On This Day in History: January 10

What happened in history today? January 10 saw the execution of an Archbishop of Canterbury and a shock abdication.

NPG 171; William Laud after Sir Anthony Van Dyck1645: The Execution of William Laud

Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud was executed on this day in history. He had been installed with the title 12 years earlier, and had seen the reign of three monarchs before his execution; Elizabeth I, James and Charles I. There are reports that he was a homosexual, with writings about his erotic dreams of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, in his diary. He had been arrested in 1640, and it seemed that he would be left to die of natural causes due to his age. After not being found guilty in trial, a Bill of Attainder was passed against him and he was eventually executed.

1724: The Abdication of King Philip V of Spain

King Philip V of Spain shocked everyone today in history by abdicating his throne in favor of his son Louis. His abdication didn’t last long. His son died of smallpox in August of the same year, and Philip was encouraged to take the throne again. His second reign lasted until his death on July 9, 1746, and he was succeeded by his second son Ferdinand  VI of Spain.

1920: Institutionalization of the League of Nations

On this day in history, the League of Nations was officially institutionalized. The decision came during World War I, the costliest wars to date, thanks to voices from Britain and the United States. Officials wanted an international body to help keep the peace.  Forty-two nations actually ratified the League of Nations in 1919, but it didn’t take affect until this day. Unfortunately, the League of Nations was only successful with minor disputes. Major parties ignored it and it was powerless to stop Japan declaring war on China and German rearmoring. It didn’t ever acknowledge World War II before it was dispanded.

1946: The United Nations Meets for the First Time

The United Nations met for the first time on January 10, 1946. All 51 nations at the time convened at London’s Westminster Central Hall. The U.N. Security Council met for the first time a week later, with rules of procedures established. The United Nations continues to meet but has grown since its first meeting.

Famous Birthdays on January 10

Margaret of Austria, Regent of Netherlands–1480

Patriot Ethan Allen–1738

American outlaw Frank James–1843

George Washington Carver—1864

Spanish Prime Minister Manuel Azana–1880

Rod Stewart—1945

Boxer George Foreman—1949

Grammy winner Pat Benatar—1953



Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and OnThisDay.com

Image of William Laud in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Laud#/media/File:William_Laud.jpg)

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