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Boris!

On January 26, 1992, Boris Yeltsin announced that Russia would stop targeting United States cities with nuclear weapons.

Shays

On January 25, 1787, Shays’s Rebellion experienced its largest confrontation, outside the Springfield Armory, with four of the rebels dead, 20 wounded. The rebellion was a key moment in United States history. Daniel Shays and his followers objected to Massachussetts’s high taxes and rampant cronyism. The revolt, which was completely

Beaumarchais

On January 24, 1732, French playwright, watchmaker, inventor, musician, diplomat, fugitive, spy, publisher, horticulturalist, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and revolutionary (both French and American) Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was born. He proved instrumental in securing armaments for the America Revolution, but remains best known for his three “Figaro” plays, Le

Stendhal

On January 23, 1783, journalist and novelist Marie-Henri Beyle, known by his pen name Stendhal (pictured above), was born. Stendhal was a follower of Destutt de Tracy and an attendant at the count’s salons. His most famous works include the novel The Red and the Black and a treatise on

Kristol

On January 22, 1920, American neoconservative pundit and author Irving Kristol was born.

Witness

On January 21, 1950, Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury, with Whittaker Chambers being the main witness in Hiss’s prosecution. Chambers confessed to having been a Soviet spy, and accused Hiss as an accomplice, which Hiss denied to his dying day. Chambers gave a fascinating account of all this in

Lysander Spooner

On January 19, 1808, Lysander Spooner was born. Spooner’s achievements in American life, law, and political philosophy, are among the most colorful of the 19th century. Studying law privately, he sued to practice without joining the bar, and won the suit. He set up a postal service that directly competed

Lysander Spooner

On January 19, 1808, Lysander Spooner was born. Spooner’s achievements in American life, law, and political philosophy, are among the most colorful of the 19th century. Studying law privately, he sued to practice without joining the bar, and won the suit. He set up a postal service that directly competed

Montesquieu

On January 18, 1689, Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, French satirist and philosopher, was born. His treatise The Spirit of the Laws was a major influence upon America’s founding generation. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is

George Stigler

On January 17, 1937, Chicago School economist George Stigler was born. Stigler won a Nobel Memorial Prize for his work. His autobiography is entitled Memoirs of an Unregulated Economist.

Religious Freedom

On January 16, 1786, Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.

New Connecticut?

On January 15, 1777, New Connecticut declared independence from the crown of Great Britain and the colony of New York. Delegates first named the independent state New Connecticut and, in June 1777, finally settled on the name Vermaont, an imperfect translation of the French for Green Mountain. This new “Vermont

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