#TodayInHistory – January 31

January 31 – Some important events on this day 314 👉🏼 St Silvester I begins his reign as Catholic Pope 1747 👉🏼 The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital, London 1865 👉🏼 Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in America (passes 121-24) 1865 👉🏼 General Robert E. Lee named Commander-in-Chief of Confederate Armies during US Civil War 1928 👉🏼 Scotch tape 1st marketed by 3-M Company 1943 👉🏼 Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrenders to Soviet troops at Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning-point during…

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Februalia: a time of purification

The ancient Romans had a festival for nearly everything and, if you were a god, you got your own holiday. February was dedicated to Februus, for whom the month is named, and it was the time in which Rome was purified by making offerings and sacrifices to the gods of the dead. The Februalia (January 30–February 2) was a month-long period of sacrifice and atonement, involving offerings to the gods, prayer, and sacrifices. In short, If you were a wealthy Roman who didn’t have to go out and work, you…

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Archduke Rudolf, the lovesick prince and his suicide pact

Archduke Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, wrote a tragic note to his wife in the early hours of this day, January 30, 1889, that read: “I am going calmly to my death which alone can save my good name.” He then put a pistol to the head of his beautiful 17-year-old mistress who was lying in bed beside him and shot her dead. He did the same to himself shortly after. Or so, apparently. Rudolf, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was the only son of Kaiser Franz Joseph I…

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#TodayInHistory – January 30

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…

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#TodayInHistory – January 29

January 29 – Some important events on this day 661 👉🏼 Rashidun Caliphate, then the largest empire in history, ends with the death of its leader, Ali. Succeeded by the Umayyad Caliphate. 1595 👉🏼 William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet” is thought to have been first performed. Officially published early 1597. 1840 👉🏼 First Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi Captain William Hobson arrives in the Bay of Islands, NZ. Designed to share sovereignty between the British Crown and Māori chiefs the Treaty of Waitangi…

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#TodayInHistory – January 28

January 28 – Some important events on this day 1077 👉🏼 German King Henry IV is absolved by Holy Roman Emperor Pope Gregory VII and invited back to the Church after his penitent Walk to Canossa 1393 👉🏼 Fire during Royal Ball in Paris, 4 die (Ball of the Ardents) 1521 👉🏼 Emperor Charles V opens the Diet of Worms in Worms, Germany which lasts until May 25th. Produced the “Edict of Worms” which dennouced Martin Luther 1671 👉🏼 British pirate Henry Morgan captures Panama City from its Spanish defenders…

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#TodayInHistory – January 27

January 27 – Some important events on this day 98 👉🏼 Trajan becomes Roman Emperor after the death of Nerva. 1591 👉🏼 Scottish schoolmaster Dr. John Fian burned for witchcraft at Castle Hill, Edinburgh by order King James VI. Part of the Berwick witch trials. 1820 👉🏼 Russian Antarctic Expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev discover the continent of Antarctica. The first Russian Antarctic Expedition 1819-1821 by led by Baltic German Fabian Gottieb von Bellingshausen, a Russian naval officer who captained the ship Vostok with his…

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#TodayInHistory – January 26

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,…

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#TodayInHistory – January 25

January 25 – Some important events on this day 41 👉🏼 After a night of negotiation, Claudius is accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate 1348 👉🏼 Friuli Earthquake in |European southern Alps measuring approximately 6.9, largely destroys Villach, killing 5,000 1554 👉🏼 Founding of the city of São Paulo in Brazil 1565 👉🏼 Battle at Talikota India: Deccan sultanate destroy Vijayanagar’s army and the last Hindu kingdom of Southern India 1755 👉🏼 Moscow University is established by Elizabeth of Russia and founded by Mikhail Lomonosov on Tatiana Day 1817…

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January 24 – Paganalia: ancient Rome’s “Earth Day”

In ancient Rome, late January marked the beginning of the agricultural calendar because this literally was the time that the farmers prepared to plant their crops for the new year. This important stage consisted of a multi-day purification period dedicated to Tellus, the goddess of Mother Earth, and to Ceres, the goddess of agriculture. In the city of Rome itself, this feast day was known as the Sementivae, or “the Festival of Seed Sowing” while, in the rural farm-covered countryside, the same festival was known as the Paganalia, literally “the…

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#TodayInHistory – January 24

