Today in History….January 21

On this day in….

1789 – W.H. Brown’s “Power of Sympathy” was published.  It was the first American novel to be published.  The novel is also known as the “Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth”.

1793 – During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was executed on the guillotine.  He had been condemned for treason.

1812 – The Y-bridge in Zanesville, OH, was approved for construction.

1846 – The first issue of the “Daily News,” edited by Charles Dickens, was published.

1853 – Dr. Russell L. Hawes patented the envelope folding machine.

1861 – The future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, resigned from the U.S. Senate.  Four other Southerners also resigned.

1865 – An oil well was drilled by torpedoes for the first time.

1900 – Canadian troops set sail to fight in South Africa.  The Boers had attacked Ladysmith on January 8, 1900.

1908 – The Sullivan Ordinance was passed in New York City making smoking by women illegal.  The measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr.

1911 – The first Monte Carlo car rally was held.  Seven days later it was won by Henri Rougier.

1915 – The first Kiwanis club was formed in Detroit, MI.

1924 – Soviet leader Vladimir Llyich Lenin died.  Joseph Stalin began a purge of his rivals for the leadership of the Soviet Union.

1927 – The first opera broadcast over a national radio network was presented in Chicago, IL.  The opera was “Faust”.

1941 – The British communist newspaper, the “Daily Worker,” was banned due to wartime restrictions.

1946 – “The Fat Man” debuted on ABC radio.

1954 – The Nautilus was launched in Groton, CT.  It was the first atomic-powered submarine.  U.S. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow.

1954 – The gas turbine automobile was introduced in New York City.

1970 – The Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American.

1970 – ABC-TV presented “The Johnny Cash Show” in prime time.

1976 – The French Concorde SST aircraft began regular commercial service for Air France and British Airways.

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

1980 – Gold was valued at $850 an ounce.

1986 – Former major-league player, Randy Bass, became the highest-paid baseball player in Japanese history.  Bass signed a three-year contract for $3.25 million.  He played for the Hanshin Tigers.

1994 – A jury in Manassas, VA, acquitted Lorena Bobbitt by reason of temporary insanity of maliciously wounding (severing his penis) her husband John.  She accused him of sexually assaulting her.

1997 – Newt Gingrich was fined as the U.S. House of Representatvies voted for first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.

1998 – A former White House intern said on tape that she had an affair with U.S. President Clinton.

1999 – The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a ship headed for Houston, TX, that had over 9,500 pounds of cocaine aboard.  It was one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history.

2002 – In Goma, Congo, about fifty people were killed when lava flow ignited a gas station.  The people killed were trying to steal fuel from elevated tanks.  The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo began on January 17, 2002.

2002 – In London, a 17th century book by Capt. John Smith, founder of the English settlement at Jamestown, was sold at auction for $48,800.  “The General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles” was published in 1632.

2003 – It was announced by the U.S. Census Bureau that estimates showed that the Hispanic population had passed the black population for the first time.


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