Thread: Life This Day in History
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:45 PM   #80
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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January 16.

heck of a day. Lots of stuff happening. On this day in 27 BC, the Roman Senate bestows the title "Augustus" on Octavian. While not strictly translating as "Emperor", it denotes a group of rights that, when combined, more or less means the same thing. Thereafter, Roman Emperors would append the title of Augustus to their names. Regrettably, this starts a trend amongst Roman Emperors of appending all kinds of titles to their official names, and invariably the weaker the Emperor, the more titles he has. This is best exemplified by the otherwise forgettable Gordian II, whose official name upon ascension was "Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus Augustus." The weight of his titles perhaps slowed him down, as he died a few months into office in 238 fighting the Battle of Carthage.

1547, Ivan IV becomes Tsar of Russia. He would go on to become known as Ivan the Terrible. Most likely suffering from mental illness at various times, his most infamous acts were to massacre the population of Novgorod (est. 60K to 200K killed) and to turn the wealthiest region of Russia into one of its poorest.

1777, Vermont declares independence from New York. It goes on to raise cows, make really good ice cream, and otherwise never be heard of again.

1909, Ernest Shackleton find the magnetic South Pole.

1919, the US passes the 18th amendment, cleverly prohibiting all alcoholic beverages (other than for religious use) in the United States. This paves the way for bootlegging, and the rise of the mafia and other gangs. About 15 years later, everyone wakes up, realizes that they really like alcohol, that this was a fantastically stupid idea, and repeals the Amendment.

1945. Adolf Hitler moves into his bunker in Berlin. Happily for the entire rest of the world, it turns out to be a one way trip.

1979. Shah of Iran flees Iran for Egypt.
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