Today In History, 22 January: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (22 January): The demise of Heath Ledger, Queen Victoria and Shah Jahan, the birth of Lord Byron and John Hurt, first commercial flight of Boeing 747, Battle of Rorke’s Drift, and more.

Jan 22, 2023, 07:00 IST
This day in history (22 Jan): The demise of Shah Jahan and Queen Victoria
This day in history (22 Jan): The demise of Shah Jahan and Queen Victoria

Today in History, 22 January: 2023 has now settled in, and winter is finally on the wane. However, it has been a chilling year so far. But the process of acquiring knowledge must never stop.

Today is 22 January, another seemingly ordinary day. However, 22nd January marks a pivotal day in world history.

Read on to find out what major events took place on this day (Jan. 22) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1879, 150 British soldiers successfully defended a garrison against 4,000 Zulu warriors in the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.
  • In 1905, Bloody Sunday took place in Russia when workers marching on St. Petersburg were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard. Hundreds of people were killed.
  • In 1970, the first commercial Boeing 747 of Pan American World Airways flew from New York City to London in six and a half hours.
  • In 1973, the US Supreme Court legalized most abortions in the Roe v. Wade ruling.
  • In 1998, the infamous Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, who killed three people and injured 22 in 16 domestic bombing acts in the US, was sentenced to four terms of life in prison.
  • In 2006, Evo Morales became the first indigenous president of Bolivia.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1857, the National Association of Baseball Players was founded in New York.
  • In 1973, American heavyweight icon George Foreman stopped Joe Frazier in two rounds to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • In 1988, American boxing legend Mike Tyson beat fellow Hall of Famer Larry Holmes to defend his world heavyweight boxing title.
  • In 1988, West Indies cricketer Brian Lara made his first-class cricket debut.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1859, German composer Johannes Brahms' first piano concerto (in D minor) premiered in Hanover.
  • In 2018, Netflix became the largest digital media and entertainment company in the world, with a value of $100 billion.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Shah Jahan, fifth Mughal emperor known for promoting culture and art during his reign and erecting the Taj Mahal



Queen Victoria, one of the longest reining and beloved monarchs of England who oversaw the country’s industrial growth and territorial expansion



Lyndon B. Johnson, American politician who served as the 36th president of the US known for signing the Civil Rights Act fo 1968 and the Votin Rights Act of 1965



Heath Ledger, Australian actor who gave one the greatest performance as the DC Comics villain The Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight



Jean Simmons, British actress and singer who rose to prominence during World War II and later starred in Hollywood classics like Spartacus and The Big Country

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Francis Bacon, aka Lord Verulam, English philosopher, lawyer and statesman known for his mastery of the English language and wisdom



Lord Byron, English romantic poet who pioneered the Romantic movement in literature with his poems like “Don Juan” and “She Walks in Beauty”



Thakur Roshan Singh, Indian revolutionary leader who was was falsely tried for the Kakori conspiracy and sentenced to death by the British in 1927



Harilal Upadhyay, Gujarati novelist and poest who wrote over 100 books in his life



Sam Cooke, American singer who is considered one of the greatest soul and blues singers of all time



John Hurt, veteran English actor who starred in blockbuster films and dramas alike and was known for his distinctive voice and commanding screen presence



Jim Jarmusch, American filmmaker known for his distinctive genre mashing films like Only Lovers Left Alive, Paterson and Coffee and Cigarettes



Diane Lane, American actress known for starring in the films Unfaithful, Man of Steel and Lonesome Dove



Guy Fieri, popular American celebrity chef, restaurateur and TV personality who starred in the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Related | Today in History (21 January)

Related | Today in History (20 January)

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