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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 10, 2010

Coming soon: 'Jan. 10,' the movie


By Charles Memminger

Being a history buff, I love those lists of great things that happened on a certain day in history. Like, did you know that on this day in history, Jan. 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published "Common Sense"? It became a huge best-seller (best giveaway, actually) with many commonsense observations like, "Ye shouldst not poketh a badger in the eye with a stick" and "Thou can leadeth a horse to water, but thou can't maketh him solve pi to the 3,467th digit."

Here are some other great moments in history on Jan. 10:

• 49 B.C. Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, realizes he forgot his wallet and crosses back.

• 1430 Burgundy's Duke Philip the Good marries Portugal's Isabella the Indifferent.

• 1475 Stephen III of Moldavia defeats the Ottoman Empire in the Tostios Fiesta Battle of Vasuli and goes on to meet the Visigoths for the National Championship.

• 1642 King Charles I and family flee London for Oxford, ironically, in Oxfords.

• 1777 Thomas Paine publishes "More Common Sense," a sequel to his previous best seller.

• 1779 Friedrich von Schiller's "Die Piccolomini" premieres in Weimar to three lethargic stable boys and a goat named Gunther. The drama is better received when it is released later under the title "Die Hard Piccolomini."

• 1839 The first tea from India arrives in the United Kingdom. It is cold, so it is sent back.

• 1845 Poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning begin "corresponding," if you catch my drift.

• 1853 The oldest and shortest underground railway, the London Underground, opens between Paddington Station and Basil's Tobacco Shoppe, three feet away.

• 1861 The American Civil War begins with West Virginia seceding from Virginia and a 10-year-old boy from Bellevue, Neb., freeing his hamsters.

• 1863 Gen. John Alexander McClernand's Union troops surround Daisy McIntire at Ye Olde Magnolia Inn in Memphis, Tenn.

• 1883 A suspicious fire at Newhall Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis., kills 71. General Tom Thumb, of P.T. Barnum fame, escapes unhurt through a keyhole and is later held as "a person of interest" by Milwaukee police.

• 1900 Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener reach Capetown, where same-sex marriage is legal. They then get into an argument over who will assume the title of "Lady."

• 1911 The first photograph in the U.S. taken from an airplane occurs in San Diego. It's of a topless woman sunning on her lānai at Ocean Beach.

• 1920 The League of Nations holds its first luncheon meeting, which lasts 123 days.

• 1932 Descendants of Thomas Paine sell the film rights to "More Common Sense" to the Marx Brothers, who rewrite it and release it as "Horse Feathers."

• 2010 First definitive list of major historical events on Jan. 10 published. Screen rights are being negotiated.