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 – 22nd January”.
1788: Poet Lord Byron is born
George Gordon Byron was an English Romantic poet, born in Aberdeen Scotland. His famous works include the autobiographical poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and the realist satire Don Juan. He was one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement. He travelled extensively across Europe and was good friends with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
1901: Queen Victoria dies and Edward VII becomes the King of England
“We all feel a bit motherless today, mysterious little Victoria is dead and fat vulgar Edward is King,” wrote Henry James to commemorate Alexandrina Victoria. She was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, empress of India and the last of the House of Hanover. Her reign saw great cultural expansion and advances in science. After she died, her eldest son Albert Edward ascended the throne. His military and naval reforms did much to prepare the British for World War I. Known as the ‘Uncle of Europe’, he excelled in making foreign policy negotiations.
1905: Bloody Sunday Massacre in Russia
With a corrupt Russia governed by Czar Nicolas II in the backdrop, a group of workers led by the radical priest Gapon marched to the czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to make their demands. Imperial forces opened fires on the workers, killed and wounded many. This led to strikes and riots throughout the country. As a result the czar promised the formation of a series of representative assemblies to work towards reform. But the regime proved unwilling to change its repressive ways anyway. These events came to be known as the Bloody Sunday or Red Sunday. It’s one of the key events which led to the 1917 Russian Revolution.
1968: Aretha Franklin’s studio album “Lady Soul” is released
Aretha Franklin’s Lady Soul was the 1968 Billboard Album of the Year. It peaked at number one on Billboard’s Black Albums and featured songs like ‘Ain’t No Way’ and ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’. It is number 85 on Rolling Stone’s list ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.’ With more than 30 full-length studio albums recorded, the American singer-songwriter has won over 18 Grammy Awards. In 1987, she also became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2008: Heath Ledger dies due to accidental drug overdose
The Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight Australian actor was found dead in his SoHo apartment at the age of 28. The medical reports stated that Ledger died of an accidental “abuse of prescription medications” that included commonly known painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills. Rumors at the time also suggested that playing Jack Nicholson’s Joker in his last days had affected him. The role brought him supreme acclaim but he could experience none of it because of his death amidst the post-production of the movie.
2009: Slumdog Millionaire nominated for an Oscar
The 2008 British-Indian drama film starring Dev Patel and directed by Danny Boyle was nominated for ten Oscars on 22nd January 2009 and went on to win eight of them at the 2009 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It is a loose adaptation of the novel ‘Q & A’ by Vikas Swarup and is regarded as a sleeper hit. It also won seven BAFTA awards, five Critics’ Choice Awards and four Golden Globes.
2015: “Beti Bachao, Beti Padao” scheme is established by PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) campaign was launched at Panipat, Haryana addressing the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and related issues of women empowerment. It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development. In 2016, Olympics bronze medalist Sakshi Malik was made the brand ambassador for this campaign.
2020: China locks down the city of Wuhan
On 22nd January last year, China locked down Wuhan and its 11 million people, in an effort to control COVID-19 with a then official death toll of 17 and over 500 people ill. Bus, subway, ferry, and long-distance passenger transportation networks were suspended. The government had asked the citizens not to leave the city except under special circumstances. Many were teary-eyed as the de facto quarantine was announced on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday.