"Did You Know..."
Notable Historic Events
for the Month of January
President Abraham Lincoln
45 B.C...The Julian Calendar begins.
January 1st is now celebrated as New Year's Day.
1863...As a result of the
Homestead Act, a Nebraska farmer files the first
homestead claim. The Homestead Act lets settlers claim 160 acres of government
land. The land is deeded to the homesteader after 5 years when they show
proof they have improved the land with a shelter and crops.
Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves in
the Confederate States. Slavery is ended in the United States.
1892...Ellis Island opens. It operates for 50 years, and admits more than
12 million immigrants into the United States.
Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill announce the formation of the
United Nations. The declaration of the
United Nations states that it is to
be an international peacekeeping organization. Twenty-six nations sign the
declaration to build and support this new organization.
1788...Georgia becomes the 4th state in the USA.
1923...The Secretary of the U.S. Dept of
the Interior, Albert Fall, resigns his office. In what becomes known as
the Teapot Dome Scandal Albert Fall is accused of using his position and power
to made secret deals with developers for his personal gain. He set aside an oil
reserve in Wyoming for emergency government use, and then makes secret deals
with oilmen to take the oil. The scandal gets its name from the oil reserve, which was
called the Teapot Dome.
Nixon signs the Emergency
Highway Energy Conservation Act. It lowers the
speed limit to 55mph on all
The states have been setting their own speed limits, which rang from 40 to 80
mph. The speed limit is lowered as a means to try and lower gas
consumption and reduce America's dependency on foreign oil. (This unpopular law
doesn't work, and
Congress reverses this law in 1995).
Luther is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.
Martin Luther is a Catholic Priest who becomes disillusioned with some of the
practices of the Catholic Church, including the selling of indulgences.
When Pope Leo X starts selling indulgences to fund the St. Peter's Basilica, Luther puts his concerns on paper. He then
nails this paper, the
95 Thesis, to the door
of the Wittenberg Castle Church. His words spread, and the
Protestant Reformation begins.
Roosevelt founds the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, later
named the March of Dimes.
1959...Alaska becomes the 49th state in the USA.
Utah becomes the 45th State
1896...Utah becomes the 45th state in the USA.
1995...The Republicans take control of both houses of Congress. It is the
first time in 40 years. Newt Gingrich introduces the "Contract with
America" during the 1994 Congressional campaign. The contract lists
detailed actions the Republicans promise to take if elected with a majority in
Congress. All 300 Republican Conservative candidates sign this document, and
Gingrich is credited for the Republican victory.
1999...Europe unites their currency with the
Nine countries, including the United Kingdom and Denmark, are members of the
European Union (EU) but do not use the
1920...The NY Yankees purchase Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox.
1933...Construction begins on the
Golden Gate Bridge.
Truman labels his administration the "Fair Deal" during his State of
the Union Address. The Fair Deal is basically the domestic agenda of the
Truman wants all Americans to have health insurance, a higher minimum wage
and legislated equal rights.
George W. Bush
1838...Samuel Morse demonstrates the
telegraph in Morristown, NJ.
He uses what has become known as Morse code. Although Sanuel Morse is
given credit for the invention of Morse code, it is his friend Alfred Vail who
makes the code easier to use. He assigns shorter codes to commonly used
letters, and makes the code instantly readable when received.
1912...New Mexico becomes the 47th state in the USA.
W. Bush is finally officially declared the winner of the Presidential
election after one of the closest elections in US history, and a recount in the
state of Florida.
1785...The English Channel is crossed in a balloon.
1789...The first election for the President of the United States takes place
after the ratification of the Constitution.
George Washington is so popular he runs unopposed (69 electoral votes on the
first ballot). On the 2nd ballot
John Adams becomes Vice President with 34 electoral votes. Of note,
John Jay had 9 electoral votes.
1999...Impeachment trial for
President Bill Clinton begins in the
President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson defeats the British Army at the Battle of New Orleans.
1918...With the war not yet over, President
Wilson delivers his Fourteen Points speech to Congress. In it he
presents his vision for long-lasting
peace in the world after WWI. He calls for the United States to be
unselfish in its peace terms, and to allow each country to determine its own
Wilson also calls for a postwar establishment to resolve future conflicts.
The speech is distributed in Germany and is one of the reasons they agree to an
armistice to the war.
1776...Thomas Paine's pamphlet "Common Sense" is published.
2007...Steve Jobs, of Apple Inc, introduces the iPhone
at the Macworld Convention in San Francisco. He calls it
a “revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years
ahead of any other mobile phone.” The iPhone has a touch screen, a
camera and the ability to connect to the Internet and browse the web.
phone becomes the Invention of the Year and similar
phones become part of the everyday life.
Lincoln names William Seward as Secretary of State. While Seward is
Andrew Johnson he becomes famous for purchasing Alaska, which at the time was thought to be foolish
and the purchase labeled "Seward's Folly."
1901...Oil is discovered in America.
oil derrick on Spindletop Hill, near Beaumont, Texas, discovers oil down
1,000 feet down. The resulting geyser takes nine days to cap. This
discovery, though not the first discovery of oil in America, fueled the start of the American oil industry. Oil
will take over as the primary
source of fuel for power.
2008...What is touted as the world's
car" rolls out of India. It is only 5 feet wide and 10 feet long.
It is called the Nano, but it is dubbed the "People's
Car" as more people will now be able to own a
car. It cost a little over $2,000. At this time the Nano
is only sold in India.
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