On This Day

What Happened in January 1912

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 1st running of San Francisco's famed "Bay to Breakers" footrace (7.63 miles/12.3 km); first winner Robert Vlught 44:10

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 1 Sun Yat-sen forms the Republic of China

Father of Modern China Sun Yat-sen
Father of Modern China
Sun Yat-sen
  • Jan 2 Brookyln Superbas Baseball Club President Charles Ebbets announces purchase of 4.5 acres of land to build a new concrete-and-steel stadium to seat 23,000; Ebbets Field opens in 1913
  • Jan 2 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Christchurch, NZ: Norman Brookes & Alfred Dunlop beat Americans Maurice McLoughlin & Beals Wright 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4; Australasia unassailable 3-0 lead; win 4-0

USALiberty Bell

Jan 3 Southern Pacific RR offers to bring Liberty Bell to the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco free

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The Liberty Bell on its ornate stand, 1872
The Liberty Bell on its ornate stand, 1872
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  • Jan 4 Smallest earth-moon distance this century, 356,375 km center-to-ctr
  • Jan 4 The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.
  • Jan 5 1st National Hockey Association game (Victoria)
  • Jan 5 The Prague Party Conference takes place.
  • Jan 6 New Mexico becomes 47th state of the Union

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 6 Geophysicist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener presents his controversial theory of continental drift in a lecture at the Geological Association (Geologischen Vereinigung) at the Senckenberg-Museum, Frankfurt

Polar Scientist, Geophysicist and Meteorologist Alfred Wegener
Polar Scientist, Geophysicist and Meteorologist
Alfred Wegener
  • Jan 8 Chiefs, representatives of people's and church organisations, and other prominent individuals form the African National Congress and declare its aim to bring all Africans together as one people to defend their rights and freedoms
  • Jan 9 US Marines send troops to Honduras
  • Jan 10 Caillaux government in France resigns
  • Jan 10 World's 1st flying boat's maiden flight, (Glenn Curtiss in NY)
  • Jan 11 Bread & Roses Strike begins in Lawrence, Massachusetts following a pay cut
  • Jan 12 -47°F (-44°C), Washta, Iowa (state record)
  • Jan 13 -40°F (-40°C), Oakland, Maryland (state record)
  • Jan 14 Raymond Poincaré becomes Premier of France

DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

Jan 17 Captain Robert Scott's expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen

Polar Explorer Robert Falcon Scott
Polar Explorer
Robert Falcon Scott
Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen
Polar Explorer
Roald Amundsen
  • Jan 23 The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague
  • Jan 29 Martial law declared in textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestKim Philby

Jan 1 Kim Philby, British spy and Soviet mole who was a member of the "Cambridge Five", born in Ambala, Punjab, India (d. 1988)

  • Jan 1 Victor Reuther, American labor leader, born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • Jan 1 Boris Vladimirovich Gnedenko, Russian mathematician (d. 1995)
  • Jan 2 Andre Ameller, composer
  • Jan 2 Barbara Pentland, Canadian concert pianist and composer, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (d. 2000)
  • Jan 2 Renato Guttuso, Italian painter (Flight from Etna, Crucifixion)
  • Jan 3 Robert Flemyng, British actor (The Deadly Affair, Funny Face), born in Liverpool, England (d. 1995)
  • Jan 3 Renaude Lapointe, Canadian journalist and senator (d. 2002)
  • Jan 3 Armand Lohikoski, Finnish director (d. 2005)
  • Jan 3 Cliff Melton, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1942; NL saves leader 1937; NY Giants), born in Brevard, North Carolina (d. 1986)
  • Jan 5 Frank Pace Jr., US Secretary of Army (1950-53), born in Little Rock, Arkansas (d. 1988)
  • Jan 6 Jacques Cesar Ellul, French philosopher & sociologist, born in Bordeaux, France (d. 1994)
  • Jan 6 Danny Thomas, American comedian (Danny Thomas Show), born in Deerfield, Michigan (d. 1991)
  • Jan 7 Charles Addams, cartoonist (New Yorker, Addams Family)
  • Jan 7 Günter Wand, German conductor, composer (d. 2002)
  • Jan 7 Bob Zurke [Boguslaw Zukowski], American jazz pianist, arranger, (Bob Crosby Orchestra), and composer (Old Tom-Cat On The Keys), born in Hamtramck, Michigan (d. 1944)

