Today In History Spotlights Jan. 7, 1942, Siege of Bataan Peninsula Begins

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Today’s History Spotlight

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The Siege of Bataan Peninsula begins. This was the first Allied assault against the Japanese Empire following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, US and Filipino troops fought to prevent Japanese forces from occupying the Philippines.

The outcome was a Japanese victory, resulting in the temporary Japanese occupation of the Philippines and the devastating Bataan Death March. Towards the end of World War II, following an American victory in the Philippines, MacArthur would return to the region to supervise its reconstruction.

What Happened On This Day – January 7

  • 1989 Akihito is sworn in as Emperor of Japan. His accession to the throne followed the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito, on the same day.
  • 1979 The Khmer Rouge government of Cambodia is overthrown. Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh that day.
  • 1927 The first transatlantic telephone service is established. A 3-minute call between New York and London cost about $45 USD, which is roughly $550 in today’s dollars.
  • 1785 Hot air balloon crosses the English Channel. French inventor Jean-Pierre Blanchard took about 2½ hours to fly from Dover (UK) to Guînes (France).
  • 1610 Galileo Galilei discovers the Galilean Moons. The Italian astronomer spotted the four largest moons of Jupiter that day: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Births On This Day – January 7

  • 1991 Eden Hazard – Belgian footballer
  • 1985 Lewis Hamilton – English race car driver
  • 1967 Nick Clegg – English politician, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • 1964 Nicolas Cage – American actor, producer, director
  • 1943 Sadako Sasaki – Japanese victim of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki

Deaths On This Day – January 7

  • 1995 Murray Rothbard – American economist, historian
  • 1989 Hirohito – Japanese Emperor
  • 1951 René Guénon – French/Egyptian author
  • 1943 Nikola Tesla – Serbian/American physicist, engineer
  • 1536 Catherine of Aragon

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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