On This Day in History: January 5

January 5 was the day construction started on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. What else happened today in history?

1643: The First American Colony Legal Divorce

This day saw the first ever legal divorce in the American colonies. Massachusetts Bay Colony resident Anne Clarke was granted her divorce from Denis Clarke, after claiming he was adulterous and absent. Mr. Clarke admitted to abandoning her, after having children with another woman. He refused to return to Anne, so the divorce was graned.

Golden Gate Bridge1781: The Destruction of Richmond By Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold enjoyed his biggest success as a British commander and American traitor on this day in history. He took 1,600 troops up the James River and destroyed Richmond. Thomas Jefferson had tried to get the city ready for an attack, but had failed. It would not be all success for Arnold. Jefferson would later become the Democratic-Republican Party leader and enjoy a presidential victory in 1800. Arnold failed to establish his business in both England and Canada, dying a pauper in 1801.

1933: The Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge

January 5 saw the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge begin. The first stage was the excavating of 3.25m cubic feet of dirt for the anchorages. The bridge would make it easier to get to the land to the north of San Francisco Bay, which people realized would increase in value over time after the Gold Rush. The idea was originally brought up in 1869, but it was not until 1916 that proposals took root and 1933 when building began due to the Great Depression in 1929. The bridge officially opened in 1937.

1970: United Mine Workers Members Found Dead

Jock Yablonski, the dissident union leader, was found dead, along with his wife and daughter. They had been dead for a week. Suspicion rose as it turned out that Yablonski had run against Tony Boyle for the United Mine Workers leadership role. Yablonski had claimed Boyle had misused union funds, but Boyle won the election on December 9. that had led to Yablonski asking for the U.S. Labor Department to investigate for election fraud. An investigation after the bodies were found led to the discovery that the United Mine Workers had hired killers to murder the family, and that led to the whole leadership crumbling and a reform within the union. Boyle died while in prison for the crime.


Famous Birthdays on January 5

Holy Roman Emperor Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall–1209

West Germany’s first chancellor after World War II Conrad Adenauer—1876

42nd Vice President of the U.S. Walter Mondale—1928

Subject of longest British criminal trial Sir Roger Tichborne–1829

Actor George Reeves–1914

Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll–1932

King Juan Carlos I of Spain—1938

Actress Diane Keaton–1946



Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and OnThisDay.com

Image of the Golden Gate Bridge by RyanJWilmot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge#/media/File:Golden_Gate_Bridge_0002.jpg) used under the CC-4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)

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