On This Day … 29 January


  • 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 (refer to Napoleonic Wars).
  • 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.
  • 1911 – Mexican Revolution: Mexicali is captured by the Mexican Liberal Party, igniting the Magonista rebellion of 1911.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: The Battle of Khafji, the first major ground engagement of the war, as well as its deadliest, begins between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
  • 1996 – President Jacques Chirac announces a “definitive end” to French nuclear weapons testing.
  • 2002 – In his State of the Union address, US President George W. Bush describes “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of evil, in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
  • 2014 – Rojava conflict: The Afrin Canton declares its autonomy from the Syrian Arab Republic.

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.
  • 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).
  • 2009 – Hélio Gracie, Brazilian martial artist (b. 1913).
  • 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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