Today In History, 19 January

Today is 19 January, a seemingly ordinary day at first glance. However, 19th January holds a pivotal place in world history.

Dive in to find out what major events took place on this day (Jan. 19) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1419, the French city of Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England in the Hundred Years’ War.
  • In 1825, Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett received a patent for a process to store food in tin cans.
  • In 1883, the first electric lighting system to use overhead wire began service at Roselle, New Jersey. It was developed by Thomas Edison.
  • In 1955, U.S. President and military officer Dwight D. Eisenhower held the first-ever televised presidential press conference. 
  • In 1966, an Indian politician and Congress leader belonging to the prominent Nehru family, Indira Gandhi, was elected India’s fourth and first female Prime Minister.
  • In 1969, Czech student Jan Palach died three days after self-immolating to protest Czechoslovakia’s invasion by the Soviet Union.
  • In 1983, former Nazi SS chief Klaus Barbie was arrested in Bolivia.
  • In 1977, the world’s largest crowd gathering (15 million) happened at the Hindu Kumbh Mela in India.t
  • In 1990, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir took place due to increasing insurgency and calculated attacks on the Kashmiri Pandits.
  • In 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the United Nations.
  • In 2012, the US government shut down the famous file-sharing service Megaupload after its founder and several other people associated with it were charged with violating antipiracy laws.
  • In 2013, NASA’s Curiosity Rover discovered calcium deposits on the surface of Mars.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1853, famed Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Il trovatore” premiered in Rome.
  • In 1953, over 70% of all television sets in the US tuned into the tv show I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth.
  • In 2001, the American cult film Donnie Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Richard Kelly, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr NoDeath YearPersonality
11597Maharana Pratap, Indian Rajput warrior who served as the King of Mewar and fought valiantly against the Mughal empire, especially emperor Akbar in Battle of Haldighati and Battle of Dewair
21990Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian spiritual guru whose unorthodox teachings and attempts to take over a remote town in America made him a controversial figure in history
32000Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-American actress who played femme fatale roles and later developed wireless communications
42013Stan Musial, American baseball player and one of the greatest hitters of the game

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr NoBirth YearPersonality
11736James Watt, Scottish inventor and engineer known for developing the steam engine
21809Edgar Allan Poe, American writer and prolific short story writer who is said to have invented the detective-fiction genre and is best known for writing “The Fall of the House of Usher” and the poem “The Raven”
31921Patricia Highsmith, American author known for her best-selling psycological thrillers like The Talented Mr. Ripley and Deep Water
41935Soumitra Chatterjee, Indian actor known for his collaborations with Satyajit Ray, including playing Apu in the acclaimed film The World of Apu
51943Janis Joplin, American singer who pioneered the rock genre, especially for female rockstars and is best known for her songs “Piece of My Heart” and “Me and Bobby McGee”
61946Dolly Parton, American celebrity who worked as a prominent singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and businesswoman. She is known for her country songs like “Joshua,” “Jolene” and “Islands in the Stream’
71985Damiel Chazelle, American filmmaker who became the youngest recipient of the Best Director Oscar for his second movie Whiplash
81989Dustin Poirier, American mixed martial artist who fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)