Historic anniversaries in January 2012

You might like to write about the following historic anniversaries. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing.

The list presented here is just a fraction of that available in The Date-A-Base Book 2012. For example, there are 60 anniversaries listed below, but 207 anniversaries for the same month in the book, which also covers the whole of 2012.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.

600 years ago (6 Jan 1412?)
Birth of Joan of Arc, French martyr, saint and national heroine. (This is the date given in a letter from Lord Perceval de Boullainvilliers. Her actual date of birth is impossible to verify, and she could only estimate her age)

500 years ago (2 Jan 1512)
Death of Svante Sture, Regent of Sweden (1503-12)

500 years ago (31 Jan 1512)
Birth of King Henry of Portugal

400 years ago (17 Jan 1612)
Birth of Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Baron Fairfax of Cameron, English general, commander of the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War

300 years ago (24 Jan 1712)
Birth of Frederick II (Frederick the Great), King of Prussia (1740-86)

250 years ago (4 Jan 1762)
Seven Years’ War: Britain declared war on Spain and Naples

175 years ago (26 Jan 1837)
Michigan became the 26th U.S. state

150 years ago (8 Jan 1862)
Birth of Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher

150 years ago (10 Jan 1862)
Death of Samuel Colt, American inventor and firearms manufacturer who popularised the revolver

150 years ago (18 Jan 1862)
Death of John Tyler, 10th President of the United States

150 years ago (19 Jan 1862)
American Civil War: Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. The first significant Union victory

150 years ago (24 Jan 1862)
Birth of Edith Wharton, Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer, best known for her stories about upper-class society

150 years ago (27 Jan 1862)
American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued General War Order No. 1, ordering the Union army and navy to begin their offensive operations against the Confederates on 22nd February 1862

150 years ago (29 Jan 1862)
Birth of Frederick Delius, British composer

125 years ago (20 Jan 1887)
The U.S. Senate agreed to allow the U.S. Navy to lease Pearl Harbour, Hawaii as a naval base

100 years ago (1 Jan 1912)
The Republic of China was officially established

100 years ago (1 Jan 1912)
Birth of Kim Philby, British intelligence officer and Soviet double agent, member of the Cambridge spy ring

100 years ago (4 Jan 1912)
The Boy Scout Association (now The Scout Association) was granted a Royal Charter, and became established throughout the Commonwealth

100 years ago (5 Jan 1912)
Lenin’s Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party broke away from the main party and formed what would later become the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

100 years ago (6 Jan 1912)
New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state

100 years ago (7 Jan 1912)
Birth of Charles Addams, American cartoonist, noted for his macabre humour, and best known as the creator of the Addams Family

100 years ago (8 Jan 1912)
The African National Congress (ANC) was founded in South Africa

100 years ago (8 Jan 1912)
Birth of José Ferrer, Academy Award-winning Puerto Rican-born American actor and director (‘Cyrano de Bergerac’)

100 years ago (9 Jan 1912)
U.S. Marines invaded Honduras to prevent the government from seizing an American-owned railroad at Puerto Cortez

100 years ago (18 Jan 1912)
British explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition reached the South Pole, but discovered that Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team had beaten them by over a month

100 years ago (23 Jan 1912)
The International Opium Convention was signed by 12 countries at The Hague, the Netherlands

100 years ago (28 Jan 1912)
Birth of Jackson Pollock, American abstract expressionist artist, noted for his ‘action paintings’

80 years ago (12 Jan 1932)
Hattie Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate

80 years ago (28 Jan to 3rd Mar 1932)
Second Sino-Japanese War – Shanghai Incident. Japanese troops attacked and occupied Shanghai, China

75 years ago (6 Jan 1937)
Death of André Bessette (Blessed Brother André), Canadian saint (from 17th October 2010)

75 years ago (19 Jan 1937)
American industrialist, film producer and aviator Howard Hughes broke the U.S. transcontinental air record, flying from Burbank, California to Newark, New Jersey in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds

75 years ago (23 – 30 Jan 1937)
The second Moscow show trial (The Trial of the Seventeen) took place. 17 leading Communists were accused of participating in Trotsky’s plot to overthrow Stalin. 13 of them were sentenced to death

70 years ago (1 Jan 1942)
World War II: 26 countries signed the Declaration of the United Nations in Washington, D.C., USA, pledging to employ their full resources against Hitler and the Axis powers

