January 15: This Day In History

jackassJanuary 15, 2014 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened today in history, including the writing of the labor anthem “Solidarity Forever,” the first time the Democratic Party was symbolized by a donkey, and the death of Rosa Luxemburg.



1865 – American Civil War: Fort Fisher in North Carolina falls to the Union, thus cutting off the last major seaport of the Confederacy.1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the Democratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).

1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia.

1892 – James Naismith publishes the rules of basketball.

1908 – The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority becomes the first Greek-letter organization founded and established by African American college women.

1915 – Wobbly Ralph Chaplin, in Chicago for a demonstration against hunger, completes the writing of the labor anthem “Solidarity Forever” on this date in 1915. He’d begun writing it in 1914 during a miners’ strike in Huntington, W. Va.

1919 – Seventeen workers in the area die when a large molasses storage tank in Boston’s North End neighborhood bursts, sending a 40-foot wave of molasses surging through the streets at an estimated 35 miles per hour.  In all, 21 people died and 150 were injured.  The incident is variously known as the Boston Molasses Disaster, the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy.  Some residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses

1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two of the most prominent socialists in Germany, are tortured and murdered by the Freikorps at the end of the Spartacist uprising.

1941 – Yancey Williams, a Howard University student, asked a federal court to order the secretary of war and other government officials to consider his application for enlistment in the Army Air Corps as flying cadet.

1943 – The Pentagon, to this day the largest office building in the world, is dedicated just 16 months after groundbreaking. At times of peak employment 13,000 workers labored on the project

1950 – More than 4,000 delegates from one hundred national organizations attended National Emergency Civil Rights Conference in Washington.

1961 – “The Supreme” signed with Motown.

1967 – The Rolling Stones were forced to change the lyrics of ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ to Let’s Spend Some Time Together when appearing on the US TV The Ed Sullivan Show, after the producers objected to the content of the lyrics. Jagger ostentatiously rolled his eyes at the TV camera while singing the changed lyrics, resulting in host Ed Sullivan announcing that The Rolling Stones would be banned from performing on his show ever again.

1970 – Moammar Gadhafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.

1973 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.

1976 – Gerald Ford’s would-be assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is sentenced to life in prison.

1981 – John Paul II receives a delegation from Solidarity (Polish trade union) at the Vatican led by Lech Walesa.

1991 – The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.

1992 – The international community recognizes the independence of Slovenia and Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

2001 – Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.

2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court, are executed by hanging in Iraq.

2009 – US Airways Flight 1549 makes an emergency landing in the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York, New York. All passengers and crew members survive.


1622 – Molière, French playwright and actor (d. 1673)1754 – Richard Martin, Irish politician, co-founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (d. 1834)

1809 – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, French economist, anarchist and politician (d. 1865)

1929 – Martin Luther King, Jr., American minster and activist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)

1941, Born on this day, Don Van Vliet, (Captain Beefheart), American musician, singer-songwriter and artist. Released the albums ‘Safe As Milk’, ‘Trout Mask Replica’, and ‘Strictly Personal’ with his Magic Band. His expressionist paintings and drawings have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Beefheart died on 17th Dec 2010 aged 69 from complications from multiple sclerosis.

1945 – Vince Foster, American lawyer (d. 1993)

1971 – Regina King, American actress

1981 – Pitbull, American rapper, producer, and actor


1919 – Karl Liebknecht, German politician (b. 1871)

1919 – Rosa Luxemburg, German theorist, philosopher, and economist (b. 1871)

1964 – Jack Teagarden, American singer-songwriter and trombone player (b. 1905)

1998 – Junior Wells, American singer-songwriter and harmonica player (The Aces). Worked with Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt and The Rolling Stones. (b. 1934)

1994, American singer songwriter Harry Nilsson died in his sleep of heart failure after spending the previous day in the recording studio. He recorded ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ from the film ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and wrote hits for Three Dog Night and The Monkees. Had the UK & US No.1 single with his version of Badfinger Evans & Ham song ‘Without You.’ When John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a press conference in 1968 to announce the formation of Apple Corps, John was asked to name his favorite American artist. He replied, “Nilsson”. Paul was then asked to name his favorite American group. He replied, “Nilsson”.


Sources: The People HistoryWikipedia List of Historical AnniversariesThis Day in Women’s HistoryThis Day in Jewish HistoryThis Day in African History;History.comHistory OrbYenobaPhil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music