Historical Events on January 19

  • 1806: After the Battle of Blaauwberg comes to a conclusion, Great Britain takes up occupancy in the Dutch Cape Colony.
  • 1812: British forces are orders to attack Ciudad Rodrigo by the 1st Duke of Wellington – Arthur Wellesley after a 10-day siege during the Peninsular War.
  • 1829: The first part of “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is performed on this day.
  • 1861: Georgia secedes from the United States; It’s the fifth state to do so. The previous states to secede were S. Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.
  • 1862: Confederate forces are defeated at the Battle of Mill Springs during the American Civil War. It’s the first major defeat suffered by the Confederates during the war.
  • 1883: Overhead electric wires built by Thomas Edison’s company goes into service in Roselle, New Jersey. It’s the first electric lighting system in the world that uses overhead wiring.
  • 1915: The patent for the neon discharge tube is given to Georges Claude. It would soon be used for neon advertising signs.
  • 1915: The first civilian target aerial bombed during a war happens during World War I. German zeppelins drop bombs on the towns of King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth in the U.K. Over twenty people are killed.
  • 1942: During WWII, Burma is captured by the Japanese.
  • 1945: The Red Army liberates the Lodz Ghetto on this day during World War II. Although it contained over two hundred inhabitants just five years earlier, less than a thousand survived the Nazis.

Famous Birthdays on January 19

  • Scottish-English engineer and chemist, James Watt is born in 1736.
  • American captain James Morris III is born in 1752.
  • American Confederate General, Robert E. Lee is born in 1807.
  • American author Lysander Spooner is born in 1808.
  • American author and poet, Edgar Allan Poe is born in 1809.
  • French painter Paul Cezanne is born in 1839.
  • American singer-songwriter Janis Joplin is born in 1943.
  • American singer-songwriter and actress, Dolly Parton is born in 1946.