Fun Facts for Today – January 30

January 30

It’s Inane Answering Message Day



1649 King Charles I of England is beheaded.
1661 Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England is ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
1790 The first boat specializing as a lifeboat is tested on the River Tyne.
1806 The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge), which spans the Delaware River between Morrisville, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, is opened.
1820 Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica.
1826 The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world’s first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales, is opened.
1835 In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.
1847 Yerba Buena, California is renamed San Francisco.
1862 The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched.
1889 Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, is found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.
1911 The destroyer USS Terry (DD-25) makes the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of James McCurdy 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
1911 The Canadian Naval Service becomes the Royal Canadian Navy.
1913 The United Kingdom’s House of Lords rejects the Irish Home Rule Bill.
1933 Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
1945 World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with refugees, sinks in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, leading to the deadliest known maritime disaster, killing approximately 9,000 people.
1945 World War II: Raid at Cabanatuan: 126 American Rangers and Filipino resistance liberate 500 prisoners from the Cabanatuan POW camp.
1945 World War II: Hitler gives his last ever public address, a radio address on the 12th anniversary of his coming to power. (A subsequent address on February 24 was not read by Hitler.)
1948 Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist.
1956 American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1964 Ranger program: Ranger 6 is launched.
1964 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is released in the U.S.

1968 Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive begins when Viet Cong forces launch a series of surprise attacks in South Vietnam.
1969 The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.
1971 Carole King’s Tapestry album is released, it would become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide.
1972 Bloody Sunday: British Paratroopers kill fourteen unarmed civil rights/anti internment marchers in Northern Ireland.
1972 Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.
1982 Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called “Elk Cloner”.
1989 The American embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan closes.
1994 Péter Lékó becomes the youngest chess grand master.
2003 Belgium becomes the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriage.



133 Marcus Severus Didius Julianus, Roman Emperor
1615 Thomas Rolfe, American colonial settler and only child of Pocahontas and John Rolfe
1882 Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
1912 Barbara W. Tuchman, American historian
1914 John Ireland, Canadian actor (d. 1992)
1915 John Profumo, British cabinet minister
1922 Dick Martin, American comedian
1924 Lloyd Alexander, American writer
1925 Dorothy Malone, American actress
1930 Samuel J. Byck, American attempted assassin of Richard Nixon
1930 Gene Hackman, American actor
1935 Richard Brautigan, American writer and poet
1937 Vanessa Redgrave, English actress
1937 Boris Spassky, Russian chess player and 10th world chess champion (1969-1972)
1941 Gregory Benford, American author and scientist
1941 Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States
1947 Steve Marriott, English musician (Humble Pie, The Small Faces)
1951 Phil Collins, English musician
1951 Charles S. Dutton, American actor
1951 Bobby Stokes, English former footballer
1958 Brett Butler, American actress and comedian
1961 Dexter Scott King, American actor and son of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King
1962 Mary Kay Letourneau, American convicted statutory rapist
1974 Christian Bale, Welsh actor



1649 King Charles I of England (executed)
1730 Tsar Peter II of Russia
1836 Betsy Ross, American seamstress
1889 Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria
1934 Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher
1948 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, Indian freedom fighter
1948 Orville Wright, American aviation pioneer
1951 Ferdinand Porsche, Austrian automotive engineer
1991 John McIntire, American actor
1994 Pierre Boulle, French author
1995 Gerald Durrell, British naturalist, zookeeper, author, and television presenter
1999 Huntz Hall, American actor
1999 Ed Herlihy, American broadcaster
2001 Jean-Pierre Aumont, French actor
2001 Joseph Ransohoff, the father of modern neurosurgery
2006 Coretta Scott King, American activist and wife of Martin Luther King, Jr.
2007 Sidney Sheldon, American author, playwright, and screenwriter
2008 Jeremy Beadle, British television host

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