Today In History Spotlights Jan. 10, 1776, Thomas Paine’s Pamphlet “Common Sense” is Published

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, “Common Sense,” is published. Born in Norfolk, England, Paine was a leading figure during the Era of Enlightenment. His pamphlet became a sensation, and it challenged the American people to fight for an egalitarian government.

A Classical Liberal, Paine occasionally engaged in debate with his Conservative counterpart, Edmund Burke, and was sometimes frowned upon for his criticism of Christianity. Regarding Common Sense, John Adams stated, “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”

What Happened On This Day – January 10

  • 1946 The first General Assembly of the United Nations opens. 51 nations were represented on that day.
  • 1929 The first Adventures of Tintin comic book is published. Hergé’s books became hugely popular in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • 1920 The Treaty of Versailles takes effect. Although a ceasefire had been in place since November 11, 1918, World War I officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles.
  • 1863 London Underground opens. “The Tube” is the world’s oldest underground railway.

Births On This Day – January 10

  • 1987 César Cielo – Brazilian swimmer
  • 1960 Brian Cowen – Irish politician, 12th Taoiseach of Ireland
  • 1953 Pat Benatar – American singer-songwriter
  • 1949 George Foreman – American boxer
  • 1945 Rod Stewart – English/Scottish singer-songwriter

Deaths On This Day – January 10

  • 2010 
  • 2016 David Bowie – English singer-songwriter, producer, actor
  • 1976 Howlin’ Wolf – American singer-songwriter, musician
  • 1971 Coco Chanel – French fashion designer, founded the Chanel Company
  • 1862 Samuel Colt – American inventor, industrialist, founded the Colt’s Manufacturing Company
  • 1778 Carl Linnaeus – Swedish botanist, physician, zoologist

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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