January 9th in History

This day in historyJanuary 9 is the ninth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 356 days remaining until the end of the year (357 in leap years).


In 475,  Byzantine Emperor Zeno is forced to flee his capital at Constantinople, and his general, Basiliscus gains control of the empire.

In 681,  Twelfth Council of Toledo: King Erwig of the Visigoths initiates a council in which he implements diverse measures against the Jews in Spain.

In 1127,  Invading Jurchen soldiers from the Jin Dynasty besiege and sack Bianjing (Kaifeng), the capital of the Song Dynasty of China, and abduct Emperor Qinzong and others, ending the Northern Song Dynasty.

In 1150,  Prince Hailing of Jin and other court officials murder Emperor Xizong of Jin. Hailing succeeds him as emperor.

Marco Polo portrait.jpg

Marco Polo

In 1324Marco Polo, Italian merchant and explorer (b. 1254) died. He was an Italian merchant traveler whose travels are recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned the mercantile trade from his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia, and apparently met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned, and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married and had three children. He died in 1324, and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo. Marco Polo was not the first European to reach China (see Europeans in Medieval China), but he was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience. This book inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travellers. There is a substantial literature based on his writings. Polo influenced European cartography, leading to the introduction of the Fra Mauro map.

In 1349,  The Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death, is rounded up and incinerated.

In 1431,  Judges’ investigations for the trial of Joan of Arc begin in Rouen, France, the seat of the English occupation government.

In 1760,  Afghans defeat Marathas in the Battle of Barari Ghat.

In 1788,  Connecticut becomes the fifth state to be admitted to the United States.

In 1793,  Jean-Pierre Blanchard becomes the first person to fly in a balloon in the United States.

In 1799,  British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduces an income tax of two shillings to the pound to raise funds for Great Britain’s war effort in the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1806,  Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson receives a state funeral and is interred in St Paul’s Cathedral.

In 1816,  Sir Humphry Davy tests his safety lamp for miners at Hebburn Colliery.

In 1822,  The Portuguese prince Pedro I of Brazil decides to stay in Brazil against the orders of the Portuguese King João VI, beginning the Brazilian independence process.

In 1839,  The French Academy of Sciences announces the Daguerreotype photography process.

In 1857,  The Fort Tejon earthquake strikes California, registering an estimated magnitude of 7.9.

In 1858,  Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, commits suicide.

In 1861,  American Civil War: The “Star of the West” incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered by some historians to be the “First Shots of the American Civil War”.

In 1861,  Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

In 1863,  American Civil War: the Battle of Fort Hindman begins in Arkansas.

In 1878,  Umberto I becomes King of Italy.

In 1880,  The Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high winds and heavy snow.

In 1894,  New England Telephone and Telegraph installs the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.

In 1903,  Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, son of the poet Alfred Tennyson, becomes the second Governor-General of Australia.

In 1909,  Ernest Shackleton, leading the Nimrod Expedition to the South Pole, plants the British flag 97 nautical miles (180 km; 112 mi) from the South Pole, the farthest anyone had ever reached at that time.

In 1914,  Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the first historically black intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity to be officially recognized at Howard University, is founded.

In 1916,  World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli concludes with an Ottoman Empire victory when the last Allied forces are evacuated from the peninsula.

In 1917,  World War I: the Battle of Rafa is fought near the Egyptian border with Palestine.

In 1918,  Battle of Bear Valley: The last battle of the American Indian Wars.

In 1921,  Greco-Turkish War: The First Battle of İnönü, the first battle of the war, begins near Eskişehir in Anatolia.

In 1923,  Juan de la Cierva makes the first autogyro flight.

In 1923,  Lithuanian residents of the Memel Territory rebel against the League of Nations‘ decision to leave the area as a mandated region under French control.

In 1927,  A fire at the Laurier Palace movie theatre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, kills 78 children.

In 1941,  World War II: First flight of the Avro Lancaster.

In 1941,  World War II: The Greek Triton (Y-5) sinks the Italian submarine Neghelli in Otranto.

In 1945,  World War II: The United States invades Luzon in the Philippines.

In 1947,  Elizabeth “Betty” Short, the Black Dahlia, is last seen alive.

In 1960,  President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser opens construction on the Aswan Dam by detonating ten tons of dynamite to demolish twenty tons of granite on the east bank of the Nile.

In 1964,  Martyrs’ Day: Several Panamanian youths try to raise the Panamanian flag on the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal Zone, leading to fighting between U.S. military and Panamanian civilians.

In 1965,  The Mirzapur Cadet College formally opens for academic activities in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

In 1991,  Representatives from the United States and Iraq meet at the Geneva Peace Conference to try to find a peaceful resolution to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

In 1992,  The Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaims the creation of Republika Srpska, a new state within Yugoslavia.

In 1996,  First Chechen War: Chechen separatists launch a raid against the helicopter airfield and later a civilian hospital in the city of Kizlyar in the neighboring Dagestan, which turns into a massive hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.

In 2004,  An inflatable boat carrying illegal Albanian emigrants stalls near the Karaburun Peninsula while on the way to Brindisi, Italy; exposure to the elements kills 28.

In 2005,  Mahmoud Abbas wins the election to replace Yasser Arafat as President of the Palestinian National Authority. He replaces interim president Rawhi Fattouh.

In 2005,  The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan sign the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the Second Sudanese Civil War.

In 2007,  Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the first iPhone.

In 2011,  Iran Air Flight 277 crashes near Orumiyeh in the northeast of the country, killing 77 people.

In 2013,  A SeaStreak ferry travelling to lower Manhattan, New York City, crashes into the dock, injuring 85 people.

In 2014,  An explosion at a Mitsubishi Materials chemical plant in Yokkaichi, Japan, kills at least five people and injures 17 others.

In 2015, The perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris two days earlier are both killed after a hostage situation. Elsewhere, a second hostage situation, related to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, occurs at a Jewish market, Hypercacher, in the eastern Paris suburb of Vincennes.

In 2015,  A mass poisoning at a funeral in Mozambique involving beer that was contaminated with Burkholderia gladioli leaves 75 dead and over 230 people ill.

In 2016, President Obama on vetoed legislation that would repeal much of ObamaCare, the first such measure to reach his desk since it became law in 2010. Obama used his veto pen without fanfare on a legislative package rolling back his signature healthcare law and stripping federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

%d bloggers like this: