This day in history

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From the archives of History.com…

  • by History.com Editors
    On January 16, 1605, Miguel de Cervantes' El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, better known as Don Quixote, is published. The book is considered by many to be the first modern novel as well as one of the greatest novels of all time. The protagonist is a minor noble, Alonso Quixano, whose …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Faced with an army mutiny and violent demonstrations against his rule, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the leader of Iran since 1941, is forced to flee the country. Fourteen days later, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the Islamic revolution, returned after 15 years of exile and …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    At midnight in Iraq, the United Nations deadline for the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait expires, and the Pentagon prepares to commence offensive operations to forcibly eject Iraq from its five-month occupation of its oil-rich neighbor.  At 4:30 p.m. EST, the first fighter aircraft were launched …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified by the requisite number of states on January 16, 1919. The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    After an eight-day offensive that marked the beginning of a new, aggressive strategy in the region, Austro-Hungarian troops under commander in chief Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf take control of the Balkan state of Montenegro. By the end of 1915, after initial setbacks, the Central Powers had …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Jazz has been called “America’s classical music,” a label that does more than just recognize its American origins. The label also makes the case that jazz is worthy of aesthetic consideration alongside music usually thought of as “classical.” In the current era, when programs of Duke Ellington and …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On January 16, 1942, the actress Carole Lombard, famous for her roles in such screwball comedies as My Man Godfrey and To Be or Not to Be, and for her marriage to the actor Clark Gable, is killed when the TWA DC-3 plane she is traveling in crashes en route from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. She was 33. …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Albert Fish is executed at Sing Sing prison in New York. The “Moon Maniac” was one of America’s most notorious and disturbed killers. Authorities believe that Fish killed as many as 10 children and then ate their remains. Fish went to the electric chair with great anticipation, telling guards, “It …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    In the wake of vicious fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Azerbaijan, the Soviet government sends in 11,000 troops to quell the conflict. The fighting–and the official Soviet reaction to it–was an indication of the increasing ineffectiveness of the central Soviet government in …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    The Crittenden Compromise, the last chance to keep North and South united, dies in the U.S. Senate. Proposed by Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, the compromise was a series of constitutional amendments. The amendments would continue the old Missouri Compromise provisions of 1820, which …Continue reading

Continue reading and come back for more, tomorrow!

Topics in the news around this time of year…

  • by Elizabeth Yuko
    Emerging from the medieval tradition of agricultural and trade fairs, the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, held in London in 1851, was the first international gathering of this kind, and widely considered the first World’s Fair. Over time, World’s Fairs began incorporating …Continue reading
  • by Dave Roos
    When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Washington, D.C. remained the capital of the fractured United States and also the military headquarters of the Union Army. Richmond, the newly minted capital of the Confederacy, was less than 100 miles away in neighboring Virginia. Likening the Civil War to a …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Daniel Webster (1782-1852) emerged as one of the greatest orators and most influential statesmen in the United States in the early 19th century. As an attorney, he argued several landmark cases before the Supreme Court that expanded the power of the federal government. A dedicated nationalist, …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), the U.S. congressman from Nebraska, three-time presidential nominee and secretary of state, emerged near the end of the 19th century as a leading voice in the Democratic Party and the nation. A devout Protestant, his populist rhetoric and policies earned him the …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981), was a senior U.S. Army officer who served as field commander of American soldiers during the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day and led Allied troops as they drove into Germany near the end of World War II. Known as the “G.I.'s General” for the concern he showed …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Erwin Rommel (1891-1944) was a German army officer who rose to the rank of field marshal and earned fame at home and abroad for his leadership of Germany’s Afrika Korps in North Africa during World War II. Nicknamed “the Desert Fox,” Rommel also commanded German defenses against the Allied invasion …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential figures of the American civil rights movement—and a gifted orator. His stirring speeches touched on everything from social and racial justice, to nonviolence, poverty, the Vietnam War and dismantling white supremacy. And while many have been …Continue reading
  • by Bob Zeller
    The Civil War was the deadliest of all American wars. No one disagrees with that. But how many died has long been a matter of debate. For more than a century, the most-accepted estimate was about 620,000 dead. A specific figure of 618,222 is often cited, with 360,222 Union deaths and 258,000 …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    On the afternoon of January 6, 2021, a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters descend on the U.S. Capitol, attempting to interfere with the certification of electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election. The rioters assaulted the Capitol police force and ransacked the complex, destroying …Continue reading
  • by Alexis Clark
    When more than six million African Americans left the South for better opportunities in the North and West, between 1916 and 1970, their relocation changed the demographic landscape of the United States and much of the agricultural labor force in the South. This decades-long, multi-generational …Continue reading

Stories in the news…

  • by Elizabeth Yuko
    Emerging from the medieval tradition of agricultural and trade fairs, the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, held in London in 1851, was the first international gathering of this kind, and widely considered the first World’s Fair. Over time, World’s Fairs began incorporating …Continue reading
  • by Dave Roos
    When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Washington, D.C. remained the capital of the fractured United States and also the military headquarters of the Union Army. Richmond, the newly minted capital of the Confederacy, was less than 100 miles away in neighboring Virginia. Likening the Civil War to a …Continue reading
  • by History.com Editors
    Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential figures of the American civil rights movement—and a gifted orator. His stirring speeches touched on everything from social and racial justice, to nonviolence, poverty, the Vietnam War and dismantling white supremacy. And while many have been …Continue reading
  • by Bob Zeller
    The Civil War was the deadliest of all American wars. No one disagrees with that. But how many died has long been a matter of debate. For more than a century, the most-accepted estimate was about 620,000 dead. A specific figure of 618,222 is often cited, with 360,222 Union deaths and 258,000 …Continue reading
  • by Alexis Clark
    When more than six million African Americans left the South for better opportunities in the North and West, between 1916 and 1970, their relocation changed the demographic landscape of the United States and much of the agricultural labor force in the South. This decades-long, multi-generational …Continue reading
  • by Christopher Klein
    The day after a Black woman refused to yield her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, America’s latest battle over civil rights garnered front-page headlines. The news stories capturing the country’s attention in early December 1955 did not concern Rosa Parks, however, but University of Pittsburgh …Continue reading
  • by Lesley Kennedy
    The Winter Olympics have been marked by controversy and scandal since the first Games in 1924. From cheating by East German lugers to the sordid Tonya Harding figure skating fiasco, here are six events that made headlines: 1. 1924: Timing Controversy in Speedskating Event at First Winter …Continue reading
  • by Iván Román
    Holidays in Latin America celebrate faith, family and community in a festive, sometimes whimsical, style. Traditions range from waking people up with Christmas songs in the middle of the night to sculpting massive radishes to burning effigies to ward off bad spirits from the year just ended. …Continue reading
  • by Christopher Klein
    With football now dominated by rocket-armed quarterbacks and fleet-footed receivers, it’s hard to imagine the sport without the forward pass. The play, however, was illegal for nearly four decades after the sport’s inception. When passing was finally permitted in 1906, to improve player safety, …Continue reading
  • by Dave Roos
    Long before Santa Claus, caroling and light-strewn Christmas trees, people in medieval Europe celebrated the Christmas season with 12 full days of feasting and revelry culminating with Twelfth Night and the raucous crowning of a “King of Misrule.” Christmas in the Middle Ages was preceded by the …Continue reading
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