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History Events on January 28

East Peckham
Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).


Jane Austen
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom.


United States troops leave Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base after being there since the Spanish-American War.


Flag of Canada
The current design of the Flag of Canada is chosen by an act of Parliament.


Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War: The Siege of Paris ends in French defeat and an armistice.


Panama Canal Railway
A locomotive on the Panama Canal Railway runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean for the first time.


Horace Walpole
Sir Horace Walpole coins the word serendipity in a letter to a friend.


Iceland becomes the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion.


Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan lifts remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls in the United States helping to end the 1979 energy crisis and begin the 1980s oil glut.


Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley makes his first national television appearance.


Battle of Aliwal
The Battle of Aliwal, India, is won by British troops commanded by Sir Harry Smith.


The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.


Diet of Worms
The Diet of Worms begins, lasting until May 25.


Warsaw Confederation
Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland.


Finnish Civil War
Finnish Civil War: The Red Guard rebels seize control of the capital, Helsinki; members of the Senate of Finland go underground.


USCGC Blackthorn (WLB-391)
USCGC Blackthorn collides with the tanker Capricorn while leaving Tampa, Florida and capsizes, killing 23 Coast Guard crewmembers.


Russian Academy of Sciences
The Russian Academy of Sciences is founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented by Senate decree. It is called the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.


Space Shuttle program
Space Shuttle program: STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.


The death of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, brings about the accession of his son Louis the Pious as ruler of the Frankish Empire.


United States Air Force
An unarmed United States Air Force T-39 Sabreliner on a training mission is shot down over Erfurt, East Germany, by a Soviet MiG-19.


United States Army
US Army general James L. Dozier is rescued by Italian anti-terrorism forces from captivity by the Red Brigades.


World War II
World War II: Supplies begin to reach the Republic of China over the newly reopened Burma Road.


Spanish Legion
Foundation of the Spanish Legion.


Tropical Storm Domoina
Tropical Storm Domoina makes landfall in southern Mozambique, eventually causing 214 deaths and some of the most severe flooding so far recorded in the region.


Original city of Panama (founded in 1519) was destroyed by a fire when privateer Henry Morgan sacked and set fire to it. The site of the previously devastated city is still in ruins (see Panama Viejo).


Northwestern University
Northwestern University becomes the first chartered university in Illinois.


Franco-Thai War
Franco-Thai War: Final air battle of the conflict. A Japanese-mediated armistice goes into effect later in the day.


R v Morgentaler
In R v Morgentaler the Supreme Court of Canada strikes down all anti-abortion laws.


The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhry Rahmat Ali Khan and is accepted by Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence.


Charles VI of France
King Charles VI of France is nearly killed when several dancers' costumes catch fire during a masquerade ball.


United States Congress
An act of the U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard as a branch of the United States Armed Forces.


The roof of one of the buildings at the Katowice International Fair in Poland collapses due to the weight of snow, killing 65 and injuring more than 170 others.
TAME Flight 120, a Boeing 727-100 crashes in the Andes mountains in southern Colombia, killing 92.
Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) records the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.
The first day of the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 which dumps 10 feet (3.0 m) of snow in one day in Upstate New York, with Buffalo, Syracuse, Watertown, and surrounding areas are most affected.
The National Football League announced expansion teams for Dallas to start in the 1960 NFL season and Minneapolis-St. Paul for 1961 NFL season.
The World Land Speed Record on a public road is broken by Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195 at a speed of 432.7 kilometres per hour (268.9 mph).
Japanese forces attack Shanghai.
Knickerbocker Storm, Washington D.C.'s biggest snowfall, causes the city's greatest loss of life when the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre collapses.
Members of the Portuguese Republican Party fail in their attempted coup d'état against the administrative dictatorship of Prime Minister João Franco.
The Carnegie Institution of Washington is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.
Yale Daily News becomes the first daily college newspaper in the United States.
Sir Thomas Warner founds the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.
The Edict of Torda prohibited the persecution of individuals on religious ground in John Sigismund Zápolya's Eastern Hungarian Kingdom.
Henry VIII dies. His nine-year-old son, Edward VI, becomes king.
Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor is lifted.
Robert de Comines, the Earl of Northumbria, is killed while attempting to subdue rebels in Durham, England. This leads to the Harrying of the North by William the Conqueror.