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What Happened on January 9?

  • The UN headquarters officially opened in New York City. (1951) The UN had actually been based out of an electronics plant before the headquarters opened. The modern UN headquarters was built on land donated by the Rockefeller family, and cost more than $65 million US Dollars (USD) to complete.

  • The creation of the daguerreotype, the predecessor to the photograph, was publicly announced. (1839) A French artist and chemist named Louis J.M. Daguerre discovered the process for manually reproducing images. Though the extremely tricky and labor intensive process was quickly replaced by the tintype, the daguerreotype marked the invention of photography.

  • Apple introduced iTunes. (2001) The iTunes music sharing and organization software revolutionized the music market, and paved the way for Apple's dominance with the iPod.

  • The Star of the West was fired on, marking the beginning of hostilities in the American Civil War. (1861) The ship was attempting to provide supplies to Union soldiers at the Fort Sumter garrison when the Citadel, in Charleston, fired on it. The incident is considered to be the first engagement of the American Civil War.

  • The first modern circus occurred. (1768) Philip Astley held the first modern circus in London, which included horseback riding tricks, clowns, and musicians. Though similar entertainment had existed for centuries, Astley was the first to hold a circus in a ring, and to gather such disparate forms of entertainment together.

  • Actress Betty Short, the Black Dahlia, was last seen alive. (1947) Short's sensational disappearance and murder captured the nation's attention, and became a major media story. Her murderer was never found, though more than 200 suspects were interviewed by the police.

  • The Davy lamp was tested. (1816) The Davy lamp was a safety lamp used in mining. Before the invention of the Davy lamp, miners were continually at risk for explosions caused by the fire in their lamps. The Davy lamp was not only designed to prevent such explosions; it also served as a warning when oxygen levels got too low.

  • The last battle of the American Indian Wars occurred. (1918) The Battle of Bear Valley took place between a small band of Yaqui Native Americans and a US Cavalry Troop. It only lasted about 30 minutes before the Yaqui chief was hit and killed. This was the last engagement between Native American and US forces, marking the end of over 100 years of fighting.

  • Simone de Beauvoir was born. (1909) de Beauvoir was a prominent modernist French author and philosopher. She is perhaps best known for her treatise The Second Sex, which became a foundational document of feminism.

  • The Phantom of the Opera became the longest running Broadway show. (2006) The show started running in 1988, and surpassed Cats in 2006 with 7,486 performances. It was one of the longest running Broadway shows ever, and reached a record 9,000 performances in 2009.

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