#TodayInHistory – January 123 min read
January 12 – Some important events on this day
475 👉🏼 Basiliscus becomes Byzantine Emperor, with a coronation ceremony in the Hebdomon palace in Constantinople.
1493 👉🏼 Last day for all Jews to leave Sicily
1528 👉🏼 Gustav I of Sweden crowned King of Sweden, rules for 37 years and becomes known as the “father of the nation”
1552 👉🏼 Dutch west coast hit by heavy storm, hundreds killed
1554 👉🏼Bayinnaung crowned King of Burma, goes on to assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia
1583 👉🏼 Holland begins use of Gregorian calendar (yesterday was 1/1/1583)
1969 👉🏼 Debut album of Led Zeppelin released first in the US
1872 Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, 1st imperial coronation in Axum in over 200 years
1913 👉🏼 After using other pseudonyms over the years, Josef Dzhugashvili signs himself as Stalin (“man of steel”) in a letter to the newspaper Social Democrat
1948 👉🏼 Mahatma Gandhi begins his final fast
1952 👉🏼 University of Tennessee admits it’s 1st black student
1962 👉🏼 Operation Ranch Hand begins, a US Air Force operation to spray South Vietnamese forests with defoliants such as Agent Orange.
During the Vietnam War the US Air Force engaged in a program of herbicidal warfare known as ‘Operation Ranch Hand’. For ten years the Air Force sprayed forests in South Vietnam, affecting some 5 million acres of forest, or some 20% of all the forests in South Vietnam.
There were several chemicals used, but the most famous was Agent Orange (There were also Agents Green, Pink, Purple, Blue and White). The idea behind using the chemicals was to destroy foliage acting as a potential cover for the Viet Cong insurgents, who used trails through the forest for supply lines and camps.
The impacts on the Vietnamese people and ecosystem were devastating. It is estimated by the Vietnamese Red Cross (although these figures are disputed) that as many as 3 million Vietnamese suffered illness due to the chemicals, and around 1 million people are disabled as a result of it. Many children were born with deformities as a result of prenatal exposure to Agent Orange.
1967 👉🏼 Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation and remains preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation
2009 👉🏼 Cristiano Ronaldo is awarded 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year for the first time at a ceremony in Zurich
2010 👉🏼 Earthquake Devastates Haiti, killing approximately 160,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince.
On this day, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti, severely damaging the capital Port-auPrince and resulting in the deaths of 100,000-316,000 people.
Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere when the earthquake struck. The Haitian government said around 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings were leveled in the quake, which significantly worsened already poor housing conditions in the country.
A major international rescue effort began shortly after the earthquake, but was hampered by poor communication and damaged facilities. On 22 January the United Nations ended the emergency phase of relief and on 23 January the Haitian government ended the search for survivors.
2020 👉🏼 Taal volcano, 70km south of Manila in the Philippines begins erupting prompting evacuations