On This Day … 07 January


  • 49 BC –The Senate of Rome says that Caesar will be declared a public enemy unless he disbands his army. This prompts the tribunes who support him to flee to Ravenna, where Caesar is waiting.
  • 1558 – French troops, led by Francis, Duke of Guise, take Calais, the last continental possession of England.
  • 1738 – A peace treaty is signed between Peshwa Bajirao and Jai Singh II following Maratha victory in the Battle of Bhopal.
  • 1835 – HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, drops anchor off the Chonos Archipelago.
  • 1894 – Thomas Edison makes a kinetoscopic film of someone sneezing.
    • On the same day, his employee, William Kennedy Dickson, receives a patent for motion picture film.
  • 1904 – The distress signal “CQD” is established only to be replaced two years later by “SOS”.
  • 1919 – Montenegrin guerrilla fighters rebel against the planned annexation of Montenegro by Serbia, but fail.
  • 1922 – Dáil Éireann ratifies the Anglo-Irish Treaty by a 64-57 vote.
  • 1935 – Benito Mussolini and French Foreign minister Pierre Laval sign the Franco-Italian Agreement.
  • 1940 – Winter War: Battle of Raate Road: The Finnish 9th Division finally defeat the numerically superior Soviet forces on the Raate-Suomussalmi road.
  • 1948 – Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell crashes while in pursuit of a supposed UFO.
  • 1979 – Third Indochina War: Cambodian-Vietnamese War: Phnom Penh falls to the advancing Vietnamese troops, driving out Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
  • 1991 – Roger Lafontant, former leader of the Tonton Macoute in Haiti under François Duvalier, attempts a coup d’état, which ends in his arrest.
  • 1993 – Bosnian War: The Bosnian Army executes a surprise attack at the village of Kravica in Srebrenica.

People (Births)

  • 1718 – Israel Putnam, American general (d. 1790).
  • 1746 – George Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith, Scottish admiral and politician (d. 1823).
  • 1797 – Mariano Paredes, Mexican general and 16th president (1845-1846) (d. 1849).
  • 1827 – Sandford Fleming, Scottish-Canadian engineer, created Universal Standard Time (d. 1915).
  • 1910 – Orval Faubus, American soldier and politician, 36th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1994).
  • 1943 – Sadako Sasaki, Japanese survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, known for one thousand origami cranes (d. 1955).
  • 1965 – Alessandro Lambruschini, Italian runner.
  • 1972 – Donald Brashear, American-Canadian ice hockey player and mixed martial artist.
  • 1974 – Alenka Bikar, Slovenian sprinter and politician.
  • 1982 – Hannah Stockbauer, German swimmer.
  • 1991 – Caster Semenya, South African sprinter.

People (Deaths)

  • 838 – Babak Khorramdin, Iranian leader of the Khurramite uprising against the Abbasid Caliphate.
  • 1694 – Charles Gerard, 1st Earl of Macclesfield, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire (b. 1618).
  • 1932 – André Maginot, French Army sergeant and politician (b. 1877).
  • 2015 – Mompati Merafhe, Botswana general and politician, Vice-President of Botswana (b. 1936).

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