#TodayInHistory – January 234 min read
January 23 – Some important events on this day
971 👉🏼 War elephant corps of the Southern Han defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops; Southern Han state forced to submit to the Song Dynasty. 1st regular war elephant corps in Chinese army
1368 👉🏼 In a coronation ceremony, Zhu Yuanzhang ascends to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that would last for three centuries.
1556 👉🏼 Shaanxi Earthquake, the deadliest ever recorded, kills 830,000 in Shaanxi Province, China
1656 👉🏼 French philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal publishes the first of his Lettres provinciales
1719 👉🏼 Liechtenstein became a sovereign member state of the Holy Roman Empire.
1795 👉🏼 War of the First Coalition: French cavalry captures 14 Dutch ships and 850 guns near the port of Den Helder – rare instance of cavalry capturing a fleet.
One of the more bizarre accomplishments in naval/cavalry warfare, a rare battle between ships and cavalry took place during the Napoleonic War of the First Coalition in 1795.
A fleet of the Dutch Republic was frozen in ice between a 3km stretch of sea that separated the port of Den Helder and the island of Texel. A French cavalry regiment was able to surprise the Dutch fleet by storming across the sea and capturing the 14 warships and with them 850 guns.
The story of the French storming the ships is based primarily on their own sources, others suggest the Dutch had been ordered not to offer any resistance should they be attacked. Nevertheless, capturing ships by means of cavalry is an extremely rare event in military history.
1862 👉🏼 Agoston Haraszthy, 1st vintner in Sonoma Valley, California imports 10,000 grape vine cuttings
1897 👉🏼 Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Resulting murder trial of her husband perhaps only case in US history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
1904 👉🏼 Ålesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Ålesund is devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless and one person dead. Kaiser Wilhelm II funds the rebuilding of the town in Jugendstil style.
1950 👉🏼 Israeli Knesset resolves Jerusalem is capital of Israel
1957 👉🏼 Toy company Wham-O produces first Frisbees.
On this day, machines at the Wham-O toy company roll out the first batch of their aerodynamic plastic discs—now known to millions of fans all over the world as Frisbees.
The story of the Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in 1871. Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they let go. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the “Flying Saucer” that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates. After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the “Pluto Platter”–an attempt to cash in on the public craze over space and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).
In 1958, a year after the toy’s first release, Wham-O—the company behind such top-sellers as the Hula-Hoop, the Super Ball and the Water Wiggle—changed its name to the Frisbee disc, misspelling the name of the historic company. By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977.
Today, at least 60 manufacturers produce the flying discs, generally made out of plastic and measuring roughly 20-25 centimeters in diameter. The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.
1961 👉🏼 Venezuela adopts constitution
1973 👉🏼 US President Richard Nixon announces an accord has been reached to end Vietnam War
1978 👉🏼 Sweden becomes the first nation in the world to ban aerosol sprays, believed to be damaging to earth’s ozone layer.
1989 👉🏼 Our collaborator and photographer Anya is born.
🎂| HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
2020 👉🏼 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp marked by an international forum in Jerusalem, Israel