On This Day

What Happened in January 1941

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 Netherlands begins taxing wages

Appointment of Interest

Jan 1 Russian general Georgy Zhukov appointed chief of general staff

  • Jan 1 27th Rose Bowl: #2 Stanford beats #7 Nebraska, 21-13
  • Jan 1 7th Sugar Bowl: #4 Boston College beats #6 Tennessee, 19-13
  • Jan 1 7th Orange Bowl: #9 Mississippi State beats #13 Georgetown, 14-7
  • Jan 2 World War II: German bombing severely damages the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales
  • Jan 2 World War II: The U.S. government announces its Liberty ship program to build freighters in support of the war effort.
  • Jan 3 Canada & US acquire air bases in Newfoundland (99 yr lease)
  • Jan 3 Italian counter offensive in Albania
  • Jan 3 Sergei Rachmaninoff's final composition "Symphonic Dances" premieres in Philadelphia, with Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Jan 3 American National Collegiate Football Rules Committee announces a new rule permitting free substitution of players
  • Jan 4 Resistance fighters counter d'Estienne d'Orves/Jan Doornik, 1st meet
  • Jan 5 British Australian troops conquer Bardia, Libya

Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms

Jan 6 US President Franklin Roosevelt makes his "Four Freedoms" speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during his US State of Union address [1] [2]

Historic Event

Jan 7 Chinese Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-shek open fire on the surrounded Communist New Fourth Army at Maolin, Anhui Province, killing or capturing 7,000 troops

  • Jan 9 6,000 Jews murdered in a pogrom in Bucharest, Romania
  • Jan 9 Maiden flight by Canada's British-built Avro Lancaster military plane
  • Jan 10 Joseph Kesselring's "Arsenic & Old Lace" premieres in NYC
  • Jan 10 Seyss-Inquart begins registration of Jews
  • Jan 10 World War II: The Greek army captures Kleisoura.
  • Jan 11 Princess Irene Brigade established in Congleton

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Jan 16 US vice admiral Bellinger warns of an assault on Pearl Harbor

  • Jan 16 War Department forms first Army Air Corps squadron for black cadets
  • Jan 17 Chiang Kai-shek disbands the Communist New Fourth Army after the New Fourth Army incident at Maolin, Anhui Province between the nationalist and communist armies leaves many dead
  • Jan 18 World War II: A counter-offensive is launched by the British against the Italians in East Africa
  • Jan 19 British offensive in Eritrea
  • Jan 19 British troops occupies Kassalaf, Sudan

Music History

Jan 20 Béla Bartók's 6th string quartet, premieres in NYC

  • Jan 20 Chinese Communist leaders re-organize the New Fourth Army in defiance of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek's order for it to be disbanded
  • Jan 21 1st anti-Jewish measures in Bulgaria
  • Jan 21 1st commercial extraction of magnesium from seawater, Freeport, Texas
  • Jan 21 Australian and British troops attack Tobruk, Libya
  • Jan 21 British communist newspaper "Daily Worker" banned
  • Jan 22 1st mass killing of Jews in Romania
  • Jan 22 British and Australian troops capture Tobruk from Italians
  • Jan 23 Groundbreaking for NACA (now NASA) Lewis Research Center
  • Jan 23 WOR-AM in Newark NJ moves to NYC
  • Jan 24 British troops march into Abyssinia

Historic Event

Jan 25 Pope Pius XII elevates the Apostolic Vicariate of the Hawaiian Islands to the dignity of a diocese. It becomes the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.

  • Jan 27 Peruvian ambassador Ricardo Rivera-Schreiber warns American Ambassador of Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor
  • Jan 28 French-Thai War: Final air battle of the conflict. Japanese-mediated armistice goes into effect later in the day.
  • Jan 29 Alexandros Koryzis becomes Prime Minister of Greece
  • Jan 30 Australian troops conquer Derna, Libya
  • Jan 31 Anti-German demonstration in Haarlem, Netherlands

Boxing Title Fight

Jan 31 In his 13th title defence Joe Louis KOs Red Burman in the 5th round at Madison Square Garden, New York to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown

