January 10 – On this Day in History

The article provides a detailed look at significant historical events that occurred on January 10th across different years. It covers a wide range of topics, including pivotal political moments, groundbreaking technological advancements, notable cultural milestones, and major natural disasters.

Each event is described to highlight its importance and the impact it had on shaping the course of history. The article serves as an informative resource for understanding how these events have contributed to the world we live in today.

January 10th Events in History

49 BC – Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war

This event marked a significant turning point in Roman history. Julius Caesar’s decision to cross the Rubicon River with his army defied the Roman Senate’s orders and effectively initiated a civil war.

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The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has since become a metaphor for passing a point of no return. This bold move led to the collapse of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire under Caesar’s rule.

Julius Caesar

236 – Pope Fabian becomes the 20th pope of Rome

Pope Fabian’s election was notable. According to tradition, a dove landed on his head, signaling the Holy Spirit’s choice of him as Pope.

He served as the Bishop of Rome during a period of relative peace for the Christian Church and is said to have been responsible for significant organizational developments within the Church.

1072 – Norman forces, led by Robert Guiscard, conquer Palermo in Sicily

This event is a part of the larger Norman conquest of Sicily. Robert Guiscard, a Norman adventurer, led the conquest.

The capture of Palermo from Muslim rule was a significant step in the Norman establishment of the Kingdom of Sicily, blending diverse cultures and creating a powerful Mediterranean state.

1430 – The Order of the Golden Fleece is established by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy

Founded by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, the Order of the Golden Fleece was one of the most prestigious and exclusive orders of chivalry in medieval Europe.

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It was established to celebrate the Burgundian State’s prosperity and power and to bind the nobility to the duke. The order remains active to this day, though its nature has evolved.

1475 – Stephen III of Moldavia defeats the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vaslui

Led by Stephen III of Moldavia, this battle was fought against the Ottoman Empire and is considered one of the greatest victories in the history of Moldavia.

Stephen’s strategy and the harsh winter conditions played a key role in this significant defeat of the Ottomans, delaying their advance into Moldavia for several years.

1645 – Archbishop William Laud is beheaded for treason in London

William Laud was the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of King Charles I of England. A supporter of the king’s absolute authority over the Church, he was a central figure in the religious conflicts leading up to the English Civil War.

His support for Charles and his attempts to impose Anglican practices in Scotland were deeply unpopular, leading to his arrest and eventual execution for treason.

1776 – Thomas Paine publishes his influential pamphlet “Common Sense”

This pamphlet was a crucial piece of revolutionary propaganda in America. Written by Thomas Paine, it made a compelling argument for American independence from Britain.

It was written in a style that was accessible to the average colonist and sold in large numbers, galvanizing public opinion in favor of the Revolutionary cause.

Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine

1791 – The Siege of Dunlap’s Station begins near Cincinnati during the Northwest Indian War

This was a significant event during the Northwest Indian War in the newly established United States. Settlers at Dunlap’s Station, near present-day Cincinnati, Ohio, were besieged by a confederation of Native American tribes.

The siege was part of the larger struggle over control and settlement of lands west of the Appalachian Mountains following the American Revolutionary War.

1812 – The first steamboat on the Ohio or Mississippi River arrives in New Orleans, 82 days after departing from Pittsburgh

The arrival of the first steamboat in New Orleans symbolized the beginning of a new era in river transportation. The steamboat, making its way from Pittsburgh, demonstrated the potential for steam-powered navigation on America’s inland waterways, revolutionizing trade and travel in the region.

1861 – Florida becomes the third state to secede from the Union

In the build-up to the American Civil War, Florida declared its secession from the United States, becoming the third state to join the Confederacy.

This action was part of the broader wave of Southern states’ secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln as President, which ultimately led to the outbreak of the Civil War.

1863 – The Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway, opens in London

The Metropolitan Railway was the world’s first underground railway. It opened in London, marking the beginning of rapid urban transportation as we know it today.

The Metropolitan Railway initially ran between Paddington and Farringdon, and it revolutionized public transport and urban living, setting a precedent for cities worldwide.

1901 – The start of the U.S. oil industry is marked by a significant oil gusher

The Spindletop gusher in Texas marked the birth of the modern petroleum industry. The discovery of oil at Spindletop led to a massive oil boom, positioning the United States as a major player in the global oil industry.

This event dramatically changed the energy sector and had lasting effects on the world’s economy and geopolitics.


1920 – The League of Nations is established in Geneva

Formed in the aftermath of World War I, the League of Nations was the first international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.

Despite its inability to prevent World War II, it established several protocols for conflict resolution and laid the groundwork for its successor, the United Nations.

1924 – Jazz drummer and percussionist Max Roach is born

Max Roach was an influential American jazz drummer and a pioneer of bebop. Born on January 10, 1924, he played a significant role in the development of jazz, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s. His innovative approach to drumming and rhythm was instrumental in the evolution of modern jazz.

1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduces the lend-lease program

This program was crucial in providing military aid to allies of the United States during World War II, particularly Britain and the Soviet Union.

The Lend-Lease Act allowed the U.S. to supply these nations with arms and other war materials without immediate payment, marking a significant step away from the country’s previous policy of neutrality.

1946 – The first United Nations General Assembly meets in London

The inaugural meeting of the United Nations General Assembly marked a new era in international diplomacy and cooperation. The U.N. was established to prevent another world conflict like the two World Wars and to promote peace, security, and social and economic development.

1946 – Radar signals bouncing off the Moon are detected for the first time

This achievement marked a significant milestone in radar and space communication technology. For the first time, radar signals sent from the Earth were successfully bounced off the Moon and received back on Earth.

This experiment, known as Moon bounce or Earth-Moon-Earth communication, laid the foundation for future space communication and exploration.

1949 – American boxer George Foreman is born

George Foreman, born on January 10, 1949, is an American former professional boxer who became a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist.

Foreman is renowned for his powerful punches and remarkable comeback in his later years, becoming the oldest heavyweight champion at the age of 45. He later became a successful entrepreneur and is known for the popular George Foreman grill.

1962 – An avalanche in Peru kills thousands

One of the deadliest avalanches in history occurred in Ranrahirca, Peru. Triggered by a massive piece of glacier breaking off and sliding down Huascarán mountain, the avalanche engulfed several towns and villages, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. It highlighted the risks posed by natural disasters in mountainous regions.

1967 – President Lyndon B. Johnson requests additional funding for the Vietnam War

In this escalation of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, President Johnson asked Congress for additional funds to support the war effort.

This request reflected the increasing commitment of the United States to the conflict in Southeast Asia, which had significant political, social, and cultural repercussions in the U.S.