January 21 – Some important events on this day
1525 👉🏼 The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union
1789 👉🏼 1st American novel, WH Brown’s “Power of Sympathy” is published
1793 👉🏼 Louis XVI of France is executed by the guillotine in Paris, following his conviction for high treason
1813 👉🏼 First reference to pineapple cultivation in Hawaii in diary entry by Francisco de Paula Marin
1846 👉🏼 1st edition of Charles Dickens’ newspaper “The Daily News”
1863 👉🏼 City of Dublin leases part of Cattle Market for 100,000 years
1899 👉🏼 Opel manufactures its first automobile
1908 👉🏼 “Sullivan Ordinance” is passed in NYC, making it illegal for a woman to smoke in public places. It was vetoed 2 weeks later by mayor George B. McClellan Jr.
1924 👉🏼 Vladimir Lenin dies
1941 👉🏼 1st anti-Jewish measures in Bulgaria
1952 👉🏼 Jawaharlal Nehru’s Congress party wins general election in India
1934 👉🏼 Parisian baker and “student of medieval life” Henri Littière appears in court charged with forcing his adulterous wife Juliette to wear a chastity belt. Having committed the same offence in 1932, he was sentenced to three months in prison and fined 50 francs for cruelty to his wife
1968 👉🏼 The Battle of Khe Sanh – one of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War – begins at the Khe Sanh Air Base
1978 👉🏼 Bee Gees’ album “Saturday Night Fever” goes #1 for 24 weeks.
When “Saturday Night Fever”, starring John Travolta, was released in December 1977, few could have expected the cultural phenomenon it would become. The soundtrack by British band the Bee Gees was an enormous hit: its songs, including “Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep Is Your Love” and “Night Fever”, epitomized the disco era and the album spent 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1. With more than 45 million units sold, it is the second best-selling soundtrack album of all time, behind Whitney Houston’s 1992 album for The Bodyguard.
The film was also a huge hit and catapulted John Travolta to international stardom (he would repeat the success the following year with another musical smash, Grease). Disco was already a popular genre by 1977 but the film’s success broke it into the mainstream, and it would remain dominant for the next three years.
The album revitalized the Bee Gees. They had experienced significant success in the 1960s with songs like “Massachusetts” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941” but Saturday Night Fever took them to another level, and their sound was virtually inescapable for months after the album’s release.
2008 👉🏼 Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%.
2008 👉🏼 The Eyak language in Alaska becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies
2020 👉🏼 World’s oldest asteroid impact at 2.2 billion years old found in Yarrabubba, Western Australia, may have ended an ice age, reported in “Nature Communications”