WHAT HAPPENED ON - 27 January

January 27 2006 – Western Union discontinues its 155-year-old telegraph service

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January 27 2006 – Western Union discontinues its 155-year-old telegraph service
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On January 27, 2006, Western Union discontinued its 155 year-old telegraph service. Telegrams became a very important mode of communication through the 20th century and became the standard conveyor of good and bad news.

The very first telegram was sent by the inventor of the Morse Code, Samuel Morse. On May 26, 1844, he sent his partner Alfred Vail a telegram that read “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?” ushering in an era in which the telegram would rule the roost and completely displace the Pony Express. The telegram was sent from the Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore, Maryland. The system of dots and dashes used in telegraph transmission, developed by Morse and Vail underwent much change and standardization to form the American Morse in 1844. This was soon internationally adopted and adapted to form the International Morse.

A number of American telegraph companies founded in 1851 eventually went on to merge to become Western Union Telegraph Company based in Englewood Village, Colorado. In 1861 the Western Union built its first transcontinental telegraph line. …(Read more)

January 27 1142 – Fabled General Yue Fei is Wrongfully Executed

January 27 1142 – Fabled General Yue Fei is Wrongfully Executed
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Long a defender of the Southern Song Dynasty, the loyal — and frequently successful — General Yue Fei met an untimely end at the age of 39 when his government executed him for treason on January 27, 1142. Plotted against by members of the royal court campaigning behind his back for a surrender to the Jin Dynasty of the north, Yue has gone on to serve as an example of intense devotion for generations of Chinese.

According to the most reliable sources, Yue’s life began in Anyang prefecture on a farm. Now the stuff of legend, he is reported to have cried so hard as an infant the Yellow River flooded. Working the fields with is father, he aspired to a career as a military officer. One account of his young life portrays Yue as an expert marksman with the bow and arrow from a young age — others go so far as to declare he was adept with both hands — but it seems certain he took a position in the army around the age of 19.

While serving his country valiantly on the fields of northeastern China, he helped to secure Song lands against the advance of the Jurchen armies fighting from the Jin territories in Manchuria. Regarded by many as an astute tactician and learned soldier capable of discussing ancient Chinese military history with the highly-respected scholars of Song society. …(Read more)

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