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Events, deaths, births, of JAN 07
[For Jan 07 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1583~1699: Jan 171700s: Jan 181800s: Jan 191900~2099: Jan 20]
Elian poster in CubaOn a January 07:
2001 Au Ghana, départ du président Jerry John Rawlings après deux décennies à la tête du pays et investiture de l'opposant John Kufuor comme nouveau chef d'Etat. C'est la première transition d'un président démocratiquement (+ ou –) élu à un autre en 43 ans d'indépendance du pays.
2001 Les Sénégalais approuvent par référendum une nouvelle constitution, qui doit élargit les prérogatives du Premier ministre et permettre au président Abdoulaye Wade de dissoudre l'Assemblée nationale, encore dominée par ses adversaires socialistes.
2001 US first class postage raised from 33 to 34 cents (the Postal Service mentions that it is 74 cents in Japan, and 50 cents in Germany).
2001 Pope John Paul II issues his Message for Lent 2001.
2000 In La Habana, Cuba, Fidel Castro continues to orchestrate mass demonstrations demanding the return of shipwreck survivor Elian González, 6.
[photo: huge poster in La Habana]

2000 US Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., subpoenaes Elian Gonzalez to testify before Congress, a bid to keep Elian in the United States for at least another month while courts decided whether the 6-year-old should be returned to Cuba. (Elian never testified, because he was able to stay for several months without that..)
2000 The 17th Karmapa, a 14-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader, flees Chinese-ruled Tibet for India, becoming the most significant defector since his predecessor, the current Dalai Lama, in 1959. [a “defector” is someone who comes to “our” side. On the other hand someone who goes over to “their” side is a “traitor”].
^ 1999 Clinton impeachment trial begins
      The impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, formally charged with lying under oath and obstructing justice, begins in the Senate. As instructed in Article 1 of the US Constitution, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was sworn in to preside, and the senators were sworn in as jurors. Congress had only attempted to remove a president on one other occasion: the 1868 impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, who incurred the Republican Party's wrath after he proposed a conservative Reconstruction plan.
      In November 1995, Clinton began an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old unpaid intern. Over a year and a half, the president and Lewinsky had nearly a dozen sexual encounters in the White House. In April 1996, Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon. That summer, she first confided in Pentagon co-worker Linda Tripp about her sexual relationship with the president. In 1997, with the relationship over, Tripp began secretly to record conversations with Lewinsky in which she gave details about the affair.
      In December, Lewinsky was subpoenaed by lawyers for Paula Jones, who was suing the president on sexual harassment charges. In January 1998, allegedly under the recommendation of the president, Lewinsky filed an affidavit in which she denied ever having had a sexual relationship with him. Five days later, Tripp contacted the office of Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr to talk about Lewinsky and the tapes she made of their conversations. Tripp, wired by FBI agents working with Starr, met with Lewinsky again, and on January 16, Lewinsky was taken by FBI agents and US attorneys to a hotel room where she was questioned and offered immunity if she cooperated with the prosecution. A few days later, the story broke, and Clinton publicly denied the allegations, saying, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."
      In late July, lawyers for Lewinsky and Starr worked out a full-immunity agreement covering both Lewinsky and her parents, all of whom Starr had threatened with prosecution. On August 6, Lewinsky appeared before the grand jury to begin her testimony, and on August 17, President Clinton testified. Contrary to his testimony in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment case, President Clinton acknowledged to prosecutors from the office of the independent counsel that he had had an extramarital affair with Ms. Lewinsky.
      In four hours of closed-door testimony, conducted in the Map Room of the White House, Clinton spoke live via closed-circuit television to a grand jury in a nearby federal courthouse. He was the first sitting president ever to testify before a grand jury investigating his conduct. That evening, President Clinton also gave a four-minute televised address to the nation in which he admitted he had an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky. In the brief speech, which was wrought with legalisms, the word "sex" was never spoken, and the word "regret" was used only in reference to his admission that he misled the public and his family.
      Less than a month later, on September 9, Kenneth Starr submitted his report and 18 boxes of supporting documents to the House of Representatives. Released to the public two days later, the Starr Report outlined a case for impeaching Clinton on 11 grounds, including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, and abuse of power, and also provided explicit details of the sexual relationship between the president and Ms. Lewinsky.
      On October 8, the House authorized a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry, and on December 11, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment. On December 19, after nearly 14 hours of debate, the House approved two articles of impeachment, charging President Clinton with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice.
      Clinton, the second president in American history to be impeached, vowed to finish his term. On January 7, 1999, the impeachment trial began. Five weeks later, on February 12, the Senate voted on whether to remove Clinton from office. Clinton was acquitted on both articles of impeachment. The prosecution needed a two-thirds majority to convict but failed to achieve even a bare majority. Rejecting the first charge of perjury, 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted "not guilty," and on the charge of obstruction of justice the Senate was split 50-50. After the trial concluded, President Clinton said he was "profoundly sorry" for the burden he imposed on Congress and the American people.
1997 Newt Gingrich become the first Republican re-elected (albeit narrowly) US House of Representatives Speaker in 68 years.
1997 Apple chairman Gilbert Amelio, at MacWorld, promises that a new Macintosh operating system, code-named Rhapsody, would help save the struggling computer company. His optimistic announcement followed an admission that Apple had sustained $150 million in losses in the previous quarter. Little did Amelio know that he would shortly be ousted from the company.
1991 Soviet paratroopers sent to Baltic Republics
1991 Haiti coup defeated
1991 Soviet paratroopers sent to Baltic Republics
1990 Loyalist troops in Haiti crushed a coup attempt that had threatened the transition of power to the country's first freely elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1990 Tower Of Pisa closed to the public after leaning too far
1989 Akihito becomes emperor of Japan, upon the death of Hirohito (1922-89) after 62-year reign (1/2 Million people line Tokyo streets)
1989 International Conference on Limitation of Chemical Weapons opens in Paris
1987 French airplanes harass Libyan positions in Duadi Doum
1986 US President Reagan proclaims economic sanctions against Libya
1985 "King and I" opens at Broadway Theater New York City NY for 191 performances
1983 Reagan ends US arms embargo against Guatemala.
^ 1979 Vietnamese invaders overthrow Kampuchea's genocidal regime.
     Vietnamese forces capture Phnom Penh from Khmer Rouge which they replace by a puppet government — the People's Republic of Kampuchea — consisting largely of Cambodian Communists who had deserted Pol Pot in 1977-78. The Khmer Rouge retreated to bases near the border with Thailand and resumed guerrilla warfare, aided by China.
Pol Pot in 1975      Vietnamese troops seize the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, toppling the brutal regime of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge, organized by Pol Pot in the Cambodian jungle in the 1960s, advocated a radical Communist revolution that would wipe out Western influences in Cambodia and set up a solely agrarian society. In 1970, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, Khmer Rouge guerrillas began a large-scale insurgency against Cambodian government forces, soon gaining control of nearly a third of the country.
