Japan's Emperor Hirohito surprised his subjects with the news that he was not descended from the ShintoSun goddessAmaterasu Omikami, and that "The Emperor is not a living god". He added that his people had to "proceed unflinchingly toward elimination of misguide practices of the past", including "the false conception that the Emperor is divine and that the Japanese people are superior to other races and fated to rule the world". The admission was published in newspapers throughout Japan.
In León, Mexico, federal troops, called in by the Governor of the State of Guanajuato, fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing at least 40 people.
The U.S. Army partially lifted a ban against marriage between American soldiers and enemy nationals, allowing servicemen to marry Austrian citizens. The ban against marriage of Germans was not lifted until December 11.
George Woolf, a jockey who had ridden both Seabiscuit and Bold Venture to victory, was thrown from his horse during a race at Santa Anita Park. He died the next day at the age of 35. Woolf, nicknamed "The Ice Man", was in the first group of people admitted to the U.S. Jockey Hall of Fame when it opened in 1955.
At a congressional hearing, Admiral Harold R. Stark testified that more than two months before the United States entered the Second World War, President Roosevelt had ordered American warships to destroy "German and Italian naval, land, and air forces encountered" if requested by British officers.
Poland nationalized its main industries, with passage of a law "on taking public ownership of the basic branches of the national economy".
The United States Department of War announced a slowdown in demobilization of U.S. Army soldiers in the Pacific theater, cutting army discharges by 60 percent, from 800,000 down to 300,000 per month. In the week that followed, American soldiers around the world protested, in the Philippines, France, Guam, Germany, India and the United States. The War Department reversed the decision as a result of pressure from the "'Bring Em Home' Movement".
The Reichskleinodien, treasures of the Holy Roman Empire which had been taken from Austria after the Anschluss, were returned to Vienna by General Mark Clark. Members of the U.S. Army had located the collection of 30 pieces, some more than 1,000 years old, including a Bible that had been found in the tomb of Charlemagne, and the "Holy Lance".
A series of tornadoes swept through east Texas, killing 28 people and injuring 310 in Anderson, Angelina and Nacogdochs counties.
Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi German architect of the Final Solution, escaped from the American detention camp in Oberdachstetten, where he had eluded detection under the alias of "SS Lt. Otto Eckmann". Eichmann then assumed the name of Otto Neninger and remained in hiding. In 1950, he made his way to Austria, then Italy, and as "Ricardo Klement", started a new life in Argentina. He avoided capture until May 2, 1960, when agents of Israel's Mossad kidnapped him, and was hanged in 1962.
The Allies restored Austria as a sovereign republic, with the borders it had before its 1937 annexation by Germany, but continued to administer the nation in four occupation zones. The largest cities in each zone were Innsbruck (French), Salzburg (American), Graz (British), and the area around Vienna (Soviet). Vienna itself was occupied by all four powers.
Suzanne Degnan, 6, was murdered by serial killer William Heirens, "The Lipstick Killer" . Arrested later in 1946, Heirens was sentenced to life imprisonment and remained incarcerated as of December 2009.
France resumed its protectorate relationship over Cambodia, following an agreement signed by King Norodom Sihanouk. Under the pact, France would manage all of Cambodia's foreign affairs and grant autonomy to the Cambodian people.
Germany's Hereditary Health Court (Erbgesundheitsgericht) system was formally abolished by the Allied powers. From 1934 through 1945, the courts ordered surgery for the sterilization of 400,000 persons with hereditary defects such as mental retardation, schizophrenia, and epilepsy. The system provided for an appellate court (Erbgesundheitobergericht), but the orders were upheld 97% of the time.
Harold Cole, a British sergeant called by some "the worst traitor of World War II", was killed in a shootout with police in Paris. Sergeant Cole had landed in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force, then deserted in 1941, betraying more than 150 people to the German Gestapo, fifty of whom were executed.
Conducted from a laboratory in Belmar, New Jersey, by the Evans Signal Laboratory, Project Diana bounced radar waves off the Moon for the first time, measuring its exact distance from the Earth (a mean of 238,857 miles or 384,403 kilometers), and proving that communication is possible between Earth and outer space.
