This Day in History — January 29Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Today is the 29th day of 2019. There are 336 days left in the year.
1845: Edgar Allan Poe’s famous narrative poem The Raven (“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary...”) is first published in the New York Evening Mirror.
1819: Sir Stamford Raffles lands on Singapore and concludes a treaty with a local ruler to set up a British trading post.
1820: King George III dies at Windsor Castle at age 81; he is succeeded by his son, who becomes King George IV.
1850: Henry Clay introduces in the US Senate a compromise bill on slavery that includes the admission of California into the Union as a free state.
1861: Kansas becomes the 34th state of the Union.
1919: The ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which launches Prohibition, is certified by Acting Secretary of State Frank L Polk.
1936: The first inductees of baseball’s Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, are named in Cooperstown, New York.
1942: Ecuador and Peru sign Rio de Janeiro protocol, ending their war over a large swath of Amazon jungle. The treaty establishes the present-day border, which is still disputed.
1947: United States abandons its mediation role in China.
1949: Britain grants de facto recognition to new state of Israel.
1950: First series of riots occur in Johannesburg, provoked by South Africa’s racial apartheid policy.
1963: Britain is refused entry into the European Common Market by a French veto.
1975: A bomb explodes inside the US State Department in Washington, causing considerable damage, but injuring no one; the radical group Weather Underground claims responsibility.
1990: Ousted East German Communist Party leader Erich Honecker is arrested and ordered to stand trial for high treason.
1991: South African political rivals Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Nelson Mandela meet for first time in 30 years and call for ceasefire between their supporters.
1992: Russian President Boris Yeltsin unveils a nuclear weapons reduction plan.
1995: The San Francisco 49ers become the first team in US National Football League history to win five Super Bowl titles, beating the San Diego Chargers 49-26.
1996: La Fenice, the 204-year-old opera house, burns down in
1998: A bomb rocks an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, killing security guard Robert Sanderson and critically injuring nurse Emily Lyons. (The bomber, Eric Rudolph, is captured in May 2003 and is serving a life sentence.) British Prime Minister Tony Blair announces a new inquiry into the 1972 “Bloody Sunday” violence, in which British troops killed Catholic protesters in Northern Ireland.
2000: In Egypt, a 32-year-old housewife is the first woman to file for divorce under a new law that doesn’t require women to prove physical or psychological harm.
2002: In a direct defiance of South Africa’s patent laws, Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organisation, begins importing a cheap, genetic version of patented AIDS drugs into South Africa.
2003: US President George W Bush announces an initiative to spend $15 billion over five years for AIDS treatment and prevention in 12 African countries and two Caribbean nations.
2008: Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton claims victory in a campaign-free Florida presidential primary in which all the candidates had signed pledges not to compete. (The national Democratic Party had stripped the state of its delegates as punishment for moving its primary ahead of February 5.) Raymond Jacobs, believed to be the last surviving member of the group of Marines photographed during the first US flag-raising on Iwo Jima, dies in Redding, California, at age 82. Gunmen hold more than 30 people hostage inside a Venezuelan bank for more than a day. They flee January 30 in an ambulance, but eventually surrender and free their last five captives.
2009: Zimbabwe’s government admits defeat in a fight against dizzying inflation, allowing business to be conducted in US dollars and bank notes of neighbouring countries.
2011: With protests raging, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak names his intelligence chief as his first-ever vice-president, setting the stage for a successor as chaos engulfs Cairo. The death toll from five days of anti-government fury rises sharply to 74.
2013: BP PLC closes the book on the Justice Department’s criminal probe of its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with a US judge agreeing to let the London-based oil giant plead guilty to manslaughter charges for the deaths of 11 rig workers and pay a record $4 billion in penalties. The US Senate overwhelmingly confirms President Barack Obama’s choice of five-term Senator John Kerry to be secretary of state, 94-3.
2014: The Top US intelligence official says the Syrian militant group tied to al-Qaeda, the al Nusra Front, wants to attack the United States and is training a growing cadre of fighters from Europe, the Middle East and even the US.
2017: Six people are killed in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers; a 27-year-old university student is charged with murder and attempted murder. Roger Federer wins his 18th Grand Slam title, defeating Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 at the Australian Open.
Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish philosopher (1688-1772); Thomas Paine, American patriot-author (1737-1809); Daniel Huber, French composer (1782-1871); Frederick Delius, English composer (1863-1934); Germaine Greer, Australian born feminist (1939- ); Oprah Winfrey, US actress/television personality (1954- )