January 26 – Some important events on this day
1482 👉🏼 “Pentateuch” the Jewish Bible is 1st printed as a book in Bologna, Italy
1531 👉🏼 Lisbon hit by Earthquake; about 30,000 die
1564 👉🏼 The Council of Trent issued its conclusions in the Tridentinum, establishing a distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism
1700 👉🏼 The magnitude 8.7-9.2 Cascadia earthquake took place off the west coast of the North America, as evidenced by Japanese records
1788 👉🏼 Captain Arthur Phillip and British colonists hoist the Union Flag at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, now celebrated as Australia Day
1790 👉🏼 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte” premieres in Vienna
1905 👉🏼 World’s largest diamond, the 3,106-carat Cullinan, is found in South Africa.
The largest ever diamond was discovered at a mine in Pretoria on this day by Frederick Wells, a surface manager at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, Transvaal Colony (now South Africa). Just over ten years before, the Excelsior Diamond had been discovered at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa; it was the largest, but the Cullinan was three times the size.
Cullinan was 10.1 centimetres long, 6.35 centimetres wide, 5.9 centimetres deep, and weighed 3,106 carats (621.2 grams). After its discovery, it went on display at the Standard Bank in Johannesburg before being sent to London.
To avoid attempted robberies, detectives were put on board a steamboat believed to be carrying the diamond to London, and was ceremoniously locked in the captain’s safe. This was a diversion; the diamond on board was a fake, and Cullinan was sent to England on regular standard post in a box.
The diamond, however, went unsold for two years. The Transvaal Colony ended up buying the diamond on behalf of King Edward VII, for a price of £150,000 (£15 million in 2016). It was then presented to the king, who chose the Asscher Brothers in Amsterdam to cut the diamond for him. Nine diamonds were cut; two are part of the Crown Jewels, and the remainder are owned privately by the UK sovereign.
1924 👉🏼 American skater Charles Jewtraw claims the first ever Winter Olympic gold medal; wins 500m speed skating event in 44.0s at the Chamonix Games in France
1950 👉🏼 Republic of India born
1956 👉🏼 VII Winter Olympic Games open in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
1972 👉🏼 Serbian air stewardess Vesna Vulovic survives 10,160m fall without parachute – world’s highest fall without a parachute
1980 👉🏼 175,000 pay to hear Frank Sinatra sing in Rio de Janeiro
1998 👉🏼 President Bill Clinton says “I want to say one thing to the American people; I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”
2020 👉🏼 LA Lakers basketball legend Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash in foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, southern California; considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history