Today In History Spotlights Jan. 4, 1944, Operation Carpetbagger Begins

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Operation Carpetbagger begins. Under the command of General “Wild Bill” Donovan, US and British forces provided supplies and ammunition to Resistance fighters in France, Italy, and the Low Countries via airdrop.

The flights were conducted on moonlit nights for better protection of the operators and resistance fighters. Orchestrated by members of the OSS, the operators have been recognized as the ancestors of today’s Air Force Special Operations.

What Happened On This Day – January 4

  • 2010 Burj Khalifa is opened. Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the world’s tallest building, at 829.8 m (2,722 ft).
  • 1958 Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit. The Soviet Union was the first nation to send an artificial Earth satellite into space.
  • 1948 Burma gains independence from the United Kingdom. Burma (Myanmar) came under British rule on January 1, 1886.
  • 1896 Utah becomes the 45th state of the USA. One condition for statehood was that a ban on polygamy had to be written into the state constitution.
  • 1847 Samuel Colt sells his first revolver. Captain Samuel Walker of the Texas Rangers placed an order for 1000 revolver pistols after having witnessed their devastating effect.

Births On This Day – January 4

  • 1986 James Milner – English footballer
  • 1965 Guy Forget – French tennis player
  • 1942 John McLaughlin – English guitarist, songwriter
  • 1832 George Tryon – English Admiral
  • 1809 Louis Braille – French educator, invented Braille

Deaths On This Day – January 4

  • 2011 Gerry Rafferty – Scottish singer-songwriter
  • 1965 T. S. Eliot – American/English publisher, playwright, critic, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1961 Erwin Schrödinger – Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1960 Albert Camus – French author, journalist, philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1941 Henri Bergson – French philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate

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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