January 4th in History

This day in historyJanuary 4 is the fourth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 361 days remaining until the end of the year (362 in leap years).


In 46 BC,  Julius Caesar defeats Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina.

In 871,  Battle of Reading: Æthelred of Wessex fights, and is defeated by, a Danish invasion army.

SanchoII-P.jpgIn 1248,  Sancho II (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɐ̃ʃu]), nicknamed “the Pious” (Portuguese: o Piedoso) and “the Caped” or “the Capuched” (Portuguese: o Capelo), King of Portugal (8 September 1209, Coimbra – 4 January 1248, Toledo), died. He was the eldest son of Afonso II of Portugal by his wife, Infanta Urraca of Castile. Sancho became king in 1223 and was succeeded by his brother, King Afonso III, in 1247.

In 1384,  King Razadarit ascends the Hanthawaddy throne

In 1490,  Anne of Brittany announces that all those who would ally with the King of France will be considered guilty of the crime of Lese-majesty.

In 1642,  King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England‘s slide into civil war.

In 1649,  English Civil War: The Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial.

In 1717,  The Netherlands, Great Britain, and France sign the Triple Alliance.

In 1762,  Great Britain declares war on Spain and Naples.

In 1798,  Constantine Hangerli arrives in Bucharest, Wallachia, as its new Prince, invested by the Ottoman Empire.

1851 Colt

In 1847,  Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.

In 1853,  After having been kidnapped and sold into slavery in the American South, Solomon Northup regains his freedom; his memoir Twelve Years a Slave later becomes a national bestseller.

In 1854,  The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.

In 1863,  The New Apostolic Church, a Christian and chiliastic church, is established in Hamburg, Germany.

In 1863, Roger Hanson, American general (b. 1827) dies two days after a charge at Murfreesboro (Stones River). He was a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. The commander of the famed “Orphan Brigade,” he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Murfreesboro. He was nicknamed “Old Flintlock.” With the outbreak of the Civil War, Kentucky declared itself neutral and stayed in the Union. Hanson was named as colonel of a regiment of Confederate troops he had raised in Lexington, Kentucky but which enlisted in Tennessee because of Kentucky’s neutrality. When President Abraham Lincoln sent Federal troops into Lexington and raised the Union flag over the city, Hanson and his 2nd Kentucky Infantry Regiment were “orphaned”, since they could not return home unless Lexington fell to the Confederates. The regiment was taken prisoner with the surrender of Fort Donelson. After being exchanged 7 months later, Hanson was presented with a new horse by admiring friends. He reenlisted for the war, and Hanson was promoted to brigadier general in December 1862, commanding his old regiment as well as the 4th, 6th and 19th Kentucky Infantry regiments, plus the 41st Alabama Regiment and Cobb’s Battery, in Breckinridge‘s division, Hardee‘s corps.

Hanson’s brother, Lt. Col. Charles S. Hanson, fought for the Union at the Battle of Lebanon.

In 1865,  The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York, New York.

In 1878,  Sofia is emancipated from Ottoman rule.

Ange-Jacques Gabriel

In 1782,  Ange-Jacques Gabriel, French architect, designed École Militaire (b. 1698) died.

In 1804,  Charlotte Lennox, English author and poet (b. 1730) dies.  Charlotte Lennox, née Ramsay (c. 1730 – 4 January 1804) was an English author and poet. She is most famous now as the author of The Female Quixote and for her association with Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, and Samuel Richardson, but she had a long career and wrote poetry, prose, and drama.

In 1884,  The Fabian Society is founded in London, England, United Kingdom.

In 1889,  The Oklahoma Land Run opens 2 million acres of unused Oklahoma Territory to first serve first come settlers on April 22.

In 1896,  Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state.

In 1903,  Topsy, an elephant, is electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign.

In 1912,  The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal charter.

In 1918,  The Finnish Declaration of Independence is recognized by Russia, Sweden, Germany and France.

In 1944,  World War II: Operation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, begins.

In 1948,  Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom.

In 1951,  Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul.

In 1955,  The Greek National Radical Union is formed by Konstantinos Karamanlis.

In 1958,  Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit.

In 1959,  Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.

In 1965,  United States President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his “Great Society” during his State of the Union address.

In 1966,  A military coup takes place in Upper Volta (later Burkina Faso), dissolving the National Parliament and leading to a new national constitution.

In 1970,  A magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes Tonghai County, China, killing at least 15,000 people.

In 1972,  Rose Heilbron becomes the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London, England.

In 1974,  United States President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

In 1976,  The Troubles: The Ulster Volunteer Force shoots dead six Irish Catholic civilians in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The next day, gunmen shoot dead ten Protestant civilians nearby in retaliation.

