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 29 is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 336 days remaining until the end of the year (337 in leap years).
On this day in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven,” beginning “Once upon a midnight dreary,” is published on this day in the New York Evening Mirror.
“The Raven” is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in January 1845. It is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow descent into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk and classical references.
Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically, intending to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explained in his 1846 follow-up essay “The Philosophy of Composition”. The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty by Charles Dickens. Poe borrows the complex rhythm and meter of Elizabeth Barrett‘s poem “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship”, and makes use of internal rhyme as well as alliteration throughout.
904 – Sergius III comes out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher.
1676 – Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia.
1814 – France defeats Russia and Prussia in the Battle of Brienne.
1834 – US President Andrew Jackson orders first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labor dispute.
1845 – “The Raven” is published in the New York Evening Mirror, the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe
1850 – Henry Clay introduces the Compromise of 1850 to the U.S. Congress.
1856 – Queen Victoria institutes the Victoria Cross.
1861 – Kansas is admitted as the 34th U.S. state.
1886 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.
1891 – Liliuokalani is proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, its last monarch.
1900 – The American Legue is organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with 8 founding teams.
1916 – World War I: Paris is first bombed by German zeppelins.
1918 – Ukrainian-Soviet War: The Bolshevik Red Army, on its way to besiege Kiev, is met by a small group of military students at the Battle of Kruty.
1918 – Ukrainian-Soviet War: An armed uprising organized by the Bolsheviks in anticipation of the encroaching Red Army begins at the Kiev Arsenal, which will be put down six days later.
1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced.
1940 – Three trains on the Sakurajima Line, in Osaka, Japan, collide and explode while approaching Ajikawaguchi Station. 181 people are killed.
1943 – The first day of the Battle of Rennell Island, U.S. cruiser Chicago is torpedoed and heavily damaged by Japanese bombers.
1944 – World War II: The Battle of Cisterna takes place in central Italy.
1944 – World War II: Approximately 38 men, women, and children die in the Koniuchy massacre in Poland.
1944 – In Bologna, Italy, the Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio is destroyed in an air-raid.
1963 – The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced.
1967 – The “ultimate high” of the hippie era, the Mantra-Rock Dance, takes place in San Francisco and features Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, and Allen Ginsberg.
1979 – Brenda Spencer kills two people and wounds eight at the Grover Cleveland Elementary School shootings.
1985 – Final recording session of We Are The World, by the supergroup USA for Africa.
1989 – Hungary establishes diplomatic relations with South Korea, making it the first Eastern Bloc nation to do so
1991 – Gulf War: The Battle of Khafji, the first major ground engagement of the war, as well as its deadliest, begins.
1996 – President Jacques Chirac announces a “definitive end” to French nuclear weapons testing.
1996 – La Fenice, Venice’s opera house, is destroyed by fire.
1998 – In Birmingham, Alabama, a bomb explodes at an abortion clinic, killing one and severely wounding another. Serial bomber Eric Robert Rudolph is suspected as the culprit.
2001 – Thousands of student protesters in Indonesia storm parliament and demand that President Abdurrahman Wahid resign due to alleged involvement in corruption scandals.
2002 – In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush describes “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of Evil, in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
2005 – The first direct commercial flights from mainland China (from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines flight lands in Beijing.
2009 – Egyptian identification card controversy: The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt rules that people who do not adhere to one of the three government-recognised religions are also eligible to receive government identity documents.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Constitution Day (Gibraltar)