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- It happened today – this day in history – January 26 - 26/01/2021
1054: Three Roman legates fracture relations between Western and Eastern Christian churches by placing invalid Papal Bull of Excommunication on altar of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople during liturgy. Often seen as the start of the East-West schism.
1429: Joan of Arc and the French army enter the city of Rheims.
1439: Kissing is banned in England to stop the Black Death from spreading.
1519: Public debate between Martin Luther and theologian Johann Eck at Pleissenburg Castle in Liepzig, during which Luther denies the divine right of the Pope.
1548: La Paz, Bolivia, is founded.
1557: Death of Anne of Cleves aged 41.
1661: The first banknotes in Europe are issued by Bank of Stockholm.
1782: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” premieres in Vienna with Mozart conducting.
1789: Louis XVI reinstates Jacques Necker as French finance minister following riots at his dismissal.
1790: Congress declares the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, the permanent capital of the United States.
1809: La Paz, Bolivia declares its independence from the Spanish Crown and forms the Junta Tuitiva.
1819: Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen sets sail to explore Antarctica for Tsar Alexander I.
1867: Joseph Monier patents reinforced concrete.
1897: The South African Committee, investigating the Jameson Raid releases its report finding that it was conducted almost implicitly through the support and encouragement of Cecil Rhodes and the mining houses in the Transvaal.
1900: A report appears in London that all foreigners in Peking, have been massacred in the Boxer rebellion. Although soon exposed as false, the report helps mobilize support for relief of foreigners. On the same day, Russia launches an offensive against the Chinese in Manchuria.
1901: The Fawcett Commission headed by Millicent Fawcett is established as a result of an outcry against the treatment of Afrikaners in concentration camps during the South African War.
1920: The USA tennis team beats Australasia 5-0 in Aukland to win the Davis Cup.
1921: Encouraged by Britain, King Constantine of Greece launches a drive to take Asia Minor from nationalists under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
1925: The first parliament in Iraq is opened by King Feisal in Baghdad.
1927: Augusto Sandino begins 5½ year war against the US occupation of Nicaragua.
1935: The first automatic parking metre in the United States is installed in Oklahoma City.
1936: The first x-ray photo of arterial circulation is taken in Rochester, New York.
1940: Adolf Hitler orders preparations for the invasion of Britain (Operation Sealion).
1942: French police arrest 13,152 Jews in Paris.
1945: Winston Churchill, Harry S Truman and Josef Stalin discuss the fate of a defeated Germany at Potsdam. On the same day, The first test detonation takes place of an atomic bomb in New Mexico as part of the US Manhattan Project.
1946: A US court martial sentences 46 members of the SS to death in Dachau for war crimes during the Battle of the Bulge.
1950: Uruguay beats Brazil, 2-1 to win the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
1951: King Leopold III of Belgium abdicates. On the same day, “The Catcher In The Rye” by J D Salinger is published.
1955: Stirling Moss wins the British Grand Prix for the first time. Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina clinches his third Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by finishing second.
1965: The Mont Blanc road tunnel opens between France and Italy.
1967: Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, and Tom Paxton appear at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island.
1969: Apollo 11 takes off from Cape Kennedy on its mission to achieve the first manned moon landing.
1970: Home Secretary Reginald Maudling declares a state of emergency amid industrial action at UK ports. On the same day, the Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh.
1971: Franco appoints Prince Juan Carlos as deputy in Spain. On the same day, the SDLP withdraw from Stormont after no inquiry is announced into the shooting dead of Seamus Cusack and Desmond Beattie in Northern Ireland.
1973: During the Watergate hearings, Presidet Nixon’s deputy assistant, Alexander Butterfield reveals the existence of White House tapes.
1979: President al-Bakr of Iraq is succeeded by Saddam Hussein.
1981: Singer-songwriter Harry Chapin died aged 38 when his car was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer, causing the gas tank to explode on a New York Expressway.
1983: A Sisorsky S-61 helicopter crashes off the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities in Britain’s worst helicopter accident.
1985: The bill to abolish the Greater London Council receives royal assent.
1987: Rival airlines British Caledonian and British Airways agree to merge.
1988: Florence Joyner runs 100m in women’s world record 10.49 seconds.
1990: Civil trial by parents of suicide victims against Judas Priest, claiming that subliminal messages in the songs forced their children to kill themselves begins. On the same day, Ukraine declares independence.
1993: First day of the Phoenix Festival at Long Marston featuring Sonic Youth, Faith No More, The Black Crowes, Julian Cope, Pop Will Eat Itself, Radiohead, Living Colour, Manic Street Preachers and Pulp.
1994: Actress Anna Nicole Smith, 26, marries 89-year old billionaire J Howard Marshall II.
1995: Singer/rapper Queen Latifah is the victim of a car-jacking attempt that leaves her bodyguard shot and wounded. On the same day, Wayne Osmond from The Osmonds undergoes a brain tumour operation at Duke University Medical Centre, North Carolina and legendary Argentinian racing driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, dies aged 84..
1999: John F Kennedy Jr, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette are killed in a plane crash off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
2000: The Corrs present a petition to the European Commission demanding legislation to end piracy on the Internet.
2004: US Businesswoman and TV personality Martha Stewart is sentenced to five months in prison plus five months in home confinement for lying to federal investigators.
2007: Three masked men carrying sledgehammers and crowbars broke into the Wimslow home of former Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona and hold a knife to her throat while escaping with the singer’s BMW M5 sports car, two laptops, two gaming machines and two televisions.
2009: A stage being built in the Velodrome Stadium, Marseille, for a concert by Madonna collapses, killing two workers and injuring six others.
2012: Jon Lord, former keyboards player with Deep Purple, dies aged 71 from pancreatic cancer. On the same day, bassist on Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown”, “Ball of Confusion” by The Temptations and other Motown hits, Bob Babbitt died aged 74, from brain cancer. Also, country singer Kitty Wells died in Madison, Tennessee, from complications of a stroke aged 92 and comedian Russell Brand divorces pop singer Kat Perry one year after their fairytale wedding in India..
2014: Albino guitarist Johnny Winter died at the age of 70 in Zurich. On the same day, Bashar al-Assad is sworn in for a third term as President of Syria. Also, Hamas and Islamic Jihad offer Israel a 10-year truce with 10 conditions, which include lifting the blockade and the release of prisoners. It is rejected and Israel intensifies strikes on Gaza.
2015: A sports car belonging to US hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash which contained valuable vintage records was mistakenly given away by a parking attendant at a Manhattan garage. On the same day, Scientists reveal the first close-up pictures of Pluto, sent by the New Horizons probe.
2016: Punk icon Alan Vega of the duo Suicide, died aged 78. On the same day, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announces Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate.
2017: Jodie Whittaker is announced as the first female Doctor Who. On the same day, Rapper DMX was charged with tax fraud in the US after allegedly hiding millions of dollars in earnings.
2018: 12 new moons are discovered orbiting Jupiter bringing planet’s moon total to 79.
BIRTHDAYS: Mary Parkinson, broadcaster, 81; Frank Field, politician, 78; Margaret Court, tennis legend, 78; John Hollins, former footballer, 74; Lorraine Chase, actress, 69; Stewart Copeland, drummer (The Police) 68; Michael Flatley, choreographer, 62; Phoebe Cates (Klein) actress, 58; Johnny Vaughan, broadcaster, 54; Will Ferrell, comedian/actor, 53; Chris Pontius, Jackass member, 46; Gareth Bale, footballer, 31; Luke Hemmings, guitarist/vocalist (5 Seconds of Summer) 24.