#TodayInHistory – January 62 min read
January 6 – Some important events on this day
1494 👉🏼 The first Mass in the New World is celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola
1497 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from Graz in Styria, Austria
1649 👉🏼 The English Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial for treason and other “high crimes”
1681 👉🏼 1st recorded boxing match (Duke of Albemarle’s butler vs his butcher)
1838 👉🏼 Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrate their telegraph machine in New Jersey.
In the 19th century, technological innovations were beginning to widely affect the way we communicated, and the distances we were able to talk. Inventor Samuel Morse helped develop one of the single-wire electrical telegraph systems, which was the first electrical communication system that was in widespread use.
Morse wished to be credited as the sole inventor of the telegraph, but there were earlier inventions that were similar in scope to his. A more famous by-product of the telegraph itself was the Morse code, used to encode messages transmitted on the telegraph. This was adopted and used extensively in the decades after Morse’s death in 1874; it would be important in most conflicts of that time, including the Second World War.
The US sent the last commercial Morse code transmission in 1999, preceded by France in 1997, though the US Air Force still trains ten people in Morse code per year.
1912 👉🏼 Geophysicist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener presents his controversial theory of continental drift in a lecture at the Geological Association (Geologischen Vereinigung) at the Senckenberg-Museum, Frankfurt
1929 👉🏼 Mother Teresa arrives in Calcutta to begin a her work amongst India’s poorest
1941 👉🏼 US President Franklin Roosevelt makes his “Four Freedoms” speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during his US State of Union address
1942 👉🏼 Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world (“Pacific Clipper”).
1979 👉🏼 The Village People’s Y.M.C.A becomes their only UK #1 single. At its peak it sold over 150,000 copies a day.
1987 👉🏼 Astronomers at University of California see 1st sight of birth of a galaxy
2016 👉🏼 “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” breaks North American box office record, passing the $760.5m taken by “Avatar”