January 24 – Some important events on this day 41 👉🏼 Claudius succeeds his nephew Caligula as Roman Emperor after the later’s assassination by officers of the Praetorian Guard 1848 👉🏼 James Marshall finds gold in Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California 1857 👉🏼 University of Calcutta founded as the first full-fledged university in South Asia 1899 👉🏼 Rubber heel for boots or shoes patented by American Humphrey O’Sullivan 1908 👉🏼 Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell publishes “Scouting for Boys” as a manual for self-instruction in outdoor skills and self-improvement. The book…

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#TodayInHistory – January 23

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…

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#TodayInHistory – January 22

January 22 – Some important events on this day 1371 👉🏼 King Robert II of Scotland (1371-90) is crowned, becoming the first monarch of the House of Stewart 1506 👉🏼 The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrive at the Vatican 1510 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from Colmar, Alsace 1584 👉🏼 Parts of Switzerland adopt Gregorian calendar (& parts in 1812) 1689 👉🏼 Prince William of Orange (future King William III of Britain), summons Convention Parliament to discuss ruling jointly with his wife Mary (daughter of exiled King James II)…

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#TodayInHistory – January 21

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…

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#TodayInHistory – January 20

January 20 – Some important events on this day 1156 👉🏼 According to the legend, freeholder Lalli slays English crusader Bishop Henry with an axe on the ice of Lake Köyliönjärvi in Finland 1265 👉🏼 First English Parliament summoned other than by royal command (in this instance by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester) mets in Westminster Hall 1841 👉🏼 China cedes Hong Kong to the British during the 1st Opium War 1921 👉🏼 Republic of Turkey declared out of remnants of Ottoman Empire 1942 👉🏼 Nazi officials hold notorious…

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#TodayInHistory – January 19

January 19 – Some important events on this day 379 👉🏼 Theodosius installed as co-emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire 1419 👉🏼 French city of Rouen surrenders to Henry V in Hundred Years’ War 1808 👉🏼 Louis Napoleon signs 1st Dutch aviation law 1812 👉🏼 Peninsular War: After a ten day siege, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, orders British soldiers of the Light and third divisions to storm Ciudad Rodrigo 1853 👉🏼 Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Il Trovatore” premieres in Rome 1883 👉🏼 The first electric lighting system employing overhead…

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#TodayInHistory – January 18

January 18 – Some important events on this day 350 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Constans is deposed by General Magnentius who proclaims himself the new Emperor 532 👉🏼 Nika uprising against Emperor Justinian I in Constantinople fails, 30,000 killed by troops loyal to the Emperor in the Hippodrome 1535 👉🏼 Francisco Pizarro founds the city of Lima in Peru 1591 👉🏼 King Naresuan of Siam kills Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in single combat, date is now observed as Royal Thai Armed Forces day 1644 👉🏼 Perplexed Pilgrims in Boston…

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#TodayInHistory – January 17

January 17 – Some important events on this day 1584 👉🏼 Bohemia adopts Gregorian calendar 1773 👉🏼 Captain James Cook becomes 1st to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33′ S) 1820 👉🏼 English author Anne Brontë is born 1873 👉🏼 A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War 1912 👉🏼 Captain Robert Scott’s expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen 1920 👉🏼 First day of prohibition of alcohol comes into effect in…

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#TodayInHistory – January 16

January 16 – Some important events on this day 27 BC 👉🏼 The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate 1412 👉🏼 The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy 1492 👉🏼 The first grammar of a modern language, Spanish, is presented to Queen Isabella. 1547 👉🏼 Ivan IV the Terrible (17) crowns himself first tsar of Moscow 1605 👉🏼 The first edition of “El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is…

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#TodayInHistory – January 15

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…

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#TodayInHistory – January 14

January 14 – Some important events on this day 1129 👉🏼 Formal approval of the Order of Templars at the Council of Troyes 1301 👉🏼 Andrew III of Hungary (1290-1301) dies at 50, ending the Arpad dynasty in Hungary 1343 👉🏼 Arnost of Pardubice becomes the first Archbishop of Prague (and the last bishop of Prague) 1514 👉🏼 Pope Leo X issues a papal bull against slavery. 1526 👉🏼 Charles V and Francis I sign the Treaty of Madrid, forcing Francis to give up claims to Burgundy, Italy and Flanders…

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#TodayInHistory – January 13

January 13 – Some important events on this day 532 👉🏼 Nika riots begin in Constantinople, revolt against Emperor Justinian I, prompted by chariot racing 1099 👉🏼 Crusaders set fire to Mara, Syria 1128 👉🏼 Pope recognizes Knights Templar On this day, Pope Honorius II grants a papal sanction to the military order known as the Knights Templar, declaring it to be an army of God. Led by the Frenchman Hughes de Payens, the Knights Templar organization was founded on the same year. Its self-imposed mission was to protect Christian…

