History: January 14

January 14

0347 Death: Plato (Aristocles), in Athens Greece.

1604 The Hampton Court Conference begins under James I to discuss Puritan demands for doctrinal changes in the Church of England. (Bradley)

1639 The first colonial constitutional convention, in Hartford, Connecticut, adopts the 'Fundamental Orders.' The first constitution in the American colonies, the legislation is approved by representatives of Wethersfield, Windsor, and Hartford. The Dutch had discovered the Connecticut River in 1614, but English Puritans from Massachusetts largely accomplished European settlement of the region. During the 1630s, they flocked to the Connecticut valley from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in 1638 representatives from the three major Puritan settlements in Connecticut met to set up a unified government for the new colony.

Roger Ludlow, a lawyer, wrote much of the Fundamental Orders, and presented a binding and compact frame of government that put the welfare of the community above that of individuals. It is also the first written constitution in the world to declare the modern idea that "the foundation of authority is in the free consent of the people." In 1662, the Charter of Connecticut will supersede the Fundamental Orders; though the majority of the original document's laws and statutes will remain in force until 1818. (Bradley)

1690 The Clarinet is invented, in Nüremberg, Germany.

1693 Salem Witch Trials: 49 of the 52 surviving people brought into court on witchcraft charges are released because their arrests were based on spectral evidence; Tituba (above), the slave owned by Rev Samuel Parris, is sold to a new master by the jail when Parris refused to pay jail fees.

1699 Salem Witch Trials: Massachusetts holds day of fasting for wrongly persecuting "witches."

1741 Birth: US Revolutionary War General/Traitor Benedict Arnold.

1742 Death: Edmond Halley, "English astronomer who discovered the proper motion of stars and the periodicity of comets. His activities also ranged from studying archaeology to serving as deputy comptroller of the mint at Chester. He was an integral part of the English scientific community at the height of its creativity. A graduate of Oxford, he became a member of the Royal Society at the age of 22. From the island of Saint Helena, he catalogued (1676-78) the positions of about 350 Southern Hemisphere stars and observed a transit of Mercury; he urged that the latter phenomenon and future transits of Venus be used to determine the distance of the Sun. He worked out a theory of cometary orbits, concluded that the comet of 1682 (which still bears his name) was periodic, and correctly predicted that it would return in 76 years. In 1710, comparing current star positions with those listed in Ptolemy's catalog, he deduced that the stars must have a slight motion of their own, and he detected this proper motion in three stars. Halley was appointed Savilian professor of geometry at Oxford in 1704, and in 1720 he succeeded John Flamsteed as astronomer royal. At the Greenwich Observatory he used the first transit instrument and devised a method for determining longitude at sea by means of lunar observations. Halley played an active role in the events and controversies of his time. He both morally and financially supported Isaac Newton, pacified the astronomer Johannes Hevelius regarding the disputed accuracy of methods for measuring stellar positions, and infuriated Flamsteed by scheming with Newton to publish Flamsteed's observations long before they were complete."

1784 The United States ratifies a peace treaty with England formally ending the Revolutionary War.

1797 Battle of Rivoli: In Italy, the French defeat an Austrian attempt to relieve Mantua; 3,500 Austrian troops are killed.

1814 The last London frost fair is held as crowds flock on to the frozen Thames to enjoy a variety of entertainment's.

1814 Under the Treaty of Kiel, the king of Denmark cedes Norway to the king of Sweden.

1858 Italian revolutionary Felice Orsini (above) throws bombs at Napoleon III in Paris in an assassination attempt. Several people are killed but the emperor is unharmed.

1866 Peru, dissatisfied with a treaty recognizing Peruvian independence signed in 1865, declares war on Spain.

1873 ‘Celluloid,’ invented by John Hyatt (above) in 1869, is registered as a trademark. While waiting for a patent, he had used the celluloid to wrap his Christmas presents. Eventually, a fellow by the name of Eastman will hit on the idea of making movies and films with the stuff. (Bradley)

1875 Birth: Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize winner, philosopher, musician, physician, humanitarian. French theologian, organist, and missionary surgeon. He will found the hospital at Lambarene in Gabon in 1913, giving organ recitals to support his work there. He will write a life of Bach and Von reimarus zu Wrede, The Quest for the Historical Jesus 1906, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his teaching of 'reverence for life.' (Bradley)

1878 W. H. Preece demonstrates Alexander Graham Bell's new invention, the telephone, to Queen Victoria at Osborne House. On the first private connection by telephone in Great Britain, which is made on the Isle of Wight, Queen Victoria speaks to Thomas Biddulph. (Bradley)

1892 Birth: Hal Roach (above, standing), producer, director, film pioneer; Hal Roach Studios.

1894 Volkishness: Guido von List publishes "Die deutsche Mythologie." More than a dozen other articles by List appear in the East German Review during 1894. He will be a regular contributor until December 1896.

