On This Day

What Happened in January 1909

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 American Robert Fowler runs then world record marathon (2:52:45.4) at Yonkers, NY
  • Jan 1 Drilling begins on the Lakeview Gusher
  • Jan 1 In Great Britain, the Old Age Pension Law is finally instituted, providing pensions for every British subject over 70 with low income
  • Jan 2 1st official Dutch 11 city skate (Minne Hoekstra in 13:50)
  • Jan 5 Colombia recognizes Panama's independence

DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

Jan 9 Ernest Shackleton as part of the British Nimrod Expedition reaches a record farthest South latitude (88°23' south)

Polar Explorer Ernest Shackleton
Polar Explorer
Ernest Shackleton
  • Jan 16 British explorers David, Mawson & Mackay reach south magnetic pole as part of the Nimrod Expedition
  • Jan 19 Eugene Walter's "Easiest Way" premieres in NYC
  • Jan 22 Vassily Kandinsky forms Kunstlerverein in Munich
  • Jan 23 1st radio rescue at sea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 Richard Strauss' premier of "Elektra" in Dresden

Composer and Conductor Richard Strauss
Composer and Conductor
Richard Strauss
  • Jan 27 The Young Left is founded in Norway
  • Jan 28 US military forces leave Cuba for 2nd time

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Barry Goldwater, (Sen-R-Az, 1953-65, 69- )/Presidential candidate (R) 1964)
  • Jan 1 Dattaram Hindlekar, Indian cricket wicketkeeper (4 Tests), born in Bombay, India (d. 1949)
  • Jan 1 Dana Andrews, American actor (Battle of the Bulge, Laura), born in Covington County, Mississippi (d. 1992)
  • Jan 1 Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian nationalist leader (d. 1959)
  • Jan 2 Rene Etiemble, French literature historian (Parlez-vous Franglais)

Person of interestVictor Borge

Jan 3 Victor Borge [Borge Rosenbaum], Danish-American comedian and pianist, born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 2000)

Comedian and Pianist Victor Borge
Comedian and Pianist
Victor Borge
  • Jan 4 Cilly Aussem, German tennis player (French C'ships, Wimbledon 1931), born in Cologne, Germany (d. 1963)
  • Jan 5 Simon Harcourt Nowell-Smith, bibliophile
  • Jan 5 Stephen Cole Kleene, American mathematician (Regular Expressions), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 1994)
  • Jan 6 Joop Moesman, Dutch surrealist painter (Rumor), born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 1988)
  • Jan 7 Thalassa Cruso, English-American gardening expert (The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show), born in London (d. 1997)
  • Jan 8 Bruce Mitchell, South African cricket opening batsman (42 Tests), born in Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 1995)
  • Jan 8 Willy Millowitsch, German actor (National Lampoon's European Vacation), born in Cologne, Germany (d. 1999)
  • Jan 8 Evelyn Wood, American educator (d. 1995)
  • Jan 9 Herva Nelli, Italian-born American soprano, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1994)
  • Jan 10 Rudolf Kubin, Czech cellist, born in Ostrava, Czech Republic (d. 1973)
  • Jan 11 Gunnar Johnsen Berg, composer
  • Jan 11 Marguerite Kelsey, English model/painter (Haunting)
  • Jan 12 Mauritz Hugo, Swedish actor (Atomic Blonde, Death Valley Gunfighter), born in Ostergotland, Sweden (d. 1974)
  • Jan 13 Danny Barker, jazz guitarist
  • Jan 13 Marinus van der Lubbe, Dutch communist
  • Jan 14 Joseph Losey, Wisconsin, American theatre & film director (Damned, Accident), born in La Crosse, Wisconsin (d. 1984)
  • Jan 15 Elie Siegmeister, American composer (Plough & the Stars), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 1991)
  • Jan 15 Gene Krupa, American jazz and big band drummer (Benny Goodman, "Sing, Sing, Sing"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1973)
  • Jan 15 Jean Bugatti, German-born automobile designer, born in Cologne, Germany (d. 1939)
  • Jan 19 Hans Hotter, German bass-baritone (d. 2003)
  • Jan 21 Todor Skalovski, Macedonian choral director and composer (Baltepe), born in Tetovo, Ottoman Empire (d. 2004)
  • Jan 22 Ann Sothern [Harriette Arlene Lake], American actress (Lady in a Cage), born in Valley City, North Dakota (d. 2001)
  • Jan 22 Lev D Landau, Russian physicist (Nobel 1962)
  • Jan 22 U Thant, Burma, Burmese politician and 3rd Secretary-General of the United Nations (1961-72), born in Pantanaw, Myanmar
  • Jan 22 Porfirio Rubirosa, Dominican diplomat and international playboy (d. 1965)
  • Jan 22 Irving "Mouse" Randolph, American swing jazz trumpeter (Cab Calloway Orchestra), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1997)
  • Jan 24 Ann Todd, English actress (The Paradine Case, Taste of Fear), born in Hartford, England (d. 1993)
  • Jan 24 Tiny Winters, English musician, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • Jan 28 Lionel KP "Buster" Crabb, British diver (WW II-George Medal)
  • Jan 29 Alan Marshal, Australian actor (White Cliffs of Dover, Lydia), born in Sydney, New South Wales (d. 1961)
  • Jan 29 George Thomas, 1st Viscount Tonypandy, British politician (Speaker of the House of Commons), born in Port Talbot, Wales (d. 1997)
  • Jan 30 Saul David Alinsky, American radical writer (John L Lewis), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1972)
  • Jan 31 Foley Newns, British colonial administrator
  • Jan 31 Miron Grindea, literary editor

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 12 Hermann Minkowski, German mathematician (b. 1864)
  • Jan 14 Zinovy Rozhestvensky, Russian imperial navy admiral (Battle of Tsushima), dies at 60
  • Jan 15 Ernest Reyer, composer, dies at 85
  • Jan 15 Ernest von Wildenbruch, German playwright (Das Edle Blut), dies at 63
  • Jan 15 Arnold Janssen missionary (b. 1837)
  • Jan 17 Sir Francis Smith, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1819
  • Jan 22 Emil Erlenmeyer, German chemist (Erlenmeyer flask), dies at 83
  • Jan 27 Benoît-Constant Coquelin, French actor, dies at 68
  • Jan 30 Martha Finley, American children's book author (Elsie Dinsmore series), dies at 80