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 "Did You Know..."

Notable Historic Events

for the Month of January




January 21st

Louis XVI

Louis XVI

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 the has been talking with Austria and other foreign governments he is brought to trial on charges of conspiracy.

1976...The Concorde begins flying commercial passengers.  The Concorde 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 Concorde 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 home.


January 22nd




1973...The Supreme Court reaches a decision in the  Roe v. Wade case. The Supreme Court rules that it is legal for women to have an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy

1998...Ted Kaczynski admits in court to being the "Unabomber."

2012...Retail giant Kmart files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  The general consensus is that Kmart never found its niche.  Walmart pulls in the "everyday low price" crowd, and Target, the "style on a budget" crowd.  Kmart never finds a following.



January 23rd

US Pueblo

The US Pueblo

1957...The Frisbee 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.


January 24th

Boy Scouts

1848...Gold is discovered in America. In the Sacramento valley, just east of San Francisco,  a millwright named James Marshall discovers  gold at Sutter's Creek.  Marshall is in the process of digging up dirt to redirect water for the mill when he notices the 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.

1908...The Boy Scouts is organized.  Baden-Powell's handbooks are used to teach young men about camping, observation, woodcraft, lifesaving and more, all the while teaching them the importance of good moral character and doing good deeds.

1972...A Japanese soldier is found hiding on an Island in the Philippines twenty-seven years after the end of WWII.


January  25th

General Richard Montgomery

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 American 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.

1924...The first Winter Olympics is held in Chamonix, France.

1961...First live television news conference is held by President Kennedy.


January 26

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

1788...England establishes penal colonies in Australia.

1784...Benjamin Franklin writes that he is unhappy the eagle has been chosen to symbolize America.  He thinks the turkey more respectable.

1950...India becomes an independent country.


January  27th

Astronaut "Gus" Grissom

Astronaut "Gus" Grissom

1988...The National Geographic Society is founded.

1967...Astronauts Grissom, White and Chafee become the first Americans to die in a spacecraft as a result of a launch pad fire.

1951...The first nuclear bomb is detonated at a test site in Nevada.


January  28th

The Space Shuttle Challenger

The Space Shuttle Challenger

1930...The Chrysler building is completed in New York.  It holds the record as the world's tallest building until the Empire State Building is completed one year later.

1986...The space shuttle Challenger launch fails, killing all  the astronauts as well as civilian teacher Christa McAuliffe.


January 29th

German Lieutenant Erwin Rommel

German Lieutenant Erwin Rommel

1861...Kansas becomes the 34th  state in the USA.

1936...The Baseball House of Fame inducts the first members, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.

1959...Rommel begins his daring mission to France and is later rewarded the Iron Cross.

January 30th

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

1948...Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.

1933...Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany with a small majority of votes.

1972...In Ireland British soldiers fire on unarmed civic rights demonstrators; an event that became known as "Bloody Sunday."


January 31st

Chimp Astronaut

Chimp Astronaut

1865...The House passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.

1950...President Truman announces his decision to develop the the H-bomb. The hydrogen bomb is expected to be hundreds of times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan during WWII.

1961...A chimp is sent into space to see if he could survive.






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Notable Historic Events

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Coloring Pages for Children

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