January 4 in history


On January 4:

1490  Anna of Brittany announced that all those who would ally with the king of France will be considered guilty of the crime of lese-majesty.

1493 Christopher Columbus left the New World, ending his first journey.

1642 King Charles I of England sent soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England’s slide into civil war.

1643  Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and natural philosopher, was born.

Head and shoulders portrait of man in black with shoulder-length gray hair, a large sharp nose, and an abstracted gaze

1698  Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarchs, was destroyed by fire.

1785 Jacob Grimm, German philologist and folklorist(one of the Brothers Grim), was born.

1813 Isaac Pitman, English inventor, was born.


1847 Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.

1854 The McDonald Islands were discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.

1865 The New York Stock Exchange opened its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City.

1869 Te Kooti was defeated at Nga Tapa.

Te Kooti defeated at Nga Tapa

1878 Sofia was emancipated from Ottoman rule.

1878 Augustus John, Welsh painter, was born.

1884 The Fabian Society is founded in London.

1885  The first successful appendectomy was performed by William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.

1903 – Topsy, an elephant, was electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign.

1912 – The Scout Association was incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.

The Scout Association

1947 – Rick Stein, English chef and television presenter, was born.

1948 – Burma regained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1958 Sir Edmund Hillary led a New Zealand party to the South Pole.

Hillary leads NZ party to Pole

1958  Sputnik 1 fell to Earth from its orbit.

1959  Luna 1 became the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.

1962 New York City introduced a train that operates without a crew on-board.

1965 Cait O’Riordan, British musician (The Pogues), was born.

1972  Rose Heilbron became the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London.

1975  Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first American-born saint.  

1991  Olivia Tennet, New Zealand actress, was born.

2004 Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, landed successfully on Mars.

NASA Mars Rover.jpg

2007 The 110th United States Congress elected Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.


Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

November 10 in history


On November 10:

1483 Martin Luther, German Protestant reformer, was born.

1619  René Descartes had the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy.

1697 – William Hogarth, English artist, was born.

William Hogarth, self-portrait, 1745

1728  – Oliver Goldsmith, English playwright, was born.

1775 The United States Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philidelphia by Samuel Nicholas.

USMC logo.svg

1810 George Jennings, English sanitary engineer, was born.

1868 About 60 people – roughly equal numbers of Maori and Pakeha – were killed in the Matawhero Massacre led by Te Kooti.

1871  Henry Morton Stanley located missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, allegedly greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”


1880  Jacob Epstein, American sculptor, was born.

1925  Richard Burton, Welsh actor, was born.

1938 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, dies.ustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, died.

1940 Screaming Lord Sutch, English musician and politician, was born.


1944  Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist, was born.


1947 – Dave Loggins, American songwriter and singer, was born.

1951 Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.

1958  The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

Hope Diamond.jpg

1975 The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.

Edmund Fitzgerald NOAA.jpg

2007  ¿Por qué no te callas?  (why don’t you shut up?) incident between King Juan Carlos of Spain and Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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