  • Jan 31 British army Layforce commando units set sail

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 3 Shima Iwashita, actress (Red Lion, Hara-Kiri, Double Suicide)
  • Jan 3 Malcolm Dick, New Zealand rugby union winger (15 caps) and administrator (New Zealand Rugby Union council 1986-92), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • Jan 4 John Bennett Perry, American actor (Falcon Crest), and singer, born in Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • Jan 4 Maureen Reagan, 1st daughter of Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jan 5 Bob Cunis, New Zealand cricket fast bowler (20 Tests, 51 wickets, BB 6/76; Auckland, Northern Districts CA), born in Whangarei, New Zealand (d. 2008)
  • Jan 5 Grady Thomas, American rock vocalist (Parliaments, Funkadelic, Maggot Brain), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Jan 5 Mansur Ali Khan, Indian cricketer (Nawab of Pataudi, Indian batsman & capt), born in Bhopal, India (d. 2011)

Hayao Miyazaki

Jan 5 Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese filmmaker (Spirited Away), born in Tokyo, Japan

  • Jan 7 Ann Hills, British journalist (d. 1997)
  • Jan 7 Frederick Drew Gregory, American Colonel USAF/astronaut (STS 51-B, 33, 44), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Jan 7 Rod Hicks, American bassist (Paul Butterfield Blues Band), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2013)
  • Jan 7 Iona Brown, British violinist and conductor, born in salisbury, England (d. 2004)
  • Jan 7 John Walker, English chemist (1997 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for adenosine triphosphate), born in Halifax, England
  • Jan 8 Little Anthony [Anthony Gourdine], American rhythm and blues singer (Little Anthony and the Imperials - "Goin' Out of My Head"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jan 8 Graham Chapman, English comedian (Monty Python's Flying Circus), born in Leicester, England (d. 1989)
  • Jan 8 Boris Vallejo, Peruvian illustrator, born in Lima, Peru
  • Jan 9 Joan Baez, American folk singer ("Diamonds & Rust"), and human rights advocate, born in Staten Island, New York
  • Jan 9 Gilles Vaillancourt, Canadian politician, born in Laval-des-Rapides, Quebec
  • Jan 11 Gérson, Brazilian footballer
  • Jan 12 Jaime Fuster, American politician (Rep-D-PR, 1985- ), born in Guayama, Puerto Rico (d. 2007)
  • Jan 12 "Long" John Baldry, English blues vocalist ("Don't Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll"), born in East Haddon, United Kingdom (d. 2005)
  • Jan 13 Meinhard Nehmer, German DR, 2 man bobsledder (Olympic gold 1976)
  • Jan 13 Pasqual Maragall, Spanish politician
  • Jan 14 Gibby Gilbert, American golfer (Masters 1980 runner-up), born in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Faye Dunaway

Jan 14 Faye Dunaway, American actress (Chinatown, Bonnie & Clyde), born in Bascom, Florida

  • Jan 14 Milan Kučan, Slovenian statesman, born in Križevci, Gornji Petrovci, Slovenia
  • Jan 15 Captain Beefheart [Don Van Vliet], American singer-songwriter (Bongo Fury, Shiny Beast), born in Glendale, California (d. 2010)
  • Jan 16 Christine Janes, British tennis player, born in Loughton, United Kingdom
  • Jan 16 Richard Bohringer, French actor (Diva, I Married a Shadow), born in Paris, France
  • Jan 17 Dame Gillian Weir, New Zealand organist, born in Martinborough, New Zealand
  • Jan 18 Bobby Goldsboro, American pop and country singer-songwriter (Honey), born in Marianna, Florida
  • Jan 18 David Ruffin, American soul musician and early lead singer for The Temptations ("My Girl"; "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"), born in Whynot, Mississippi (d. 1991)
  • Jan 18 Iva Zanicchi, Italian actress (Ragazza Tutta d'Oro), born in Ligonchio, Italy
  • Jan 18 Denise Bombardier, Quebec journalist, television host and novelist, born in Montreal, Canada
  • Jan 19 Tony Anholt, British actor (d. 2002)
  • Jan 19 Colin Gunton, British theologian (d. 2003)
  • Jan 19 Pat Patterson, Canadian pro wrestler (WWE Hall of Fame; creator Royal Rumble), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2020)
  • Jan 20 Pierre Lalonde, Canadian singer and television host, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2016)
  • Jan 20 Richard Friedman, American psychoanalyst who proved sexual orientation was biological, born in the Bronx, New York (d. 2020)

Plácido Domingo

Jan 21 Plácido Domingo, Spanish opera and Latin tenor, conductor and artistic director (Verdi's "Otello"), born in Madrid, Spain

