On this day in history, January 7

People riot over bread.

People riot over bread.

Published Jan 7, 2024


Real people, real stories – more than just dates and boring facts

1681 The first recorded boxing match – between the Duke of Albemarle’s butler and the duke’s butcher – takes place.

1714 The typewriter is patented by Englishman Henry Mill (but built years later).

1790 French Revolution: A riot breaks out in Versailles as people demand cheaper bread.

1890 African-American inventor William Purvis receives a patent for the fountain pen.

1912 Alfred Wegener, a geophysicist and meteorologist, presents his controversial, but now widely accepted, theory of continental drift in Frankfurt.

1915 Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm approves the strategic bombing of Britain, but forbids the bombing of London, fearing that his relatives in the British royal family might be killed.

1937 The US bans the shipment of arms to war-torn Spain.

1945 US Boeing B-29 bombers pound Tokyo, Japan, and Nanking in China,.

1946 Ho Chi Minh wins Vietnamese elections.

1958 Moscow announces a reduction in its armed forces by 300 000 men and women.

1967 More than 16 000 US and 14 000 Vietnamese troops start their biggest attack on the Iron Triangle, during the Vietnam War.

1987 Astronomers report sighting a newly discovered galaxy, 12 billion light years away.

1989 Japan’s wartime emperor, Hirohito dies, having ruled for 62 years. He is succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.

1991 World-champion middle distance runner Caster Semenya is born in Polokwane.

2012 A hot air balloon crashes near Carterton, New Zealand, killing all 11 people on board.

2018 It snows in the Sahara desert – as much as 38cm is reported in north-west Algeria.

2015 Two gunmen commit mass murder at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, shooting 12 people execution style, and wounding 11.

2020 A series of Puerto Rico earthquakes kills four people and injure another nine in the south of the Caribbean islands.

2021 Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla, becomes the world’s richest man.

2022 A genetically modified pig’s heart is transplanted into a 53-year-old man in Baltimore, Maryland. He lives for another two months, before dying of a heart attack.