JANUARY 13th IN HISTORY

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BALLADEER’S BLOG

Today is January 13th, which also happens to be a Friday. On past instances of Friday the 13th, Balladeer’s Blog has done posts about the 1907 novel Friday the 13th, about the PRE-Jason Voorhees Friday the 13th horror movie, about one of the 50 Shades of Grey movies hitting theaters on Friday the 13th, and about the airing of Friday the 13th Part 3D on an old movie host show in the 1980s.

For today, I’ll take a look at noteworthy events on other January 13ths, most of which were not Fridays, but what the hell?

888 A.D. – Charles the Fat’s successor, Count Odo of Paris assumes the throne as King of West Francia.

1404 – The English Parliament passes the Act of Multipliers, making it illegal for alchemists to use their abilities to transmute lesser substances into precious metals. The outdated and buffoonish Paul Krugman probably believes that such legislation is still necessary.

1605 – The satirical comedy Eastward Ho!, by Ben Jonson and two co-authors, offends England’s King James, who has two of the authors imprisoned. Here in 2023 it is mostly emotional cripples on social media that want people imprisoned or worse for offending them.   

1607 – Spain’s bankruptcy – among other international fallout – causes the failure of the Bank of Genoa.

1610 – Galileo discovers Jupiter’s moon Callisto, making it the fourth Jovian satellite to be discovered.

1630 – Chinese General Yuan Chonghuan is arrested as a fall guy for the Ming Dynasty’s military weakness. Even though the general had prevented the fall of the dynasty, Emperor Chongzhen unjustifiably accused Yuan of collusion with the enemy and ultimately executed him through slow torture.

1673 – The tragedy Mithridate, by Jean Racine, is first performed on stage at the Bourgogne in Paris. The play is about Mithridates the Sixth Eupator, ancient ruler of Pontus.

1695 – The great satirist Jonathan Swift is ordained as an Anglican priest. 

1733 – James Oglethorpe arrives in Charleston, South Carolina with 130 fellow English settlers. 

1770 – Beaumarchais’ stage drama Les Deux Amis ou Le Négociant de Lyon, praising businessmen, debuts at the Comedie Francais theater in Paris.

1794 – By an Act of Congress, the flag of the United States of America changes to 15 stars & stripes. 

1822 – The First National Assembly of Epidaurus adapted the design of the Greek flag as part of its proceedings regarding a rebellion against the colonizers of the Ottoman Muslim Empire.

1840 – Off the coast of Long Island, the steamship Lexington catches fire and sinks, killing 139 people.

1842 – During what came to be called the First Afghan War, British Army surgeon William Brydon reaches Jalalabad as the sole survivor of the 16,500-strong army’s disastrous retreat.

1849 – Vancouver Island is granted to Hudson’s Bay Company.

1863 – William Canter in New York City patents the Chenille yarn making machine.

1865 – In the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, Union forces defeat Confederate forces in North Carolina.

1869 – A convention of the Colored National Labor Union, the first such convention of black workers, is held in Washington D.C.

1873 – Republican African-American Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, who had served in the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War, and was the second African-American to become governor of an American state, stepped down as Louisiana governor to make way for the newly elected governor.

1874 – U.S. troops land in Honolulu, Hawaii to “protect” the king.

1882 – Wagner’s last opera, Parzifal, is completed.

1883 – During an evening performance of Circus Ferroni in Berditscheff, Poland, a smoking laborer causes the start of a fire which ultimately causes the deaths of 268-430 people. The fire also kills 27 horses and 11 trained dogs. 

1895 – Oscar Wilde’s play An Ideal Husband premieres at London’s Haymarket Theatre.

1902 – In Enschede, Netherlands, textile workers launch a strike that lasts through June 1st.

1908 – A fire at Rhoads Opera House in Boyertown, PA kills 171 people. 

Also 1908 – In Stanley Cup action, the Montreal Wanderers defeat the Ottawa Victorias in a 2-game sweep of the best of three competition. 

1910 – John Millington Synge’s play Deirdre of the Sorrows, completed by William Butler Yeats and Molly Allgood (Synge’s fiancee) premiered at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

1911 – In men’s tennis, South Africa notched its first win over Australia in the Australasian Championships.

1913 – Howard University in Washington DC sees the founding of Delta Sigma Theta, the world’s largest sorority of black women. Ketanji Brown STILL can’t define “woman”, however.

1915 – Avezzano, Italy is the site of an earthquake that kills 29,800 people.

1917 – In Romania, a train catches fire at Ciurea Station, killing 800-1,000 people.

1920 – The New York Times incorrectly reports that rockets can never fly. Must have been an item from one of their forever in error “fact checkers”.

1922 – In Madison, WI, radio station WHA-AM begins transmitting.

1924 – In Egypt, the nationalist party Wafd wins parliamentary elections.

1928 – The first television receiver is demonstrated by G.E. inventor E.F.W. Alexanderson in Schenectady, NY.

1938 – The Church of England accepts the theory of evolution. In 2023, the imbecilic former prince Harry causes them to have second thoughts.

1939 – Black Friday in Australia, as bush fires kill 71 people and burn 20,000 square kilometers of land.

1943 – The United States infantry captures Galloping Horse Ridge on Guadalcanal.

1948 – Midwestern Hayride, the first ever Country Western Music television series, debuts on WLWT in Cincinnati, OH.

1953 – Josip Tito, former fighter in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, is chosen president of Yugoslavia. 

1957 – Samuel Beckett’s first radio play, All that Fall, premieres on the BBC.

1959 – King Boudouin promises independence to the Belgian Congo.

1966 – Democrat president Lyndon Johnson selects Robert C. Weaver to head HUD, making him the first black person on a presidential cabinet.

1970 – The Nigerian Civil War ends as Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu flees Biafra into exile.

1976 – Sarah Caldwell becomes the first female conductor at the New York City Metropolitan Opera House.

1987 – Seven American Mafia chiefs are sentenced to 100 years each in prison. And yet, the white-collar criminals who head the Democrat and Republican Parties remain at large to this very day. 

1989 – Computers in Great Britain are hit by the Friday the 13th/ Jerusalem virus.

1992 – Japan apologizes for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during World War Two.

1995 – America3 becomes the first all-female crew to win America’s Cup.

2000 – Bloated rich pig and aspiring global dictator Bill Gates steps aside as chief executive of Microsoft. 

2021 – The world’s oldest cave painting of an animal – in this case a pig – is discovered in Leang Tedongnge cave, island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is believed to be 45,000 years old.

FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S LOOK AT HISTORICAL EVENTS ON JULY 4ths OTHER THAN 1776 CLICK HERE.

FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S LOOK AT HISTORICAL EVENTS ON LEAP DAY, FEBRUARY 29th, CLICK HERE.

9 Comments

Filed under Neglected History, opinion

9 responses to “JANUARY 13th IN HISTORY

  1. This was an entertaining read! There were a fair number of fire and fabric related anniversaries.

  2. Best part of these, as always, is your salting of tongue-in-cheek postscripts.

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