  • Jan 21 Richie Havens, American singer-songwriter, and guitarist who opened the Woodstock Festival ("Freedom"; "Here Comes the Sun"), born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York (d. 2013)
  • Jan 21 Stathis Giallelis, Greek actor
  • Jan 21 Ivan Putski, Polish-born American professional wrestler
  • Jan 24 Aaron Neville, American R&B, Soul, and pop singer and keyboardist (Neville Brothers; "Don't Know Much"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jan 24 Michael Chapman, English musician (Looking for 11), born in Leeds, England

Neil Diamond

Jan 24 Neil Diamond, American singer-songwriter ("Sweet Caroline"; "I'm A Believer"; "Solitary Man"), born in Brooklyn, New York

  • Jan 25 Elzie "Buddy" Baker, American NASCAR driver, born in Florence, South Carolina (d. 2015)
  • Jan 25 Gregory Sierra, American stage and screen actor (Barney Miller - "Chano"), born in NYC, New York (d. 2021)
  • Jan 26 Henry Jaglom, actor (Eating, Lucky Ducks, Always), born in London, England
  • Jan 26 Scott Glenn, actor (Right Stuff, Personal Best, Backdraft), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 27 Bobby Hutcherson, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player ("Little B's Poem"; SFJAZZ Collective), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2016)
  • Jan 28 Joel Crothers, actor (Edge of Night), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Jan 28 King Tubby [Osbourne Ruddock], Jamaican sound engineer and record producer, born in Kingston, Jamaica (d. 1989)

Dick Cheney

Jan 30 Dick Cheney, American politician (Vice President: 2001-2009), born in Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Jan 30 Gregory Benford, American author & scientist, born in Mobile, Alabama
  • Jan 30 Tineke Lagerberg, Dutch swimmer, born in Bussum, Netherlands
  • Jan 30 Joe Terry (Terranova), American Doo-wop singer (Danny & The Juniors - "At The Hop"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2019)
  • Jan 31 Jessica Walter, American actress (Play Misty For Me, Arrested Development), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jan 31 George S Mickelson, (Gov-SD)
  • Jan 31 Richard A Gephardt, (Rep-D-MO, 1977- )
  • Jan 31 Eugène Terre'Blanche, South African white supremacist and leader of the far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, born in Ventersdorp, Transvaal Province, South Africa (d. 2010)
  • Jan 31 Len Chappell, American basketball forward (NBA All Star 1964 NY Knicks; All-American 1962 Wake Forest Uni), born in Portage, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • Jan 31 Jerry Scheff, American session and touring bassist (Elvis Presley, 1969 to 1977), born in Denver, Colorado

Famous Weddings

Stan Laurel

Jan 11 Comedian Stan Laurel and actress Virginia Ruth Rogers remarry for the 2nd time

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 2 Mischa Levitzki, Russian-born American pianist & composer (The Enchanted Nymph), dies of a heart attack at 42
  • Jan 4 Henri Bergson, French philosopher (Le Rire, Nobel 1928), dies at 81

Amy Johnson

Jan 5 Amy Johnson, British pilot who was the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia, dies during a ferry flight at 37

  • Jan 6 Franz Hessel, German writer, dies at 60
  • Jan 6 Charley O'Leary, American baseball player (Detroit Tigers), dies at 65

Robert Baden-Powell

Jan 8 Robert Baden-Powell, British founder of the Boy Scout movement, dies at 83

  • Jan 9 Ko Boezeman, Dutch resistance fighter, dies
  • Jan 10 Frank Bridge, English violinist/composer (Sea), dies at 61
  • Jan 10 Joseph Schmidlin, German church historian and antifascist, murdered at 67
  • Jan 10 Sir John Lavery, Northern Irish artist (b. 1856)
  • Jan 10 Joe Penner, Hungarian-born comedian and actor (b. 1904)
  • Jan 11 Emanuel Lasker, German chess player (b. 1868)

James Joyce

Jan 13 James Joyce, novelist (Ulysses), dies in Zurich Switzerland, at 58

  • Jan 17 Jose Leite de Vasconcelos, Portuguese scholar (Etnografia), dies at 82
  • Jan 23 Dobri Khristov, Bulgarian composer, dies at 65
  • Jan 24 Tommy Bond, Irish baseball pitcher and right fielder (Triple Crown 1877; Boston Red Caps; first man born in Ireland to play MLB), dies at 84
  • Jan 27 Iver Holter, Norwegian conductor (Oslo Philharmonic, 1886-1911), and composer (St. Hans Kveld), dies at 90
  • Jan 29 Ioannis Metaxas, Greek general and dictator (1936-41), commits suicide at 69