On this day: a natural disaster in Canberra

Raw news footage of the firestorm that hit Canberra, Australia’s capital city, on the 18th of January, 2003. The disaster claimed lives, burnt nearly 70% of the Australian Capital Territory, destroyed over 500 houses, and burnt internationally significant institutions such as the Mount Stromlo Observatory to the ground.

On this day: the Battle of Corunna

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The death of Sir John Moore X

Part of the Peninsula War (1807-14), the Battle of Corunna took place in Spain on the 16th of January, 1809.

Fought in Galicia, the battle was between the United Kingdom and France, and concluded with a British victory. However, the battle also paved the way for French occupation of other areas.

The British lost 900 men; the French lost between 600 and 700.

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Amongst the British dead was Sir John Moore, who was reassured of his victory before he died.

On this day: the founding of Essex County Cricket Club

Essex County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting in Chelmsford‘s Shire Hall on the 14th of January, 1876.

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The Essex team in 1897. X

The sport of cricket had been in the area since some time in the 16th century, but no major teams were organised until the late Victorian era. Essex CCC became First-Class in 1894.

Most of the team’s home games are played in Chelmsford, the county town of Essex.

On this day: the Schoolhouse Blizzard

The Schoolhouse Blizzard, also known as the Children’s Blizzard, was a deadly storm that occurred in the United States on the 12th of January, 1888.

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Following relatively warm temperatures, a blizzard struck the US plains, trapping many people who were caught unawares. 235 deaths were recorded, including children who had become trapped in schoolhouses.

The Schoolhouse Blizzard, also known as the Schoolchildren's Blizzard, School Children's Blizzard,[1] or Children's Blizzard,[2] hit the U.S. plains states on January 12, 1888.

Stories of heroic teachers leading their students through the snow to safety became widely told. Some groups were successful, while others froze to death.

On this day: the premiere of Metropolis

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Iconic futuristic German film Metropolis premiered on the 10th of January, 1927.

Filmed in 1925 but set in the year 2026, the film is set in a city with ruling elites and poor workers living beneath them.

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The film’s New Tower of Babel. X

Containing ground-breaking special effects, the film’s initial budget was 1.5 million reichsmarks, but increased to 5.1 million. Stories of the director forcing long working hours in difficult conditions on the actors (including 500 children) emerged from the set.

Metropolis regularly makes film critics’ lists of history’s greatest movies.

On this day: Mississippi Secedes

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To this day, Mississippi’s state flag retains Confederate imagery.

On the 9th of January, 1861, Mississippi followed the direction of South Carolina to become the second state to secede from the Union in the American Civil War.

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA:  CIVIL WAR/BACKGROUND:  SLAVERY & ABOLITIONISM

Scars of a whipped slave, credited either as Mississippi or Louisiana.

The first states to leave the Union were those with high numbers of slaves. Records from Mississippi in 1860 list 55% of the state’s population as being enslaved – that is nearly 440 000 people. Fewer than one thousand African-Americans in Mississippi were free.

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The decision to leave was made with overwhelming support, with a vote of 84-15.