January 1927

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January 1, 1927: Tutankhamun's tomb opened for public viewing
January 1, 1927: BBC Network created
January 9, 1927: 78 children killed at Montreal cinema fire
January 27, 1927: CBS Network created as UIB
January 18, 1927: U.S. Food and Drug Administration established

The following events occurred in January 1927:

January 1, 1927 (Saturday)[edit]

January 2, 1927 (Sunday)[edit]

  • The Cristero War began in villages across Mexico in the Los Altos region of the state of Jalisco. The uprising began in protest against anti-clerical laws in Mexico and the rebels called themselves "Cristeros" as fighters for so named because they fought for Christ.[6]

January 3, 1927 (Monday)[edit]

  • British concessions in China, located at Hankou (Hankow) and Jiujiang (Kiukiang) were invaded by crowds of protesters against British imperialism. A British soldier fired into the crowd at Hankou, killing one protestor and wounding dozens of others. Within days, Britain relinquished control of both concessions to the Chinese government, but soon sent troops to protect its concession at Shanghai.[7]

January 4, 1927 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Boris Rtcheouloff filed a patent application for "Means of recording and reproudcing pictures, images and the like", the first means for magnetic recording of a television signal onto a moving strip. British patent no. 288,680 was granted in 1928, but the forerunner of videotape was never manufactured.[8]

January 5, 1927 (Wednesday)[edit]

January 6, 1927 (Thursday)[edit]

  • Robert G. Elliott, the state electrician for several states, carried out six executions in the electric chair in the same day. In the morning, he put to death Edward Hinlein, John Devereaux and John McGlaughlin in Boston for the 1925 murder of a night watchman. Elliott then caught a train to New York, had dinner, took his family to the movies, and then went up to Sing Sing, where he carried out the capital punishment for Charles Goldson, Edgar Humes and George Williams for the 1926 murder of another watchman.[10]

January 7, 1927 (Friday)[edit]

January 8, 1927 (Saturday)[edit]

January 9, 1927 (Sunday)[edit]

  • Laurier Palace Theatre fire: Seventy-eight children were killed in a panic that followed the outbreak of a fire at the Laurier Palace cinema in Montreal. Shortly after the 2:00 matinee began, flames were spotted. On three of the theatre's four fire exits, the evacuation was orderly, but on the stairway at the east side of the building, children were trampled five steps away from the door. The dead ranged in age from 4 to 16. Only one of the victims was older than 18.[16]
  • For the first time in the 368-year history of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the Roman Catholic Church's list of prohibited books, a newspaper was banned by papal decree. The French royalist daily Action Française was banned by Pope Pius XI for articles "written against the Holy See and the supreme pontiff himself".[17]

January 10, 1927 (Monday)[edit]

January 11, 1927 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Thirty-six Hollywood celebrities gathered at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for the purpose of acknowledging cinematic excellence. The Academy's awards for motion picture industry would later be nicknamed "The Oscars".[20]
  • The American freighter John Tracy, with 27 men on board, foundered and sank off of Cape Cod during a winter storm. Wreckage, including the vessel's nameplate was recovered ten days later.[21]
  • Died: Houston Chamberlain, 71, British anti-Semite turned German Nazi. His book The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century was an inspiration for the Nazi ideology.

January 12, 1927 (Wednesday)[edit]

January 13, 1927 (Thursday)[edit]

  • At Tampico, Mexico, the British steamer Essex Isles exploded while its cargo of gasoline barrels was being unloaded. Thirty-seven men, mostly Mexican dockworkers, died in the accident.[23]
  • Belgium became the first European power to renounce any claims to use of territory in China, and ceded back a concession that had been granted to it at Tianjin.[24]
  • Born:

January 14, 1927 (Friday)[edit]

  • With four days left in her term, Texas Governor Miriam A. Ferguson (known popularly as "Ma Ferguson") halted further grants of clemency to Texas convicts. The lame duck governor had pardoned or commuted the sentences of a record 3,595 persons convicted of crimes, including 1,350 full pardons.[25]

January 15, 1927 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Scopes Trial: In a split decision, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the constitutionlity of Section 49-1922 of the Tennessee Code, which prohibited the teaching of evolution. The Court set aside the order for the fine levied against teacher John T. Scopes. Chief Justice Grafton Green said, "All of us agree that nothing is to be gained by prolonging the life of this bizarre case." [26]
  • Engineering: Dumbarton Bridge linking the (then) town of Newark to the city of Menlo Park, CA becomes the first auto bridge over San Francisco Bay.[27]

