On This Day … 30 January


  • 1018 – Poland and the Holy Roman Empire conclude the Peace of Bautzen.
  • 1287 – King Wareru founds the Hanthawaddy Kingdom, and proclaims independence from the Pagan Kingdom.
  • 1648 – Eighty Years’ War: The Treaty of Münster and Osnabrück is signed, ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain.
  • 1649 – Charles I of England is executed in Whitehall, London.
  • 1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
  • 1703 – The Forty-seven rōnin (masterless samurai), under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, by killing Kira Yoshinaka.
  • 1789 – Tây Sơn forces emerge victorious against Qing armies and liberate the capital Thăng Long.
  • 1820 – Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica.
  • 1847 – Yerba Buena, California is renamed San Francisco, California.
  • 1862 – The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched.
  • 1902 – The first Anglo-Japanese Alliance is signed in London.
  • 1908 – Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is released from prison by Jan C. Smuts after being tried and sentenced to two months in jail earlier in the month.
  • 1911 – The destroyer USS Terry makes the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of Douglas McCurdy ten miles from Havana, Cuba.
  • 1920 – Japanese carmaker Mazda is founded, initially as a cork-producing company.
  • 1933 – Adolf Hitler’s rise to power: Hitler takes office as the Chancellor of Germany.
  • 1942 – World War II: Japanese forces invade the island of Ambon in the Dutch East Indies.
    • Some 300 captured Allied troops are killed after the surrender.
    • One-quarter of the remaining POWs remain alive at the end of the war.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Battle of Cisterna, part of Operation Shingle, begins in central Italy.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with German refugees, sinks in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, killing approximately 9,500 people.
  • 1945 – World War II: Raid at Cabanatuan: One hundred and twenty-six American Rangers and Filipino resistance fighters liberate over 500 Allied prisoners from the Japanese-controlled Cabanatuan POW camp.
  • 1948 – Following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in his home compound, India’s prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, broadcasts to the nation, saying “The light has gone out of our lives”.
    • The date of the assassination becomes observed as “Martyrs’ Day” in India.
  • 1959 – The forces of the Sultanate of Muscat occupy the last strongholds of the Imamate of Oman, Saiq and Shuraijah, marking the end of Jebel Akhdar War in Oman.
  • 1964 – In a bloodless coup, General Nguyễn Khánh overthrows General Dương Văn Minh’s military junta in South Vietnam.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: Tet Offensive launch by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army against South Vietnam, the United States, and their allies.
  • 1972 – The Troubles: Bloody Sunday: British paratroopers open fire on anti-internment marchers in Derry, Northern Ireland, killing 13 people; another person later dies of injuries sustained.
  • 1972 – Pakistan leaves the Commonwealth of Nations in protest of its recognition of breakaway Bangladesh.
  • 2013 – Naro-1 becomes the first carrier rocket launched by South Korea.
  • Martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi, and its related observances:
    • Martyrs’ Day (India).
    • School Day of Non-violence and Peace (Spain).
    • Start of the Season for Nonviolence (30 January 30 – 04 April).

People (Births)

  • 1410 – William Calthorpe, English knight (d. 1494).
  • 1816 – Nathaniel P. Banks, American general and politician, 24th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1894).
  • 1910 – Chidambaram Subramaniam, Indian lawyer and politician, Indian Minister of Defence (d. 2000).
  • 1914 – Luc-Marie Bayle, French commander and painter (d. 2000).
  • 1915 – Joachim Peiper, German SS officer (d. 1976).
  • 1915 – John Profumo, English soldier and politician, Secretary of State for War (d. 2006).
  • 1924 – Lloyd Alexander, American soldier and author (d. 2007).
  • 1925 – Douglas Engelbart, American computer scientist, invented the computer mouse (d. 2013).
  • 1930 – Magnus Malan, South African general and politician, South African Minister of Defence (d. 2011).
  • 1941 – Tineke Lagerberg, Dutch swimmer.
  • 1945 – Meir Dagan, Israeli military officer and intelligence official, Director of Mossad (2002-2011) (d. 2016).

People (Deaths)

  • 1948 – Arthur Coningham, Australian air marshal (b. 1895).
  • 1948 – Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule (b. 1869).
  • 1948 – Orville Wright, American pilot and engineer, co-founded the Wright Company (b. 1871).
  • 1958 – Ernst Heinkel, German engineer and businessman; founded the Heinkel Aircraft Company (b. 1888).
  • 1994 – Pierre Boulle, French soldier and author (b. 1912).
  • 2001 – Jean-Pierre Aumont, French soldier and actor (b. 1911).
  • 2001 – Johnnie Johnson, English air marshal and pilot (b. 1915).
  • 2009 – H. Guy Hunt, American soldier, pastor, and politician, 49th Governor of Alabama (b. 1933).
  • 2014 – Stefan Bałuk, Polish general and photographer (b. 1914).
  • 2015 – Gerrit Voorting, Dutch cyclist (b. 1923).

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