70 years ago (6 Jan 1942)
Pan American Airways’ ‘Pacific Clipper’ flying boat completed the first round the world trip by a commercial plane

70 years ago (20 Jan 1942)
Holocaust: the Wannsee Conference was held in Germany. Nazi officials met to plan the ‘final solution to the Jewish question’

70 years ago (26 Jan 1942)
World War II: The first American troops arrived in Europe. 4,508 soldiers from the 34th Infantry Regiment docked in Belfast, Northern Ireland

70 years ago (29 Jan 1942)
The BBC Radio 4 show ‘Desert Island Discs’ was first broadcast. It is the world’s longest running weekly factual radio programme

60 years ago (14 Jan 1952)
The first episode of ‘Today’ (also known as ‘The Today Show’) was broadcast on NBC TV in the USA

60 years ago (26 Jan 1952)
Suez Canal Zone – Cairo riots: at least 20 people were killed and 200 injured in anti-British riots in Cairo, Egypt. (The previous day British troops had seized control of the town of Ismailia, killing about 50 police officers when they refused to surrender)

50 years ago (1 Jan 1962)
The U.S. Navy SEALs unit was established to handle special operations and counter-terrorism missions from the sea, air and land

50 years ago (1 Jan 1962)
Western Samoa (now Samoa) achieved independence from New Zealand

50 years ago (8 Jan 1962)
Harmelen train disaster – the worst-ever railway accident in the Netherlands. More than 90 people were killed when 2 passenger trains crashed in fog after one of the drivers failed to see a warning signal

50 years ago (11 Jan 1962)
An avalanche on Mount Huascarán in Peru destroyed several towns and villages and killed 3,500 – 4,000 people

50 years ago (13 Jan 1962)
Death of Ernie Kovacs, American comedian and actor

50 years ago (26 Jan 1962)
Death of Lucky Luciano, American gangster, regarded as the father of modern organised crime in America

40 years ago (4 Jan 1972)
Rose Heilbron was appointed as the first female judge at the Old Bailey, London. (She was also the first woman to lead a murder case)

40 years ago (5 Jan 1972)
U.S. President Richard Nixon announced the programme to develop the space shuttle

40 years ago (11 Jan 1972)
East Pakistan became the independent state of Bangladesh

40 years ago (14 Jan 1972)
Death of King Frederick IX of Denmark, succeeded by his daughter Queen Margrethe II

40 years ago (30 Jan 1972)
Bloody Sunday. British paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, killing 13 people (plus another who died later) and injuring many others

30 years ago (8 Jan 1982)
American communications giant AT&T agreed to divest its 22 Bell System companies. They would become separate companies under the terms of an antitrust agreement

30 years ago (10 Jan 1982)
The lowest temperature ever recorded in England: -26.1°C (-15°F) at Newport, Shropshire. Scotland’s lowest ever temperature was equalled: -27.2°C (-17°F) at Braemar, Aberdeenshire (the UK record). Parts of the Midwestern USA also saw record low temperatures, and again on 17th

30 years ago (14 Jan 1982)
Mark Thatcher, the son of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was found safe and well after going missing in the Sahara Desert for six days while competing in the Paris-Dakar rally

30 years ago (16 Jan 1982)
Britain and the Vatican re-established full diplomatic relations after a break of more than 400 years

25 years ago (10 Jan 1987)
Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy in the Middle East, was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon while on a peace mission to negotiate the release of hostages. (Released November 1991)

25 years ago (21 Jan 1987)
American singer Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

20 years ago (6 Jan 1992)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended the use of silicone breast implants over fears that they could leak and cause health damage. (Manufacturers were unable to provide sufficient evidence of their safety, and they were later banned in the USA)

20 years ago (26 Jan 1992)
Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced that the country would stop targeting U.S. cities with nuclear weapons

10 years ago (1 Jan 2002)
The euro became the official currency of Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain

10 years ago (8 Jan 2002)
Death of Dave Thomas, American businessman, founder of the Wendy’s fast-food restaurant chain


The Date-A-Base Book 2012

You’ll find lots more anniversaries in The Date-A-Base Book 2012, which covers the whole of 2012 and lists over 2,250 forthcoming newsworthy and notable anniversaries – more than three times as many entries per month than our standard list above. Over the course of the year you’ll get to hear about hundreds of anniversaries that other writers won’t know about, giving you a huge advantage!

The Date-A-Base Book 2012 is a terrific source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners.
Click here for more details and the complete listing for January 2012


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