January 22 1440 Birth: Ivan III the Great, Grand Duke of Muscovy. He will strengthen the monarchy and make Muscovy a great power, initiating the conquest of Ukraine. Edward VII assumes the throne. (Bradle
1561 Birth: Sir Francis Bacon (Viscount St. Albans), English politician and philosopher, writer; The Advancement of Learning, Novum Organum.
1771 Spain reluctantly agrees that the Falkland Islands are British territory. The islands had been in dispute since they were discovered in 1592.
1840 The first British colonists arrive at Port Nicholson, New Zealand.
1854 In Westphalia, Germany, locals report seeing a phantom battle; fought by a full army, wagons and horses and taking place just before sunset near their village. Fifty villagers watch and later give graphic accounts of the fight.
1875 Birth: D. W. Griffith, film producer, director; The Birth of a Nation; Los Angeles’ Griffith Park named after him.
1879 James Shields, who had previously served Illinois and Minnesota, begins a term as a US Senator from Missouri; the first Senator to serve three separate states.
1879 As dawn breaks the soldiers of the 24th Battalion prepare for battle. When the time comes for them to face the 20,000 Zulu warriors gathered on a nearby ridge at Isandlwana, the British soldiers show no fear, they are equipped with the latest weapon, a deadly rifle which can kill at long range. Yet that afternoon 1,300 redcoats lay massacred. Only 60 British men survive and the battle is relegated to history. The same afternoon the British are victorious at Rorke's Drift, a few miles away. (Bradley)
1890 Birth: Frederick Moore Vinson, 13th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Congressman, WW2 Director of War Mobilization, US Secretary of the Treasury 1945.
1895 The National Association of Manufacturers is organized in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1901 Death: Queen Victoria of England, at 81, after reigning for 63 years and 232 days; the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She holds the record for longest-reigning queen in the world, and is fourth in the list of longest-reigning monarchs.
1905 One of histories seemingly endless Bloody Sunday's occurs this day in St. Petersburg, when the Czar's troops kill 500 protesting workers.
1909 Birth: U Thant, statesman from Burma, UN Secretary-General, 1961-1971.
1917 WW1: President Wilson appears before Congress and outlines a plan for a league of peace, an organization designed to bring about a federation of peace-loving nations. Wilson asks for a "Peace without victory," a concept that is unappealing to both warring factions. "...In every discussion of peace that must end this war, it is taken for granted that the peace must be followed by some definite concert of power which will make it virtually impossible that any such catastrophe should ever overwhelm us again. Every love of mankind, every sane and thoughtful man must take that for granted. I have sought this opportunity to address you because I thought that I owed it to you, as the counsel associated with me in the final determination of our international obligations, to disclose to you without reserve the thought and purpose that have been taking form in my mind in regard to the duty of our Government in the days to come when it will be necessary to lay afresh and upon a new plan the foundations of peace among the nations. It is inconceivable that the people of the United States should play no part in that great enterprise. To take part in such a service will be the opportunity for which they have sought to prepare themselves by the very principles and purposes of their polity and the approved practices of their government ever since the days when they set up a new nation in the high and honorable hope that it might, in all that it was and did, show mankind the way to liberty. They cannot in honor withhold the service to which they are now about to be challenged. They do not wish to withhold it. But they owe it to themselves and to the other nations of the world to state the conditions under which they will feel free to render it. That service is nothing less than this, to add their authority and their power to the authority and force of other nations to guarantee peace and justice throughout the world. Such a settlement cannot now be long postponed. It is right that before it comes this Government should frankly formulate the conditions upon which it would feel justified in asking our people to approve its formal and solemn adherence to a League for Peace. I am here to attempt to state those conditions..."
1924 James Ramsay Macdonald takes office as the first Labour Prime Minister in Britain.
1925 The anti-radio reactionaries, many noted authors and songwriters, appear before a congressional committee in Washington to protest violations of their copyright privileges by radio broadcasters. The scene will be repeated throughout the years, as new communication options proliferate.
