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1809

Writer Edgar Allan Poe is born

On this day in 1809, poet, author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts. By the time he was three years old, both of Poe's parents had died, leaving him in the care of his godfather, John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. After attending school in England, Poe entered the University of Virginia (UVA) in 1826. After fighting with Allan over his heavy gambling debt... Read more >

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1966

Indira Gandhi leads India

On January 19, 1966, Indira Gandhi becomes prime minister of India. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, who led India from independence in 1947 until his death in 1964. In 1967, Indira won a narrow election victory and, as a result, had to rule with a deputy prime minister until 1971, when she won a resounding reelection victory. That year, she ordered India's invasion of Pakistan in supp... Read more >

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1950

Communist China recognizes North Vietnam

The People’s Republic of China bestows diplomatic recognition upon the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Communist China’s official recognition of Ho Chi Minh’s communist regime resulted in much needed financial and military assistance in Ho’s battle against the French in Vietnam, and also pushed the United States to take a more intensive and active role in the conflict in Southeast Asia.... Read more >

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1983

Butcher of Lyons arrested in Bolivia

Klaus Barbie, the Nazi Gestapo chief of Lyons, France, during the German occupation, is arrested in Bolivia for his crimes against humanity four decades earlier. As chief of Nazi Germany's secret police in occupied France, Barbie sent thousands of French Jews and French Resistance members to their deaths in concentration camps, while torturing, abusing, or executing many others. Legal wrangling... Read more >

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1917

WW1 - 1917 Silvertown Explosion

On 19 January 1917, in the darkest days of the Great War, a massive explosion rocked London’s East End. Shockwaves could be felt in Essex, while the blast itself was heard as far away as Southampton and Norwich. But the firestorm wasn’t caused by the sinister German Zeppelins that were making increasingly frequent appearances on London’s skyline. In fact, the roots of capital’s biggest ... Read more >