January 27

Born This Day – 1756

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer

I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.

This Day in History – 1967

The Apollo 1 spaceship caught fire during a launch rehearsal, killing all three astronauts and destroying the command module. All manned Apollo flights were suspended for 20 months. The first successful Apollo launch was the Apollo 7, which was manned by the backup crew for the Apollo 1.


January 26

Born This Day – 1925

Paul Newman, American actor

If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.

This Day in History – 1950

The Constitution of India comes into effect, becoming the foundation for all law in the new Republic of India. Article 395 of the Constitution repealed all prior Acts of the British Parliament, and severed all legal authority of the United Kingdom from the new nation.

January 25

Born This Day – 1882

Virginia Woolf, English novelist

Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.

This Day in History – 1915

The first transcontinental telephone call was placed, when Alexander Graham Bell called from New York to his assistant Thomas Watson in San Francisco. Mayors of both cities and President Woodrow Wilson were all present to take a turn on the telephone conversation.

January 24

Born This Day – 1670

William Congreve, English playwright

Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.

This Day in History – 1984

The Macintosh personal computer was sold for the first time in the United States. This was Apple Computers entrance into the market dominated by the Commodore 64, and their first version (later called the “Macintosh 128k” to distinguish it from subsequent Macintosh models) found its core user base in education and desktop publishing.

January 23

Born This Day – 1783

Stendahl – French writer

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.

This Day in History – 1368

Zhu Yuanzhang is crowned the Hongwu Emperor, beginning three centuries of Ming dynasty rule over China, defeating the Yuan Dynasty and driving the Mongols back to Central Asia.

January 22

Born This Day – 1849

August Strindberg, Swedish poet

Happiness consumes itself like a flame. It cannot burn for ever, it must go out, and the presentiment of its end destroys it at its very peak.

This Day in History – 1689

The Convention Parliament met in England to determine whether James II and VII (Second James King of England, Seventh James King of Scots, also King of Ireland) had vacated his thrones when he fled to France. The last Roman Catholic ruler of England, he was replaced by his daughter Mary and her husband and co-regent Prince William.

January 21

Born This Day – 1824

Stonewall Jackson, American general

Never take counsel of your fears.

This Day in History – 1861

Senator Jefferson Davis from Mississippi delivered his farewell address as he resigned from the United States Senate. Davis later went on to become the President of the Confederacy, leading the opposition against Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War.

January 20

Born This Day – 1920

Federico Fellini, Italian film director

Experience is what you get while looking for something else.

This Day in History – 1841

Hong Kong Island was ceded to Great Britain in the First Opium War. The island was only populated by a few thousand people at the time, and was formally ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity in the Treaty of Nanking.

January 19

Born This Day – 1736

James Watt, Scottish inventor

A lie can run around the world before the truth can get it’s boots on.

This Day in History – 1883

Electric service is turned on in Roselle, New Jersey, using overhead wires designed by Thomas Edison. This marked the first time standardized incandescent light bulbs were used for public illumination.

January 18

Born This Day – 1782

Daniel Webster, American orator

There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange.

This Day in History – 1778

Captain James Cook became the first European explorer to reach the Hawaiian Islands. He named them the ‘Sandwich Islands,’ in honor of the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, one of his sponsors as the First Lord of the Admiralty. On his third visit to the islands in 1779 Cook was killed in a confrontation with the islanders.