Behind History For January 3
1911 – A magnitude 7.7 earthquake destroys the city of Almaty in Russian Turkestan.
1911 – A gun battle in the East End of London left two dead and sparked a political row over the involvement of then-Home Secretary Winston Churchill.
1913 – An Atlantic coast storm sets the lowest confirmed barometric pressure reading for a non-tropical system in the continental United States.
1919 – At the Paris Peace Conference, Emir Faisal I of Iraq signs an agreement with Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
1925 – Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy.
1932 – Martial law is declared in Honduras to stop a revolt by banana workers fired by the United Fruit Company.
1933 – Minnie D. Craig becomes the first woman elected as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, the first woman to hold a Speaker position anywhere in the United States.
1938 – The March of Dimes is established as a foundation to combat infant polio by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1944 – World War II: Top Ace Major Greg “Pappy” Boyington is shot down in his Vought F4U Corsair by Captain Masajiro Kawato flying a Mitsubishi A6M Zero.
1945 – World War II: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is placed in command of all U.S. Naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima and Okinawa in Japan.
1946 – Popular Canadian American jockey George Woolf dies in a freak accident during a race; the annual George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award is created to honor him.
1947 – Proceedings of the U.S. Congress are televised for the first time.
1949 – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the central bank of the Philippines, is established.
1953 – Frances P. Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, become the first mother and son to serve simultaneously in the U.S. Congress.
1956 – A fire damages the top part of the Eiffel Tower.
1957 – The Hamilton Watch Company introduces the first electric watch.
1958 – The West Indies Federation is formed.
1959 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state.
1961 – Cold War: The United States severs diplomatic relations with Cuba over the latter’s nationalization of American assets.
1961 – The SL-1 nuclear reactor is destroyed by a steam explosion in the only reactor incident in the United States to cause immediate fatalities.
1961 – A protest by agricultural workers in Baixa de Cassanje, Portuguese Angola, turns into a revolt, opening the Angolan War of Independence, the first of the Portuguese Colonial Wars.
1962 – Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
1976 – The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, comes into force.
1977 – Apple Computer is incorporated.
1990 – United States invasion of Panama: Manuel Noriega, former leader of Panama, surrenders to American forces.
1993 – In Moscow, Russia, George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
1994 – More than seven million people from the former apartheid Homelands receive South African citizenship.
1994 – Baikal Airlines Flight 130 crashes near Irkutsk, Russia, resulting in 125 deaths.
1999 – The Mars Polar Lander is launched by NASA.
2000 – Final daily edition of the Peanuts comic strip.
2002 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict: Israeli forces seize the Palestinian freighter Karine A in the Red Sea, finding 50 tons of weapons.
2004 – Flash Airlines Flight 604 crashes into the Red Sea, resulting in 148 deaths, making it one of the deadliest aviation accidents in Egyptian history.
2009 – The first block of the blockchain of the decentralized payment system Bitcoin, called the Genesis block, was established by the creator of the system, Satoshi Nakamoto.
2015 – Boko Haram militants raze the entire town of Baga in north-east Nigeria, starting the Baga massacre and killing as many as 2,000 people.
2016 – Following the fallout caused by the execution of Nimr al-Nimr, Iran ends its diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.
2018 – Computer analysts report two major security vulnerabilities, named “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” affecting the microprocessors of almost all computers in the world.
2019 – Chang’e 4 makes the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon, deploying the Yutu-2 lunar rover.