On This Day in History: January 4

What happened today in history? January 4 is the day most in Europe will remember the Euro debuting for the first time, but what else happened?

Samuel Colt1796: The French Colors Accepted by Congress

On this day in history, Congress accepted the colors of the French. The move was to show thanks and appreciation for the two nations joining together during the Revolutionary War. It was shortly before this that the revolutionary French stated that overthrowing Louis XVI was possible because America overthrew George III of Great Britain. Ironically, the red, white, and blue is also the British colors!

1847: The First Sale of Colt’s Revolvers to the Government

Supernatural fans will know plenty about Samuel Colt, but did you know that this day in 1847 was the first time one of his revolvers was sold to the government? His company was failing by this point, but winning the contract with the U.S. government helped to put some life back into it. Many blamed his failure on his expensive but inaccurate guns, which were too impractical for the Americans. It wasn’t until the 1850s that there were affordable enough for most Americans.

1896: Utah Becomes the 45th State

Today in history, Utah joined the United States and became the 45th member of the union. The move came six years after the traditional practice of monogamy by the Mormon Church was renounced. This was a necessity for Utah to be allowed into the United States.

1964: Another Boston Strangler Attack

Mary Sullivan became the last victim of Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler. He left a “Happy New Year” card with her raped and strangled body. The rape and murder of the 13 women between 1962 and 1964 were just the end of his string of crimes. He had started as the Measuring Man in the 1950s, pretending to represent a modelling agency to take their measurements and fondle them at the same time. There was one last rape victim on October 27, 1964 but he never killed her. It allowed police to get a description so they could arrest DeSalvo. He was killed while in prison, and was never charged or convicted as the Boston Strangler, despite admitting to the crimes to his cellmate.

1999: The Debut of the EuroJacob Grimm

On this day in history, the Euro became the official currency for 11 EU countries. There was hope that the universal currency would strengthen the integration of the EU, but not all countries agreed to join. Some eventually did later, but there are still others that have decided against it; one of the most prominent being the United Kingdom. The individual currencies in the 11 countries became obsolete, including the German mark, French franc and the Italian lira. Non-EU countries also adopted the new currency, including the Vatican City and Monaco, due to their location. Greece was originally excluded from joining, but did two years later. It has now been stuck in the middle of a debt crisis that many worry will cause a crash of the currency.

Born on January 4

Count of Savoy Amadeus VI–1334

Archbishop of Armagh James Ussher–1581

Sir Isaac Newton—1643

Fairytale writer Jacob Grimm—1785

Braille reading system developer Louis Braille—1809

Writer C.L.R. JAmes–1901

First heavyweight to regain his title, Floyd Patterson—1935

Opera singer Grace Bumbry–1937

First daughter of Ronald Reagan—1941



Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and OnThisDay.com

Image of Samuel Colt in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Colt#/media/File:Samuel_Colt_engraving_by_John_Chester_Buttre,_c1855.png)

Image of Jacob Grimm in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Grimm#/media/File:JacobGrimm.jpg)

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