January 16 in History

Citizens from twenty-eight communities located in the “New Hampshire Grants”—land across the Connecticut River to the west of the colony of New Hampshire—declared independence 240 years ago today. The land was in a dispute between New York and New Hampshire; the citizens wrote a constitution in which the land is referred to (in different places) as the “State of Vermont” and the “Commonwealth of Vermont.” Eventually, it became the fourteenth state.

Between 1777 and statehood in 1791, Vermont was the Republic of Vermont, a sovereign entity that did not much want to be a republic (historians refer to it as the “reluctant republic”) but had a population that was only interested in joining a nation on its terms. It issued currency and had a flag, the “Green Mountain Boys Flag” seen at top.

After negotiations failed to unite Vermont with Quebec, it joined the colonies in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Most of its citizens fought on behalf of independence in the Revolutionary War.

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Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, fled Iran on this date in 1979.

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Hello, Dolly! premiered at the St. James Theatre on this date in 1964. The musical starred Carol Channing and remained on Broadway for almost seven continuous years.

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Carole Lombard died 75 years ago today. Arturo Toscanini died 60 years ago today. Toscanini conducts Wagner:

Ron Carey died 10 years ago on this date. Benny Parsons died 10 years ago today.

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Representative Allard K. Lowenstein was born on this date in 1929. Dian Fossey was born in 1932 on this date. Susan Sontag was born on this date in 1933. René Angélil was born on this date in 1942. Anatoli Boukreev was born in 1958 on this date. Aaliyah was born on this date in 1979.

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William Kennedy is 89 today. Mr. Kennedy, author of Ironweed and O Albany, spoke four years ago with C-SPAN about our shared state capital, Albany, and his fascination with Erastus Corning, mayor of Albany from 1942 till 1983:

Marilyn Horne is 83 today. A. J. Foyt is 82. Gavin Bryars is 74 today. An excerpt from The Sinking of the Titanic by Bryars:

Ronnie Milsap is 74. Jim Stafford is 73. John Carpenter is 69. Caroline Munro is 68 today. Debbie Allen is 67 today. Jill Sobule is 56 today. Kate Moss is 43. Albert Pujols is 37.

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One comment

  1. Anton Wills-Eve · January 16, 2017

    done it again, Mark. you managed to inadvertantly and obscurely touch upon 2 of my family in today in history. my sister will be 76 on Feb 5 and was named carole after one of mum’s best friends Carole Lombard. and my uncle co-starred in the version of the Titanic you mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

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