On This Day … 29 January


  • 946 – Caliph Al-Mustakfi is blinded and deposed by Emir Mu’izz al-Dawla, ruler of the Buyid Empire.
    • He is succeeded by Al-Muti as caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate.
  • 1258 – First Mongol invasion of Đại Việt: Đại Việt defeats the Mongols at the battle of Đông Bộ Đầu, forcing the Mongols to withdraw from the country.
  • 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: France defeats Russia and Prussia in the Battle of Brienne.
  • 1819 – Stamford Raffles lands on the island of Singapore.
  • 1850 – Henry Clay introduces the Compromise of 1850 to the US Congress.
  • 1856 – Queen Victoria issues a Warrant under the Royal sign-manual that establishes the Victoria Cross to recognise acts of valour by British military personnel during the Crimean War.
  • 1863 – The Bear River Massacre: A detachment of California Volunteers led by Colonel Patrick Edward Connor engage the Shoshone at Bear River, Washington Territory, killing hundreds of men, women and children.
  • 1886 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.
  • 1891 – Liliʻuokalani is proclaimed the last monarch and only queen regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
  • 1911 – Mexican Revolution: Mexicali is captured by the Mexican Liberal Party, igniting the Magonista rebellion of 1911.
  • 1916 – World War I: Paris is first bombed by German zeppelins.
  • 1918 – Ukrainian-Soviet War: The Bolshevik Red Army, on its way to besiege Kyiv, is met by a small group of military students at the Battle of Kruty.
  • 1918 – Ukrainian-Soviet War: An armed uprising organised by the Bolsheviks in anticipation of the encroaching Red Army begins at the Kiev Arsenal, which will be put down six days later.
  • 1941 – Alexandros Koryzis becomes Prime Minister of Greece upon the sudden death of his predecessor, dictator Ioannis Metaxas.
  • 1943 – World War II: The first day of the Battle of Rennell Island, USS Chicago (CA-29) is torpedoed and heavily damaged by Japanese bombers.
  • 1944 – World War II: Approximately 38 people are killed and about a dozen injured when the Polish village of Koniuchy (present-day Kaniūkai, Lithuania) is attacked by Soviet partisan units.
  • 1944 – In Bologna, Italy, the Anatomical theatre of the Archiginnasio is completely destroyed in an air-raid, during the Second World War.
  • 1989 – Cold War: Hungary establishes diplomatic relations with South Korea, making it the first Eastern Bloc nation to do so.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: The Battle of Khafji, the first major ground engagement of the war, as well as its deadliest, begins.
  • 1996 – President Jacques Chirac announces a “definitive end” to French nuclear weapons testing.
  • 2002 – In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush describes “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of evil, in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

People (Births)

  • 1717 – Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, English field marshal and politician, 19th Governor General of Canada (d. 1797).
  • 1754 – Moses Cleaveland, American general, lawyer, and politician, founded Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1806).
  • 1756 – Henry Lee III, American general and politician, 9th Governor of Virginia (d. 1818).
  • 1843 – William McKinley, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 25th President of the United States (d. 1901).
  • 1877 – Georges Catroux, French general and diplomat (d. 1969).
  • 1944 – Pauline van der Wildt, Dutch swimmer.
  • 1961 – Petra Thümer, German swimmer and photographer.
  • 1970 – Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Indian colonel and politician.
  • 1970 – Jörg Hoffmann, German swimmer.
  • 1970 – Mohammed Yusuf, Nigerian Islamist leader, founded Boko Haram (d. 2009).
  • 1984 – Natalie du Toit, South African swimmer.
  • 1988 – Tatyana Chernova, Russian heptathlete.

People (Deaths)

  • 757 – An Lushan, Chinese general (b. 703).
  • 870 – Salih ibn Wasif, Muslim general.
  • 1737 – George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney, Scottish-English field marshal and politician, Colonial Governor of Virginia (b. 1666).
  • 1829 – Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras, French captain and politician (b. 1755).
  • 1928 – Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, Scottish field marshal (b. 1861).
  • 1931 – Henri Mathias Berthelot, French general during World War I (b. 1861).
  • 1941 – Ioannis Metaxas, Greek general and politician, 130th Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1871).
  • 1970 – B.H. Liddell Hart, French-English soldier, historian, and journalist (b. 1895).
  • 2002 – Harold Russell, Canadian-American soldier and actor (b. 1914).
  • 2012 – Ranjit Singh Dyal, Indian general and politician, 10th Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry (b. 1928).
  • 2015 – Alexander Vraciu, American commander and pilot (b. 1918).

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