      By 1973, secret US bombings of Cambodian territory controlled by the Vietnamese Communists forced the Vietnamese out of the country, creating a power vacuum that was soon filled by Pol Pot's rapidly growing Khmer Rouge movement. In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, overthrew the pro-US regime, and established a new government, the Kampuchean People's Republic.

[< Pol Pot addresses a closed meeting in Phnom Penh after the 1975 Khmer Rouge victory.]

      As the new ruler of Cambodia, Pol Pot set about transforming the country into his vision of an agrarian utopia. The cities were evacuated, factories and schools were closed, and currency and private property was abolished. Anyone believed to be an intellectual, such as someone who spoke a foreign language, was immediately killed. Skilled workers were also killed, in addition to anyone caught in possession of eyeglasses, a wristwatch, or any other modern technology. In forced marches punctuated with atrocities from the Khmer Rouge, the millions who failed to escape Cambodia were herded onto rural collective farms.
      Between 1975 and 1978, an estimated two million Cambodians died by execution, forced labor, and famine. In 1978, Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia, capturing Phnom Penh in early 1979. A moderate Communist government was established, and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge retreated back into the jungle.
      In 1985, Pol Pot [photo >] officially retired but remained the effective head of the Khmer Rouge, which continued its guerrilla actions against the government in Phnom Penh. In 1997, however, he was put on trial by the organization after an internal power struggle ousted him from his leadership position. Sentenced to life imprisonment by a "people's tribunal," which critics derided as a show trial, Pol Pot later declared in an interview, "My conscience is clear." Much of the international community hoped that his captors would extradite him to stand trial for his crimes against humanity, but he died of apparently natural causes while under house arrest in 1998.
The Killing Fields at Choeung Ek. This mass grave, discovered in 1980, was one of the first proofs to the outside world of what had occurred during Pol Pot's regime.
A small part of the Killing Fields
1978 Angola revises its constitution.
1977 Human Rights Charter '77 established in Prague.
1972 Lewis F. Powell Jr. and William Hubbs Rehnquist are sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the US Supreme Court.
^ 1971 US assesses Vietnamization
      Accompanied by Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird arrives in South Vietnam to assess the military situation. The purpose of Laird's visit was to check on the progress of the "Vietnamization" effort. In the summer of 1969, President Richard Nixon ordered that measures be taken to "Vietnamize" the war — he hoped to increase the capabilities of South Vietnamese forces so US troops could eventually be withdrawn and the South Vietnamese could assume more responsibility for the war. This effort included a rapid modernization of South Vietnamese forces with new equipment and weapons, and a renewed emphasis on the American advisory effort. American troop withdrawals began in the fall of 1969 and continued on a regular basis. At the completion of his visit, Laird announced that the preponderance of US "combat responsibility" would end by mid-summer. Upon his return to the United States, however, he warned President Nixon and his cabinet of "some tough days ahead." Admiral Moorer, who also had made a side trip to Phnom Penh, reported that the Cambodian situation was "deteriorating" as Premier Lon Nol's forces were being threatened by the communist Khmer Rouge forces and their North Vietnamese allies.
1969 US Congress doubles presidential salary
1968 US first class postage raised from 5 to 6 cents
^ 1965 Civilian government is restored in Saigon
      General Nguyen Khanh and the newly formed Armed Forces Council — the generals who had participated in a coup on December 19, 1964 — restore civilian control of the South Vietnamese government. Tran Van Huong is made the new premier. A bloodless coup had occurred when General Khanh and a group of generals led by Air Commodore Nguyen Cao Ky and Army Major General Nguyen Van Thieu arrested three dozen high officers and civilian officials and took control of the government. The coup was part of the continuing political instability that erupted after the November 1963 coup that resulted in the murder of President Ngo Dinh Diem. Tran Van Huong proved unable to put together a viable government, though, and the Armed Forces Council ousted him on 27 January installing General Khanh to power. Khanh was ousted on 18 February by yet another coup, led by Ky and Thieu. Khanh moved to the United States and settled in Palm Beach, Florida. A short-lived civilian government under Dr. Phan Huy Quat was installed, but it lasted only until 12 June 1965. At that time, Thieu and Ky formed a new government with Thieu as the chief of state and Ky as the prime minister. Thieu and Ky were made president and vice-president in general elections held in 1967. They served together until 1971, when Thieu was re-elected president.
1964 Bahamas achieves internal self-government and cabinet responsibility
1963 US first class postage raised from 4 to 5 cents
1962 Assassination attempt on Indonesian president Sukarno, fails
^ 1959 US recognizes Cuban government resulting from Castro's revolution.
      Just six days after the fall of the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship in Cuba, US officials recognize the new provisional government of the island nation. Despite fears that Fidel Castro, whose rebel army helped to overthrow Batista, might have communist leanings, the US government believed that it could work with the new regime and protect American interests in Cuba. The fall of the pro-American government of Batista was cause for grave concern among US officials. The new government, temporarily headed by provisional president Manuel Urrutia, initially seemed chilly toward US diplomats, including US Ambassador Earl E. T. Smith. Smith, in particular, was wary of the politics of the new regime. He and other Americans in Cuba were suspicious of the motives and goals of the charismatic rebel leader Fidel Castro.
      Secretary of State John Foster Dulles overrode Smith's concerns. The secretary counseled President Dwight D. Eisenhower to recognize the Urrutia government, since it seemed to be "free from Communist taint" and interested in "friendly relations with the United States." Dulles and other US officials may have viewed recognition of the new Cuban government as a way to forestall the ascension to power of more radical elements in the Cuban revolution. In addition, several other nations, including a number of Latin American countries, had already extended recognition.
      Despite this promising beginning, relations between Cuba and the United States almost immediately deteriorated. US officials realized that Castro, who was sworn in as the premier of Cuba in February 1959, wielded the real power in Cuba. His policies concerning the nationalization of American-owned properties and closer economic and political relations with communist countries convinced US officials that Castro's regime needed to be removed. Less than two years later, the United States severed diplomatic relations, and in April 1961, unleashed a disastrous — and ineffectual — attack by Cuban exile forces against the Castro government (the Bay of Pigs invasion).
^ 1959 En France, participation des salariés aux bénéfices.
