1148 Louis VII of France, with his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, lays siege to Damascus during the Second Crusade.
1534 French explorer Jacques Cartier plants a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and takes possession of the territory that woul become Canada, in the name of Francis I of France.
1683 First ship of settlers from Germany to U.S. leave aboard the ship Concord.
1701 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founds the trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which later becomes the city of Detroit, Michigan. His name and his coat of arms continue on a line of luxury cars produced by General Motors.
|Dumas, in 1855|
1802 Birth of Alexandre Dumas, pere, dramatist, author of the classics "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo".
1823 Slavery is abolished in Chile. Chile was only the second country, after Haiti, to ban slavery in the western hemisphere.
1824 Harrisburg Pennsylvanian newspaper publishes results of 1st public opinion poll. Clear lead for Andrew Jackson
1832 Benjamin Bonneville leads the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains by using Wyoming's South Pass.
1847 After 17 months of travel, Brigham Young leads 148 Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, resulting in the establishment of Salt Lake City. Celebrations of this event include the Pioneer Day Utah state holiday and the Days of '47 Parade.
1851 Window tax abolished in Britain. The window tax was introduced in 1696 as an alternative to the income tax, but still intended to tax the wealthier and not the less affluent. It worked for over 100 years in the UK...I'm just saying.
1866 Tennessee becomes the first U.S. State to be readmitted to the Union following the American Civil War.
|a young O. Henry|
1900 Race riot in New Orleans, 2 white policemen killed
1901 William S. Porter, who wrote classic short stories under the name O. Henry, is released from prison in Austin, Texas after serving three years for embezzlement from a bank. In 1881 he had been licensed as a pharmacist. He also worked as a shepherd, draftsman, journalist, artist, and bank teller. He denied the embezzlement charges. His writing supported his daughter while he was in prison. It was O. Henry who coined the term 'banana republic' in one of his stories. The O. Henry award is given for excellence in short stories, much like the Edgar (named for Edgar Alan Poe is awarded for mystery writing and the Hugo is awarded for science fiction).
|actual photo from the Machu Pichu|
expedition, hand tinted
1911 Hiram Bingham III re-discovers Machu Picchu, "the Lost City of the Incas".
1919 Race Riot in Washington D.C. (6 killed, 100 wounded)
|dust storm in Texas 1935|
1935 The dust bowl heat wave reaches its peak, sending temperatures to 109°F (44°C) in Chicago and 104°F (40°C) in Milwaukee, WI.
1936 The dust bowl heat wave continues, reaching
118 degrees F (48 degrees C), Minden, Nebraska (state record) and
121 degrees F (49 degrees C), near Alton, Kansas (state record)
1937 Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called "Scottsboro Boys".
1941 Nazi execute entire Jewish population of Grodz, Lithuania
1943 World War II: Operation Gomorrah begins: British and Canadian aeroplanes bomb Hamburg by night, those of the Americans by day. By the end of the operation in November, 9,000 tons of explosives will have killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed 280,000 buildings.
1948 Soviets blockade access to Berlin from the Allies, resulting in the Berlin airlift, lasting nearly a year, a major event in the cold war.
1950 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station begins operations.
1952 President Truman settles 53-day steel strike
112 degrees F (44 degrees C), Louisville, Georgia (state record)
2002 Democrat James Traficant is expelled from the United States House of Representatives on a vote of 420 to 1. Trafficant has filed in January 2010 to run for office again.