• RSS This day in history

    • Groundbreaking novel "Don Quixote" is published
      On January 16, 1605, Miguel de Cervantes' El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, better known as Don Quixote, is published. The book is considered by many to be the first modern novel as well as one of the greatest novels of all time. The protagonist is a minor noble, Alonso Quixano, whose ...
    • Shah flees Iran
      Faced with an army mutiny and violent demonstrations against his rule, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the leader of Iran since 1941, is forced to flee the country. Fourteen days later, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the Islamic revolution, returned after 15 years of exile and ...
    • The Persian Gulf War begins
      At midnight in Iraq, the United Nations deadline for the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait expires, and the Pentagon prepares to commence offensive operations to forcibly eject Iraq from its five-month occupation of its oil-rich neighbor.  At 4:30 p.m. EST, the first fighter aircraft were launched ...
    • Prohibition is ratified by the states
      The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified by the requisite number of states on January 16, 1919. The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when ...
    • Montenegro capitulates to Austro-Hungarian forces
      After an eight-day offensive that marked the beginning of a new, aggressive strategy in the region, Austro-Hungarian troops under commander in chief Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf take control of the Balkan state of Montenegro. By the end of 1915, after initial setbacks, the Central Powers had ...
    • Benny Goodman brings jazz to Carnegie Hall
      Jazz has been called “America’s classical music,” a label that does more than just recognize its American origins. The label also makes the case that jazz is worthy of aesthetic consideration alongside music usually thought of as “classical.” In the current era, when programs of Duke Ellington and ...
    • Actress Carole Lombard killed in plane crash
      On January 16, 1942, the actress Carole Lombard, famous for her roles in such screwball comedies as My Man Godfrey and To Be or Not to Be, and for her marriage to the actor Clark Gable, is killed when the TWA DC-3 plane she is traveling in crashes en route from Las Vegas to Los […]
    • “Moon Maniac” killer is executed
      Albert Fish is executed at Sing Sing prison in New York. The “Moon Maniac” was one of America’s most notorious and disturbed killers. Authorities believe that Fish killed as many as 10 children and then ate their remains. Fish went to the electric chair with great anticipation, telling guards, “It ...
    • Soviets send troops into Azerbaijan
      In the wake of vicious fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Azerbaijan, the Soviet government sends in 11,000 troops to quell the conflict. The fighting–and the official Soviet reaction to it–was an indication of the increasing ineffectiveness of the central Soviet government in ...
    • Crittenden Compromise is killed in Senate
      The Crittenden Compromise, the last chance to keep North and South united, dies in the U.S. Senate. Proposed by Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, the compromise was a series of constitutional amendments. The amendments would continue the old Missouri Compromise provisions of 1820, which ...
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