1934 Street fighting breaks out between Communists and Royalists in Paris. Hundreds are arrested by the French police.
1934 Zionism: The American Jewish Congress establishes the Merchandising Council to Strengthen Boycott against German Goods and Services. (Edelheit)
1937 Holocaust: German citizens are asked not to patronize Jewish doctors.
1940 Holocaust: Death toll of Poles executed by the Nazis reaches 15,000, and will accelerate.
1941 Holocaust: Jan 22-23 Antisemitic violence in Bucharest leaves 120 Jews dead in the streets. Men, women and children are hunted down by armed gangs. Some survivors flee to Palestine (See March 9). (Atlas)
1941 WW2: The German Charge d'Affaires in Romania Dr. Neubacher, gives Horia Sima a solemn promise from both Hitler and Antonescu of complete impunity for Legionaries, and suggests participation in a new government, if resistance ends before noon on January 23. (Sturdza)
1941 Holocaust: In Bulgaria, the "Law for the Defense of the Nation" gives Jews one month to leave all public posts, and forces almost all Jewish doctors, dentists and lawyers to give up their practices. A special tax is imposed on all Jewish homes, shops and other property, amounting to 25% of its value. (Atlas)
1941 WW2: Tobruk falls to British forces.
1943 The Secret Diary of Anti-Hitler Conspirator Ulrich von Hassel: (Berlin) "If the Josephs (generals) have been holding back their intervention until it should become obvious that the Corporal is leading us into the abyss, he has now complied with their wishes. The worst of it is that our confident predictions have proved true: that it will come too late and that any new regime will have to be a liquidation commission. It is probably not possible to say with certainty that the war is lost, but it is certain that it can no longer be won, and there is precious little hope of inducing the other side to make an acceptable peace now. The result is that the recognition that something must be done has gained ground among the Josephs, while at the same time so has the weakness of the external and internal front."
1943 Stalingrad: The final phase of the assault on the German pocket begins. Paulus sends a signal to Hitler emphasizing his desperate shortage of food and ammunition and hinting at surrender, but Hitler refuses to countenance this. The airfield at Gumrak falls and forward elements of the Soviet Twenty-First Army make contact with Chuikov's sixty-second Army, which has been tying down German forces in Stalingrad itself. The Sixth Army is now split into two small pockets in the north and south of the city. (Messenger)
1944 WW2: The American VI Corps lands 50,000 troops at Anzio between the German Gustav Line to the south and Rome 33 miles to the north, but fails to break the stalemate. The assault troops consist of US 3rd Infantry Division, US Rangers, paratroops, and a British division.
1945 WW2: Gneizo is taken by Marshal Zhukov in his drive for Poznan. To the north, Insterburg, Allenstein and Deutsch Eylau are all taken by the Soviets.
1945 WW2: The US First Army attacks along the front between Houffalize and St. Vith. The British Second Army takes St. Joost and other towns near Sittard.
1945 WW2: The land route to China, the Ledo road across Burma from India to China, is reopened.
1947 KTLA, Channel 5, in Hollywood, begins operation as the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River.
1950 Throughout the twentieth century, independent automobile manufacturers have fallen again and again before the industrial power of the "Big Three" - Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. Most often, these independent firms are swallowed, bought up, like Nash, Austin, Studebaker, Hudson, Packard, and many others. The story of Preston Tucker is a little darker. Tucker was a Chicago businessman who built fifty extraordinary automobiles in 1947 and 1948. His cars had many modern amenities and remarkable horsepower. But he was indicted on thirty-one counts of fraud, and as he fought for his freedom in court, his company failed. On this day in 1950, Preston Tucker is cleared of all fraud charges against him. But it is too little, too late. The Tucker automobile is history. Many believe that the legal actions against Tucker were sponsored by the Big Three auto makers, who feared his competition. (Bradley)
1953 The Crucible, Arthur Miller's drama about witch-hunting in Salem in 1692, opens on Broadway to favorable reviews. The plot is a thinly disguised criticism of the Communist "witch-hunts" being conducted in the entertainment industry by the US government.
1972 The Treaty of Accession to the EEC is signed in Brussels by Britain, Denmark, Ireland and Norway, to become effective 1 January 1973.
1973 Roe vs. Wade: The US Supreme Court strikes down state laws that had restricted abortions during the first six months of pregnancy. The famous Roe vs. Wade case exacerbates the debate between a woman's right to end her pregnancy and whether such an abortion is murder of an unborn child. The overheated debate continues and has caused radicals to bomb women's reproductive health clinics, killing and injuring many, in defense of the '...shalt to kill.' commandment. (Bradley)
1980 Soviet dissident physicist Dr. Andrei Sakharov is arrested, stripped of his honors and exiled to Gorky from Moscow.
1987 Phil Donahue becomes the first talk show host to tape a show from inside the Soviet Union. Donahue appears in Leningrad, Kiev and Moscow, but the shows will not be seen by Russian TV audiences until later in the year.
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1440 Birth: Ivan III the Great, Grand Duke of Muscovy. He will strengthen the monarchy and make Muscovy a great power, initiating the conquest of Ukraine.
Edward VII assumes the throne. (Bradley)