      La participation et l’intéressement à l’entreprise sont légalisées et même encouragées en France. L’intéressement et la participation des salariés aux fruits de l’expansion des entreprises sont nés de deux ordonnances datant du 7 janvier 1959 et du 17 août 1967. Ces textes ont fait l’objet d’une refonte par l’ordonnance du 21 octobre 1986 relative à la fois à l’intéressement, à la participation et à l’actionnariat des salariés. La réforme a eu pour objet, en simplifiant des mécanismes devenus complexes et en favorisant la politique contractuelle, de donner un nouvel essor à la participation et d’encourager l’épargne salariale. Seule la participation des salariés aux résultats de l’entreprise présente un caractère obligatoire dans les entreprises d’une certaine taille (plus de 100 salariés). L’intéressement est facultatif. L’une et l’autre formules sont assorties de mesures d’incitation d’ordre fiscal et social qui devraient assurer leur succès. Les auteurs de la réforme de 1986 ont entendu privilégier l’aspect contractuel de la participation. C’est pourquoi ils ont subordonné sa mise en place à la conclusion d’accords fixant les modalités de la participation dans le respect des principes fondamentaux posés par l’ordonnance. Ces accords peuvent être conclus : soit dans le cadre d’une convention collective ; soit dans le cadre de l’entreprise avec les organisations syndicales représentatives ; soit au sein du comité d’entreprise ; soit par consultation directe du personnel. L’absence d’accord n’est cependant pas un obstacle à l’instauration de la participation dans les entreprises qui y sont assujetties obligatoirement : le droit commun sert alors de palliatif, les fonds étant versés à des comptes courants bloqués. Les détails ont été prévus par la Loi.
1958 USSR shrinks army by 300'000.
1955 contralto Marian Anderson made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, first black to perform there.
1953 US President Harry Truman announces in his State of the Union address that the United States has developed a nuclear fusion bomb.
1952 French Plevin government falls
1948 US President Truman raises taxes for Marshall-plan
1952 French Plevin government falls
1946 Cambodia becomes autonomous state inside French Union
^ 1945 Battle of the Bulge was won by British general, he says.
      British General Bernard Montgomery gives a press conference in which he all but claims complete credit for saving the Allied cause in the Battle of the Bulge. He would be almost removed from his command because of the resulting American outcry.
      On December 16, 1944, the Germans attempted to push the Allied front line west from northern France to northwestern Belgium. The Battle of the Bulge (so-called because the Germans, in pushing through the American defensive line, created a "bulge" in their front line, around the area of the Ardennes forest) was the largest battle fought on the Western front. The German assault came in early morning at the weakest part of the Allied line, a 130-km stretch of poorly protected, hilly forest that the Allies believed was too difficult to traverse, and therefore an unlikely location for a German offensive.
      Between the vulnerability of the thin, isolated American units and the thick fog that prevented Allied air cover from discovering German movement, the Germans were able to push the Americans into retreat. Fresh from commanding the 21st Army group during the Normandy invasion, and having suffered an awful defeat in September as his troops attempted to cross the Rhine, Montgomery took temporary command of the northern shoulder of American and British troops in the Ardennes. He immediately fell into a familiar pattern, failing to act spontaneously for fear of not being sufficiently prepared. Montgomery was afraid to move before the German army had fully exhausted itself, finally making what American commanders saw as only a belated counterattack against the enemy. As the weather improved, American air cover raided German targets on the ground, which proved the turning point in the Allied victory. Monty eventually cut across northern Germany all the way to the Baltic and accepted the German surrender in May.
      Montgomery had already earned the ire of many American officers because of his cautiousness in the field, arrogance off the field, and willingness to disparage his American counterparts. The last straw was Montgomery's whitewashing of the Battle of the Bulge facts to assembled reporters in his battlefield headquarters—he made his performance in the Ardennes sound not only more heroic but decisive, which necessarily underplayed the Americans' performance. Since the loss of American life in the battle was tremendous and the surrender of 7500 members of the 106th Infantry humiliating, General Omar Bradley complained loudly to Dwight D. Eisenhower, who passed the complaints on to Churchill. On January 18, Churchill addressed Parliament and announced in no uncertain terms that the "Bulge" was an American battle—and an American victory.
Tom Mooney in prison1944 Nazi broadcaster to England for Hitler, William Joyce "Lord Haw-Haw" falsely reports total German victory in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge)
Gatun Locks1944 Air Force announces production of first US jet fighter, the Bell P-59
1942 WWII siege of Bataan by the Japanese starts.
1939 US worker's union leader Tom Mooney freed. In 1916 Mooney, his wife Rena Ellen Mooney (maiden name Hermann), and several others were all indicted and convicted for the bombing of the Preparedness Day Parade in San Francisco 160722, which killed 10 people and injured 40 others. The death sentence passed on Mooney set off protests and agitations that lasted two decades and that led, first, to the commutation of the sentence to life imprisonment and, then, to a pardon by the governor of California 390107. (He was officially pardoned in 1961). A report on the Mooney-Billings case prepared in 1931 by the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement cast serious doubt on the evidence that led to Mooney's conviction. [picture: Mooney in prison >]
1931 The Committee for Unemployment Relief, formed at President Hoover's command in October 1930, reports that some 4 to 5 million Americans are unemployed. The Depression continued to get worse, by 1932 some 13 million Americans were without jobs.
1927 Commercial transatlantic telephone service inaugurated between New York and London
1916 German troops conquer Fort Vaux at Verdun
1914 first steamboat passes through the Panama Canal. El Canal de Panama was opened to general traffic on 140815 [< picture: Gatun Locks]
1911 first airplane bombing experiments with explosives, San Francisco
1904 The Marconi Company proposes an international distress call. The CQD signal is based on telegraph codes and mean "Calling all stations: Urgent", although the popular interpretation of the letters was "Come quick! Danger!" The code would go into effect on 1 February 1904, and be used until 1908, when it would be replaced by the SOS code.
1903 Start of Sherlock Holmes's The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier
^ 1901 Cannibal (and murderer?) Alfred Packer is paroled
      The confessed Colorado cannibal Alfred Packer is released from prison on parole after serving 18 years. One of the ragged legions of gold and silver prospectors who combed the Rocky Mountains searching for fortune in the 1860s, Alfred Packer also supplemented his meager income from mining by serving as a guide in the Utah and Colorado wilderness.
      In early November 1873, Packer left Bingham Canyon, Utah, to lead a party of 21 men bound for the gold fields near Breckenridge, Colorado. The winter of 1873-74 was unusually harsh. After three months of difficult travel, the party staggered into the camp of the Ute Indian Chief Ouray, near present-day Montrose, Colorado. The Utes graciously provided the hungry and exhausted men with food and shelter. Chief Ouray advised the men to stay in the camp until a break came in the severe winter weather, but with their strength rekindled by food and rest, Packer and five other men decided to continue the journey.
      Two months later, Packer arrived alone at the Los Pinos Indian Agency, looking surprisingly fit for a man who had just completed an arduous winter trek through the Rockies. Packer first claimed he had become separated from his five companions during a blizzard and survived on rabbits and rosebuds. Suspicions grew, though, when it was discovered that Packer had an unusual amount of money and many items belonging to the missing men. Under questioning, Packer confessed that the real story was far more gruesome: four of the men, he claimed, had died naturally from the extreme winter conditions and the starving survivors ate them. When only Packer and one other man, Shannon Bell, remained alive, Bell went insane and threatened to kill Packer. Packer said he shot Bell in self-defense and eventually ate his corpse.
