It happened today – this day in history – January 15

1412: Birth of Joan of Arc.

1535: Henry VIII declares himself head of the church in England.

1559: Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey.

1785: Mozart’s string quartet opus 10 premieres.

1861: The steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis.

1892: The rules of basketball are first published in Triangle Magazine, written by the game’s inventor James Naismith.

1895: Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake” premieres in St Petersburg.

1902: Abdulaziz Ibn Saud leads 40 men over the walls of Riyadh and takes the city, marking the beginning of the Third Saudi State.

1915: Japan claims economic control of China.

1922: Arthur Griffith is elected president of the Irish Free State after Eamon de Valera resigns in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

1945: The Red Army frees Crakow-Plaszow concentration camp.

1949: Mao’s Red army conquers Ten-tsin.

1951: Ilse Koch, known as “The Bitch of Buchenwald”, is sentenced to life imprisonment.

1955: USSR ends state of war with German Federal Republic.

1966: The First Nigerian Republic is overthrown in a military coup.

1970: Nigerian civil war officially ends after 2 1/2 years of fighting when the Republic of Biafra disbands and joins Nigeria. On the same day, Muammar Gaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.

1973: President Nixon suspends all US offensive action in North Vietnam.

1974: Expert panel reports 18½ minute gap in Watergate tape, five separate erasures.

1982: Mark Thatcher, son of UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, makes his way home after 6 days missing on the Paris – Dakkar motor rally in the Sahara.

1983: Death of mobster Meyer Lansky aged 80.

1985: Mike Gatting (207) and Graeme Fowler (201) become first pair of England batsmen to complete double centuries in the same innings during 9-wicket 4th cricket Test win against India at Madras.

1994: Singer songwriter Harry Nilsson died in his sleep of heart failure. On the same day, the Queen falls from her horse and breaks a wrist.

1997: Diana: Princess of Wales calls for an international ban on landmines, angering ministers in the UK.

1998: Blues vocalist/harmonica player, Junior Wells (Amos Blakemore) died aged 63.

1999: 45 Albanians in the Kosovo village of Racak are killed by Yugoslav security forces.

2001: Wikipedia is launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.

2002: Adam Ant was admitted to a mental ward 24 hours after being charged by police with pulling a gun on staff in a London pub.

2007: Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court, are executed by hanging in Iraq.

2009: Airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger lands US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. All crew and passengers survive.

2015: Record producer/svengali Kim Fowley died of bladder cancer in Hollywood at the age of 75.

2018: Singer/songwriter Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries died unexpectedly in London.

2019: Theresa May’s Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament by 432 votes to 202 – the largest parliamentary defeat.

BIRTHDAYS: Princess Michael of Kent, 75; Pete Waterman, producer, 73; Biff (Peter) Byford, singer (Saxon) 69; Duke (Douglas) Erikson, musician (Garbage) 67; Mario van Peebles, actor/director 63; Peter Trewavas, bassist (Marillion) 61; Adam Jones, guitarist (Tool) 55; James Nesbitt, actor, 55; Regina King, actress, 49; Claudia Winkleman, TV presenter, 48; Mary Pierce, former tennis star, 45; Edith Bowman, broadcaster, 45; Pitbull (Armando Perez) rapper, 39.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]