The British Library

Historical Calendar - January

Historic events for January

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January
New Year's Day, January 1st, is the eighth day of Christmas.
Frank Muir
1998

Frank Muir, English writer, raconteur (b.1920), dies.

Leonardo da Vinci
1496

Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine.

Elephant
1903

Topsy, an elephant, is electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign.

Pope Clement
1531

Pope Clement VII forbids English King Henry VIII to re-marry.

King Henry VIII
1540

King Henry VIII of England married his 4th wife, Anne of Cleves.

Calais
1558

Calais, last English possession in France, retaken by French.

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Lindisfarne
794

Vikings attack Lindisfarne Island.

Circus
1768

Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in London.

Julius Caesar
49 BC

Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war.

Pineapple
1813

First pineapples planted in Hawaii.

Australia
1836

Charles Darwin and HMS Beagle reach Sydney Australia.

Elizabeth I
1559

Elizabeth I crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey.

Cuba
1539

Spain annexes Cuba.

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Man in a top hat
1797

First top hat worn (John Etherington of London).

British Museum
1759

British Museum opens in London.

Captain James Cook
1773

Captain James Cook becomes 1st to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33' S).

War of the Worlds
1644

First UFO sighting in America, by perplexed pilgrims in Boston.

Peninsular War
1812

Peninsular War: After a ten day siege, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, orders British soldiers from the Light and Third divisions to storm Ciudad Rodrigo.

Charles I
1649

Charles I goes on trial for treason.

Smoking
1908

New York City passes a law making it ilegal for women to smoke in public.

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Sir Robert Bruce Cotton
1570

Sir Robert Bruce Cotton and founder of the Cotton Library is born.

Sir Thomas Fairfax
1643

Sir Thomas Fairfax takes Leeds for Parliamentarians.

Desmond Morris
1928

Zoologist Desmond Morris born. 

Tom Paulin
1949

Tom Paulin, Northern Irish poet, film critic and novelist born in Leeds.

Canton, Hong Kong
1841

Hong Kong proclaimed a sovereign territory of Britain.

Guy Fawkes
1606

The trial of Guy Fawkes begins.

Stamford Raffles
1819

Sir Stamford Raffles 1st lands in Singapore.

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Edward Lear
1888

Edward Lear, poet/author, dies at 75.

 

Chess
1937

Boris Spassky, Russian chess player and 10th world chess champion (1969–1972), born.

Franz Schubert
1797

Franz Schubert, Austrian composer (d.1828,) dies.






 

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