This Day In History – January 25th
SAO PAULO, THE LARGEST CITY IN SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE IS FOUNDED
JANUARY 25, 1554
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world’s seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among the five-largest metropolitan areas on the planet.
The first coastal settlement in Brazil, Sao Vicente was founded in 1532. It was the first permanent Portuguese colony in the New World. Twenty two years later the Tibirica Chief and Jesuit missionaries Manuel da Nobrega and Jose de Anchieta founded the village of Sao Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga 68 kilometres (42 mi) inland from Sao Vicente, on January 25, 1554. The clergymen established a mission at the Colegio de Sao Paulo de Piratininga, aimed at converting the Tupi–Guarani indigenous Brazilians to the Catholic faith, as well as make it easier for the Portuguese crown to rule them. [Source]
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL MAKES FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL TELEPHONE CALL – JANUARY 25, 1915
Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 –August 2, 1922) was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first US patent for the telephone in 1876. In retrospect, Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. Many other inventions marked Bell’s later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. In 1888, Alexander Graham Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society. Bell has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.
On October 9, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson talked by telephone to each other over a two-mile (3 km) wire stretched between Cambridge and Boston. It was the first wire conversation ever held. On January 25, 1915, the same two men talked by telephone to each other over a 3,400-mile (5,500 km) wire between New York and San Francisco. Dr. Bell, the veteran inventor of the telephone, was in New York, and Mr. Watson, his former associate, was on the other side of the continent. They heard each other much more distinctly than they did in their first talk thirty-eight years ago. [Source]
FIRST OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES HELD IN CHAMONIX, FRANCE
JANUARY 25, 1924
The 1924 Winter Olympics, officially known as the I Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Originally called Semaine Internationale des Sports d’Hiver (“International Winter Sports Week”) and held in association with the 1924 Summer Olympics, the sports competitions held at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France between January 25 and February 5, 1924, organized by the French Olympic Committee, were in retrospect designated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the I Olympic Winter Games.
Beginning with the 1924 Games, the Winter Olympics would continue to be held in the same year as the Summer Games until 1992. Although Figure Skating had been an Olympic event in both London and Antwerp, and Ice Hockey had been an event in Antwerp, the winter sports had always been rather limited by the season. In 1921, on the convention of the IOC in Lausanne, there was a call for equality for winter sports, and after much discussion it was decided to organize an “international week of winter sport” in 1924 in Chamonix. [Source]
– The first gold medal awarded in the Olympic Winter games was won by Charles Jewtraw of the United States in the 500-meter speed skate
– Sonja Henie, at just eleven years old, skates in the ladies’ figure skating competition. Although she finishes last, she becomes popular with fans, and will take the gold at the next three Winter Olympics
– Figure skater Gillis Grafström is the first one ever to successfully defend his Summer Olympics title at the Winter Olympics
– The Canadian ice-hockey team finished their qualifying round with 4 wins, and had a total score of 110-3 against Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, and Great Britain
– the Canadian ice-hockey team is the last ever to successfully defend its Summer Olympics title at the Winter Olympics. Canada would dominate ice hockey in early Olympic competition, winning six of the first seven gold medals awards to the first runner
– Norway finished with the most medals won with 17 (4 gold, 7 silver, 6 bronze)
The first gold medal in Winter Olympics history was won by an American. Speed skater Jewtraw took the 500-meter event on January 26, 1924 with a time of 44.0 seconds. It was the only U.S. gold at those Games.
The Canadian ice-hockey team finished their qualifying round with 4 wins, and had a total score of 110-3 against Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, and Great Britain. They were the last ever to successfully defend their Summer Olympics title at the Winter Olympics. Canada would dominate ice hockey in early Olympic competition, winning six of the first seven gold medals awards to the first runner.
THE NORWEGIAN ROCKET INCIDENT – JANUARY 25, 1995
The Norwegian rocket incident (or Black Brant scare) refers to a few minutes of post-Cold War nuclear tension that took place on January 25, 1995, more than four years after the end of the Cold War. The incident started when a team of Norwegian and American scientists launched a Black Brant XII four-stage sounding rocket from the AndOya Rocket Range off the northwest coast of Norway. The rocket, which carried equipment to study the aurora borealis over Svalbard, flew on a high northbound trajectory, which included an air corridor that stretches from the North Dakota Minuteman-III silos all the way to Moscow, eventually reaching an altitude of 1,453 kilometers (903 mi).
Nuclear forces in Russia were put on alert, and the nuclear-command suitcase was brought to President Boris Yeltsin, who then had to decide whether to launch a nuclear barrage against the United States. Notably, there is still no clear and direct confirmation that the trajectory of the rocket was taken by mistake, caused by computer or other technical failure. One version of events persists: Using the allies’ facilities, the US were testing the Russian early time detection systems and response policies, since the status of the Russian defensive-offensive capacities was considered to be at least questionable after the collapse of the USSR.
As the rocket climbed, it was detected by the Olenegorsk early warning radar station in Russia. To the radar operators, the rocket appeared similar in speed and flight pattern to a U.S. submarine-launched Trident missile, leading the Russian military to initially misinterpret the rocket’s trajectory as representing the precursor to a possible attack by missiles from submarines.
