By Jean Hodgkinson
Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance –Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Two types of madness run rampant in this world. The first drives people to persecute, maim, kill, bomb, bankrupt or falsely imprison their fellow human beings. The other drives them to do things like Carnival. So for the next three weeks you’ll have to be satisfied with a list of (mostly) the first type drawn (mostly) from Wikipedia. Some are entirely random, others less so. Some have Black History Month in mind, and a heap of emperors is included simply because they began piling up.
Finally, it may all seem a little too crazy to be real but remember: these are merely entries from an average week in the journal of planet Earth.
January 21 … Deaths:  After being found guilty of treason Louis XVI, King of France, is executed by guillotine  Mustafa III, Ottoman Sultan
January 22  The Convention Parliament convenes to determine if James II, the last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Ireland and Scotland, had vacated the thrones when he fled to France in 1688  Creation of Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of Central Intelligence Agency  KTLA, first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operating in Hollywood, California  Apollo 5 lifts off, carrying first Lunar Module into space  Supreme Court (U.S.) delivers decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing elective abortion in all 50 states  Kmart becomes largest retailer in U.S. history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection … Births:  Sir Francis Bacon, English philosopher Deaths:  Cao Rui, Emperor of Kingdom of Wei (China)  Shah Jahan, Mughal Emperor of India  Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom  Pope Benedict XV
January 23  Zhu Yuanzhang ascends the throne of China in a coronation ceremony, initiating Ming Dynasty rule that would last three centuries  Deadliest earthquake in history hits Shaanxi province, China. Death toll estimated to have been as high as 830,000  James Stewart, regent for the infant King James VI of Scotland, is assassinated by firearm, the first recorded instance of such  The Royal Exchange opens in London  U.S. cavalrymen kill 173 Native Americans in Montana, mostly women and children, in the Marias Massacre  U.S. president Richard Nixon announces a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam  Protests take place in 60 Canadian cities against the prorogation of 40th Canadian Parliament … Deaths:  Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor  Jiajing, Emperor of China
January 24  Council of Basel suspends Pope Eugene IV  Supreme Court (U.S.) declares federal income tax constitutional  Bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. One uranium core remains lost  Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi is found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War Two (1945)  Soviet satellite Cosmos 954 burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada’s Northwest Territories. Only 1% is recovered  First Apple Macintosh goes on sale  Japan launches its first lunar probe, first since USSR’s Luna 24 in 1976, first by a country other than Soviet Union or U.S. … Births:  Hadrian, Roman Emperor Deaths:  Caligula, Roman Emperor (assassinated by his own disgruntled guards)  Winston Churchill, wartime PM of the United Kingdom
January 25  Henry VIII, King of England, secretly marries his second wife Anne Boleyn  Luanda, capital of Angola, founded by Portuguese navigator Paulo Dias de Novais  Nellie Bly completes her round-the-world journey in 72 days  Soviet Union ends state of war with Germany  Idi Amin leads a coup deposing Milton Obote, becomes Uganda’s president  Jiang Qing, widow of Mao Zedong, sentenced to death  First wave of Egyptian revolution begins with series of street rallies, riots, labour strikes in Cairo and other cities … Births:  Leo IV, Byzantine Emperor Deaths:  Yingzong, Emperor of China
January 26  Council of Trent establishes distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism  Tennessee enacts first prohibition law in U.S.  World’s largest diamond ever, the Cullinan, found near Pretoria, South Africa  Apollo Theater reopens in Harlem, NYC … Births:  Go-Nara, Emperor of Japan
January 27  Vatican opens seven-year trial of scholar Giordano Bruno  Guy Fawkes and fellow conspirators go on trial for Gunpowder Plot to blow up British Parliament  World War Two: Russia’s Red Army liberates Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau  Germany first observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day … Births:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Deaths:  Nerva, Roman Emperor  Marcian, Byzantine Emperor  Ali, first Shia imam  Howard Zinn, American historian and activist