On This Day

What Happened in January 1920

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 The Belorussian Communist Organisation is founded as a separate party.
  • Jan 1 6th Rose Bowl: Harvard beats Oregon 7-6
  • Jan 2 Responding to global fear of communism caused by the Russian Revolution, US Attorney General Palmer authorizes raids across the country on unionists and socialists

Music History

Jan 3 Arthur Honegger's "Chant de Nigamon," premieres

Agreement of Interest

Jan 3 Boston Red Sox baseball club owner Harry Frazee announces agreement to sell slugger Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 in cash and a $350,000 loan; start of the 84 year "Curse of the Bambino"

  • Jan 4 Amsterdam actors decide to strike for retirement benefits
  • Jan 7 Five duly elected Socialist assemblymen are denied by the New York State Assembly
  • Jan 10 Montreal's Newsy Lalonde scores 6 goals as Canadiens beat Toronto St. Patricks, 14-7 at Mount Royal Arena, Montreal; combined 21 goals an NHL record
  • Jan 10 Silver reaches record $1.37 an ounce
  • Jan 10 Inauguration of the League of Nations held in Paris
  • Jan 11 French passenger ship Afrique sinks near La Rochelle; 553 die
  • Jan 12 Annual drafting of baseball players from minor leagues to be done in inverse order of the final standings, agreed to
  • Jan 13 NY Times editorial (falsely) reports rockets can never fly
  • Jan 16 1st assembly of the League of Nations is held in Paris
  • Jan 16 Georgia declares independence
  • Jan 16 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated is founded at Howard University
  • Jan 17 Paul Deschanel elected President of France
  • Jan 17 First day of prohibition of alcohol comes into effect in the US as a result of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution
  • Jan 19 Alexandre Millerand forms French government
  • Jan 20 Dutch 2nd Chamber passes school laws
  • Jan 20 The American Civil Liberties Union is founded
  • Jan 20 Russian Imperial Navy Admiral Alexander Kolchak, leader of anti-communist "White Movement" surrenders to Bolshevik troops
  • Jan 21 14th Davis Cup: Australasia beats Great Britain in Sydney (4-1)

Historic Event

Jan 23 Dutch refuse to turn over ex-Emperor William II of Germany to allies

  • Jan 24 Australasian Championships Men's Tennis, Sydney: Englishman Algernon Kingscote beats Eric Pockley of Australia 6-4, 6-0, 6-3
  • Jan 26 Amedeo Modigliani's fiancé Jeanne Hébuterne jumps out of a window a day after the artist's funeral killing herself and her unborn child
  • Jan 26 Former Ford Motor Co. executive Henry Leland launches the Lincoln Motor Company which he later sold to his former employer

Film & TV History

Jan 29 Walt Disney starts work as an artist with KC Slide Co for $40 a week

  • Jan 31 1st Ukrainian daily newspaper in US (NYC) begins publication

NHL Record

Jan 31 Quebec Bulldogs center Joe Malone sets NHL record with 7 goals in a 10-6 win against Toronto St. Patricks at the Quebec Arena

  • Jan 31 Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity incorporates at Howard University

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Osvaldo Cavandoli, Italian cartoonist and creator of "La Linea" animated cartoons, born in Maderno, Italy (d. 2007)
  • Jan 1 Roger Peacock, English writer (Thursday is Missing), born in Liverpool (d. 1996)
  • Jan 1 Virgilio Savona, Italian jazz singer and composer (Quartetto Cetra - "Un bacio a mezzanotte"; "Crapa pelada"), born in Palermo, Italy (d. 2009)
  • Jan 2 Andrew Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, English aristocrat (Chatsworth), politician, married Deborah Mitford, born in London, England (d. 2004)

Isaac Asimov

Jan 2 Isaac Asimov, Russian scientist and sci-fi writer (I Robot, Foundation Trilogy), born in Petrovichi, Russia (d. 1992)