      Though shocking, Packer's grisly story would probably have been accepted as an unfortunate tragedy had not searchers later found the remains of the five men at a single campsite—not strung out along the trail as Packer had claimed. Packer was arrested and charged with murder, but he escaped from jail and remained at large for nine years. Recaptured in 1883 near Fort Fetterman, Wyoming, Packer once again changed his story. He claimed that all six men had made camp alive, but lost and starving, they were too weak to go on. One day Packer went in search of the trail. Upon returning several hours later, he discovered to his horror that Bell had gone mad, killed the other four with a hatchet, and was boiling the flesh of one of them for his meal. When Bell spotted Packer, he charged with his hatchet raised, and Packer shot him twice in the belly. Lost and trapped alone in a camp of dead men, Packer said he only resorted to cannibalism after several more days, when it was his only means of survival.
      Having twice changed his story, Packer's credibility was undermined, and a jury convicted him of manslaughter. He remained imprisoned in the Canon City penitentiary until 1901 when the Denver Post published a series of articles and editorials questioning his guilt. Eventually, the state was freed Packer on parole. Packer went to work as a guard for the Post and lived quietly in and around Littleton, Colorado, maintaining his innocence until the day he died in 1907. Though we will never know exactly what happened on the so-called "Cannibal Plateau" near present-day Lake City, Colorado, late 20th century forensic studies of the remains of the men who died have tended to support the details of Packer's second confession.
1888 Start of Sherlock Holmes's adventure The Valley of Fear
1882 Gambetta propose à Londres de mener une action conjointe contre l'Egypte. Les deux gouvernements remettent au Caire une note laissant entrevoir l'éventualité d'une intervention de leurs armées.
1862 Battle of Manassas Junction VA
1862 Romney Campaign-Stonewall Jackson march towards Romney WV
1861 Florida troops takeover Fort Marion at St Augustine
1861 Mississippi and Alabama State Conventions meet to discuss secession
1835 HMS Beagle anchors off Chonos Archipelago
1822 Liberia (see its flag) colonized by Americans (celebrated as "Pioneers' Day") — In the beginning of the 19th century the tide started to rise in favor of the abolition of slavery, and the Grain Coast was suggested as a suitable home for freed US slaves. In 1818 two US government agents and two officers of the American Colonization Society (founded 1816) visited the Grain Coast. After abortive attempts to establish settlements there, an agreement was signed in 1821 between the officers of the society and local African chiefs granting the society possession of Cape Mesurado. The first freed US slaves landed in 1822 on Providence Island at the mouth of the Mesurado River. They were followed shortly by Jehudi Ashmun, a US White, who became the real founder of Liberia. By the time Ashmun left in 1828 the territory had a government, a digest of laws for the settlers, and the beginnings of profitable foreign commerce.
1807 Les échecs répétés des français en Espagne ont permis aux Anglais de reprendre pied sur le continent. Ils en profitent pour bloquer les ports de France et décrètent aussi le blocus de ses colonies.
1789 The first US presidential election is held. US white men vote for electors who, a month later, would choose George Washington to be the nation's first president.
Première traversée de la Manche en ballon, par l'américain John Jeffries et le Français Jean Pierre Blanchard. Ils partent de Douvres et se posent près de Calais . Leur ballon est gonflé à l'hydrogène.
1785 Across the English Channel in a balloon

      Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in a gas balloon, becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air. The two men nearly crashed into the Channel along the way, however, as their balloon was weighed down by extraneous supplies such as anchors, a nonfunctional hand-operated propeller, and silk-covered oars with which they hoped they could row their way through the air. Just before reaching the French coast, the two balloonists were forced to throw nearly everything out of the balloon, and Blanchard even threw his trousers over the side in a desperate, but apparently successful, attempt to lighten the ship.
      Fourteen months earlier, French inventor Jean François Pilâtre de Rozier and French army officer François Laurent had made the first manned hot air balloon flight when they flew over Paris for approximately 25 minutes. In January 1785, Rozier was among those racing to become the first balloonist to cross the English Channel, but just a few days before Blanchard and Jeffries' flight, he and his co-pilot were killed when their balloon caught fire during an attempted crossing.
1761 Battle at Panipat India Afghan army beats Mahratten
1698 Russian Czar Peter the Great departs Netherlands to England
1622 Germany and Transylvania sign Peace of Nikolsburg
1618 Francis Bacon becomes English lord chancellor
^ Galileo discovers first 3 Jupiter satellites, Io, Europa and Ganymede
1610 Galilée découvre 3 "étoiles" nouvelles, près de Jupiter, " le 07 Janvier 1610, une heure après minuit, note-t-il sur son livre de bord ". En soi, l’événement n’est pas extraordinaire. On en découvrait pas mal à l’époque avec les progrès de la physique optique. Mais il va en tirer des conséquences importantes, non seulement en astronomie, mais aussi en mécanique céleste et finalement, par delà, en Philosophie et en Théologie même ! Dans le Sidereus Nuncius, publié le 12 mars 1610, Galilée apporte, en une centaine de pages, de quoi révolutionner l’astronomie commune. Après la présentation de la lunette, promue au rang d’instrument astronomique, de longs développements sont accordés au résultat de l’observation de la Lune. Galilée se borne à assurer, avec beaucoup de soin et de précautions, les ressemblances entre la Terre et la Lune et les relations réciproques des échanges lumineux qui les rapprochent l’une de l’autre dans une même situation d’ensemble, lointaine, par rapport au Soleil.
      Car, la pièce maîtresse des conceptions reçues, à savoir l’association paradoxale pour la Terre du privilège d’être le centre du Monde et de la propriété d’être le royaume de la corruption et de la mort, constituait, sur la voie d’une solution raisonnable, un obstacle majeur. L’affirmation de l’homogénéité des astres, y compris la Terre, avait eu sa part dans la condamnation au bûcher de Giordano Bruno, en 1604. Ensuite, le Sidereus Nuncius passe à ce que la lunette a révélé le plus immédiatement, à savoir que la Voie lactée et les nébuleuses sont des amas d’étoiles et que, d’une manière générale, le peuplement des cieux décourage le dénombrement que l’héritage antique avait cru fixer. Quant aux observations comparées des grandeurs apparentes, elles imposent pour les espaces célestes une profondeur vertigineuse. Mais il y a mieux encore. L’ouvrage se termine sur le rapport d’une découverte sensationnelle.