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The Carmentalia

The name “Carmentalia” indicates the festivals in honor of Carmenta and her nymphs, the Camene, called Antevorta and Postvorta, in reference to their ability to see the past and the future. Carmenta, who in ancient Rome had her temple atop the Capitoline Hill, was the goddess of everything that comes to light and therefore also of children who are born, for this reason she was considered the protector of childbirth. Her feasts were held from 12 to 15 January, linked not only to gestation, but also to rural worship and…

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January 12th: the feast day of Saint Benedict Biscop

January 12th marks the feast day of Saint Benedict Biscop (born about 628, Northumbria, died on Jan 12th 689/690). He was the founder and first abbot of the monasteries of SS. Peter at Wearmouth, and Paul at nearby Jarrow, and he is famous for his adventures on the continent, for enriching Northumbria with holy treasures gathered abroad and as the father of Benedictine monasticism in England. For istance, he made at least five journeys to Rome in his lifetime, which was quite a feat in the seventh century. Visits that…

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#TodayInHistory – January 12

January 12 – Some important events on this day 475 👉🏼 Basiliscus becomes Byzantine Emperor, with a coronation ceremony in the Hebdomon palace in Constantinople. 1493 👉🏼 Last day for all Jews to leave Sicily 1528 👉🏼 Gustav I of Sweden crowned King of Sweden, rules for 37 years and becomes known as the “father of the nation” 1552 👉🏼 Dutch west coast hit by heavy storm, hundreds killed 1554 👉🏼Bayinnaung crowned King of Burma, goes on to assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia 1583 👉🏼…

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#TodayInHistory – January 11

January 11 – Some important events on this day 1569 👉🏼 1st recorded lottery in England is drawn in St Paul’s Cathedral 1599 👉🏼 Jacob van Neck’s fleet leaves Bantam, Java in modern day Indonesia with 1 million pounds of pepper and cloves and a further half a ship full of nutmeg, mace and cinnamon 1693 👉🏼 Most powerful earthquake in Italian recorded history strikes Sicily and Southern Italy with an estimated magnitude of 7.4. Tsunamis followed and devastated coastal villages on the Ionian Sea and the Straits of Messina.…

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#TodayInHistory – January 10

January 10 – Some important events on this day 49 BC 👉🏼 Julius Caesar defies the Roman Senate and crosses the Rubicon, uttering “alea iacta est” (the die is cast), signaling the start of civil war which would lead to his appointment as Roman dictator for life. Caesar’s early success as a military general had reached a crescendo with his appointment to the governorship of southern Gaul and Illyricum. When his term came to a close, the Roman Senate ordered Caesar to disband his legion and return to Rome, specifically…

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January 9 | The Agonalia or Festival to Janus

An Agonalia was an obscure archaic religious observance celebrated in ancient Rome several times a year, in honor of various divinities. Its institution, like that of other religious rites and ceremonies, was attributed to Numa Pompilius, the semi-legendary second king of Rome. Ancient calendars indicate that it was celebrated regularly on January 9, May 21, and December 11. Some thought the Romans had a god named not by chance “Agonius”, who might then have been the god of the Colline part of the city. January 9 was the Agonalia or…

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#TodayInHistory – January 9

January 9 – Some important events on this day 1431 👉🏼 Judges’ investigations for the trial of Joan of Arc begin in Rouen, France, the seat of the English occupation government 1570 👉🏼 Tsar Ivan the Terrible kills 1,000-2,000 residents of Novgorod 1760 👉🏼 Afghans defeat Marathas in battle of Barari Ghat 1768 👉🏼 Philip Astley stages the world’s first modern circus in London 1839 👉🏼 Daguerreotype photo process announced at French Academy of Science. In early 1838, Louis Daguerre used his famous daguerreotype process of photography to snap a…

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#TodayInHistory – January 8

January 8 – Some important events on this day 871 👉🏼 Battle of Ashdown: Ethelred I of Wessex and his brother Alfred the Great beat invading Danish army 1297 👉🏼 Monaco gains its independence. 1598 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from Genoa, Italy 1610 👉🏼 Simon Marius. a German astronomer, independently discovers the first three moons of Jupiter one day after Galileo 1656 👉🏼 Oldest surviving commercial newspaper begins (Haarlem, Netherlands) 1705 👉🏼 George Frideric Handel’s 1st opera “Almira” premieres in Hamburg 1708 👉🏼 Spanish armada headed by the San Jose…

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