On This Day

What Happened in January 1884

Historical Events

  • Jan 4 Last sighting of an eastern cougar (Ontario)
  • Jan 4 The Fabian Society is founded in London.
  • Jan 8 Chrome tanning process for leather patented by Augustus Schultz
  • Jan 18 General Charles Gordon departs London for Khartoum, Sudan
  • Jan 18 Dr. William Price attempts to cremate the body of his infant son, Iesu Grist (Welsh for Jesus Christ) Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom

Music Premiere

Jan 19 Jules Massenet's opera "Manon" premieres in Paris

  • Jan 26 1st Dutch Wagner version of Elizabeth aria

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 2 Jacques Chardonne [Boutelleau], French writer (l'Epithalame)
  • Jan 3 E. Stanley Jones, American evangelist (Christ of Indian road), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1973)
  • Jan 3 Raoul Armand Georg Koczalski, Polish pianist and composer, born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1948)
  • Jan 6 Harry Pace, American music label owner (Black Swan - 1st major label founded by a Black American), born in Covington, Georgia (d. 1943)
  • Jan 10 James Philip Dunn, American composer, born in New York (d. 1936)
  • Jan 12 Louis Horst, American dance choreographer and composer, born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1964)
  • Jan 12 (Mary Louise) "Texas" Guinan, American vaudeville singer, silent film actress, and speakeasy (saloon) proprietor, born in Waco, Texas (d. 1933)
  • Jan 13 Sophie Tucker [Kalish], Russian-born American singer and actress (My Yiddish Mama) known as "last of the red hot mammas", born in Tulchyn, Russian Empire (d. 1966)
  • Jan 18 Arthur Ransome, English author (Swallows & Amazons), born in Leeds, England (d. 1967)
  • Jan 19 Albert Louis Wolff, composer
  • Jan 20 A[braham] Merritt, American sci-fi author (The Moon Pool, Burn Witch Bun), born in Beverly, New Jersey (d. 1943)
  • Jan 21 Katie Sandwina, German legendary woman weight-lifter
  • Jan 21 Roger Nash Baldwin, founder (American Civil Liberties Union)
  • Jan 25 Edward Kilenyi, Sr. [Ede Kilényi], Hungarian composer & teacher (Clipped Wings, Outside the Law), born in Békésszentandrás, Hungary (d. 1968)
  • Jan 26 Edward Sapir, German linguist/antropologist (indians)
  • Jan 26 Roy Chapman Andrews, American scientist/explorer
  • Jan 26 Walter "Doc" Meanwell, English Basketball Hall of Fame coach (University of Wisconsin 1911–1917, 1920–1934), born in Leeds, England (d. 1953)
  • Jan 28 Auguste Piccard, Swiss scientist/explorer (balloonist), twin brother of Jean Felix Piccard
  • Jan 28 Jean Felix Piccard, Swiss scientist/explorer (balloonist) twin brother of Auguste Piccard
  • Jan 28 Lucien H d'Azambuja, French astronomer (chromosome of sun)
  • Jan 29 Juhan Aavic, Estonian composer, born in Holstre, Russian Empire (d. 1982)
  • Jan 31 Nicholas Joy, French actor (Gentleman's Agreement, Desk Set, Boss Lady), born in Paris, France (d. 1964)
  • Jan 31 Theodor Heuss, 1st President of Germany (Bundespräsident) (d. 1963)

Famous Weddings

Thomas Eakins

Jan 19 Painter Thomas Eakins (39) weds painter and photographer Susan Macdowell (32) in a Quaker ceremony

Frederick Douglass

Jan 24 Abolitionist Frederick Douglass marries his second wife suffragist Helen Pitts


Famous Deaths

Gregor Mendel

Jan 6 Gregor Mendel, Austrian monk and geneticist (discoverer of laws of heredity), dies at 61

  • Jan 6 Paul Taglioni, "the Great," Italian Austrian choreographer, dies at 75
  • Jan 17 Hermann Schlegel, German ornithologist, dies at 79
  • Jan 21 Auguste Franchomme, French cellist and composer, dies at 75
  • Jan 24 Johann Christian Gebauer, Danish composer, dies at 75
  • Jan 26 John Letcher, American lawyer and politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia, dies at 70