      Le 07 janvier 1610, une heure après minuit, Galilée a vu près de Jupiter trois étoiles nouvelles, et, après deux mois d’observations précises, il peut livrer une démonstration incontestable : dans son mouvement à travers les cieux, la grande planète entraîne avec elle quatre satellites qui ne cessent de tourner autour d’elle. Dès lors, la difficulté que la Lune présentait à ceux qui, en suivant Copernic, avaient transféré au Soleil le privilège exclusif d’être centre de mouvement, est résolue. Que la Lune tourne autour de la Terre n’empêche pas qu’elle soit entraînée par elle dans sa translation annuelle et l’exemple de Jupiter révèle que, sans préjudice pour le rôle du Soleil dans le système planétaire, chaque planète peut être elle-même centre de mouvement relatif. Tel est le Message auquel Pascal, cinquante ans plus tard, apportera dans ses " Pensées " ; la puissance de sa plume incomparable, en joignant seulement à l’émerveillement l’effroi du "silence éternel des espaces infinis", c’est — dire en ajoutant la note que le recul du temps a permise à une sensibilité mystique et philosophique particulière. Galilée, quels que soient ses sentiments intimes au cours de cet hiver mémorable, ne prend pas le loisir de méditer; il se hâte de publier, sans polir ni arranger, ce qui devient ainsi un document positif impérissable.
1601 Robert, Earl of Essex leads revolt in London against Queen Elizabeth
1598 Boris Godunov seizes the Russian throne on death of Feodore I
1584 Last day of the Julian calendar in Bohemia and Holy Roman empire
1579 England signs an offensive and defensive alliance with the Netherlands
1566 Saint Pius V (Antonio Michele Ghislieri) is elected Pope
1558 Calais, last English possession in France, retaken by French under Francois, Duke of Guise
1489 On a appelé cette guerre la Guerre folle à cause de l'imprudence des seigneurs qui s'attaquaient au pouvoir royal, elle conduit ce jour à l'invasion du duché de Bretagne par l'ost de Charles VIII
1325 Alfonso IV succeeds Dionysius as king of Portugal
0754 Pope Stephen III (sometimes counted as Stephen II, because the actual Stephen II died 4 days after his election, before being consecrated) arrives in Ponthion
Deaths which occurred on a January 07:
2004 Brett Richards, 52, after bandits fire at 15:00 through the window of the bus traveling near Colomba, Guatemala, toward Mexico, on its 6th day of an 8-day tour of Book of Mormon sites in Central America, by its 13 passengers, all adults from Utah and Idaho. The bandits then board the bus, shoot the driver in the right ankle, take out the passengers, tie them up face-down on the ground for almost one hour and rob them of jewelry and money.J .M. Guillen Richards was a Mormon bishop and an architect who designed the Dinosaur Park Museum and the 2nd District Courthouse in Ogden, Utah. He graduated from Ogden High School in 1969, and is was the father of three daughters and two sons. Also on the bus were his wife Becky Richards, his parents Maurice and Patricia Richards, and his brother Reed Richards with his wife Martha Richards.

2003 José María Guillen Torres [photo >] and his brother Rafael Guillen Torres, shot at 04:10 in their car on a highway in Vera Cruz state, Mexico. José María Guillen, an agronomer, former mayor of Chinameca (1995-1997), was a diputado federal, of the PRI, for the 21st district of Vera Cruz state. His son Marco Tulio Guillen, 15, is seriously wounded.
baby oryx and motherly lioness^ 2002 Simon Beisa Oryx, about 18 days old.
       In Kenya's 104-square-kilometer Samburu National Reserve, the oryx is killed by a male lion while its kidnapper and protector, lioness Kamuniak (aka Larsen), 3, sleeps. On 22 December 2001, the lioness came across the baby oryx shortly after it was born, finding it lying in wait for its mother who had gone to search for food. The lioness kidnapped the oryx (instead of eating it, as would have been normal), giving it affection and protection from other predators as if it were her own cub, though still allowing the mother oryx to come and feed her calf occasionally before scaring her away. The baby oryx was very close to the lioness. Once a leopard wanted to kill the oryx, but the lioness was protecting it.
      On 06 January, the lioness — weakened by lack of food after two weeks of protecting "her" baby — led the oryx to the Uaso Nyiro river to drink. When the lioness went to take a nap, the baby oryx was playing around and it was killed by a male lion. The lioness roared. She was very angry. She went around the lion about 10 times roaring, and then the lioness disappeared. Then the lion took the carcass down by the tree and ate half of it.
      The lioness went on to kidnap more baby oryxes.
     On 14 February 2002 Kamuniak kidnapped Valentine, a second baby oryx [< photo], but rangers took it away on 17 February to the Nairobi animal orphanage [photo >], because it seemed too young and weak to survive away from its mother.
      On 31 March 2002, Kamuniak kidnapped a third baby oryx, “Easter”, but after several days of peaceful companionship. the oryx calf took off on its own.
      On 23 May 2002, Kamuniak kidnapped a fourth baby oryx, about 8 days old, at the foot of Koitogor Hills, several hundred meters from Larsens Camp. This baby oryx was rescued by its mother early the next day while the lioness went hunting.
     But with the Kamuniak's fifth adopted oryx, Naisimari (“taken by force”), rangers let nature take its course, and it died of starvation on 10 October 2002, whereupon the lioness ate its corpse. Kamuniak was starving herself too, as she did not take enough time off for hunting while she was protecting a baby oryx. Animal behaviorists believe Kamuniak suffers from a mental illness.
      On 01 February 2003, Kamuniak snatched from its mother a new-born impala, which died the next day, apparently from stress, exhaustion, and lack of its mother's milk.
     Kamuniak-Larsen preferentially eats warthogs and Gerenuk. She parted company with a pride of another eight lions midyear in 2001 and since then has kept the company of oryx herds.

The Oryx and the Lioness (by “Sabretooth”)
Young oryx and her lioness arose / And stretched. Our distant ken then dimly yawned: / Her orphan had no dam... Yet, love? God knows. / We smiled that cat and kid had purred and fawned. // She hearkened to the antelope as hers, / A roar of Judah's past and future fleece. / Deep in the darkest countenance, what stirs? / What breath behooves ferocious hearts to peace? // Their paths now crossed, her oryx at her side, / The lioness approached the pond to drink. / But nature's other hungers crouch and hide; / In underbrush, a fateful pride may slink.. // By other jaws, her oryx lamb was met… / Isaiah's oracle is not quite yet.
2001 Hasan Feelom, 39, hanged in public in Tehran, Iran, for the 09 August 2000 murder of his wife Fatemeh Ahangaran, 24, and their daughter Melika, 19 months, so as to elope with his lover.
2001 Liu Guimin, 30, from injuries to her lungs when Beijing police force fed her when she was on a hunger strike after being one of 700 Falun Gong members arrested while taking part in a New Year's Day protest in Tiananmen Square.
1996 More than 100 persons by blizzard which paralyzes the Eastern US.
Hirohito^ 1989 Showa Tenno Hirohito, the 124th Japanese monarch in an imperial line dating back to 660 B.C., dies (of cancer of the duodenum) after serving six decades as the emperor of Japan. He was the longest serving monarch in Japanese history. His son Akihito, 55, succeeds him.
