Today in History – January 21

1793 – After being found guilty of treason by the French National Convention, Louis XVI of France was executed by guillotine.

1846 – The first edition of Charles Dickens’ newspaper “The Daily News” was published.

1854 – The RMS Tayleur sank off Lambay Island on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Australia with great loss of life.

1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis resigned from the United States Senate.

1880 – The first US sewage disposal system separate from storm drains (in Memphis, Tennessee).

1899 – Opel manufactured its first automobile.

1903 – Harry Houdini escaped from the Halvemaansteeg police station in Amsterdam.

1908 – New York City passed the Sullivan Ordinance, which made it illegal for women to smoke in public, only to have the measure vetoed by the mayor.

1915 – Kiwanis International was founded in Detroit.

1921 – British crime writer Agatha Christie published her first novel, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, which introduced the character Hercule Poirot.

1942 – Count Basie recorded “One O’Clock Jump”.

1950 – American lawyer and government official Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury.

1954 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched in Groton, Connecticut by Mamie Eisenhower, the First Lady of the United States.

1960 – Little Joe 1B, a Mercury spacecraft, lifted off from Wallops Island, Virginia with Miss Sam, a female rhesus monkey, on board.

1968 – Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh: One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war began.

1968 – A B-52 bomber crashed near Thule Air Base in Greenland, which contaminated the area after its nuclear payload ruptured. One of the four bombs remained unaccounted for after the cleanup operation was complete.

1976 – Commercial service of Concorde began with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes.

1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.

1978 – Bee Gees’ album “Saturday Night Fever” went #1 and remained there for 24 weeks.

1985 – Galaxy Airlines Flight 203 crashed near Reno–Tahoe International Airport in Reno, Nevada, and killed 70 people.

1987 – B.B. King donated his 7,000 record collection to the University of Mississippi.

1987 – The Coasters, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, B.B. King, Clyde McPhatter, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Smokey Robinson, Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Jackie Wilson, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker, Hank Williams, Leonard Chess, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and Jerry Wexler were inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”.

1990 – John McEnroe became the first ever player to be expelled from the Australian Open.

1994 – Lorena Bobbitt was found temporarily insane after she cut off her husband’s penis.

1997 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 395–28 to reprimand Newt Gingrich for ethics violations, which made him the first Speaker of the House to be so disciplined.

1999 – War on Drugs: In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepted a ship with over 9,500 lbs. of cocaine on board.

2004 – NASA’s MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceased communication with mission control. The problem was in the management of its flash memory and was fixed remotely from Earth on February 6.

2017 – Over 400 cities across America and 160+ countries worldwide participated in a large-scale women’s march, on Donald Trump’s first full day as President of the United States.

2018 – Rocket Lab’s Electron became the first rocket to reach orbit using an electric pump-fed engine and deployed three CubeSats.

2020 – The world’s oldest asteroid impact at 2.2 billion years old was found in Yarrabubba, Western Australia, which may have ended an ice age.


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