January 16, 1927 (Sunday)[edit]

  • George Young, a 17-year-old from Toronto, became the first person to swim the 22 miles between Catalina Island, California, and the mainland. At noon the previous day, 102 competitors dived into the waters for the prize offered by William Wrigley, Jr. Young was the only person to finish the task, arriving at the Point Vincente Lighthouse at 3:47 a.m.[28]

January 17, 1927 (Monday)[edit]

January 18, 1927 (Tuesday)[edit]

January 19, 1927 (Wednesday)[edit]

January 20, 1927 (Thursday)[edit]

  • Frank L. Smith, recently selected to serve as a United States Senator from Illinois, was not allowed to take the oath of office. The U.S. Senate voted 48–33 against seating him pending further investigation of the financing of his 1926 primary election campaign.[33]

January 21, 1927 (Friday)[edit]

January 22, 1927 (Saturday)[edit]

  • A bus, carrying the Baylor University basketball team to a scheduled game against the University of Texas, was struck at a railroad crossing near Round Rock, Texas. Ten students (including five members of the team) were killed and seven seriously injured.[35][36][37]
  • The first sports broadcast in the United Kingdom was made by BBC Radio, with Teddy Wakelam providing the play-by-play of a soccer football game between Arsenal and Sheffield United. Subscribers to Radio Times could follow the game with a diagram, designed by producer Lance Sieveking, that divided the field into eight squares. The game ended in a 1–1 draw.[38]
  • The Tamanweis, a war ceremonial for the Swinomish American Indian tribe, was performed for the first time since it had been outlawed by federal law. The occasion, a celebration at La Conner, Washington, of the 1855 Mukiliteo peace treaty, also saw a traditional feast and the playing of the game "Fla-Hal" [39]
  • The comedy film The Kid Brother starring Harold Lloyd was released.

January 23, 1927 (Sunday)[edit]

January 24, 1927 (Monday)[edit]

  • The United Kingdom dispatched 16,000 servicemen to defend the British concession in Shanghai. Commanded by Major General John Duncan, the Shanghai Defense Force consisted of 12,000 men from the 13th and 14th British infantry brigades, and the 20th Indian Infantry, to join 3,000 naval ratings and 1,000 marines.[42]

January 25, 1927 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Amid fears that the Coolidge Administration would lead the United States into war with Mexico, the U.S. Senate voted 79–0 to ask President Coolidge to seek arbitration of disputes over oil rights.[43]
  • The merger of the Remington Typewriter Company and Rand-Kardex Bureau, Inc. (created from the merger of two business recordkeeping systesm) formed Remington Rand, which would make the UNIVAC, the world's first business computer. Through further mergers, the company became Sperry Rand (1955), and Unisys (1986).[44]
  • J. Frank Norris, popular Southern Baptist leader, was acquitted of murder charges arising from the July 17, 1926, death of wholesale lumberman Dexter B. Chipps[45]
  • At Oslo, the Storthing voted 112-33 to reject a proposal for complete disarmament of Norway. A bill to reorganize the army and navy was approved as an alternative.[46]
  • Born: Antonio Carlos Jobim, Brazilian composer credited with popularizing the bossa nova style, in Rio de Janeiro (d. 1994)

January 26, 1927 (Wednesday)[edit]

January 27, 1927 (Thursday)[edit]

  • United Independent Broadcasters, Inc., was incorporated as a network of 16 radio stations. On September 18, 1927, United would be acquired by William S. Paley and renamed the Columbia Broadcasting System, providing CBS Radio, and later the CBS Television Network.[49]
  • A year after proclaiming himself King of the Hejaz, Arabian sultan Ibn Saud proclaimed himself as King of Najd as well. The independence of the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd was recognized on May 20, 1927, and renamed as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.[50]
  • Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, two of the greatest outfielders in American baseball history, were both exonerated of charges of wrongdoing by Commissioner Landis. Both had been accused, by Dutch Leonard, of conspiracy to throw a game in 1919.[51] Cobb was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in its first year (1936), and Speaker in its second.[52]

January 28, 1927 (Friday)[edit]

  • A hurricane swept across the British Isles, killing twenty people and injuring hundreds. Nineteen of the dead were in Scotland, including eight in Glasgow, and another person was killed in Ireland. The storm moved on a line from Land's End in England, to John O'Groats in Scotland.[53]
  • Born: Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japanese director, in Chiyoda (d. 2001)

January 29, 1927 (Saturday)[edit]

