Today in History – January 5

1709 – The Great Frost began during the night, a sudden cold snap that remains Europe’s coldest ever winter. Thousands were killed across the continent and crops fail in France.

1757 – Louis XV of France survived an assassination attempt by Robert-François Damiens, the last person to be executed in France by drawing and quartering, the traditional and gruesome form of capital punishment used for regicides.

1781 – American Revolutionary War: Richmond, Virginia, was burned by British naval forces led by Benedict Arnold.

1875 – The Palais Garnier, one of the most famous opera houses in the world, was inaugurated in Paris.

1895 – Dreyfus affair: French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island.

1900 – Irish nationalist leader John Edward Redmond called for revolt against British rule.

1911 – Kappa Alpha Psi, the world’s third oldest and largest black fraternity, was founded at Indiana University.

1912 – The sixth All-Russian Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Prague Party Conference) opens. In the course of the conference, Vladimir Lenin and his supporters broke from the rest of the party to form the Bolshevik movement.

1914 – The Ford Motor Company announced an eight-hour workday and minimum daily wage of $5 in salary plus bonuses.

1919 – The German Workers’ Party, which would become the Nazi Party, was founded in Munich.

1925 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming became the first female governor in the United States.

1930 – Bonnie and Clyde: Bonnie Parker met Clyde Barrow for the first time at Clarence Clay’s house.

1933 – Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began in San Francisco Bay.

1941 – Amy Johnson, a 37-year-old pilot and the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia, disappeared after bailing out of her plane over the River Thames, and was presumed dead.

1944 – The Daily Mail became the first major London newspaper to be published on both sides of the Atlantic.

1949 – In his “State of the Union” address, United States President Harry S. Truman unveiled his Fair Deal program.

1957 – In a speech given to the United States Congress, United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the establishment of what will later be called the Eisenhower Doctrine.

1959 – “Bozo the Clown” live children’s show premiered on TV.

1959 – Buddy Holly released his last record “It Doesn’t Matter”; he was killed in a plane crash 29 days later.

1969 – Creedence Clearwater Revival released their second album “Bayou Country”, featuring singles “Good Golly, Miss Molly” and “Proud Mary”.

1970 – Soap Opera “All My Children” premiered on ABC.

1972 – President Richard Nixon signed a bill for NASA to begin research on a manned space shuttle.

1973 – Columbia Records released Bruce Springsteen’s debut album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.”

1976 – The Troubles: Gunmen shot dead ten Protestant civilians after stopping their minibus at Kingsmill in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, UK, allegedly as retaliation for a string of attacks on Catholic civilians in the area by Loyalists, particularly the killing of six Catholics the night before.

1981 – Peter Sutcliffe, a truck driver, confessed that he was the “Yorkshire Ripper” and murdered 13 women.

1991 – Somali Civil War: The United States Embassy to Somalia in Mogadishu was evacuated by helicopter airlift days after the outbreak of violence in Mogadishu.

2005 – Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, was discovered by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo and David L. Rabinowitz using images originally taken on October 21, 2003, at the Palomar Observatory.

2014 – A launch of the communication satellite GSAT-14 aboard the GSLV MK.II D5 marked the first successful flight of an Indian cryogenic engine.

2020 – Chinese professor Zhang Yongzhen published the first SARS-CoV-2 genome map online which allowed health professionals worldwide to identify COVID-19.

To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE