#TodayInHistory – January 154 min read
January 15 – Some important events on this day
588 BC 👉🏼 Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign. The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.
69 👉🏼 Otho seizes power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor, only rules for three months before committing suicide
1535 👉🏼 Henry VIII declares himself head of the Church in England
1559 👉🏼 Elizabeth I crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey
1759 👉🏼 British Museum opens in Montague House, London.
The British Museum was opened to visitors on this day, but not just any visitors. Fearing damage to the collections by unruly hordes, the trustees decided that nobody would be admitted without a ticket. The problem was that only a few tickets were issued each day and even then a number of obstacles had to be surmounted before prospective visitors could receive their prize.
They had to go to the museum and apply to the porter for a ticket and, If approved, they then had to go back on another day to collect it, and then go back again at an appointed time to be allowed in.
All tickets issued to a Mr Masefield, were free, but designated for a particular time. Visitors were taken round in groups of five, each group guided by one of the under-librarians. They were taken round the building very quickly to make way for the next party.
The early trustees would no doubt recoil in horror at the sight of today’s ticketless crowds wandering at will around the building, disdainfully snapping with their modern phones!
1797 👉🏼 1st top hat worn by John Etherington of London
1870 👉🏼 Donkey first used as symbol of Democratic Party, in Harper’s Weekly.
While not the official logo of the US Democratic Party, the donkey is the most common.
Andrew Jackson’s opponents called him “jackass” as a play on his name and as a term of ridicule regarding a stupid and stubborn animal such as a donkey. The Democrats however liked the common-man implications and began to use the symbol in campaign posters.
The symbol was made famous by cartoonist Thomas Nast who used the Democratic donkey in newspaper cartoons from 1870 in Harper’s Weekly.
Other cartoonists followed Nast, using the donkey to represent the Democrats and an elephant to represent the Republicans.
1895 👉🏼 Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake” premieres, St Petersburg (1/27 NS)
1902 👉🏼 Abdulaziz Ibn Saud leads 40 men over the walls of Riyadh and takes the city, marking the beginning of the Third Saudi State
1919 👉🏼 Two million gallons of molasses flood Boston Massachusetts in the “Great Molasses Flood” when a storage tank burst, drowning 21 and injuring 150
1922 👉🏼 Arthur Griffith is elected president of the Irish Free State after Eamon de Valera resigns in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty (De Valera will lead a military opposition seeking a unified and independent Ireland).
1943 👉🏼 World’s largest office building, the Pentagon is completed to house the US military
1998 👉🏼 NASA announces John Glenn, 76, may fly in space again
2001 👉🏼 Wikipedia a free Wiki or content encyclopedia is launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger
2009 👉🏼 Chesley Sullenberger lands US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in NYC. All passengers and crew members survive in what becomes known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”.
Described by the National Transportation Safety Board as “the most successful ditching in aviation history”, US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to make an exceptionally dramatic water landing in the Hudson River in New York after it struck a flock of geese following take off.
Pilot Chesley Sullenberger was widely praised for his actions in ditching the plane, in which everybody survived. The dramatic tale of the landing was portrayed in the film “Sully”, starring Tom Hanks in the titular role.
2011 👉🏼 Wikipedia the free internet encyclopedia turns 10 years old
2019 👉🏼 Plastic will outweigh fish in the world’s oceans by 2050 according to report by the World Economic Forum