This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 346 days remaining until the end of the year (347 in leap years).
On this day in 1853, Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Il Trovatore receives its premiere performance in Rome.
Il trovatore (The Troubadour) is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El Trovador (1836) by Antonio Garcia Gutierrez. Cammarano died in mid-1852 before completing the libretto. This gave the composer the opportunity to propose significant revisions, which were accomplished under his direction by the young librettist, Leone Emanuele Bardare, and they are seen largely in the expansion of the role of Leonora.
The opera was first performed at the Teatro Apollo, Rome, on 19 January 1853 where it “began a victorious march throughout the operatic world”. Today it is given very frequently and is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire. It appears at number 17 on Opera America‘s list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America.
Enrico Caruso once said that all it takes for successful performance of Il trovatore is the four greatest singers in the world. On many different occasions, this opera and its music have been featured in various forms of popular culture and entertainment. Scenes of comic chaos play out over a performance of Il trovatore in the Marx Brothers‘s film, A Night at the Opera. Luchino Visconti used a performance of Il trovatore at La Fenice opera house for the opening sequence of his 1954 film Senso. As Manrico sings his battle cry in “Di quella pira”, the performance is interrupted by the answering cries of Italian nationalists in the audience. In Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism, Millicent Marcus proposes that Visconti used this operatic paradigm throughout Senso, with parallels between the opera’s protagonists, Manrico and Leonora, and the film’s protagonists, Ussoni and Livia.
1419 – Hundred Years’ War: Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy.
1511 – Mirandola surrenders to the French.
1520 – Sten Sture the Younger, the Regent of Sweden, is mortally wounded at the Battle of Bogesund.
1607 – San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed; it is the oldest church still standing in the Philippines.
1764 – John Wilkes is expelled from the British House of Commons for seditious libel.
1788 – The second group of ships of the First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay.
1795 – The Batavian Republic is proclaimed in the Netherlands bringing to an end the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
1806 – The United Kingdom occupies the Cape of Good Hope.
1812 – Peninsular War: After a ten day siege, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, orders British soldiers of the Light and third divisions to storm Ciudad Rodrigo.
1817 – An army of 5,423 soldiers, led by General Jose de San Martín, crosses the Andes from Argentina to liberate Chile and then Peru.
1829 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust Part 1 receives its premiere performance.
1839 – The British East India Company captures Aden.
1840 – Captain Charles Wilkes circumnavigates Antarctica, claiming what became known as Wilkes Land for the United States.
1853 – Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore receives its premiere performance in Rome.
1861 – American Civil War: Georgia joins South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama in seceding from the United States.
1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Mill Springs – The Confederacy suffers its first significant defeat in the conflict.
1871 – Franco-Prussian War: In the Siege of Paris, Prussia wins the Battle of St. Quentin. Meanwhile, the French attempt to break the siege in the Battle of Buzenval will end unsuccessfully the following day.
1883 – The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey.
1893 – Henrik Ibsen’s play The Master Builder receives its premiere performance in Berlin.
1899 – Anglo-Egyptian Sudan is formed.
1915 – Georges Claude patents the neon discharge tube for use in advertising.
1915 – World War I: German zeppelins bomb the towns of Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn in the United Kingdom killing more than 20, in the first major aerial bombardment of a civilian target.
1917 – Silvertown explosion: 73 are killed and 400 injured in an explosion in a munitions plant in London.
1920 – The United States Senate votes against joining the League of Nations.
1935 – Coopers Inc. sells the world’s first briefs.
1937 – Howard Hughes sets a new air record by flying from Los Angeles, California to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds.
1942 – World War II: Japanese forces invade Burma
1945 – World War II: Soviet forces liberate the Lodz ghetto. Out more than 200,000 inhabitants in 1940, less than 900 had survived the Nazi occupation.
1946 – General Douglas MacArthur establishes the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo to try Japanese war criminals.
1949 – Cuba recognizes Israel.
1953 – 68% of all television sets in the United States are tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth.
1969 – Student Jan Palach dies after setting himself on fire 3 days earlier in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to protest the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968.
His funeral turned into another major protest.
1975 – An earthquake strikes Himachal Pradesh, India
1977 – President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D’Aquino (a.k.a. “Tokyo Rose”).
1977 – Snow falls in Miami, Florida. This is the only time in the history of the city that snow has fallen. It also fell in the Bahamas.
1978 – The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany leaves VW’s plant in Emden. Beetle production in Latin America would continue until 2003.
1981 – Iran Hostage Crisis: United States and Iranian officials sign an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity.
1983 – Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie is arrested in Bolivia.
1983 – The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced.
1991 – Gulf War: Iraq fires a second Scud missile into Israel, causing 15 injuries in.
1993 – Czech Republic and Slovakia join the United Nations.
1996 – The barge North Cape oil spill occurs as an engine fire forces the tugboat Scandia ashore on Moonstone Beach in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
1997 – Yasser Arafat returns to Hebron after more than 30 years and joins celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city.
1999 – British Aerospace agrees to acquire the defence subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc, forming BAE Systems in November 1999.
2006 – A Slovak Air Force Antonov An-24 crashes in Hungary.
2006 – The New Horizons probe is launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto.
2007 – Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink is assassinated in front of his newspaper’s office by 17 year old Turkish ultranationalist Ogun Samast.
* Christian Feast Day:
o http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J… January 19 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)]
* Confederate Heroes Day (Texas)
* Feast of Sultan (Sovereignty), first day of the 17th month of the Baha’i calendar (Baha’i Faith)
o Timkat, or 20 during Leap Year (Ethiopian Orthodox)