Died:Harry von Tilzer, 73, American songwriter (Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage, b. 1872)
The People's Republic of Albania was proclaimed at noon (1100 GMT), with Communist leader Enver Hoxha as the nation's prime minister. Two months later, a new constitution proclaimed Hoxha's Albanian Workers Party to be the sole force, and Marxism–Leninism as the ideology, of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania.
The "2-way wrist radio" was introduced in the comic strip Dick Tracy. Artist Chester Gould sparked the public's imagination of a future where everyone would have their own personal communication device.
Eighteen nations signed the Agreement on Reparation from Germany, which took effect ten days later.
The Soviet Union ratified a treaty signed between it and Poland on August 16, 1945, with most former Polish territory east of the Curzon Line becoming parts of the Ukrainian SSR (Lwów-> Lviv) and the Byelorussian SSR (Brzesc->Brest).
Fourteen coal miners were killed in an explosion at Havaco, West Virginia, but another 253 escaped, despite the force of the blast.
The SCAP force in Japan revealed the scope of Japan's operation of sending bombs to the United States on balloons. Between the summer of 1942 and March 1945, nine thousand bombs were launched, of which 225 landed in America.
The United Nations Security Council held its first session, called to order by Norman Makin, at 3:10 p.m. GMT, at Church House in Westminster. Convening around the horseshoe-shaped table were representatives from the five permanent members (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, France and China), each of whom had veto power, and the first six non-permanent members, whose membership would change from year to year. The first rotating spots were occupied by Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, the Netherlands and Poland.
The Federal Reserve Board voted, effective January 21, to end margin buying on the nation's stock exchanges, the practice of buying stock for less than the face value and paying the difference later. Margin buying, which was very effective when the price of stock rose, but left a debt owed to the stockbroker if the value of the stock dropped, had been one of the factors in the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
Charles de Gaulle resigned as President of France. The move has been described as "a bold and ultimately foolish political ploy", with de Gaulle hoping that, as a war hero, he would be soon brought back as a more powerful executive by the French people. He was succeeded by Felix Gouin.
At one minute after midnight, the United Steel Workers of America began a nationwide walkout, as 750,000 steelworkers ceased work at the nation's steel mills. It was the largest strike in American history, and began after U.S. Steel had rejected proposals made at a Thursday White House meeting.
The crew of the cargo ship USS Brevard rescued 4,296 Japanese civilians from the ship Enoshima Maru as it sank near Shanghai. The act is listed by Guinness for "Most people rescued at sea (civilians)".
Harry Dexter White was nominated by U.S. President Truman to be the American representative to the International Monetary Fund, despite a warning from the FBI that White had passed secret information to the Soviet Union. White was confirmed by the Senate on February 6 and would serve until 1947.
UN Resolution 1, the very first resolution of the UN General Assembly, created the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. The UNAEC was to seek "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other weapons adaptable to mass destruction".
January 25, 1946: MacArthur spares Emperor Hirohito from war crimes trial
The Soviet Union's quest for the atomic bomb began, as Soviet physicist Igor Kurchatov was summoned to Moscow by Joseph Stalin for a 50 minute meeting that began at 8:15 pm Kurchatov was ordered to spare no expense in getting nuclear weapons. At the time, only the United States had "the bomb". By 1950, there were 400,000 people working on the project.
Despite a public outcry, Sweden began the deportation of refugees from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia back to the Soviet Union. The first group consisted of 151 Latvian, 9 Lithuanian and 7 Estonian refugees, whom the Soviets had identified.
General Douglas MacArthur recommended in a telegram, to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Japan's Emperor Hirohito not be put on trial for war crimes, noting that "No specific and tangible evidence has been uncovered" and adding that "his indictment will unquestionably cause a tremendous convulsion among the Japanese people, the repercussions of which cannot be over-estimated." Hirohito continued to reign as Emperor of Japan until his death in 1989.
