What Happened in January 1903

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 In Delhi, a great durbar, or formal reception, marks the coronation of King Edward VII as Emperor of India; the British release some 16,000 prisoners in honor of the occasion

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 2 US President Theodore Roosevelt shuts down post office in Indianola Miss, for refusing to accept its appointed postmistress because she was black

26th US President Theodore Roosevelt
26th US President
Theodore Roosevelt

Murder of InterestTopsy the Elephant is Electrocuted

Jan 4 Topsy the elephant is electrocuted by her owners at Luna Park, Coney Island and filmed by Edison Manufacturing movie company
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Topsy the elephant is electrocuted to death at Luna Park in New York
Topsy the elephant is electrocuted to death at Luna Park in New York
  • Jan 5 SF-Hawaii telegraph cable opens for public use
  • Jan 6 Dutch Press museum opens in Amsterdam
  • Jan 7 Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Blanched Soldier" (BG)
  • Jan 7 Vincent d'Indy's opera "L'etranger" premieres in Brussells
  • Jan 9 Baseball's National & American Leagues make peace
  • Jan 9 Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, established
  • Jan 9 Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchase the American League's Baltimore baseball franchise for $18,000 and move it to NYC (later the NY Yankees)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 12 Harry Houdini performs at Rembrandt theater, Amsterdam

Magician & Escape Artist Harry Houdini
Magician & Escape Artist
Harry Houdini
  • Jan 13 Rhodes Opera House burns in Boyertown, Pennsylvania killing 170
  • Jan 18 The first transatlantic radio transmission to originate in the United States is sent by a transmitter in Massachusetts
  • Jan 19 1st regular transatlantic radio broadcast between US & England
  • Jan 19 New bicycle race "Tour de France" announced
  • Jan 21 Harry Houdini escapes from Halvemaansteeg police station in Amsterdam
  • Jan 21 International Theater (Majestic, Park) opens at 5 Columbus Circle NYC
  • Jan 22 The Hay-Herran Treaty concerning the USA's right to the Panama Canal is signed by the Colombian Charge d'affaires in Washington, D.C. (never ratified)
  • Jan 29 Dutch railroad workers strike

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 2 Anton van Duinkerken, [Willem JMA Asselbergs], literary
  • Jan 3 Charles Foulkes, Canadian general
  • Jan 4 Joris Diels, Flemish actor and director (It's a Cruel World, Haagsche Comedy), born in Antwerpen, Belgium (d. 1992)
  • Jan 5 Leighton Lucas, English composer & conductor, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 1982)
  • Jan 5 Harold Gatty, Australian aviator, navigator with Wiley Post, born in Campbell Town, Australia (d. 1957)
  • Jan 6 Boris Blacher, German composer (Orchester-Ornament), born in Yingkou, China (d. 1975)
  • Jan 6 Francis L. Sullivan, British actor (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Missing Rembrandt), born in London, England (d. 1956)
  • Jan 6 Maurice Abravanel, American classical music conductor, born in Thessaloniki, Greece (d. 1993)
  • Jan 6 Stanley Smith, American actor (Honey, King of Jazz, Soup to Nuts), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1974)
  • Jan 7 Alan Napier, British actor (The Sword in the Stone, Batman), born in Birmingham, England
  • Jan 7 Albrecht Haushofer, writer
  • Jan 7 Shalva Azmayparashvili, composer
  • Jan 7 Vladimir Alexandrovich Vlasov, composer
  • Jan 8 Gene Roth [Eugene Stutenroth], American actor (She Demons, Tormented, The Spider), born in Redfield, South Dakota (d. 1976)
  • Jan 9 Hem Vejakorn, Thai illustrator, born in Bangkok, Thailand (d. 1969)
  • Jan 10 Barbara Hepworth, British abstract sculptor & actress (Rescued by Rover), born in Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire (d. 1975)
  • Jan 10 Jean Morel, French-born American conductor, born in Abbeville, France (d. 1975)
  • Jan 10 Voldemar Väli, Estonian wrestler, born in Kuressaare, Estonia (d. 1997)
  • Jan 10 Violet Wilkey, American actress, born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1976)

Person of interestAlan Paton

Jan 11 Alan Paton, South African author (Cry, the Beloved Country, Too Late the Phalarope) and anti-apartheid activist, born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (d. 1988)

Author and Apartheid Activist Alan Paton
Author and Apartheid Activist
Alan Paton
  • Jan 12 Igor Kurchatov, Russian nuclear physicist, born in Sim, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia (d. 1960)
  • Jan 15 Paul A. Dever, 58th Governor of Massachusetts, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1958)
  • Jan 17 Warren Hull, American actor (Strike it Rich, Who in the World), born in Gasport, New York (d. 1974)
  • Jan 17 Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Assamese poet, playwright, filmmaker (d. 1953)
  • Jan 18 Berthold Goldschmidt, German/British (opera)composer (Beatrice Cenci)
  • Jan 19 Alfred Lane Beit, connoisseur
  • Jan 20 Leon Ames, American actor (Mister Ed, Father of the Bride), born in Portland, Indiana (d. 1993)
  • Jan 20 Sybil Marion Rosenfeld, English theatre historian, born in London, England (d. 1996)
  • Jan 22 Robin Humphrey Milford, composer
  • Jan 22 Fritz Houtermans, Polish physicist (d. 1966)
  • Jan 23 Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Colombian politician, born in Cucunubá, Colombia (d. 1948)
  • Jan 24 Robert Gwathmey, artist (Arts & Letters)
  • Jan 27 John Eccles, British physiologist/neurologist
  • Jan 27 Otto P. Weyland, American military figure (d. 1979)
  • Jan 28 Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, crystallographer (1st woman in Royal Society)
  • Jan 29 Cornelis H Edelman, Dutch geologist
  • Jan 30 G Evelyn Hutchinson, British zoologist (Treatise on Limnology)
  • Jan 31 Gardner Cowles, Iowa, publisher/founder (Look Magazine)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 6 Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein (23) weds Mileva Maric

Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist
Albert Einstein

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 3 Alois Hitler, father of Adolf Hitler, dies at 65
  • Jan 4 Geo[rge J H] Poggenbeek, Dutch surrealist painter, dies at 49
  • Jan 4 W H M "Dicky" Richards, cricketer (score 4 & 0 in Test for S Af), dies
  • Jan 4 Gulstan Ropert, French Roman Catholic prelate, dies at 63
  • Jan 4 Topsy the elephant (b. circa 1875)
  • Jan 17 Ignaz Wechselmann, Hungarian architect and philanthropist (b. 1828)
  • Jan 21 Hermanus J A M Schaepman, Dutch clergyman/politician, dies at 58
  • Jan 28 Augusta Mary Anne Holmes, composer, dies at 55
  • Jan 28 Jean Robert Planquette, French composer (Bells of Corneville), dies at 54