  • Jan 2 Peter Harrison Swan, bomber pilot/stockbroker
  • Jan 3 Renato Carosone, Italian canzone napoletana singer, pianist, songwriter ("Tu vuò fà l'americano" - "You Want to Be American"), and accordionist, born in Naples, Kingdom of Italy (d. 2001)
  • Jan 3 Siegfried Buback, German Federal Prosecutor, born in Wilsdruff, Saxony, Germany (d. 1977)
  • Jan 4 William Egan Colby, CIA director (Nixon)
  • Jan 4 Rosalie Crutchley, British actress (Armchair Theatre: Black Limelight, Four Weddings and a Funeral), born in London, England (d. 1997)
  • Jan 5 Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Italian pianist, born in Brescia, Italy (d. 1995)
  • Jan 5 Mohammad Aslam Khokhar, Pakistani cricketer (Pak bat scored 16 & 18 in only test), born in Lahore, Pakistan (d. 2011)
  • Jan 6 Earl Kim, Korean-American composer, born in Dinuba, California (d. 1998)
  • Jan 6 Early Wynn, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (9-time All Star), born in Hartford, Alabama (d. 1999)
  • Jan 6 Doris Stokes, British psychic medium, born in Grantham, United Kingdom (d. 1987)
  • Jan 6 John Maynard Smith, English biologist, born in London, United Kingdom (d. 2004)
  • Jan 7 Albert Meltzer, British anarchist (Anarchist Black Flag), born in London, England (d. 1996)
  • Jan 7 Aubrey Brabazon, Irish jockey and horse trainer, born in The Curragh, Ireland (d. 1996)
  • Jan 7 Lionel Alexander Bethune [Alastair] Pilkington, British engineer/Industrialist (float glass), born in Calcutta, India (d. 1995)
  • Jan 7 Vincent Gardenia, Italian-American actor (Bang the Drum Slowly, Moonstruck, Little Shop of Horrors), born in Naples, Italy (d. 1992)
  • Jan 8 Douglas Wilmer, British actor (Sherlock Holmes, Octopussy, El Cid), born in London (d. 2016)
  • Jan 9 Chan Canasta, Polish-British magician, born in Kraków, Poland (d. 1999)
  • Jan 9 Clive Dunn, British actor (Dad's Army, The Avengers), born in Brixton, London (d. 2012)
  • Jan 9 Hakim Mohammed Said, Pakistani scholar & medical researcher, born in New Delhi, India (d. 1998)
  • Jan 9 Stefan Żywotko, Polish soccer coach (JS Kabylie; 7 x Algerian league titles, African Cup Of Champions 1981, 90; Algerian Cup 1986), born in Lwów, Poland (d. 2022)
  • Jan 10 Georges Marchal, French actor (Evil Eden, Gina, Milky Way, La mort en ce jardin), born in Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France (d. 1997)
  • Jan 10 Max Patkin, American baseball player & clown, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1999)
  • Jan 11 John Powell, campaigner
  • Jan 12 James Farmer, American civil rights leader, born in Marshall, Texas (d. 1999)
  • Jan 12 Prof Jerzy Zubrzycki, Polish-born Australian sociologist, born in Kraków, Poland (d. 2009)
  • Jan 14 Bertus de Harder, Dutch soccer star (Bordeaux), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1982)
  • Jan 14 Donald Beard, New Zealand cricketer (NZ pace bowler in the 1950's), born in Palmerston North, New Zealand (d. 1982)
  • Jan 14 George Herman, American journalist (CBS-TV), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2005)
  • Jan 15 John O'Connor, Roman Catholic Archbishop of NY, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2000)
  • Jan 15 John Junor, Scottish journalist (Sunday Express), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1997)
  • Jan 15 Steve Gromek, American baseball player, born in Hamtramck, Michigan (d. 2002)
  • Jan 15 Pamela Cundell, British stage and screen character actress (Dad's Army - "Mrs. Fox"), born in Croydon, Surrey, England (d. 2015)
  • Jan 16 Edgeworth Blair "Elliott" Reid, American actor (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), born in NYC, New York (d. 2013)
  • Jan 17 Nora Kaye, American prima ballerina, born in NYC, New York (d. 1987)
  • Jan 17 George Handy [Hendleman], American bebop jazz arranger, pianist and composer (Handyland, U.S.A.), born in New York City (d. 1997)
  • Jan 18 Constance Moore, American singer and actress (Buck Rogers; Show Business; Atlantic City), born in Sioux City, Iowa (d. 2005)
  • Jan 19 Luciano Chailly, Italian opera composer (L'Idiota) and artistic director (La Scala), born in Ferrara, Italy (d. 2002)
  • Jan 20 DeForest Kelley, American actor (Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy-Star Trek), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 1999)
  • Jan 20 Peter Clemoes, British historian, born in Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • Jan 20 Richard J. C. Atkinson, British archaeologist, born in Evershot, United Kingdom (d. 1994)
  • Jan 20 Sam Gibbons, American politician (Rep-D-FL, 1963- ), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 2012)
  • Jan 20 Michael Higgins, American actor (Angel Heart, 1918, Wanda, Black Stallion), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2008)
  • Jan 20 Thorleif Schjelderup, Norwegian author & ski jumper, born in Aker, Norway (d. 2006)

