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- It happened today – this day in history – January 26 - 26/01/2021
1333: The River Arno floods, causing massive damage in Florence.
1429: Joan of Arc and Charles d’Albret liberate the heavily fortified town of Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier after a siege.
1529: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is arrested on charges of treason.
1646: Massachusetts uses the death penalty for denying that the Holy Bible is God’s word.
1783: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Symphony No. 36” premieres in Linz, Austria.
1841: The first wagon train arrives in California.
1842: Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd in Springfield, Illinois.
1846: Benjamin Palmer patents the artificial leg.
1847: Composer Felix Mendelssohn dies aged 38 in Leipzig after a series of strokes.
1856: James Buchanan is elected president of the US.
1862: Dr Richard Gatling patents the Gatling machine gun in Indianapolis.
1866: The Kingdom of Italy annexes Venetia.
1875: The passenger steamship “Pacific” collides with sailing vessel “Orpheus” off Cape Flattery, Washington – 236 die.
1876: Johannes Brahms’ 1st Symphony in C premieres in Karlsruhe, Grand Duchy of Baden.
1884: Grover Cleveland is elected president of the US.
1890: Britain proclaims Zanzibar as a protectorate. On the same day, the Prince of Wales opens the first underground station at Stockwell, South London. Also, Alexander Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor” premieres in Petersburg.
1918: The Allied armistice with Austria-Hungary comes into effect. On the same day, war poet Wilfred Owen is killed in action aged 25 during the crossing of the Sambre–Oise Canal, exactly one week before the end of the First World War.
1921: Japanese Prime Minister Hara Takashi is assassinated in Tokyo.
1922: Howard Carter discovers the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt.
1924: Calvin Coolidge is elected president of the US. On the same day, Stanley Baldwin becomes Britain’s Prime Minister for a second time after a Tory landslide victory over Labour.
1944: German troops recapture Schmidt Hurtgenwald on the Belgium/German border.
1948: T.S.Eliot wins the Nobel Prize for literature.
1950: American troops vacate Pyongyang North Korea.
1952: Dwight D Eisenhower is elected president of the US.
1956: Soviet troops pour into Budapest in response to the national uprising in Hungary.
1963: The Beatles top the bill at The Royal Variety Show at The Prince Of Wales Theatre, London. With the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in the audience, John Lennon tells the audience: “Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. The rest of you, just rattle your jewellery.”
1966: Flooding of River Arno in Italy destroys countless artworks and kills 113.
1970: Nuclear physicist and Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov forms the Human Rights Committee. On the same day, a 13-year old feral child is found in Los Angeles, after being locked in her bedroom by her father for most of her life.
1974: Judith Ward is convicted of an army coach bombing on the M62 motorway in which 12 people died. Her conviction was quashed in 1992.
1977: The UN Security council proclaims a weapons embargo against South Africa.
1979: Militant Islamic students storm the US embassy in Tehran taking 90 people hostage.
1980: Ronald Reagan wins the US presidential election by a landslide.
1981: Dr George Nichopoulas is acquitted of overprescribing addictive drugs for Elvis Presley.
1984: Singles chart:
- I Feel For You – Chaka Khan
- Freedom – Wham!
- Wild Boys – Duran Duran
- No More Lonely Nights – Paul McCartney
- Together In Electric Dreams – Georgio Moroder and Philip Oakey
- Too Late For Goodbyes – Julian Lennon
- The Wanderer – Status Quo
- All Cried Out – Alison Moyet
- Caribbean Queen – Billy Ocean
- Never Ending Story – Limahl
- Welcome To The Pleasuredome – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
- The Collection – Ultravox
- Give My Regards To Broad Street – Paul McCartney
- Eliminator – ZZ Top
- Perfect Strangers – Deep Purple
- Diamond Life – Sade
- Waking Up With The House On Fire – Culture Club
- Bad Attitude – Meat Loaf
- The Unforgettable Fire – U2
- Steeltown – Big Country
1989: Rene Muawad is elected president of Lebanon.
1993: Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore was arrested at the Denver Westin Hotel after refusing to turn down the music in his room. On the same day, Elton John is awarded a six-figure sum in damages from the Sunday Mirror for a false report on his diet.
1994: Fred “Sonic” Smith, guitarist with the MC5 and husband of Patti Smith, dies aged 46.
1995: Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. On the same day, Yes Minister star Paul Eddington dies aged 68.
1998: Fall singer Mark E. Smith appeared at Manhattan Criminal Court on assault charges accused of kicking, punching and choking his girlfriend and keyboard player Julia Nagle at a New York Hotel. On the same day, Oasis singer Liam Gallagher was arrested after an alleged drunken brawl with a photographer at a London pub.
1999: West Indian cricketer Malcolm Marshall dies aged 41 from colon cancer.
2001: The first Harry Potter film “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is released introducing young stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.
2008: Barack Obama is elected president of the US. On the same day, bestselling author Michael Crichton dies aged 66.
2017: Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes and other ministers on corruption charges, including billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. On the same day, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns in a shock TV broadcast from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, amid concerns he is being forcibly detained.
BIRTHDAYS: Loretta Swit, actress, 83; Delbert McClinton, singer-songwriter, 80; Chris Difford, singer-songwriter/guitarist (Squeeze) 66; Jordan Rudess, keyboardist (Dream Theatre) 64; Kathy Griffin, comedian, 60; Ralph Macchio, actor, 59; Nigel Worthington, football manager, 59; Malandra Burrows, actress, 55; P Diddy (Sean Combs) rapper, 51; Matthew McConaughey, actor, 51; Gregory Porter, singer-songwriter, 49; Luis Figo, Portuguese footballer, 48; Louise Redknapp (Nurding), singer 46; Cedric Bixler-Zavala, musician (The Mars Volta) 46; Guy Martin, TV presenter, 39.