It is reported that President Boris Yeltsin activated his “nuclear keys” for the first time in his tenure. No warning was issued to the Russian populace of any incident; it was reported in the news a week afterward. As a result of the alert, Russian submarine commanders were ordered to go into a state of combat readiness and prepare for nuclear retaliation. Russian doctrine reportedly allowed Yeltsin ten minutes from the time of detection to decide on a course of action. Russian observers were quickly able to determine that the rocket was heading away from Russian airspace and was not a threat.
The Norwegian and American scientists had notified thirty countries including Russia of their intention to launch a high-altitude scientific experiment aboard a rocket, however the information was not passed on to the radar technicians. Following the incident, notification and disclosure protocols were re-evaluated and redesigned. [Source]
NASA ROVER ‘OPPORTUNITY’ LANDS ON MARS – JANUARY 25, 2004
Opportunity, MER-B (Mars Exploration Rover – B), is a robotic rover on the planet Mars, active since 2004. It is the remaining rover in NASA’s ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Launched from Earth on 7 July 2003, it landed on the Martian Meridiani Planum on 25 January 2004 at 05:05 Ground UTC (about 13:15 local time), three weeks after its twin Spirit (MER-A) touched down on the other side of the planet.
As of Sol 2700 (29 August 2011), Opportunity has continued to function effectively 30 times longer than its planned 90-sol mission, aided by solar cell cleaning events, and it continues to perform extensive geological analysis of Martian rocks and planetary surface features. Its twin, the Spirit rover, became immobile in 2009 and in 2010 ceased communications.
Mission highlights include completion of the 90-sol (90 Martian days) mission, discovery of the first meteorite on another planet, Heat Shield Rock (Meridiani Planum), and over two years studying Victoria crater. The rover narrowly survived dust-storms in 2007, and has reached the rim of Endeavour crater. Opportunity had driven more than 34 kilometres (21 mi) by 22 November 2011 (sol 2783), as preparations were being made for the coming Martian winter. [Source]
Real image of Eagle Crater, Opportunity lander, and wheel tracks, as seen by MER-B Opportunity in 2004 from planet Mars
FEMALE MEXICAN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER IS ARRESTED IN CONJUNCTION WITH AT LEAST 10 SERIAL KILLINGS
JANUARY 25, 2006
Juana Barraza (born 1956) is a Mexican professional wrestler and serial killer dubbed La Mataviejitas (“The Old Lady Killer”), sentenced to 759 years in jail for killing eleven elderly women. The first murder attributed to Mataviejitas has been dated variously to the late 1990s and to a specific killing on 17 November 2003. The authorities and the press have given various estimates as to the total number of the killer’s victims, with estimated totals ranging from 24 to 49 deaths.
Barraza was a professional wrestler under the ring name La Dama del Silencio (The Silent Lady). She had an obsession with lucha libre, a form of Mexican masked professional wrestling in which the wrestlers engage in titanic mock battles. All of Barraza’s victims were women aged 60 or over, most of whom lived alone. She bludgeoned or strangled her victims, and afterward would rob them. A major breakthrough in the case occurred on 25 January 2006, when a suspect was arrested fleeing from the home of the serial killer’s latest victim, Ana María de los Reyes Alfaro, who lived in the Venustiano Carranza borough of Mexico City. Alfaro, 82, had been strangled with a stethoscope. [Source]
‘THE DAY OF ANGER’, FIRST WAVE OF EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION BEGINS
JANUARY 25, 2011
On 25 January 2011, known as the “Day of Anger” or the “Day of Revolt”, protests took place in cities across Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Ismaïlia. The day was selected by different opposition groups such as the 6 April Youth Movement, We Are All Khaled Said Movement, National Association for Change, 25 January Movement and Kefaya to coincide with National Police Day. The purpose was to protest against abuses by the police in front of the Ministry of Interior. These demands expanded to include the resignation of the Minister of Interior, the restoration of a fair minimum wage, the end of Egyptian emergency law, and term limits for the president.
Protests took place in different location in Egypt. 20,000 protested in various locations across Alexandria, 200 demonstrators in the southern city of Aswan, 2,000 in the eastern city of Ismaïlia, and about 3,000 in the northern city of El-Mahalla El-Kubra. Deadly clashes broke out during the protests leading to the death of two protesters in Suez.
Cairo protesters had gathered in the morning in front of the High Court in the centre of Cairo. The demonstration was larger than expected. It broke through the security cordon and moved to Tahrir Square. Thousands protested in Cairo, with 15,000 occupying Tahrir Square (Liberation Square). Police used tear gas and water cannons against the protesters, who in turn threw stones at police, eventually forcing them to retreat.
Hossam el-Hamalawy stated to Al-Jazeera during the evening of the protest that the demonstrations were “necessary to send a message to the Egyptian regime that Mubarak is no different than Ben Ali and we want him to leave too.” He also told Al-Jazeera, “People are fed up of Mubarak and of his dictatorship and of his torture chambers and of his failed economic policies. If Mubarak is not overthrown tomorrow then it will be the day after. If its not the day after its going to be next week.” [Source]
Egyptian anti-government protesters perform the evening prayers as they gather at Cairo’s Tahrir square on February 8, 2011. (PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode over Tahrir Square as Egyptians celebrate after President Hosni Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Ahmed Ali)