Federico Fellini

Jan 20 Federico Fellini, Italian film director & scriptwriter (8 1/2, La Dolce Vita), born in Rimini, Italy (d. 1993)

  • Jan 20 Ely Landau, American television and film producer (Play of the Week; Long Day's Journey into Night; King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis), born in New York City (d. 1993)
  • Jan 21 Donald Cuthbert Coleman, British economic historian (d. 1995)
  • Jan 21 Errol Walton Barrow, Prime Minister of Barbados (DLP) (1966-76, 1986-87)
  • Jan 21 Torsten Nilsson, Swedish organist, choral director, and composer (Out of the Night of the Earth), born in Höör, Sweden (d. 1999)
  • Jan 22 George Breakston, French-American producer, actor and director (Jungle Stampede, It Happened One Night), born in Paris, France (d. 1973)
  • Jan 22 Piet Van Lishout, Flemish writer (Eva & I)
  • Jan 22 William Warfield, American concert bass-baritone singer and actor (Show Boat), born in West Helena, Arkansas (d. 2002)
  • Jan 23 Gottfried Böhm, German architect (1986 Pritzker Prize), born in Offenbach am Main, Germany (d. 2021) [1]
  • Jan 24 Don Saddler, American choreographer & dancer (Holiday Hotel), born in Van Nuys, California (d. 2014)
  • Jan 24 Jerry Maren [Gerard Marenghi], American actor (The Wizard of Oz; Mayor McCheese), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2018)
  • Jan 24 Jimmy Forrest, American jazz saxophonist (Night Train), born In St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1980)
  • Jan 26 Derek Bond, British actor (Nicholas Nickelby, Armchair Theatre), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 2006)
  • Jan 26 John Logan Gorlay, journalist
  • Jan 27 Helmut Zacharias, German violinist (d. 2002)
  • Jan 27 John Box, British film production designer and art director (d. 2005)
  • Jan 28 James Whyte, Moderator (General Assembly of Church of Scotland)
  • Jan 29 Alec Coppen, psychiatrist
  • Jan 29 José Luis de Villalonga, Spanish aristocrat (d. 2007)
  • Jan 30 George Skibine, Russian-American ballet dancer & choreographer (Tragedy in Verona), born in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia (d. 1981)
  • Jan 30 Patrick Heron, British abstract painter, born in Leeds, South Yorkshire (d. 1999)
  • Jan 30 Carwood Lipton, American WWII veteran, born in Huntingon, West Virginia (d. 2001)
  • Jan 31 Robert Hersant, press baron
  • Jan 31 Stewart L. Udall, US Secretary of Interior (1961-69), born in St Johns, Arizona
  • Jan 31 Bert Williams MBE, English soccer goalkeeper (24 caps; Wolverhampton Wanderers 381 games), born in Bradley, Staffordshire (d. 2014)

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 1 Paul Adam, French writer (L'enfant d'Austerlitz), dies at 57
  • Jan 3 Zygmunt Janiszewski, Polish mathematician, dies at 31
  • Jan 4 Benito Pérez Galdós, Spanish novelist (Episodios Nacionales), dies at 76
  • Jan 7 Edmund Barton, Australian politician, 1st Prime Minister of Australia (1901-03), dies at 70
  • Jan 14 John Francis Dodge, American automobile pioneer (Co-Founder of Dodge Brothers Company), dies at 55
  • Jan 16 Reginald De Koven, American composer, dies at 60
  • Jan 20 Georg Lurich, Estonian wrestler and strongman of the early 20th century, dies at 43
  • Jan 25 Amedeo Modigliani, Italian painter and sculptor (Reclining Nude), dies at 35
  • Jan 26 Matthias Enzberger, German minister of finance, murdered