On This Day

What Happened in January 1858

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 Canada begins using decimal currency system
  • Jan 9 Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, commits suicide

Assassination Attempt

Jan 14 French Emperor Napoleon III escapes attempt on his life by Felice Orsini, an Italian patriot who was later executed

Music Premiere

Jan 25 Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" first played, at wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Victoria, to crown prince of Prussia

  • Jan 30 Charles Hallé founds Halle Orchestra in Manchester, England
  • Jan 30 William Wells Brown published 1st Black drama, "Leap to Freedom"

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 5 Gustaf af Geijerstam, Swedish author (Boken om Lillebror), born in Hed socken (d. 1909)
  • Jan 7 Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, key figure in the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language (d. 1922)
  • Jan 10 Heinrich Zille, German illustrator and photographer, born in Radeburg, Germany (d. 1929)
  • Jan 11 Harry Gordon Selfridge, American retailer (d. 1947)
  • Jan 13 Oskar Minkowski, Biologist (d. 1931)
  • Jan 15 Giovanni Segantini, Italian painter, born in Arco, Italy (d. 1899)
  • Jan 17 Tomas Carrasquilla, Colombian author (Frutos de mi Tierra)

Daniel Williams

Jan 18 Daniel Williams, American heart surgeon who performed the 1st open heart surgery, born in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania (d. 1931)

  • Jan 19 Eugene Brieux, French playwright (Blanchette, Lesson Avaries)
  • Jan 22 Beatrice Potter Webb, English sociologist, economist (founded London School of Economics) and writer (My Apprenticeship), born in Standish (d. 1943)
  • Jan 22 Frederick Lugard, British captain/baron (Congo)
  • Jan 25 Giuseppe Radiciotti, Italian musicologist and composer, born in Iesi, Italy (d. 1931)
  • Jan 25 Mikimoto Kōkichi, Japanese entrepreneur & pearl farm pioneer, born in Toba, Japan (d. 1954)
  • Jan 27 Neel [Cornelia H] Doff, Dutch/French/Belgian painter's model/writer
  • Jan 31 André Antoine, French actor and stage manager (founded Théâtre-Libre), born in Limoges, France (d. 1943)

Famous Weddings

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 3 Rachel Félix [Elisabeth "Eliza/Élisa"], French singer and actress (Muse), dies at 36
  • Jan 3 Henry Darcy, French hydraulic engineer (Darcy's Law), dies at 54
  • Jan 5 Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, Czech field marshal, dies at 91
  • Jan 7 Willem Broes, Dutch vicar and theologist (Textenrol), dies at 91
  • Jan 8 Friedrich Karl Kuhmstedt, composer, dies at 48
  • Jan 9 Anson Jones, 5th and last President of Texas commits suicide at 59
  • Jan 27 Gerrit van der Linde Jz, Dutch "Principal", poet, dies at 49
  • Jan 30 Coenraad Jacob Temminck, Dutch zoologist (b. 1778)