This Week in History

HISTORY, 29 Dec 2014

Satoshi Ashikaga – TRANSCEND Media Service

December 29 – January 4

Quote of the Week

Be not forgetful to cherish the gifts each moment brings.” – Unknown. (Source: )

December 29

2010  The last death row inmate in Cuba has his death sentence commuted; the nation is against capital punishment and has commuted many death sentences since 2008.

2006  Ethiopian troops eject the Islamic forces from Mogadishu, Somalia.

1998  Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million lives.

1997  Hong Kong begins slaughtering all its chickens to prevent bird flu.

1997  Russia signs agreement to build a $3B nuclear power plant in China.

1996  Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war.

1983  U.S. announced withdrawal from UNESCO.

1978  Shah of Iran, asks Shapour Bahktiar to form a civilian government.

1972  ‘LIFE’ magazine ceases publication. For ‘LIFE’ magazine, see

1972  An Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 (a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar) crashes on approach to Miami International AirportFlorida, killing 101.

1968  Israeli commandos destroy 13 Lebanese airplanes.

1967  Turkish-Cypriot government forms in Cyprus.

1959  Physicist Richard Feynman gives a speech entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom“, which is regarded as the birth of nanotechnology.

1949  KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut becomes the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.

1940  World War II: In the Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe fire-bombs London, England, UK, killing almost 200 civilians.

1939  First flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.

1937  The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.

1934  Japan renounces Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and London Treaty of 1930.

1930  Sir Muhammad Iqbal‘s presidential address in Allahabad introduces the two-nation theory and outlines a vision for the creation of Pakistan.

1911  Mongolia gains independence from the Qing dynasty, enthroning 9th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu as Khagan of Mongolia.

1860  The first British seagoing ironclad warshipHMS Warrior is launched.

1786  French Revolution: The Assembly of Notables is convened.

1778  American Revolutionary War: 3,000 British soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell capture Savannah, Georgia.

1508  Portuguese forces under the command of Francisco de Almeida attack Khambhat at the Battle of Dabul.

December 30

2013  Saudi Arabia’s government agrees to give Lebanon $3 billion to strengthen Lebanon’s army and purchase weapons from France.

2012  ‘Science‘ magazine ( ) names Higgs boson, the confirmation of the existence of a subatomic particle, as the 2012 Breakthrough of the Year. (This decision, however, was reported on December 28, 2012. See .) For more information about Higgs boson, visit .

2010  The Internet population in China reaches 450 million.

2006  Saddam Hussein is hanged in Baghdad.

1993  Israel and Vatican City establish diplomatic relations.

1976  U.S.S.R. performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan U.S.S.R.

1971  U.S.S.R. performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan U.S.S.R.

1969  U.S.S.R. performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan U.S.S.R.

1950  Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia become Independent states in France Union.

1949  India recognizes People’s Republic of China.

1947  Romanian republic proclaimed.

1924  Edwin Hubble announces existence of other galactic systems.

1922  Soviet Union organized as a federation of RSFSR, Ukrainian SSR, Belorussian SSR and Transcaucasian SSR.

1906  Iran becomes a constitutional monarchy.

1893  Russia signs military accord with France.

1884  Anton Bruckner’s 7th Symphony in E, premieres in Leipzig.

1879  Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance,” premieres.

1877  Johnannes Brahms’ 2nd Symphony in D, premieres in Vienna.

1861  US, banks stop payments in gold.

1817  1st coffee planted in Hawaii (Kona).

1794  French troops conquer Grave, Netherlands.

1460  Wars of the RosesBattle of Wakefield.

1066  Granada massacre: A Muslim mob storms the royal palace in Granada, crucifies Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacres most of the Jewish population of the city.

December 31

2012  A study conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, announces a harmful type of space radiation may accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

2011  In North Korea, Kim Jong-un is given the tile of Supreme Commander of North Korea’s armed forces.

2010  Italy’s plan to ban plastic bags goes into effect; the country was using 20 billion plastic bags a year – about 300 per person.

2008  One leap second is added to the end of the year.

1999  The United States Government hands control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama. This act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties.

1999   First President of RussiaBoris Yeltsin, resigns from office, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President and successor.

1998  The European Exchange Rate Mechanism freezes the values of the legacy currencies in the Eurozone, and establishes the value of the euro currency.

1994  The First Chechen WarRussian army began a New Year’s storm of Grozny.

1991  All official Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) institutions have ceased operations by this date and the Soviet Union is officially dissolved.

1990  Iraq begins a military draft of 17 year olds.

1983  In Nigeria a coup d’état led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari ends the Second Nigerian Republic.