January 30, 1927 (Sunday)[edit]

  • July Revolt of 1927: At the Austrian village of Schattendorf, members of the right-wing veterans' organization "Frontkampfer Vereinigung" fired on members of the leftist organization Schutzbund, killing one of them and seriously wounding five others. An 8-year old bystander was killed by the gunfire. When a jury acquitted the three Frontkampfer three months later, 84 protestors were killed by the Austrian police.[55]
  • Born: Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden 1969–76 and 1982–86, in Östermalm (assassinated 1986)

January 31, 1927 (Monday)[edit]

  • After seven years, the Inter-Allied Military Commission, which had overseen the occupation of Germany since the end of World War I, closed its headquarters in Berlin after France's Marshal Ferdinand Foch declared that Germany's obligations under the Treaty of Versailles had been completed.;[56]
  • Mae West's play The Drag, the first theatrical production to address homosexuality, had its world premiere in Bridgeport, Connecticut. West hired 40 gay men to the cast. Although profitable, the play was banned by police in Bayonne, New Jersey, and was unable to find a theatre in New York City.[57]
  • Died: Sybil Bauer, 23, American swimmer who broke 23 women's world records, and (in 1922), the men's world record for the 440 backstroke. Bauer, who didn't learn to swim until she was 15, had been engaged to marry Ed Sullivan but died of cancer.