Jinja Honcho, the Association of Shinto Shrines, was established in a convention of representatives from all 46 prefectures in Japan.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, acting under the authority of the War Labor Disputes Act and the direction of President Truman, seized 133 meatpacking plants affected by the nationwide walkout of 248,000 union members that had begun ten days earlier.
Bikini Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands, was selected as the test site for United States nuclear bombs because of its isolated location, its favorable winds, its deep harbor and small population of 166.
The first multiparty elections, in almost 15 years, to take place in Germany were conducted in the American occupied zone. The new Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won more local offices than any other, and the revived Social Democrat Party (SPD). Similar elections followed in the French, British and Soviet zones. In 1949, parliamentary elections for the Bundestag would be allowed.
Australian radar and television expert W.E. Osborne told an American audience that within fifty years, passenger travel to the Moon would be possible. Including stops at orbiting refuel stations, the trip would take ninety hours.
In Japan, the Civil Censorship Department was established by the American occupation authority, to cut prohibited material from Japanese films before release. Prohibited subjects included scenes favorably depicting revenge, racial or religious discrimination, violence, militarism, Japanese nationalism, feudalism, or the exploitation of women or children. Censorship continued until June 1947.
United Airlines Flight 14, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet en route from Boise to Denver, crashed into the side of 11,161-foot-tall (3,402 m) Elk Mountain, Wyoming, killing all 21 persons on board.
^"First Report of the Atomic Energy Commission to the Security Council", Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (January 1947), p16
^J.A.A. Stockwin, Governing Japan 3rd Ed., (Blackwell 1999), p167
^Eric Walter White, Stravinsky: A Critical Survey, 1882–1946 (Dover Publications, 1997), p168
^Gerard J. DeGroot, The Bomb: A Life (Harvard University Press, 2004), pp136–137; Zhores A. Medvedev and Roy A. Medvedev (Ellen Dahrendorf, translator), The Unknown Stalin (I. B. Tauris, 2006), pp126–127
^"Lewis Brings UMW Back to AFL Fold" Salt Lake Tribune, January 26, 1946, p1
^Matthew Frank, Expelling the Germans: British Opinion and Post-1945 Population Transfer in Context (Oxford University Press, 2007), p229
^Valdis O. Lumans, Latvia in World War II (Fordham University Press, 2006), p390
^Karel C. Wellens, ed., Resolutions and Statements of the United Nations Security Council (1946–1989): A Thematic Guide (M. Nijhoff, 1990), p620
^Kyoko Inoue, MacArthur's Japanese Constitution: A Linguistic and Cultural Study of Its Making (University of Chicago Press, 1991), pp163–164
^William P. Woodard, The Allied Occupation of Japan 1945–1952 and Japanese Religions (Brill, 1972), p153
^Papua: Geopolitics and the Quest for Nationhood (Transaction Publishers, 2008), pp25–26
^"Iran Chooses Premier in 51 to 50 Vote", Salt Lake Tribune, January 27, 1946, p8; Manuucher Farmānfarmaian and Roxane Farmanfarmaian, Blood and Oil: A Prince's Memoir of Iran, from the Shah to the Ayatollah (Random House, 2005), p179
^"U. S. Takes Over Meat Industry" Strikers of CIO Defy Truman, Refuse to Work", Salt Lake Tribune, January 26, 1946, p1; "CIO Asks Meat Strikers to Resume Work", Salt Lake Tribune, January 27, 1946, p1
^Arnold H. Leibowitz, Embattled Island: Palau's Struggle for Independence (Praeger 1996), p31
^Donald L. Miller, The Fiery Trial: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany (Simon and Schuster, 2006), p518
^Văn Đào Hoàng, Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang: A Contemporary History of a National Struggle: 1927–1954 (Rose Dog Books, 2008), pp405–406
^Lester H. Brune, Chronological History of U.S. Foreign Relations, Volume II: 1932–1988 (Routledge, 2003), pp615–616
^"LUNAR WEEKEND: Vacations on Moon Predicted by 1996", Salt Lake Tribune, January 28, 1946, p1
^Isolde Standish, A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century of Narrative Film (Continuum, 2006), pp156–157
^Stanley Meisler, United Nations: The First Fifty Years (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995), p21