     Born Michimoniya Hirohito on 29 April 1901, made regent in 1921, Hirohito was became emperor on 25 December 1926, at the death of his father, Emperor Taisho.

      During his first two decades as emperor, Hirohito presided over one of the most turbulent eras in his nation's history. From rapid military expansion beginning in 1931 to the crushing defeat of Japan in 1945, Hirohito stood above the Japanese people as an absolute monarch whose powers were sharply limited in practice.

      After US atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was he who argued for his country's surrender, explaining to the Japanese people in his first-ever radio address that the "unendurable must be endured."

      Under US occupation and postwar reconstruction, Hirohito was formally stripped of his powers and forced to renounce his alleged divinity, but he remained his country's official figurehead until his death.
1989 Frank Adams, mathematician.
1972 All 98 passengers and 6 crew members aboard an Iberia Sud Aviation Caravelle SE-210 VIR coming from Valencia, Spain, which hits a 415-meter-high mountain in the Sierra de Atalayasa, 30 meters below the summit, during its initial straight in approach to runway 07 at Ibiza airport.
1965 Anne Redpath, Scottish painter born on 29 March 1895.
1958 Dr Petru Groza, 74, premier of Romania.
1955 Samuel John Lamorna Birch, British artist born on 07 June 1869.
^ 1946 Suzanne Degnan, 6, kidnapped and murdered.
Heirens in 1953      In the predawn hours, Suzanne Degnan, is kidnapped from her home in Edgewater, an affluent Chicago neighborhood. Her father found a note on the floor asking for a $20'000 ransom. Although James Degnan went on the radio to plead for his daughter's safety, the kidnapper never made any contact or further demands. Later, a police search of the neighborhood turned up the girl's body. She had been strangled to death the night of the kidnapping, her hair had been washed by the killer, then her body had been dismembered, and dumped into sewers near her home. The hair washing detail led police to think that Degnan's murder was connected to several others in the city during the previous six months, where the victims had all been meticulously cleaned. At the scene of the last murder, that of Frances Brown in December 1945, the killer had written a message in lipstick on her bedroom wall, "For heaven's sake, catch me before I kill more, I cannot control myself."
      The ransom note at the Degnan house was the best clue that investigators had to tracking down the serial killer. The note had indentations from an adjoining page on the pad that led them to a University of Chicago restaurant. But detectives ran into a dead end and didn't receive much help from the college administration. Just as it looked like the lead was dead, a student named William Heirens was arrested after being caught red-handed during a burglary. When police searched his dorm room they found suitcases full of stolen goods, pictures of Hitler and other Nazis, and a letter to Heirens signed "George M." Authorities soon learned that some of the stolen items had come from the victims' homes. However, they couldn't track down Heirens' apparent partner, George.
      Heirens was given sodium pentathol and brutally interrogated. During questioning under the truth serum, Heirens claimed that George Murman had killed Suzanne Degnan. However, it quickly became evident that George wasn't a real person at all, but an alter ego of Heirens himself. Slowly, investigators pieced together the pathology that drove Heirens. Apparently, he could only find sexual gratification through burglaries. He later found that killing during the burglaries added to the thrill. While doubtful that he was a true schizophrenic, prosecutors decided not to risk losing to an insanity defense and agreed not to seek the death penalty against Heirens. On 07 August 1946, Bill Heirens confessed to the murders of Suzanne Degnan, Frances Brown and Josephine Ross. He pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Shortly after the sentencing, Heirens disavowed the confessions, saying he had made them under duress only to save his life. His case would be taken up by advocates for the wrongly convicted. After 56 years in prison, on 04 April 2002, Heirens would have a clemency hearing.
^ 1940 Day 39 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland.
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
Big Finnish victory on the Raatte road.
  • Northern Finland: the fighting on the Raatte road abates during the course of the morning. The great battle is over. The booty taken on the Raate road includes 43 tanks, 71 field and anti-aircraft guns, 29 anti-tank guns, a number of armored cars and tractors, 260 trucks, 1170 horses, and an assortment of infantry weaponry, ammunition, and medical and communications material. Almost 17'500 men of the enemy 44th Division perished at Raate, a loss of approximately 70% of the Division's strength. 1200 enemy soldiers are taken prisoner. Finnish losses are also severe: 900 dead and 1200 wounded, which is approximately 15% of the 9th Division's combat strength.
  • Soviet Commander of the Army, Semyon Timoshenko, is appointed overall commander of the Soviet northwest front on the Karelian Isthmus.
  • The Supreme Military Soviet decides to focus the main strike on the Viipuri sector.
    Talvisodan 39. päivä, 7.1.1940
    Raatteen tiellä saatu valtava sotasaalis
  • Taistelut Raatteen tiellä laantuvat aamun kuluessa, suurtaistelu päättyy. Raatteen tiellä saatua sotasaalista: 43 hyökkäysvaunua, 71 kenttä- ja ilmatorjuntatykkiä, 29 panssarintorjuntatykkiä, panssariautoja, traktoreita, 260 kuorma-autoa, 1170 hevosta, jalkaväen aseita, ampuma-tarvikkeita, lääkintä- ja viestimateriaalia. Vihollisen 44. Divisioona menettää kaatuneina lähes 17 500 miestä eli noin 70% vahvuudestaan. Vangeiksi joutuu 1200 neuvosto-sotilasta. Omat tappiomme ovat myös suuret: 900 kaatunutta ja 1200 haavoittunutta eli noin 15% taisteluvahvuudesta.
  • 1. luokan armeijankomentaja Semjon Timosenko nimitetään Neuvostoliiton Luoteisen Rintaman komentajaksi Karjalan kannakselle.
  • Neuvostoliiton korkein sotaneuvosto päättää suunnata pääiskun Viipurin suuntaan.
  • 1935 Meshchersky, mathematician.
    1928 Albert-Marie-Charles Lebourg, French painter born on 01 February 1849. MORE ON LEBOURG AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1926 Hugo Darien, French artist born on 08 January 1864.
    1893 Josef Stefan, mathematician.
    1892 Tewfik Pasha, 39, viceroy of Egypt
    1695 Mary II Stuart, 32, queen of England [1683 portrait by Caspar Netscher]
    1892 Some 100 killed in mine explosion, Krebs OK — Blacks trying to help rescue white survivors, driven away with guns.
    ^ 1872 James Fisk, one of Wall Street’s more colorful and unscrupulous characters
          Born in Bennington, Vermont, in 1834, Fisk worked at a series of jobs, including stints in the circus and dry-goods industry, before becoming a stockbroker. In 1866 he linked up with financier Daniel Drew to form a brokerage firm, Fisk and Belden. Along with Jay Gould, Fisk and Drew pulled off a scheme in 1867 to protect their controlling interest in the Erie Railroad from the acquisitive clutches of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Around the same time, Fisk was installed as the vice president and comptroller of Erie, positions he exploited to gain funds to support his burgeoning interest in Broadway shows—and Broadway’s starlets. In 1869, Fisk joined forces again with Gould and Drew to make a bold play to conquer the gold market. The result of their finagling was one of the worst financial disasters in US history. Along with plunging America and stray parts of Europe into a depression, Fisk managed to lose a chunk of his fortune on the scheme. However, Fisk didn’t have long to lick his wounds: in 1872, a squabble with his lover, Josie Mansfield, a.k.a. the "Broadway Beauty," led to Fisk’s fatal shooting by Edward Stokes.