  1. ^ Asa Briggs, The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom: The golden age of wireless (Oxford University Press, 1995) pp3, 6, 143
  2. ^ "Stanford and Alabama Play Tie," Oakland Tribune, January 2, 1927, p D-1
  3. ^ "Massachusetts Puts Into Effect New Compulsory Auto Insurance Law, Premium $16 to $150 Year", San Antonio Express, January 2, 1927, p1
  4. ^ T.G.H. James, Howard Carter: The Path to Tutankhamun (Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2006), p416
  5. ^ J. F. Wilson, British Business History, 1720–1994 (Manchester University Press, 1995) p173
  6. ^ Luis González (John Upton translator), San Jose de Gracia: Mexican Village in Transition (University of Texas Press, 1982), p154
  7. ^ Ke-wen Wang, Modern China: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Nationalism (Taylor and Francis, 1998), p138
  8. ^ George Shiers and May Shiers, Early Television: A Bibliographic Guide to 1940 (Taylor and Francis, 1997) p69
  9. ^ "Marines Sent to Nicaragua", Salt Lake Tribune, January 5, 1927, p1
  10. ^ Craig Brandon, The Electric Chair: An Unnatural American History (McFarland, 1999) p222; "Six Executed in Electric Chair During One Day", Los Angeles Times, January 8, 1927, p4
  11. ^ "Hello Crosses Atlantic With Speed of Light", Salt Lake Tribune, January 8, 1927, p1
  12. ^ U.S. Patent 1,773,980; Gleason L. Archer, Big Business and Radio (Stratford Press, 1939; reprinted by READ BOOKS, 2007) p453
  13. ^ Harlem Globetrotters website; Robert Peterson, Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), p105
  14. ^ "'Shadow Lawn' Is Destroyed by Fire", Salt Lake Tribune, January 8, 1927, p1
  15. ^ "Last Side-Wheeler from Lower Mississippi River Traffic Disappears as Vessel Burns", The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg FL), January 8, 1927, p1
  16. ^ "Seventy-Six Children Killed in Panic on Stairway at Fire in East St. Catherine Street Movie Theatre Sunday Afternoon", Montreal Gazette, January 10, 1927, p1; "Montreal Playhouse Scene of Fire Where Seventy-five Perish", Salt Lake Tribune, January 10, 1927, p1
  17. ^ "Holy See Bans French Paper", Salt Lake Tribune, January 10, 1927, p1
  18. ^ Klaus Kreimeier, The Ufa story: a history of Germany's greatest film company, 1918–1945 (University of California Press, 1999), p156
  19. ^ "President Tells Congress Marines Stay in Nicaragua"; "U.S. Marines Go to China", Salt Lake Tribune, January 11, 1927, p1
  20. ^ Norbert B. Laufenberg, Entertainment Celebrities (Trafford Publishing, 2005) p868
  21. ^ "Wreckage Gives Tragedy Story", Salt Lake Tribune, January 22, 1927, p1
  22. ^ "Landis Clears Baseball Men of Wrongdoing", Salt Lake Tribune, January 13, 1927, p1
  23. ^ "37 Longshoremen Killed in Blast", Salt Lake Tribune, January 14, 1927, p1
  24. ^ Shizhang Hu, Stanley K. Hornbeck and the Open Door Policy, 1919–1937 (Greenwood Publishing, 1995) p77
  25. ^ "Texas Pardon Mill Grinds Final Grist" Salt Lake Tribune, January 15, 1927, p 1; "Texas Prison Has 3053 Left-Overs", Salt Lake Tribune, January 20, 1927, p 1
  26. ^ "Scopes Loses and Wins in Court Ruling", Salt Lake Tribune, January 16, 1927, p1
  27. ^ "GREAT BRIDGE OVER OUR BAY IS OPENED TODAY", The Hayward Review, January 15, 1927, p1
  28. ^ "Lad, Flatbroke, Beats Channel to Win $25,000", Salt Lake Tribune, January 17, 1927, p1
  29. ^ "Chaplin Gets Double Jolt", Salt Lake Tribune, January 18, 1927, p1
  30. ^ "Senate Votes Down Turkish Treaty, 50–34", Salt Lake Tribune, January 19, 1927, p1
  31. ^ Thomas L. Purvis, A Dictionary of American History (Wiley-Blackwell, 1997) p138
  32. ^ "The Parliament Estate", by G.C. Malhotra, Indian Parliament webpage
  33. ^ "Smith Halted at Door of U.S. Senate", Salt Lake Tribune, January 21, 1927, p1
  34. ^ Edwin M. Bradley, The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 through 1932 (McFarland, 2004) p6
  35. ^ "Ten Students Killed; Train Crushes Bus", Salt Lake Tribune, January 23, 1927, p1
  36. ^ "10 Killed, 5 Hurt as Train Hits Bus of College Team— Noted Athletes of Baylor University Wiped Out in Texas Crossing Crash", Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 23, 1927, p1
  37. ^ Stan Beck, Jack Wilkinson, College Sports Traditions: Picking Up Butch, Silent Night, and Hundreds of Others (Scarecrow Press, 2013) pp110-112
  38. ^ "Radio football down the years", Audrey Adams, BBCSport.co.uk
  39. ^ "Indians Revive Famous Dance", Salt Lake Tribune, January 23, 1927, p1
  40. ^ "Ban Johnson Removed From League office", Salt Lake Tribune, January 24, 1927, p1
  41. ^ Martha Menchaca,The Mexican Outsiders: A Community History of Marginalization and Discrimination in California (University of Texas Press, 1995), p73
  42. ^ "Britain Sends Army to China", Salt Lake Tribune, January 25, 1927, p1
  43. ^ Lester H. Brune, Chronological History of U.S. Foreign Relations: 1607–1932 (Routledge, 2003) p462
  44. ^ Unisys.com; James W. Cortada, Before the Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry they Created, 1865–1956 (Princeton University Press, 2000) p155
  45. ^ "Jury Acquits Texas Pastor", Salt Lake Tribune, January 26, 1927, p1
  46. ^ "Disarmament Move Is Voted Down", Salt Lake Tribune, January 26, 1927, p1
  47. ^ ACOS History
  48. ^ "7 Die in Blast Which Topples Walls at Game", Miami Daily News, January 27, 1927, p1
  49. ^ "'Always in Friendly Competition: NBC and CBS in the First Decade of National Broadcasting", by Michael J. Socolow, in NBC: America's Network (University of California Press, 2007) p28
  50. ^ Joseph Kostiner, The Making of Saudi Arabia, 1916–1936: From Chieftaincy to Monarchical State (Oxford University Press US, 1993) p104
  51. ^ "Cobb and Speaker Cleared by Landis", New York Times, January 28, 1927, p11
  52. ^ Leonard Koppett and David Koppett, Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball (Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2004) p164
  53. ^ "British Isles Storm Deaths Mount To 20", St. Petersburg Times, January 30, 1927, p1; "Death Toll Is 20 In British Storm", New York Times, January 30, 1927, p8
  54. ^ "Talking Movies Move Up Peg", Salt Lake Tribune, January 30, 1927, p1
  55. ^ David Clay Large, Between Two fires: Europe's Path in the 1930s (W. W. Norton & Company, 1991) pp65–72
  56. ^ "Commission of Allies Leaves German Soil", Berkeley (CA) Daily Gazette, January 31, 1927, p1; "Momentous Transition", TIME Magazine, February 14, 1927
  57. ^ Tabatha Yeatts, The Legendary Mae West (Lulu.com, 2000), p26