Anniversaries and commemorations come and go daily. Most of us, even the best historians, miss most occasions. If we think of history as events then we are faced with a continually showering in the grains of sand. Nevertheless, we do pick out certain patterns in the remembrance of historical dates. The blog here reminds us of some dates where the local, state, national, and global perspectives entwine.

What Time is It? It is flow of a sandstorm that will on each day compress somewhere into a structure – sandstone, selected and only remembered in the longue durée.

On 20 January 1870, SS City of Boston vanishes at sea, with all 177 aboard.

On Saturday, 20 January 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn in for a fourth term as President of the United States, the only President ever to exceed two terms.

On Saturday, 20 January 1945, Germany begins the Evacuation of East Prussia.

On Tuesday, 20 January 1970, The Greater London Council announces its plans for the Thames Barrier at Woolwich to prevent flooding (the barrier opens in 1981).

On Sunday, 20 January 1980, ATV-0 becomes ATV-10. This move prompts the 0–10 Network to change its name to Network Ten, although Brisbane’s TVQ-0 would continue to broadcast on Channel 0 until 1988. On the same night, Ten’s new drama series Arcade premieres. It is regarded as the biggest flop in Australian television history, costing over $3 million to make and being axed after 49 episodes.

On Sunday, 20 January 1980, The Pittsburgh Steelers win their fourth National Football League championship in six seasons, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31–19 in Super Bowl XIV at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game was shown to the Americans held hostage in Iran

On Saturday, 20 January 1990, Cold War: Soviet troops occupy Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, under the state of emergency decree issued by Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev, and kill over 130 protesters who were demonstrating for independence.

On Saturday, 20 January 1990, Clashes break out between Indian troops and Muslim separatists in Kashmir.

On Saturday, 20 January 1990, The government of Haiti declares a state of emergency, under which it suspends civil liberties, imposes censorship, and arrests political opponents. The state of siege is lifted on January 29.

Images Citations in Composite: ID 17208541 © Anhong |; ID 35001957 © DiversityStudio1 |; ID 156394527 © Gerd Zahn |



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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.

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