This Day in History – January 9
This is the 9th day of 2024. There are 357 days left in the year.
2001: Some British schools begin handing out the morning-after pill to students, sparking a debate over parental rights as the Government tries to curb an alarming rate of teenage pregnancy.
1349: A total of 700 Jews of Basel, Switzerland, are burned alive in their houses.
1493: Manatees are sighted by Christopher Columbus for the first time.
1570: Tsar Ivan the Terrible kills 1,000-2,000 residents of Novgorod.
1703: Port Royal in Jamaica is devastated by a fire.
1768: Philip Astley stages the world’s first modern circus in London.
1799: British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduces income tax to raise funds for the war against Napoleon.
1839: Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre of France proclaims his invention of the daguerreotype at the French Academy of Science — the first commercially successful form of photography.
1855: The clipper Guiding Star disappears in the Atlantic and 480 die.
1868: The last convict ship, the Hougoumont, arrives in Fremantle, ending 80 years of penal transportation to Australia.
1941: A total of 6,000 Jews are murdered in a pogrom in Bucharest, Romania.
1951: The United Nations’ headquarters opens in New York.
1962: The Soviet Union and Cuba sign a trade pact.
1964: Anti-US rioting breaks out in the Panama Canal Zone, resulting in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and three US soldiers.
1965: An estimated 500 people suspected of being rebels are executed by Congo Government forces in Stanleyville during the six weeks after the city was retaken.
1970: France agrees to sell Mirage military jets to the revolutionary regime in Libya.
1973: The white-ruled country of Rhodesia closes its borders with Zambia to try to cut off black liberation forces.
1987: The White House releases a memorandum prepared for US President Ronald Reagan in January 1986 that shows a definite link between US arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
1991: Baseball officially bans Pete Rose from being elected to its Hall of Fame for betting on baseball.
1994: Gunmen attack a delegation which includes African National Congress Chairman Cyril Ramaphosa, in a township in South Africa.
1996: Chechen rebels demanding an end to the war in their breakaway republic seize a hospital and at least 2,000 hostages in Kizlyar, Dagestan.
1998: Eight inmates die when a riot erupts in a prison in south-eastern Brazil.
2000: An investigation into leaks in Switzerland’s vaunted bank secrecy turns up 13 people in eight countries who illegally received data on other people’s Swiss bank accounts.
2001: US Senator Jesse Helms says he will stop blocking US payment of back dues to the United Nations which estimates the United States is close to US$1.6 billion in arrears.
2002: At the 29th American Music Awards Michael Jackson is hailed as the Artist of the Century.
2003: Weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei tell the UN Security Council they had not uncovered any “smoking gun” evidence proving that Iraq possessed nor sought to develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
2004: US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice admits the United States has no credible evidence that Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria early in 2003, before the US-led war that drove Saddam Hussein from power. Libya agrees to pay US$1 million to the heirs of each of the 170 victims of a French airliner that was shot down over the Tenere desert in the central Sahara in 1989.
2005: Mahmoud Abbas is elected Palestinian Authority president by a wide margin, winning a decisive mandate to renew peace talks with Israel, rein in militants, and try to end more than four years of Mideast bloodshed.
2006: An Iranian military flight carrying a commander of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards, plus at least 10 others, crashes while trying to make an emergency landing, killing all aboard.
2007: At the Macworld Expo trade show in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the novel, touch-screen based iPhone, combining music player, camera, Web functions, and phone with other innovations. A cargo plane carrying Turkish construction workers crashes while landing at an airstrip north of Baghdad, killing 34 people; the Islamic Army in Iraq, a nationalist, anti-occupation, insurgent group, claims responsibility.
2009: A US federal appeals court reinstates a human rights lawsuit against Mohamed Ali Samantar of Fairfax, Virginia — a former prime minister of Somalia accused of overseeing killings and other atrocities.
2010: Gunmen spray bullets at Togo’s national team, killing three people and forcing its withdrawal from the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament, an event that host Angola had hoped to use to show it was recovering from decades of war.
2011: Men and women walk to election stations in the middle of the night to create a new nation, Southern Sudan, after a two-decade civil war with the north which left two million people dead.
2012: Panama promises economic aid for protesters who participated in the 1964 riots that many believe eventually spurred the US to hand over control of the Panama Canal in 1999.
2013: India summons Pakistan’s top diplomat in New Delhi to formally complain about an attack on an Indian army patrol in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir in which two soldiers were killed and their bodies left mutilated.
2014: A French comic who is considered anti-Semitic is banned from performing just hours after a court said he could go ahead with his show.
2018: The first same-sex marriages take place in Australia after legislation was passed a month earlier.
2022: At least 200 people are killed and 10,000 displaced by armed bandits in the north-western Nigerian State of Zamfara, after military raids on their hideouts amid continuing struggle for order in the region.
Thomas Warton, English poet laureate (1728-1790); Karel Capek, Czechoslovak author (1890-1938); Sekou Toure, first president of Guinea (1922-1984); Professor Barrington Watson, Jamaican master artist (1931-2016); Catherine Middleton, duchess of Cambridge (1982- ); Bob Denver, American actor (Gilligan’s Island) (1935 -2005); Crystal Gayle, American country music singer (1951- )
— AP/ Jamaica Observer