    ^ 1864 Caleb Blood Smith
          Caleb Blood Smith, US Secretary of the Interior in 1861 and 1862, dies in Indianapolis. He played a major role in managing relations with Native Americans during the US Civil War.
          Smith was born in Boston in 1808 and raised in Cincinnati. Educated at the College of Cincinnati and Miami University, Smith practiced law in Indiana and became involved in state politics. A member of the Whig Party, Smith served in the Indiana state legislature before being elected to Congress in 1842. He opposed the expansion of slavery, and he fought hard against the 1845 annexation of Texas. After serving on the United States-Mexico Boundary Commission in the late 1840s, Smith left public life to work for the railroads in Ohio. As the Civil War drew near, he became active in the Republican Party. He was a delegate to the 1860 convention and he became one of Abraham Lincoln's most enthusiastic supporters. Lincoln rewarded him by naming him to the post of Secretary of the Interior.
          In this role, Smith supervised Indian agents in the West and worked with Secretaries of War Simon Cameron and Edwin Stanton to forge Indian policy. However, Smith was generally disliked by most members of the cabinet and was described by one insider as a man with "neither heart nor sincerity about him." He found himself overworked and increasingly at odds with the rest of the administration on key issues such as the emancipation of slaves. Smith resigned at the end of 1862 and Lincoln appointed him district judge in Indianapolis. Smith died suddenly on January 7 while working at the federal courthouse.
    1862 Robert Brandard, British artist born in 1805. — links to images.
    1858 Hippolyte-Jean-Baptiste Garneray, French painter and engraver born on 23 February 1787.
    1830 Thomas Lawrence, British painter and draftsman born on 13 April 1769. MORE ON LAWRENCE AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1819 Marie-Geneviève Bouliard, French artist born in 1772.
    1766 Matthys Balen, Flemish artist born on 24 February 1684.
    1722 Antoine Coypel, French painter born on 11 April 1661. MORE ON COYPEL AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1655 Innocentius X [Giambattista Pamfili], 80, pope (1644-55) [1650 portrait of Innocent X, by Velázquez, one of the world's greatest portrait masterpieces, which the pope said was “troppo vero”, probably because it makes him look more crafty than innocent.]
    1598 Theodorus I [Fedor Ivanovitch], 40, czar of Russia (1584-98)
    1537 Alessandro de Medici, Italian monarch of Florence, assassinated
    1536 Catherine of Aragon, first of the six wives of England's King Henry VIII.
    1536 Baldassare Peruzzi, Italian architect, painter, and draftsman, born in 1481.
    1507 Cosimo Rosselli (Filippo di Lorenzo), Florentine painter born in 1439. MORE ON ROSSELLI AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1451 Amadeus VIII of Savoy, 67, last anti-pope Felix V (1439-49)
    1325 Dionysius the Justified, King of Portugal (1279-1325)
    1285 Charles I of Anjou, 58, king of Naples/brother of King Louis IX
    0312 Lucian of Antioch heterodox theologian, biblical scholar, martyred
    Addams FamilyBirths which occurred on a January 07:
    1996 Abbey Speakman, England, born 19 days after her twin sister
    1985 Saturn Corporation of GM.
          Created through a unique partnership between General Motors and the UAW, GM creates Saturn as a wholly owned subsidiary in 1985. Saturn Corporation began selling vehicles in 1990, bringing a new level of customer service to automotive retailing and introducing its no-haggle, a la carte car buying structure. Saturn's automobiles featured innovations such as spaceframe construction and dent resistant polymer body panels. Based in Spring Hill, Tennessee, the car company has built a loyal following.
    1928 William Peter Blatty, author ('The Exorcist')
    1927 Transatlantic phone service
          Walter Sherman Gifford, president of AT&T in New York, inaugurates the commercial service with a call to Sir George Evelyn Pemberton Murray, secretary of the British Post Office, in London. Thirty-one calls are placed the first day, each costing $75 for a three-minute conversation. New York Times publisher Adolph Simon Ochs made the first private call to Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times of London.
    1912 Charles Addams, US cartoonist (New Yorker, Addams Family). He died on 29 September 1988. His books of cartoons include: Drawn and Quartered — Addams and Evil — Monster Rally — Black Maria — Favorite Haunts — The Groaning Board — Nightcrawlers — Creature Comforts — The Charles Addams Mother Goose — Dear Dead Days — Afternoon in the Attic.
    1910 Alain de Rothschild, France, banker / baron
    1907 Paley, mathematician.
    1906 Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate who died on 15 March 1975.
    1906 Oscar Manuel Palazón Domínguez, Spanish Surrealist painter and sculptor, active in France, who died on 01 January 1958 (or 31 Dec 1957?). — more with links to images.
    1904 Gordon Whyburn, mathematician
    ^ 1903 Zora Neale Hurston, novelist and folklorist, in Eatonville, Fla.
          Although at the time of her death in 1960, Hurston had published more books than any other black woman in America, she was unable to capture a mainstream audience in her lifetime, and she died poor and alone in a welfare hotel. Today, she is seen as one of the most important black writers in American history. Eatonville, Fla., was an all-black town when Hurston was born. The daughter of a Baptist preacher, Hurston had little contact with white people until her mother's death, when Hurston was 11. Until her teens, Hurston was largely sheltered from racism. A talented, energetic young women with a powerful desire to learn, she didn't finish high school but prepared herself for college and excelled at Howard University. In 1925, she moved to New York, where she became a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance. High-spirited, outgoing, and witty, she became famous for her storytelling talents. She studied anthropology with a prominent professor at Barnard and received a fellowship to collect oral histories and folklore in her home state. She also studied voodoo in Haiti.
          In 1931, she collaborated with Langston Hughes on the play Mule Bone. Her first novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine, featuring a central character based on her father, was published in 1934. Mules and Men, a collection of material from her research in oral folklore, was published in 1935 and became her bestselling work during her lifetime—but even so, it earned her only $943.75. In 1937, she published Their Eyes Were Watching God, the story of a black woman looking for love and happiness in the South. The book was criticized at the time, especially by black male writers, who condemned Hurston for not taking a political stand and demonstrating the ill effects of racism. Instead, the novel, now considered her masterwork, celebrated the rich tradition of the rural black South.
