What Happened on January 28?

  • The "Challenger" exploded on liftoff. (1986) All of the crew members were killed, including a school teacher who was part of the crew for the "Teachers in Space" program. The explosion rocked the country, and the space shuttle program was put on hiatus.

  • The US Coast Guard was created. (1915) The Coast Guard was formed out of the United States Revenue Cutter service, originally intended to crack down on piracy while helping people out as a side interest. Their services later incorporated the US Lighthouse Service, and was itself incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.

  • The first speeding ticket was issued. (1896) Walter Arnold of Kent, England, was fined 1 shilling (roughly the equivalent of 10 US cents) for driving at 8 mph (12 kph), which was four times the legal limit.

  • A cease-fire officially took place in Vietnam. (1973) Though the cease-fire began on time, both sides quickly violated it. North and South Vietnamese forces continued to fight even after American troops pulled out, with almost 3,000 engagements after the cease-fire before the war finally ended.

  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was installed under the Arc de Triomphe. (1921) The tomb was dedicated to the French soldiers who had died in World War I. It remains a popular tourist spot both for French citizens and visitors to Paris.

  • Legos were patented. (1958) The name Lego comes from "leg godt" which translates to "play well" in Danish, the homeland of the Lego company. The original Lego bricks are compatible with all of the later Lego designs.

  • The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded. (1724) The academy went on to become the national academy of Russia, and has produced a number of Nobel laureates, including Ivan Pavlov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

  • The Burma Road was reopened. (1945) The Burma Road was the main supply line from Allied forces to China in World War II, but it had been cut off by the Japanese occupation of Burma in 1942. Allies were finally able to respond in 1945, and the main opening into mainland China was opened again.

  • The Carnegie Institute was founded. (1902) Famous American entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie started the institute with $10 million US Dollars (USD). One of several Carnegie foundations, the Carnegie Institute is famous for its support for scientific research and discovery.

  • Louis Brandeis became the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice. (1916) Brandeis was instrumental in formulating the "right to privacy," and was also known for trying to limit the power of large corporations.

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