1898 Death: Lewis Carroll, English author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865.

1911 The USS Arkansas (BB 33), at the time the largest US battleship, is launched from the yards of the New York Shipbuilding Company.

1914 Henry Ford announces the newest advance in assembly line production of cars. The new continuous motion method reduces assembly time of a car from 12½ hours to 93 minutes.

1915 WW1: Turkish commander Djemal Pasha secretly sets out across the Sinai Peninsula from Beersheba with an army of 22,000, intending to seize the Suez Canal.

1915 WW1: The French abandon five miles of trenches to the Germans near Soissons.

1916 WW1: British authorities seize German attaché Franz Von Papen's financial records confirming Papen's involvement in espionage activities in the US. THIS link has a popup box.

1919 Birth: Andy Rooney, Emmy Award-winning news writer, syndicated columnist.

1920 French General Maurice Janin (above), Commander-in-Chief of the Allied troops in Siberia, orders the Czecho-Slovak Legion to kidnap Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak, leader of the anti-Bolshevik resistance, and hand him over to the Bolsheviks at Irkutsk in exchange for one-third of the bullion of the Russian Imperial Treasury which is under Kolchak's control. This bullion will become the first national treasury of the newly created country of Czechoslovakia. (Sturdza)

1920 Weimar: Berlin is placed under martial law as 40,000 radicals rush the Reichstag; 42 are dead and 105 are wounded.

1929 Afghanistan's King Amanullah is forced to abdicate in favor of his brother, Inayatullah.

1938 Holocaust: A Romanian decree forbids Jews from employing Christian female servants under the age of forty.

1938 Holocaust: Romanian police order all Jewish libraries and Jewish owned bookstores closed in Bessarabia. The same day, the Romanian press publishes instructions for dismissing all Jewish doctors from social insurance institutions.

1939 Church and Reich: Pope Pius XI urges foreign diplomats at the Vatican to grant as many visas as possible to victims of German and Italian racial prejudice.

1942 Holocaust: Dr. Friedrich Mennecke, a physician involved in the euthanasia program, writes in a letter: "The day before yesterday, a large contingent from our euthanasia program has moved under the leadership of Brack to the Eastern battle-zone... It consists of doctors, office personnel, and male and female nurses, from Hadamar and Sonnenstein, in all a group of 20-30 persons."

1942 WW2: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders all aliens in the US to register with the government.

1943 WW2: Jan 14-26 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first US President to fly in an airplane while in office. He flies from Miami, Florida to French Morocco. Roosevelt and Churchill meet for the Conference at Casablanca, on the Moroccan coast. Stalin, pouting, refuses to attend, claiming that he was promised a European second front by the spring of 1942. During the conference, Roosevelt announces the war can end only with an unconditional German surrender. The conference ends 10 days later.

1943 Stalingrad: Hitler orders Field Marshal Erhard Milch (above) to take over the air resupply of the Stalingrad pocket. Because of the increasing distance to Stalingrad on account of the continuing Soviet attacks against von Manstein and losses in aircraft, the daily supply of the pocket has dropped to 40 tons. Milch is Secretary of State for Air and Goering's deputy, with a high reputation as an organizer. He joins von Manstein at his HO at Taganrog two days later. (Messenger)

1945 WW2: Soviet forces in Poland cut the rail lines to Krakow.

1945 WW2: A cease-fire is negotiated between British troops and the Communist ELAS in Greece.

1963 George C Wallace sworn in as Governor of Alabama, his address states "segregation now; segregation tomorrow; segregation forever!

1963 France vetoes Britain's application to join the Common Market.

1965 The prime ministers of Northern Ireland and Ireland meet for the first time in 43 years.

1969 The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 is launched, followed the next day by Soyuz 5. They will achieve the first docking of two manned spacecraft in Earth orbit.

1980 The UN General Assembly approves a motion calling for immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion in December 1979.

1989 British Muslims hold public burnings of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.

1991 Three Palestinian guerrilla chiefs, including Abu Iyad, are assassinated in Tunis.

1995 The British Army ends 25 years of daylight patrols in Belfast in a wind-down of a guerrilla conflict which had engulfed Northern Ireland.

1996 Right-wing businessman Alvaro Arzu takes office as Guatemala's new president and appeals for an end to a brutal 35-year civil war.











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