          Hurston's work remained uplifting and joyful despite her financial struggles. She published a memoir, Dust Tracks on a Road, in 1942. Hurston worked on and off as a maid near the end of her life, and she died in poverty in 1960. In the 1970s, her work, almost forgotten, was revived by feminist and black-studies scholars, and an anthology, I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive, was published in 1979.
    Francis Poulenc, French composer who died on 30 January 1963.
    1899 Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc, musicien.
          Avec Arthur Honegger et Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc est l’un des trois compositeurs du groupe des Six dont l’œuvre a acquis aujourd’hui une renommée internationale. On ne saurait mieux caractériser cet artiste qu’en le disant " musicien français " par excellence. Francis Poulenc est français en effet par la clarté, le sens des proportions, la sensualité et l’imagination visuelle. La musique pure l’inspire peu, ou, du moins, ne constitue pas son domaine de prédilection. Mais la rencontre des poètes, les climats musicaux à créer, les caractères à dessiner aiguisent ses facultés. Il a merveilleusement assimilé les langages poétiques des surréalistes Apollinaire, Max Jacob et Paul Eluard, et c’est en s’appliquant d’abord à traduire avec exactitude le texte de Bernanos qu’il a fait des " Dialogues des Carmélites " un chef-d’œuvre sans équivalent sur la scène lyrique. Pour la première fois, en effet, la vie religieuse n’y est pas dénaturée, et Poulenc lui-même a pu dire qu’il avait composé un opéra dont le sujet était " la Grâce et le transfert de la Grâce ". Né à Paris, Poulenc avait étudié le piano avec plusieurs professeurs célèbres, dont Ricardo Viñes, mais il était autodidacte en ce qui concerne la composition. Sa première œuvre publiée, " Rapsodie nègre " (1917), pour solo vocal et orchestre de chambre, parut alors qu'il servait dans l'armée française pendant la 1ère Guerre mondiale. Elle fut jouée au Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier.
          En 1920, Poulenc, fortement influencé par les œuvres d'Erik Satie (1866-1925), forma avec cinq autres compositeurs, Georges Auric (1899-1983), Louis Durey (1888-1979), Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) et Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983), le groupe des Six, en rébellion contre l'influence de compositeurs français conservateurs comme Vincent d'Indy, l'impressionnisme de Debussy et de Ravel, et César Franck (1822-1890). Le porte-parole du groupe des Six était Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) pour qui ils composèrent collectivement la musique pour Les Mariés de la tour Eiffel (1921). Les œuvres de Poulenc suivent une conception traditionnelle de l'harmonie. Elles sont légères, satiriques et mélodieuses. Dans les années 1920, elles furent fortement influencées par le jazz dansant, qui était alors très à la mode à Paris. Poulenc eut du succès avec nombre de ses mélodies, dont le Le Bestiaire (1919), et il devint célèbre pour son habileté à adapter sa musique aux rythmes du texte.
          Parmi ses œuvres pour la scène, on peut citer le ballet Les Biches (1924), produit par l'imprésario russe Serge de Diaghilev, le ballet Les Animaux modèles (1941) d'après La Fontaine, l'opéra bouffe Les Mamelles de Tirésias (1946) et l'opéra sérieux Dialogues des Carmélites (1957) d'après Georges Bernanos (1888-1948) et La Voix humaine (1958) d'après Jean Cocteau. Son retour à la foi catholique, en 1936, l'amena à composer de nombreuses œuvres religieuses dont les Litanies de la Vierge noire de Rocamadour (1936), le Concerto pour orgue (1938), Quatre Motets pour un temps de pénitence (1939), la cantate Figure humaine (1943) d'après un poème de Paul Éluard, un Stabat Mater en (1950) et un Gloria (1959). Mon père, musicien classique d’une valeur certaine et d’une grande sensibilité, jouait parfois, aux grandes orgues, le Concerto pour orgues, souvent en prélude à la messe dominicale, pendant l’arrivée des paroissiens, qui pris par cette musique entraient "religieusement" dans l’église.
    1893 Rolf Nesch, Norwegian painter and graphic artist of German birth, who died on 27 October 1975. — more
    1873 Adolph Zukor, US entrepreneur who built the Paramount movie empire. He died on 10 June 1976.
    1871 Émile Borel, French mathematician who died on 03 February 1956.
    1865 Valentin Alexandrovitch Serov, Russian painter specialized in portraits, who died on 22 November 1911. MORE ON SEROV AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1859 Georges Humbert, mathematician.
    1854 Herbert John Gladstone, English statesman who died on 06 March 1930.
    1852 Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret, French Realist painter and photographer who died on 03 July 1929. MORE ON DAGNAN~BOUVERET AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1844 Marie-Bernarde Soubirous [Saint Bernadette of Lourdes], child visionary. She died on 16 April 1879.
    1842 Ludwig Vollmar, German artist who died on 01 March 1884.
    1834 Johann Philipp Reis, German physicist who constructed a precursor of the electric telephone.
          Johann Reis, a German physicist, experimented with electricity, radio, and hearing aids. He created a receiver consisting of a metal needle on a sounding box. When the needle received electric currents, it vibrated and created sound. The device, which Reis called a telephone, effectively transmitted musical tones but was not effective for transmitting voice. However, Reis' work did contribute to the development of the telephone we know today.
    1808 Friedrich Eduard Meyerheim, German artist who died on 18 January 1879.
    1802 Karel Ferdinand Venneman, Charles, Flemish~Belgian artist who died on 22 August 1875.
    1800 Millard Fillmore, Locke NY, (Whig) 13th US President (1850-53). He died on 09 March 1874.
    1787 Peter Patrick Nasmyth, Scottish landscape painter, who died on 17 August 1831. MORE ON NASMYTH AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1782 Bank of North America, first US commercial bank, opens.
               The Bank of North America opens for business, making it the nation's first commercial bank. Based in Philadelphia, the bank was the brainchild of Robert Morris. Despite the bank's success, Philadelphia's run as America's leading home of private financial institutions was short-lived. Soon after the Bank of North America opened, the Pennsylvania legislature moved to outlaw private banks in the state, a decision that led scores of prospective bankers to set up shop in the nation's eventual financial center, New York City.
    1751 François Dumont l'aîné, French artist who died on 27 August 1831.
    1714 Typewriter patented by Englishman Henry Mill (built years later)
    1611 James Harrington (or Harington), English political philosopher who died on 11 September 1677. His major work The Common-wealth of Oceana (1656) is a restatement of Aristotle's theory of constitutional stability and revolution. HARRINGTON ONLINE: The Commonwealth of Oceana (at another site).
    1549 Francesco Giambattista da Ponte Bassano, Italian Mannerist painter who committed suicide by throwing himself out of a window on 03 July 1592. MORE ON BASSANO AT ART “4” JANUARY with links to images.
    1539 Sebastián de Covarrubias Horozco, Spanish lexicographer
    Russian Orthodox Christmas (25 December Old Style) VESELOYE ROZHDESTVO !
    Thought for the day: “All the rivers run to the sea and the sea is never full.”

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