What Happened on January 30?

  • Gandhi was assassinated. (1948) Mohandas Gandhi was an incredibly influential figure in Indian and world history, and was known for his powerful non-violent protests. He is considered the reason why India became independent of Britain, and a major force for peace and tolerance in the world.

  • Adolf Hitler was named the Chancellor of Germany. (1933) Hitler had experienced a swift rise to power as the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party in the face of the severe economic sanctions placed on Germany after World War I. His becoming chancellor marked the beginning of Nazi Germany's rise to power, which wouldn't end until after World War II.

  • Maryland signed the Articles of Confederation. (1781) It was the last of the 13 states to ratify the Articles, which were the predecessor to the Constitution. Although only one state — Virginia — signed the Articles by the deadline set by the drafters, Maryland did so almost 3 years late.

  • Andrew Jackson survived an assassination attempt. (1835) An insane man named Richard Lawrence, claiming to be the King of England, attempted to assassinate Jackson by shooting at him with two pistols. Both misfired, and Jackson beat the man into submission with his cane. It was the first ever attempted assassination of a US president.

  • The first cash register was patented in the US. (1883) James and John Ritty patented the first cash register in an attempt to keep the employees of James' saloon from stealing from him. The machine did not issue any receipts, but made a dinging sound when the till was opened, alerting the manager whenever an employee opened the drawer.

  • The Tet Offensive occurred. (1968) This massive, coordinated assault on American troops in Southern Vietnam was a wake up call for Americans, who had been led to believe that the war was basically over. It damaged the public opinion of the war, and was extremely demoralizing to the troops.

  • Bloody Sunday occurred in Ireland. (1972) 13 unarmed civil rights demonstrators were shot by British soldiers in Northern Ireland, sparking massive protests across Ireland. The event brought the struggles between Ireland and Britain to international attention, and helped cement the IRA's policy of violence against England.

  • The first lifeboat was tested. (1790) Although people had been using boats in sea rescues for centuries, this boat was the first to be especially designed as a lifeboat. It could be rowed from both ends, which eliminated the need for turning, a crucial design factor that would play into most future lifeboat designs.

  • King Charles I was executed. (1649) Charles was extremely unpopular with his subjects after he married a Catholic princess and dissolved Parliament several times. Oliver Cromwell led a revolt against him, and ruled England until his death, after which the monarchy was restored, despite attempts by Cromwell's son to rule.

  • The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" aired. (1933) One of the major radio — and later TV — series in America, The Lone Ranger was an iconic part of American history for over 50 years. The radio show inspired numerous spinoffs and merchandise, including everything from Lone Ranger lunch boxes to video games.

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