"Did You Know..."
Notable Historic Events
for the Month of January
1793...Louis XVI of France is executed. After the French
Revolution starts, he is forced to flee the country. He is found heading
to Austria with his wife, Marie Antoinette. Under duress he and his
wife return to Paris and he accepts the French constitution. He
becomes nothing but a figurehead. He is not happy with that role,
and when it is found that he has been talking with Austria and other foreign
governments he is brought to trial on charges of conspiracy.
Concorde begins flying commercial passengers.
is the result of a collaborative effort between
English and French
engineers to develop the world's first supersonic passenger airline. It cuts
flight time in half, flying at 1,350 mph. However, passengers find
flight noises uncomfortable,
and in 2003 the
stops making commercial flights.
1977...In an attempt to heal war wounds, President Carter
unconditionally pardons all the men who violated draft laws during the
Vietnam War. This is estimated to be about 100,000 men. About half of
those who fled to
Canada end up coming
Supreme Court reaches a decision in the Roe v. Wade case. The
rules that it is legal for women to have an abortion within the first three
1998...Ted Kaczynski admits in court
to being the Unabomber.
2012...Retail giant Kmart files for
bankruptcy protection. The general consensus is that Kmart
never found its niche. Wal-Mart pulls in the "everyday low price" crowd,
and Target the "style on a budget" crowd. Kmart never finds a following.
The US Pueblo
hits the market.
1969...The USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence ship traveling along the coast of
Korea in international waters, is captured by North Korea. After an
artillery barrage, the 83 crew members surrender and are taken to Pyongyang
where they are charged with spying and put in
jail. The Koreans imprison the
Americans for a gruesome eleven
months. Finally the two countries come to an agreement and the prisoners
are released. The Koreans go on to shoot down a US Navy aircraft the following
year, killing all 31 men aboard.
1973...President Nixon announces that a peace agreement has been reached to
bring the Vietnam War to a close.
is discovered in
America. In the Sacramento valley, just east of San Francisco
in the state of
a millwright named James Marshall discovers
gold at Sutter's Creek. Marshall is in the process of digging up dirt
a mill when he notices shiny speckles in the freshly
dug up earth. Marshall tells Sutter and the discovery is confirmed.
Word spreads, and one of the greatest
gold rushes in history begins.
Boy Scouts is organized. Baden-Powell's handbooks are used to teach young men about
camping, observation, woodcraft, lifesaving and more. At the same time the boys
the the importance of good moral character and doing good deeds.
soldier is found hiding on
Island of Guam. It is
twenty-seven years after the
WWII. He does not want to surrender to
America. He thinks it
disgraceful to be captured alive. He eventually finds out the war is over, but
stays in hiding hoping the Japanese will return to the
Finally he is convinced that it is time to go home. He returns to Japan and is hailed as a
General Richard Montgomery
1776...First national memorial is ordered to honor slain revolutionary war hero
General Richard Montgomery. Montgomery is a Brigadier General in the
Army. He is one of the first Generals in the Revolutionary War to lose his
life on the battlefield. After taking Montreal, Montgomery is killed in the
Battle of Quebec.
is held in Chamonix, France.
television news conference is held by
1788...735 convicts arrive in Botany Bay, Australia. They are the first
prisoners to be held at the new
English penal colony
in Botany Bay, Australia. The
English do not want to build
prisons. Since they do not want to keep people among them that commit crime,
they either have to kill them or send them away. Some of the prisoners are
guilty of no more than stealing
food because they are hungry. English punishment is severe. When England can
no longer send prisoners to
America, they choose Australia. It takes six months for the
prisoners to reach Australia. The
prisoners are chained beneath the deck for the
entire voyage, and many perish. Over the next 60 years, 50,000 criminals will be
to the penal colonies in Australia.
writes that he is unhappy the
eagle has been chosen to
America. He thinks the
a more respectable
Astronauts Grissom, White and Chafee
1988...The National Geographic Society is founded.
1967... Fire at Cape Canaveral takes the lives of three
Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chafee are inside the space
capsule running a simulation for their upcoming launch when the capsule catches
fire. The fire is traced to a faulty electric wire inside the Apollo I
command module. The three
astronauts become the first
Americans to die in a spacecraft.
nuclear bomb is detonated at a test site in
The Space Shuttle Challenger
Chrysler building is completed in
New York. It will hold the record as the
building until the
Empire State Building is completed one year
space shuttle Challenger launch fails, killing all
as well as civilian
teacher Christa McAuliffe.
German Lieutenant Erwin Rommel
1861...Kansas becomes the 34th state
United States of America.
1936...The Baseball House of Fame inducts its first members. Among its
first inductees are Ty Cobb and
1915...Lieutenant Erwin Rommel begins a daring mission to France. He is
rewarded the Iron Cross for his success, and becomes a famous
German general in
1933...Hitler is appointed chancellor by
president Hindenburg, as the Nazi party is the largest of the minority parties
in the Reichstag. Hitler immediately abuses his power to become a dictator,
although he was never elected by a majority of the
soldiers fire on unarmed civic rights demonstrators.
The event became known as Bloody Sunday.
of Representatives passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.
announces his decision to develop the the H-bomb. The hydrogen bomb is expected
to be hundreds of times more powerful than the bombs which were dropped on Japan during
is sent into space to see if he can survive.