University of Oregon track and field athletes.
  • 1967 – South Vietnamese junta leader and Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky fired rival, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Nguyen Huu Co while the latter was overseas on a diplomatic visit.
  • 1969 – Brazilian Army captain Carlos Lamarca deserts in order to fight against the military dictatorship, taking with him ten machine guns and 63 rifles.
  • 1971 – Idi Amin leads a coup deposing Milton Obote and becomes Uganda’s president.
  • 1986 – The National Resistance Movement topples the government of Tito Okello in Uganda.
  • 1995 – The Norwegian rocket incident: Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile.
  • 1998 – A suicide attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Sri Lanka’s Temple of the Tooth kills eight and injures 25 others.
  • 2003 – Invasion of Iraq: A group of people leave London, England, for Baghdad, Iraq, to serve as human shields, intending to prevent the US-led coalition troops from bombing certain locations.
  • 2011 – The first wave of the Egyptian revolution begins throughout the country, marked by street demonstrations, rallies, acts of civil disobedience, riots, labour strikes, and violent clashes.
  • 2015 – A clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in the Philippines killing 44 members of Special Action Force (SAF), at least 18 from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and five from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
  • National Nutrition Day (Indonesia).
  • Earliest day on which the Liberation of Auschwitz Memorial can fall, while January 31 is the latest; observed on the last Sunday in January (Netherlands).

People (Births)

  • 1640 – William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Devonshire, English soldier and politician, Lord Steward of the Household (d. 1707).
  • 1739 – Charles François Dumouriez, French general and politician, French Minister of Defence (d. 1823).
  • 1841 – John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher, English admiral (d. 1920).
  • 1928 – Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgian general and politician, 2nd President of Georgia (d. 2014).
  • 1935 – Conrad Burns, American soldier, journalist, and politician (d. 2016).
  • 1935 – António Ramalho Eanes, Portuguese general and politician, 16th President of Portugal.
  • 1951 – Steve Prefontaine, American runner (d. 1975).
  • 1964 – Stephen Pate, Australian cyclist.
  • 1978 – Denis Menchov, Russian cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 477 – Gaiseric, king of the Vandals (b. 389).
  • 1492 – Ygo Gales Galama, Frisian warlord and rebel (b. 1443).
  • 1852 – Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Russian admiral, cartographer, and explorer (b. 1778).
  • 1872 – Richard S. Ewell, American general (b. 1817).
  • 1907 – René Pottier, French cyclist (b. 1879).
  • 1912 – Dmitry Milyutin, Russian field marshal and politician (b. 1816).
  • 1939 – Charles Davidson Dunbar, Scottish soldier and bagpipe player (b. 1870).
  • 1972 – Erhard Milch, German field marshal (b. 1892).
  • 2004 – Fanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch runner and hurdler (b. 1918).
  • 2005 – Netti Witziers-Timmer, Dutch runner (b. 1923).
  • 2010 – Ali Hassan al-Majid, Iraqi general and politician, Iraqi Minister of Defence (b. 1941).

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