On Jan. 17, 1961, in his farewell address to the nation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the American people to keep a careful eye on what he called the “military-industrial complex” that has developed in the post-World War II years. Eisenhower asked Americans to guard against the “danger that public
On Jan. 16, 1979, the Shah of Iran fled his country in the face of an army mutiny and violent demonstrations against his rule. Just fourteen days later, Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the Islamic revolution, returned after 15 years of exile and took control of Iran. The Shah
On Jan. 15, 1777, a convention of future Vermonters assembled and declared independence from the crown of Great Britain and the colony of New York. Later in 1777, Vermont’s constitution became the first to prohibit slavery and to give all adult males, not just property owners, the right to vote.
On Jan. 14, 1784, the Continental Congress ratified the Second Treaty of Paris, thus bringing the Revolutionary War to an official end. In the treaty, known as the Second Treaty of Paris because the Treaty of Paris was also the name of the agreement that had ended the Seven Years’
On Jan. 13, 1733, James Oglethorpe and 130 colonists arrived in what is today Charleston, South Carolina. Oglethorpe was a British general, member of Parliament, philanthropist, and founded of the colony of Georgia. As a social reformer, Oglethorpe hoped to resettle Britain’s poor, especially those in debtors’ prisons, in the
On Jan. 12, 1904, Henry Ford set a land-speed record of 91.37 mph on the frozen surface of Lake St. Clair in Michigan, driving a four-wheel vehicle, dubbed the “999,” with a wooden chassis but no body or hood. Ford’s record was broken within a month, but the publicity from
On Jan. 11, 2010, Miep Gies, who helped to hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during World War II, died in the Netherlands. She was 100 years old. In July 1942, the Frank family went into hiding in an attic apartment behind Otto Frank’s business. Gies, along
On Jan. 10, 2003, then-Illinois Governor George Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois’ death row in the aftermath of a scandal involving Chicago detective Jon Burge, who was accused of torturing suspects into making confessions and later found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. On
On Jan. 9, 1776, Thomas Paine published the pamphlet “Common Sense,” expounding his argument for American independence from Britain, though the work’s original attribution was simply “Written by an Englishman.” Born in England in 1737, Paine had immigrated to Philadelphia in 1774, just two years before his 47-page pamphlet sold
On Jan. 8, 1815, American militiamen under the command of General Andrew Jackson won the biggest victory of the War of 1812 against an invading British force of nearly twice its size at the Battle of New Orleans. The British had close to 2,000 casualties, while only eight Americans were
On Jan. 7, 1979, invading Vietnamese troops captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, toppling the brutal regime of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot had attempted to establish an agrarian utopia, evacuating the cities and closing schools and factories. He abolished private property and created collective farms.
On Jan. 6, 1412, Joan of Arc, the French military figure and Roman Catholic Saint, was born. On Jan. 6, 1929, Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta, India, and began begin her work among India’s poor and sick. On Jan. 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his “Four Freedoms” speech