#TodayInHistory – January 103 min read
January 10 – Some important events on this day
49 BC 👉🏼 Julius Caesar defies the Roman Senate and crosses the Rubicon, uttering “alea iacta est” (the die is cast), signaling the start of civil war which would lead to his appointment as Roman dictator for life.
Caesar’s early success as a military general had reached a crescendo with his appointment to the governorship of southern Gaul and Illyricum. When his term came to a close, the Roman Senate ordered Caesar to disband his legion and return to Rome, specifically ordering him not to bring his army across the Rubicon river which was then the northern boundary of Italy.
Caesar, as history knows, defied this order. As he took his legion across the Rubicon in 49BC (possibly 10 January of that year) he uttered the famous phrase “alea iacta est” meaning “the die has been cast.” It sure had been – and it would roll in Caesar’s favor.
Crossing the Rubicon led to a civil war which Caesar won, and he became dictator for life of the Roman Republic. He would be assassinated in 44BC.
Today the phrase ‘crossing the Rubicon’ is used whenever somebody goes past the point of no return.
1430 👉🏼 Catholic Order of the Golden Fleece founded in Bruges in celebration of the prosperous and wealthy domains of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy
1475 👉🏼 Stephen III of Moldavia defeats the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vaslui
1776 👉🏼 “Common Sense” Pamphlet by Thomas Paine published, advocating American independence
1839 👉🏼 Tea from India 1st arrives in the United Kingdom
1902 👉🏼 Alphons Diepenbrock’s “Te Deum” premieres (Amsterdam)
1911 👉🏼 1st photo in US taken from an airplane, San Diego
1917 👉🏼 Suffragettes the “Silent Sentinels” first protest outside The White House, in Washington led by Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party
1946 👉🏼 UN General Assembly meets for 1st time in London
1967 👉🏼 Edward W. Brooke (Sen-R-Mass), takes his seat as the 1st popularly elected African American to the US Senate
1997 👉🏼 1st Comet of 1997 Discovered: Comet 1997 A1
2008👉🏼 World’s cheapest car debuts in India.
On this day, at the New Delhi Auto Expo in India, Tata Motors debuts the Nano, billing it as the world’s cheapest car: the anticipated price tag is around $2,500. Tata, India’s largest automaker, called the four-door, bubble-shaped mini-vehicle the “People’s Car” and declared that it would be a vehicle for families who previously hadn’t been able to afford a car. At the time, in fact, it wasn’t uncommon to see an entire family precariously packed onto a single motorbike.
The Nano was originally scheduled to go on sale in October 2008; however, production delays arose because of a land dispute in West Bengal, where the car’s production plant was being built.
The company opted to move its production facilities to another part of India and the Nano officially went on sale across the country in April 2009. The basic model carried a starting price of approximately $2,000 not including taxes and came without a radio, air conditioning, airbags, power steering or power windows. It had a body made of plastic and sheet metal and a 32-horsepower, 624cc two-cylinder rear-mounted engine, and it could reach speeds of 65 miles per hour. In another nod to cost-cutting, the car had just one windshield wiper.
Tata received more than 203,000 pre-orders for the Nano–a strong number, especially considering that at the time there were only about nine cars for every 1,000 people in India.
However, because Tata was only able to produce an initial run of 100,000 Nanos, the cars’ first owners were chosen by lottery. The Nano was initially sold only in India, although Tata said it eventually intended to launch the car in other parts of the world.