Person of interestJosé Ferrer

Jan 8 José Ferrer, Puerto Rican actor and director (Blood Tide, Dune), born in San Juan, Puerto Rico (d. 1992)

  • Jan 8 Rudolf G Escher, Dutch composer (True Face of Peace)
  • Jan 9 Ralph Tubbs, British architect, born in Hadley Wood, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • Jan 10 Maria Mandel, Camp leader at Auschwitz, born in Münzkirchen, Austria (d. 1948)
  • Jan 11 Donald "Red" Barry, American actor (Adventures of Red Ryder, Jesse James' Women), born in Houston, Texas (d. 1980)
  • Jan 11 Roger Lewis, aviation exec (Lockheed, Curtiss Wright, Pan Am)
  • Jan 11 Lynwood Thomas "Schoolboy" Rowe, American baseball pitcher (Detroit Tigers), born in Waco, Texas (d. 1961)
  • Jan 12 Charles Moeller, Belgian theologist (Humanism et saintete), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • Jan 15 Michel Debré, French politician, born in Paris, France (d. 1996)
  • Jan 16 Franz Tumler, Austrian author/novelist (Cloak, Aufruf)
  • Jan 17 Orest Alexandrovich Evlahkov, composer
  • Jan 18 William Sansom, English writer (Loving Eye), born in London, United Kingdom (d. 1976)
  • Jan 18 Wilhelm Herz, German motorcycle racer (first to 200mph), born in Lampertheim, Germany (d. 1998)
  • Jan 19 Jean G H "Sjeng" Tans, Dutch soc dem chairman (1965-69)
  • Jan 19 Leonid V Kantorovich, economist (Nobel), born in St Petersburg, Russia
  • Jan 20 Christopher Casson, Irish-English actor (Zardoz, Educating Rita, The Riordans), born in Manchester, Lancashire, England
  • Jan 20 Walter Briggs Jr, American sports executive (owner Detroit Tigers 1952-56), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1970)
  • Jan 21 Konrad Bloch, German biochemist (studied cholesterol-Nobel 1964)
  • Jan 22 Harry Parry, Welsh jazz clarinetist and bandleader (BBC's Radio Rhythm Club), born in Bangor, Wales (d. 1956)
  • Jan 24 Ken Weekes, West Indian cricket batsman (2 Tests, top score 137; first Test cricketer born in US), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1998)
  • Jan 25 Lucius E. Burch Jr., American attorney, born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 1996)
  • Jan 26 Cora Baird, American puppeteer (Kukla, Fran & Ollie), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 27 Arne Næss, Norwegian philosopher, born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2009)
  • Jan 27 E. R. Braithwaite, diplomat and writer (To Sir with Love), born in Georgetown, British Guiana (d. 2016)

Person of interestJackson Pollock

Jan 28 Jackson Pollock, American expressionist painter (Lavender Mist), born in Cody, Wyoming (d. 1956)

  • Jan 28 William "Bill" Henson, English diplomat (Prague 1939)
  • Jan 29 Jacob "Jaap" Balk, journalist (AH, Onder de Keizerskroon)
  • Jan 30 Barbara Tuchman, American historian & author (Pulitzer, Guns of August), born in New York (d. 1989)
  • Jan 30 Jadwiga Wajsowna-Marcinkiewicz, Polish discus thrower (Olympic bronze 1932), born in Pabianice, Poland
  • Jan 30 Francis Schaeffer, American Evangelical theologian and pastor, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1984)

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 3 Felix Dahn, German historian, jurist and poet, dies at 77
  • Jan 7 Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, English Physician and Feminist, dies at 71
  • Jan 14 Otto Liebmann, German philosopher (Kant & Epigones), dies at 71
  • Jan 16 Georg Heym, German writer, dies in an ice skating accident at 24
  • Jan 24 James Allen, English writer (As a Man Thinketh), dies at 47
  • Jan 28 Gustave de Molinari, Belgian economist (b. 1819)
  • Jan 29 Hermann Bang, Danish writer, dies at 54