Retro Baltimore

This Week in History: Jan. 29-Feb. 4: Writer H.L. Mencken, the 'Sage of Baltimore,' died at age 75

On Jan. 29, 1956, editor-essayist H.L. Mencken, the “Sage of Baltimore,” died at age 75. (Baltimore Sun files)

Jan. 29, 1820: Britain's King George III died at Windsor Castle.

Jan. 29, 1845: Edgar Allan Poe's poem “The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror.

Jan. 29, 1958: Actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married in Las Vegas.

Jan. 29, 1964: Stanley Kubrick's nuclear war satire “Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” premiered in New York, Toronto and London.

Jan. 30, 1815: The U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in agreeing to purchase the personal book collection of former President Thomas Jefferson to replace volumes lost when the British burned the U.S. Capitol and its congressional library during the War of 1812.

Jan. 30, 1933: Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.

Jan. 31, 1865: The House passed a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.

Jan. 31, 1958: The United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer 1.

Feb. 1, 1865: Abolitionist John S. Rock became the first black lawyer admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Feb. 1, 1896: Giacomo Puccini's opera “La Boheme” premiered in Turin.

Feb. 1, 1960: Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they'd been refused service.

Feb. 1, 2003: The space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members.

Feb. 2, 1914: Charles Chaplin made his movie debut as the comedy short “Making a Living” was released by Keystone Film Co.

Feb. 3, 1913: The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.

Feb. 3, 1966: The Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.

Feb. 4, 1789: Electors chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.

Feb. 4, 1861: Delegates from six southern states that had recently seceded from the Union met in Montgomery, Alabama, to form the Confederate States of America.

Feb. 4, 1941: The United Service Organizations (USO) came into existence.

Feb. 4, 1945: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.

Feb. 4, 2004: The social networking website Facebook had its beginnings as Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg launched “Thefacebook.”

Compiled by Lori Sears and Paul McCardell.