This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 350 days remaining until the end of the year (351 in leap years).
On this day in 1559, Elizabeth Tudor is crowned Queen of England.
Two months after the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I of England, Elizabeth Tudor, the 25-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, is crowned Queen Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey in London.
Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen regnant of England and Queen regnant of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed two and a half years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, bequeathed the crown to Lady Jane Grey, cutting his sisters out of the succession. His will was set aside, Lady Jane Grey was executed, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded the Catholic Mary I, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.
Elizabeth set out to rule by good counsel, and she depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers led by William Cecil, Baron Burghley. One of her first moves as queen was to support the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement held firm throughout her reign and later evolved into today’s Church of England. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry, but despite several petitions from parliament and numerous courtships, she never did. The reasons for this outcome have been much debated. As she grew older, Elizabeth became famous for her virginity, and a cult grew up around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day.
In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and siblings. One of her mottoes was “video et taceo” (“I see, and say nothing”). This strategy, viewed with impatience by her counsellors, often saved her from political and marital misalliances. Though Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs and only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France and Ireland, the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated her name forever with what is popularly viewed as one of the greatest victories in English history. Within 20 years of her death, she was celebrated as the ruler of a golden age, an image that retains its hold on the English people.
Elizabeth’s reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Sir Francis Drake. Some historians are more reserved in their assessment. They depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity to the point where many of her subjects were relieved at her death. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor, in an age when government was ramshackle and limited and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. Such was the case with Elizabeth’s rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she imprisoned in 1568 and eventually had executed in 1587. After the short reigns of Elizabeth’s brother and sister, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.
588 BC – Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign. The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.
69 – Otho seizes power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, but rules for only three months before committing suicide.
1493 – Christopher Columbus sets sail for Spain from Hispaniola, ending his first voyage to the New World.
1559 – Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey, London.
1582 – Russia cedes Livonia and Estonia to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1759 – The British Museum opens.
1777 – American Revolutionary War: New Connecticut (present day Vermont) declares its independence.
1782 – Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris goes before the U.S. Congress to recommend establishment of a national mint and decimal coinage.
1815 – War of 1812: American frigate USS President (1800), commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur, is captured by a squadron of four British frigates.
1822 – Greek War of Independence: Demetrius Ypsilanti is elected president of the legislative assembly.
1844 – University of Notre Dame receives its charter from the state of Indiana.
1865 – American Civil War: Fort Fisher in North Carolina falls to the Union, thus cutting off the last major seaport of the Confederacy.
1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the United States Democratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).
1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is originally incorporated in Atlanta.
1892 – James Naismith publishes the rules of basketball.
1910 – Construction ends on the Buffalo Bill Dam in Wyoming, US, which was the highest dam in the world at the time, at 325 ft (99 m).
1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two of the most prominent socialists in Germany, are tortured and murdered by the Freikorps.
1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: A large molasses tank in Boston, bursts and a wave of molasses rushes through the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.
1936 – The first building to be completely covered in glass, built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, is completed in Toledo, Ohio.
1943 – World War II: The Soviet counter-offensive at Voronezh begins.
1943 – The world’s largest office building, The Pentagon, is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.
1947 – The brutalized corpse of Elizabeth Short (“The Black Dahlia”) is found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.
1949 – Chinese Civil War: The Chinese Communist Party forces take over Tianjin from the Nationalist Government.
1951 – Ilse Koch, “The Bitch of Buchenwald”, wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in West Germany.
1966 – The Nigerian First Republic, led by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa is overthrown in a military coup d’etat.
1967 – The first Super Bowl is played in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10
1969 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.
1970 – Nigerian Civil War: After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafra surrenders.
1970 – Muammar al-Qaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.
1973 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
1974 – Dennis Rader aka the BTK Killer kills his first victims by binding, torturing and murdering Joseph, Joseph II, Josephine and Julie Otero in their house.
1976 – Gerald Ford’s would-be assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is sentenced to life in prison.
1986 – The Living Seas opens at EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida.
1990 – AT&T’s long distance telephone network suffers a cascade switching failure.
1991 – The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.
1991 – Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of Australia, signs letters patent allowing Australia to become the first Commonwealth Realm to institute its own separate Victoria Cross award in its own honours system.
1992 – The international community recognizes the independence of Slovenia and Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
1993 – Salvatore Riina, the Mafia boss known as “The Beast”, is arrested in Sicily after three decades as a fugitive.
1999 – The Racak incident: 45 Albanians in the Kosovo village of Racak are killed by Yugoslav security forces.
2001 – Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.
2005 – An intense solar flare blasts X-rays across the solar system.
2005 – ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers elements such as calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon.
2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court, are executed by hanging in Iraq.
2009 – US Airways Flight 1549 makes an emergency landing in the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. All passengers and crew members survive.
* Armed Forces Day (Nigeria)
* Army Day (India)
* Christian Feast Day:
o Abeluzius (Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church)
o Macarius of Egypt (Western Christianity)
* Earliest day on which International Fetish Day can fall, while January 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Friday in January.
* Earliest day on which Martin Luther King, Jr. Day can fall, while January 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Monday in January. (United States)
* John Chilembwe Day (Malawi)
* Korean Alphabet Day (North Korea)
* Tree Planting Day (Egypt)