#TodayInHistory – January 303 min read
January 30 – Some important events on this day
1647 👉🏼 After nine months of negotiations, Scottish Presbyterians sell captured Charles I to English Parliament for around £100,000
1661 👉🏼 Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England is ritually executed after having been dead for two years
1790 👉🏼 Lifeboat 1st tested at sea, by Mr Greathead, the inventor
1815 👉🏼 Burned US Library of Congress re-established with Thomas Jefferson’s 6,500 volumes
1841 👉🏼 A fire destroys two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
1847 👉🏼 Yerba Buena renamed San Francisco
1873 👉🏼 “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne is published in France by Pierre-Jules Hetzel
1889 👉🏼 Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, is found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in Mayerling in an apparent suicide pact.
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1902 👉🏼 Britain and Japan sign a treaty after months of negotiating which commits each country to supporting an independent China and Korea, although it acknowledges Japan’s ‘special interest’ in Korea
1920 👉🏼 Mazda car company founded
1933 👉🏼 President Paul von Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor of Germany who forms a government with Franz von Papen
1939 👉🏼 Adolf Hitler threatens Jews during his speech to the German Reichstag (Parliament)
1943 👉🏼 Adolf Hitler promotes Friedrich Paulus, commander of the 6th Army, to Field Marshal in the hope that he will not surrender.
The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning-point during WWII. It was the largest battle of the war with 2.2 million combatants and one of the largest ever battles in history. The eventual defeat of Nazi Germany’s 6th Army in the streets of the Soviet city not only resulted in a huge loss of life but proved that the German advance could be halted on the deadly Eastern Front.
Friedrich Paulus, the commander of the German 6th Army on the Eastern Front, commandeered 250,000 soldiers, and it was he who led the drive to Stalingrad during the summer of 1942. In November 1942 the Soviets launched a massive counterattack, code-named Operation Uranus, and Paulua suddenly found himself completely surrounded. Adolf Hitler ordered him to maintain his position in the city at all costs.
During January 1943 the German position weakened severely, and Paulus requested the chance to surrender, which Hitler refused believing they should fight until death. Hitler then promoted Paulua to field marshal, noting that there had never been a field marshal who surrendered. He also implied that Paulus should kill himself rather than be captured.
On January 31, 1943, Paulus was captured by the Russians, and he surrendered. The remainder of his army capitulated in the following days. Hitler flew into a rage upon learning this and vowed never to appoint a field marshal again (though he made seven more before the war was over.)
The 6th Army became the first German field army to be completely destroyed in battle; some 107,000 German soldiers entered Soviet captivity after the loss of the battle, and only about 6,000 would survive this. Paulus himself survived captivity, and lived until 1957 before dying in Dresden.
1948 👉🏼 Mahatma Gandhi assassinated by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse
1965 👉🏼 State Funeral of Winston Churchill at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Then world’s largest ever state funeral.
1969 👉🏼 The Beatles perform their last live gig, a 42 minute concert on the roof of Apple Corps HQ in London
1972 👉🏼 Bloody Sunday: 27 unarmed civilians are shot (14 are killed) by the British Army during a civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland; this is the highest death toll from a single shooting incident during ‘the Troubles’
1975 👉🏼 Ernő Rubik applies for a patent for his “Magic Cube” invention, later to be known as a Rubik’s cube
1977 👉🏼 8th (final) part of “Roots” is most-watched US entertainment show ever (100 million)
2020 👉🏼 The World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at a meeting in Geneva
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