This Day in History is DUE’s daily dose of trivia for all the history buffs out there. So sit back and take a ride of all the fascinating things that happened today!
People are trapped in history and history is trapped in people, and hence, every day has been a significant one in the foibles of history. Now, let’s take a tour of “This Day in History – 15th January”.
1535: Henry VIII declares himself head of the Church in England
King Henry VIII ruled England for 36 years and is most famous, or rather infamous, for having six wives. Infatuated by Anne Boleyn, he endeavoured to have his first marriage with Catherine of Aragon annulled. When Pope Clement VI disagreed on the question of such an annulment, Henry initiated the English Reformation. This led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority. He declared himself Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated.
1559: Elizabeth I crowned Queen of England
Elizabeth Tudor was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She was crowned Queen Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey in London, two years after the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I of England. The Virgin Queen was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor and her reign has been immortalized as the Elizabethan Era, when England became a world power in politics, commerce and art.
1846: Dostoyevsky’s first novel “Poor Folk” is published
Poor Folk is the first novel by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was published in the St. Petersburg Collection almanac and gained popularity worldwide. Poor Folk is an epistolary novel that describes the relationship between two remote relatives who write letters to each other. Dostoevsky combines inward and outward suffering and shows how poverty and dependence are aligned with deflection and deformation of self-esteem. His literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmospheres of 19th-century Russia, and engage with a variety of philosophical and religious themes.
1929: Martin Luther King Jr. is born
Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia as the son of a Baptist minister. He went on to organize the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. It was the first major protest of the African-American civil rights movement. A powerful orator, he gave his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the March on Washington in 1963. The speech continues to live on as a capture of the true essence of the American Dream, even today. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, he also advocated civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to segregation in the South.
1949: Indian Army Day
Army Day is celebrated in India in recognition of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa who took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India. It is also celebrated to commemorate the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country. Parades and other military shows in the capital city of New Delhi mark the day. In 2020, Captain Tania Shergill became the first female officer to command an Army Day parade. You can view the Army Day Parda 2021, here.
1981: American rapper Pitbull is born
Armando Christian Pérez was born in Miami, Florida and has contributed numerous hits to pop music, ‘Timber’ and ‘I Know You Want Me’ to name a few. He said he chose his stage name of Pitbull because the dogs “bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they’re outlawed in Dade County. They’re basically everything that I am. It’s been a constant fight.” He has sold over 7.5 million studio albums and over 100 million singles worldwide. Pitbull was ranked by Billboard as the 45th Top Artist of the 2010s and the 24th Top Latin Artist of the 2010s.
1994: Lawrence Taylor announces his retirement from the NFL
Lawrence Taylor, nicknamed L.T., played linebacker for the New York Giants in the National Football League. He is widely considered to be the greatest defensive player in the history of American football. He announced his retirement during a postgame press conference. On October 10, the team retired his jersey and according to Taylor, it was ‘the most important thing that has happened to me as a ballplayer.’ In 1999, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, making it in his first year of eligibility.
2001: Wikipedia is launched
Wikipedia a free Wiki or content encyclopedia was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. At first, it was launched as a feature of Nupedia.com but later it was launched as an independent website. Alexa ranks it as one of the 15 most popular websites, as of January 2021. The Economist magazine also placed it as the 13th-most-visited place on the web. Featuring no advertisements, it is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization funded primarily through donations.