On This Day

What Happened in January 1880

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 Building of Panama Canal begins
  • Jan 6 Record snow cover in Seattle - 120 cm
  • Jan 9 6' (1.83 metres) of snow falls in Seattle in 5 days
  • Jan 9 The Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow
  • Jan 21 1st US sewage disposal system separate from storm drains in Memphis, Tennessee

Historic Invention

Jan 27 Thomas Edison patents electric incandescent lamp


Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Edie Martin, British actress (Titfield Thunderbolt), born in London, England (d. 1964)
  • Jan 2 Louis Breguet, French aviation pioneer
  • Jan 3 Donat Raymond, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame builder (head Canadian Arena Company, Montreal Forum rebuilt in 1968) and politician, born in St. Stanislas de Kostka, Quebec (d. 1963)
  • Jan 5 Nikolai Medtner, Russian pianist and composer (Skazi), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1951)
  • Jan 6 Tom Mix [Thomas Hezikiah Mix], American silent screen cowboy actor (Dick Turpin), born in Mix Run, Pennsylvania (d. 1940)
  • Jan 6 Yuliya Veysberg, Russian music critic & composer, born in Orenburg, Russia (d. 1942)
  • Jan 10 Eduard Meijers, Dutch lawyer (Short Cause), born in Den Helder, Netherlands (d. 1954)
  • Jan 10 Frans van Cauwelaert, Flemish minister & mayor of Antwerp, born in Roosdaal, Belgium (d. 1961)
  • Jan 10 Grock [Adrien Wettach], Swiss clown and circus director, born in Loveresse, Canton of Bern (d. 1959)

Manuel Azaña

Jan 10 Manuel Azaña, Prime Minister of Spain (1931-33) and 2nd President of the Spanish Republic (1936-39), born in Alcalá de Henares, Spain (d. 1940)

  • Jan 11 Rudolf Palm, Curaçaoan pianist and composer, born in Curaçao (d. 1950)
  • Jan 11 Elisabeth Achelis, American heiress, writer, and proponent of the 13-month World Calendar, born in Brooklyn, NYC (d. 1973)
  • Jan 17 Mack Sennett, movie creator (Keystone Kops)
  • Jan 18 Paul Ehrenfest, Austrian-Dutch theoretical physicist (phase transition, Ehrenfest theorem), born in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 1933)
  • Jan 20 Walter W. Bacon, American politician (d. 1962)
  • Jan 25 Francis George Scott, Scottish composer, born in Hawick, Roxburghshire (d. 1958)

Douglas MacArthur

Jan 26 Douglas MacArthur, American General in World War II, born in Little Rock, Arkansas (d. 1964)

  • Jan 28 Herbert Strudwick, cricketer (England wicket-keeper before & after WWI)
  • Jan 28 Mary Boland, American comedienne and actress (Ruggles of Red Gap), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1965)
  • Jan 29 W C Fields [William Claude Dukenfield], actor (Bank Dick), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Famous Weddings

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 4 Anselm Feuerbach, German painter, dies at 50
  • Jan 5 Benjamin J. Hill, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 54

Emperor Norton

Jan 8 Emperor Norton [Joshua Abraham Norton], British born self proclaimed "Norton I, Emperor of the United States", dies at 60

  • Jan 24 José Gautier Benítez, Puerto Rican poet, dies at 28
  • Jan 27 Edward Middleton Barry, English architect (b. 1830)