1946  President Truman officially proclaims end of WW II.

1945  Ratification of United Nations Charter completed.

1944  World War II: Operation Nordwind, the last major German offensive on the Western Front begins.

1923  The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.

1862  American Civil WarAbraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union, thus dividing Virginia in two.

1790  Efimeris, the oldest Greek newspaper of which issues have survived till today is published for the first time.

1225  The Lý Dynasty of Vietnam ends after 216 years by the enthronement of the boy emperor Trần Thái Tông, husband of the last Lý monarch, Lý Chiêu Hoàng, starting the Trần Dynasty.

535    Byzantine general Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Gothic garrison of Palermo (Panormos), and ending hisconsulship for the year.

January 1

2002  Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.

2000  After years of preparation for Y2K, only minor computer-related problems were reported (a problem with Hotmail, with a nuclear power plant in Japan and with apartment heating in Korea).

1999  The Euro currency is introduced in 11 countries – members of the European Union (with the exception of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece and Sweden).

1998  Russia begins to circulate new Rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.

1998  The European Central Bank is established.

1995  The World Trade Organization comes into effect. Text: 33 ILM 1125 (1994). See full text of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization:

1994  The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.

1993  A single market within the European Community is introduced.

1993  Dissolution of CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia is divided into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

1992  Russia is officially formed.

1989  The Montreal Protocol comes into force, stopping the use of chemicals contributing to ozone depletion.

1986  Aruba becomes independent of Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Netherlands.

1985  The Internet’s Domain Name System is created.

1985  The first British mobile phone call is made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.

1984  Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.

1962  Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.

1960  Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.

1959  Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro‘s forces during the Cuban Revolution.

1956  Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.

1949  United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight. War between India and Pakistan stops accordingly.

1934  Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring“.

1899  Spanish rule ends in Cuba.

1804   French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States.

1502  The present-day location of Rio de JaneiroBrazil is first explored by the Portuguese.

45BCE The Julian calendar takes effect as the civil calendar of the Roman Empire, establishing January 1 as the new date of the new year.

January 2

2012  While conducting military exercises in the Persian Gulf, Iran successfully test-fires two long-range missiles. (See ; then, in January 2013 ; and also in February 2014 )

2008  Oil reaches $100 per barrel for the first time.

1990  Dow Jones hits record 2,800 (2,810.15).

1965  Martin Luther King, Jr. begins a drive to register black voters.

1959  Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista flees.

1947  Mahatma Gandhi begins march for peace in East-Bengali.

1942  German troops in Bardia surrender.

1905  Russo-Japanese War: The Russian garrison surrenders at Port Arthur, China.

1865  Uruguayan War: The Siege of Paysandú ends as Brazilian and Coloradans capture PaysandúUruguay.

1777  American Revolutionary WarAmerican forces under the command of George Washington repulsed a British attack at the Battle of the Assunpink Creek near Trenton, New Jersey.

366    The Alemanni cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.

January 3

2011  With news that Facebook received investments of $500 million, analysts estimate the value of the company at $50 billion.

2009  Israel launches an invasion of the Gaza strip.

2002  Israeli forces seize the Palestinian freighter Karine A in the Red Sea, finding 50 tons of weapons.

1994  More than seven million people from the former Apartheid Homelands, receive South African citizenship.

1993  In MoscowRussiaGeorge Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

1991  Israel reopens consulate in U.S.S.R. after 23 years.

1990  Former leader of Panama Manuel Noriega surrenders to American forces.

1977  Apple Computer is incorporated.

1976  The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights comes into effect. Text: 993 UNTS 3. See full text:

1976  U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1962  Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.

1961  U.S. breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba.

1959  Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state.

1925  Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy.

1921  Turkey makes peace with Armenia.

1919  At the Paris Peace Conference, Emir Faisal I of Iraq signs an agreement with Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestineand an Arab nation in a large part of the Middle East.

1870  Sino-French War: Beginning of the Battle of Núi Bop.

1815  Austria, the United Kingdom, and France form a secret defensive alliance against Prussia and Russia.

1431  Joan of Arc is defeated by Bishop Pierre Cauchon.

January 4

2011  The United Kingdom raises its value-added tax to 20% from 17.5%, its highest rate ever.

1980  U.S. President Carter announces U.S. boycott of Moscow Olympics.

1974  Nixon refuses to hand over tapes subpoenaed by Watergate Committee.

1959  Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.

1951  During Korean conflict, Chinese forces capture Seoul.

1948  Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom.

1944  World War IIOperation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, begins.

1907  George Bernard Shaw’s “Don Juan in Hell,” premieres in London.

1878  Sofia is emancipated from Ottoman rule.

1865  The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York, New York.

1847  Samuel Colt , American inventor and industrialist from Hartford, Connecticut, sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.

1649   English Civil War: The Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial.

46BCE        Julius Caesar defeats Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina.

106BCE      Cicero, Roman politician and philosopher (d. 43 BC), born.

(Sources and references: to January_4; to January_4 and other relevant documents.)


Satoshi Ashikaga is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, originally from Japan.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 29 Dec 2014.

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