British Generals 1939-1945 E16462.jpg

Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks commanding XIII Corps in North Africa, 1942

In 1985,  Brian Horrocks, Indian-English general (b. 1895) dies on 4 January 1985, aged 89. He was a British Army officer who commanded XXX Corpsduring the Second World War. He also served in the First World War and the Russian Civil War, was taken prisoner twice, and competed in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Later he was a television presenter, a military history author, and Black Rod in the House of LordsField Marshal Bernard Montgomery identified Horrocks as one of his most able officers, appointing him to corps commands in North Africa and Europe. Horrocks was seriously wounded in 1943, and took more than a year to recover before returning to command a corps. His wound caused continuing health problems and led to his early retirement from the army. Since 1945, Horrocks has been regarded by some historians as one of the most successful British generals of the war; Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in Western Europe, called him “the outstanding British general under Montgomery”.

In 1987,  The 1987 Maryland train collision: An Amtrak train en route to Boston, Massachusetts from Washington, D.C., collides with Conrail engines in Chase, Maryland, killing 16 people.

In 1989,  Second Gulf of Sidra incident: a pair of Libyan MiG-23 “Floggers” are shot down by a pair of US Navy F-14 Tomcats during an air-to-air confrontation.

In 1990,  In Pakistan‘s deadliest train accident an overloaded passenger train collides with an empty freight train, resulting in 307 deaths and 700 injuries.

In 1998,  Wilaya of Relizane massacres in Algeria: over 170 are killed in three remote villages.

In 1998,  A massive ice storm hits eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, continuing through January 10 and causing widespread destruction.

In 1999,  Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as governor of Minnesota.

In 2000,  Two trains on the Røros Line collide in Åsta, Norway, resulting in an explosive fire and 19 deaths.

Les Brown 1947.JPGIn 2001,  Les Brown, American bandleader and composer (b. 1912) dies of lung cancer in 2001, and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los AngelesCalifornia. He was survived by his wife Evelyn, son Les Jr., and daughter Denise. He was 88 years old at the time of his death. He was an American jazz musician who led the big band Les Brown and His Band of Renown for nearly seven decades from 1938–2000. Les Brown and the Band of Renown performed with Bob Hope on radio, stage and television for almost fifty years. They did 18 USO Tours for American troops around the world, and entertained over three million people. Before the Super Bowls were televised, the Bob Hope Christmas Specials were the highest-rated programs in television history. Tony Bennett was “discovered” by Bob Hope and did his first public performance with Brown and the Band. In 1942 he and his band concluded work on an RKO picture, “Sweet and Hot”; played at the Palladium Ballroom, Hollywood. A few years later, in 1945, this band brought Doris Day into prominence with their recording of “Sentimental Journey“. The song’s release coincided with the end of World War II in Europe and became an unofficial homecoming theme for many veterans. The band had nine other number-one hit songs, including “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm“.


In 2004,  Spirit, a NASA Mars rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.

In 2004,  Mikheil Saakashvili is elected President of Georgia following the November 2003 Rose Revolution.

In 2006,  Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel suffers a second, apparently more serious stroke. His authority is transferred to acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

In 2007,  The 110th United States Congress convenes, electing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.

In 2010,  Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is officially opened.

Image result for photos by eve arnoldEve Arnold.jpgIn 2012,  Eve Arnold, American photographer and journalist (b. 1912) dies at the age of 99. She was an American photojournalist. She joined Magnum Photos agency in 1951, and became a full member in 1957. She was born Eve Cohen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the middle of nine children born to immigrant RussianJewish parents, William Cohen (born Velvel Sklarski), a rabbi, and his wife, Bessie (Bosya Laschiner). Her interest in photography began in 1946 while working in a New York City photo-finishing plant. Over six weeks in 1948, she learned photographic skills from Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. She married Arnold Schmitz (later Arnold Arnold) in 1941. Eve Arnold photographed many of the iconic figures who shaped the second half of the twentieth century, yet she was equally comfortable documenting the lives of the poor and dispossessed, “migrant workers, civil-rights protestors of apartheid in South Africa, disabled Vietnam war veterans and Mongolian herdsmen.” For Arnold, there was no dichotomy: “”I don’t see anybody as either ordinary or extraordinary,” she said in a 1990 BBC interview, “I see them simply as people in front of my lens.” Arnold’s images of Marilyn Monroe as well as  Queen Elizabeth IIMalcolm X, and Joan Crawford, with others as she traveled around the world, photographing in ChinaRussiaSouth Africa and Afghanistan.

In 2013, A gunman kills eight people in a house-to-house rampage in Kawit, the Philippines.

In 2015, After a rough start, the Jackson City Council unanimously approved the Highland Avenue Multimodal Improvement project, which is the defined area on North Highland Avenue between Skyline Drive and North Parkway. Several council members refused to vote on the project at December’s meeting.  After a specially called meeting, however, Stan Pilant, director of the planning department, assured members he was just following directions from the mayor. Gist, in his most condescending manner, said “I know it’s confusing to them, we have all these federal and state regulations, but with state funding, you have to do it their way. I mean, it’s really a state project; they’ll inspect it and everything.” If it is a state or federal project, then why does the council have to approve it, unless of course the city handles the money.

In 2018,  A passenger train operated by Shosholoza Meyl collided with a truck on a level crossing at Geneva Station between Hennenman and Kroonstad, Free State, South Africa. 20 people were killed and 260 were injured.

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