Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Today in History....Janurary 9

* 1349, the Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing bubonic plague, is rounded up and incinerated. The bubonic plague originated in Asia, specifically China in the early 1300's

* 1768, Philip Astley stages the first modern circus (London)

* 1799, British Prime Minister William Pitt introduces income tax to raise funds for the war against Napoleon

* 1839, the French Academy of Sciences announces the Daguerreotype photography process

* 1861, during the American Civil War: The "Star of the West" incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered by some historians to be the "First Shots of the American Civil War".)

* 1863, the first section of the London Underground Railway opens -- between Paddington and Farringdon Street.

* 1880, the Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow

* 1905, according to the Julian Calendar which was used at the time, Russian workers stage a march on the Winter Palace that ends in the massacre by Tsarist troops known as Bloody Sunday, setting off the Russian Revolution of 1905

* 1951, the United Nations headquarters officially opens in New York City

* 1968, the Surveyor VII space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface. ALSO: The only known snowfall occurs in Mexico City, additional snow falls on Jan. 10 and 11

* 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported biography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake

* 1986, after losing a patent battle with Polaroid, Kodak exits the instant camera business

* 1991, the Soviets storm Vilnius to stop Lithuanian independence

* 2002, the United States Department of Justice announces it is going to pursue a criminal investigation of Enron

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