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 4 is the fourth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 361 days remaining until the end of the year (362 in leap years).
On this day in 1987, Spanish guitar great Andres Segovia arrives in the United States for his final American tour. He died four months later in Madrid at the age of 94.
Segovia was hailed for bringing the Spanish guitar from relative obscurity to classical status. Born in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia–the original home of the guitar–Segovia studied the piano and cello as a child but soon became captivated with the guitar. Knowing of no advanced teachers of an instrument that was generally banished to the cafes, he taught himself and in 1909 gave his first public performance at the age of 15. To successfully render classical material, Segovia invented countless new techniques for the guitar, and by his first appearance in Paris in 1924, he was a virtuoso. His American debut came four years later in New York City.
46 BC – Julius Caesar defeats Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina.
871 – Battle of Reading: Ethelred of Wessex fights, and is defeated by, a Danish invasion army.
1490 – Anna of Brittany announces that all those who would ally with the king of France will be considered guilty of the crime of lèse-majesté.
1642 – King Charles I of England sends soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England’s slide into civil war.
1649 – English Civil War: The Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial.
1717 – The Netherlands, Great Britain, and France sign the Triple Alliance.
1762 – Great Britain declares war on Spain and Naples.
1847 – Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.
1854 – The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.
1863 – The New Apostolic Church, a Christian and chiliastic church, is established in Hamburg, Germany.
1865 – The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City.
1878 – Sofia is emancipated from Ottoman rule.
1884 – The Fabian Society is founded in London.
1885 – The first successful appendectomy is performed by William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.
1896 – Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state.
1903 – Topsy, an elephant, is electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign.
1912 – The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.
1944 – World War II: Operation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, begins.
1948 – Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
1951 – Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul.
1958 – Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from its orbit.
1959 – Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.
1962 – New York City introduces a train that operates without a crew on-board.
1965 – United States President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his “Great Society” during his State of the Union address.
1966 – A military coup takes place in Upper Volta (later Burkina Faso), dissolving the National Parliament and leading to a new national constitution.
1967 – Donald Campbell is killed on Coniston Water while attempting to break the world water speed record.
1972 – Rose Heilbron becomes the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London.
1974 – United States President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
1975 – Elizabeth Ann Seton becomes the first American-born saint.
1976 – The Reavey and O’Dowd killings take place (part of The Troubles in Northern Ireland)
1987 – The Chase, Maryland rail wreck: An Amtrak train en route to Boston, Massachusetts from Washington, D.C., collides with Conrail engines in Chase, Maryland, killing 16 people.
1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra incident: a pair of Libyan MiG-23 “Floggers” are shot down by a pair of US Navy F-14 Tomcats during an air-to-air confrontation.
1998 – Wilaya of Relizane massacres in Algeria: over 170 are killed in three remote villages.
1998 – A massive ice storm hits eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, continuing through January 10 and causing widespread destruction.
1999 – Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as governor of Minnesota.
1999 – Gunmen open fire on Shiite Muslims worshipping in an Islamabad mosque, killing 16 people and injuring 25.
2004 – Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.
2006 – Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel suffers a second, apparently more serious stroke. His authority is transferred to acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
2007 – The 110th United States Congress convenes, electing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.
2010 – The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building is officially opened.
2010 – Per a ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States removes a ban on persons with HIV from entering the country.
Chona-hajimeshiki at Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu. (Kamakura, Japan)
Christian Feast Day:
Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Myanmar from the United Kingdom in 1948.
The eleventh day of Christmas. (Western Christianity)