What Happened on January 3?

  • The sarcophagus of Tutankhamen was discovered. (1924) Archaeologists Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon uncovered the tomb and famous sarcophagus, along with priceless treasures. Tutankhamen's tomb was one of the only royal tombs to be discovered unlooted, and sparked a major wave of interest in all things Egyptian.

  • Martin Luther was excommunicated. (1521) Luther, a former monk, had become unsatisfied with Catholicism, and began preaching his own version of Christianity, later called Lutheranism. When he refused to retract his writings, he was both excommunicated and outlawed. Despite this, his efforts to preach about a new type of Christianity were wildly successful, leading to the creation of Protestantism.

  • Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested a flying machine. (1496) The polymath had been fascinated by the mechanics of flight throughout his life. He designed many flying machines, some of which have actually tested successfully in modern times.

  • The Meiji Restoration began in Japan. (1868) One of the major events in Japanese history, the Meiji Restoration restored the emperor to power after hundreds of years of the Shogunate ruling Japan. This marked a huge turning point in Japan's development, and prompted a period of rapid industrialization.

  • Benito Mussolini took dictatorial powers in Italy. (1925) Mussolini created a police state run by the infamous "Black Shirts," who terrorized Italy throughout his rule. Perhaps most known for his partnership with Adolf Hitler, Mussolini was executed when he fell out of power in Italy towards the end of World War II.

  • Joan of Arc was handed over to Bishop Pierre Cauchon, who would be instrumental in causing her death. (1431) An iconic French leader and later, saint, Joan was tried and burned at the stake for heresy. Bishop Cauchon was one of the people judging Joan, and denied her many legal rights, including that of a legal representative and the right to appeal, which led to her execution.

  • Panamanian leader and drug dealer Manuel Noriega surrendered to US forces. (1990) Noriega had been a CIA operative in Panama while simultaneously smuggling massive amounts of drugs. He later gained control of the army, and carried out a reign of terror throughout Panama. He was deposed by US soldiers in Operation Just Cause, and was sentenced to 40 years in a US prison.

  • Alaska became the 50th state. (1959) The US had owned Alaska since the 1860s, when Secretary of State William Seward arranged its purchase in an act termed "Seward's Folly." Continental US residents thought Alaska was nothing more than a frozen wasteland, but changed their minds when gold and oil was discovered there. The population truly began to grow after several US military bases were built there as part of the Cold War, and the state was officially admitted to the US almost 100 years after it was handed over from Russia.

  • The last daily Peanuts strip ran. (2000) The comic strip, which centered around the iconic Charlie Brown, his dog Snoopy, and their friends, had been running since 1950. Almost 20,000 strips were published in total, not to mention the musicals, movies, and television specials that featured the Peanuts gang.

  • Construction began on the Brooklyn Bridge. (1870) The bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US, and is a symbol of the optimism and innovation of 19th century American engineering.

Discussion Comments


Even though I know that the states haven't always been the same, I didn't know that Alaska wasn't the 50th one until as early as 1959. I don't know about anyone else, but I find this to be very interesting. It really makes me wonder how many other states went through similar transformations.

Speaking of which, in some ways, it reminds me of what I learned in history class, regarding many of the states. Obviously, they weren't always their own, and each of them have their own identity.

Though this is just my opinion, sometimes I feel that more than often, when it comes to the fifty states in the United States, we tend to forget how many differences they have, and that they're all unique in their own way.

After all, not only do they have different shapes and sizes, but even more so, when combined, they each represent something about our country, further emphasized by the American flag and its stars.

Using one example, each state has its own "symbol", so to speak. Some examples of this include the state birds and the state trees. All in all, it's definitely something interesting to think about.


When I was reading the sixth bullet point, at first it really surprised me that Joan was tried and burned at the stake, which is more of the worst executions possible. However, looking at the date of 1431, I realize that shouldn't come as much of a surprise, if any at all.

After all, during that time period, not only were laws a lot stricter, but even more so, more than often, you didn't receive a fair trial. You became a victim of the public, and generally speaking, they decided what would be done with you.

In fact, does reading this article remind anyone of the Salem Witch Trials? If you were accused of being a witch, you would be instantly tried and tortured.

They would either burn you at the stake, or drown you to see if you would float. Thankfully though, stuff like that doesn't really happen in this day and age anymore.

In fact, if the Witch Trials were still to go on in this day and age, I wonder how things would be played out.

For all that we know, maybe people would receive more of a fair trial, due to the actual law enforcement agencies and court systems that have been put into place.


The Peanuts strip is definitely one of my favorite comics, and I enjoy all the other features as well. Such as the musicals, movies, and television specials.

I'll be honest though, even though I do enjoy Peanuts, on the other hand, I can definitely see why some people dislike it.

In some cases, maybe it's a little too mean spirited for them. Either that, or because they think it's a downer. After all, whether you love him or hate him, Charlie Brown always gets the worst of luck, and no matter what, nothing really seems to go right for him. This is always teased at when the football is pulled right from underneath him.

Maybe it's just me, but I actually find this to be rather refreshing. A lot of shows that center around childhood tend to portray it in quite a happy light. Peanuts however, does it in a much more realistic way. It's not for everyone, but I myself enjoy it. Does anyone else feel this way?

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