WHAT HAPPENED ON - 21 January

January 21 1793 – King Louis XVI Of France Is Guillotined As Part Of The French Revolution

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January 21 1793 – King Louis XVI Of France Is Guillotined As Part Of The French Revolution
2.5 (50%) 4 votes

On January 21, 1793, French King Louis XVI was executed by guillotine at the Place de la Revolution in Paris following a conviction of high treason by the National Convention. The execution was a direct result of the fall of the Bourbon monarchy and marked an important turn of events in the French Revolution.

Louis was born at Versailles in August 1754. In 1770, a royal marriage was arranged between Louis and Marie Antoinette, the daughter of the Emperor and Empress of Austria in an alliance that was intended to consolidate cordial relations between France and Austria. By 1774, Louis had ascended the throne previously held by his grandfather Louis XV as the King of France. By the time the excesses of the Bourbon royal family had not only gained the monarchy the displeasure of the people but also had nearly emptied the royal exchequer. Wars, extravagances, and fantastic constructions had led the economy to ruin and the rising costs had made basic items of necessity beyond the reach of an ordinary man. Failing crops and soaring unemployment fueled the rage of the French masses. Marie Antoinette became the cause for much contention, as the relations with Austria started to sour. …(Read more)

January 21 1954 – USS Nautilus, the First Nuclear-Powered Submarine, is Christened in Connecticut

January 21 1954 – USS Nautilus, the First Nuclear-Powered Submarine, is Christened in Connecticut
5 (100%) 1 vote

In the midst of a constant quest for technological superiority on the battlefield of the Cold War, the United States took a large leap forward with the christening of the USS Nautilus on January 21, 1954. By developing a nuclear-powered submarine, the US Navy gained mission capabilities their Soviet counterparts would spend four years scrambling to catch up with.

The process toward developing a nuclear-powered vessel began at the end of 1947. The culmination of the Manhattan Project — two atomic bombs dropped on Japan to end World War II — gave the American military a tremendous understanding of the sheer power available through a controlled nuclear reaction. Further, intelligence efforts in Europe as the Allies rolled back Nazi forces all over the continent revealed the extent of German reactor technology. Moving swiftly to snap up scientists who worked on the project, the US snagged a slight advantage over the Soviet Union when many of those scientists received jobs in research facilities owned by the federal government.

Mesmerized by the possibilities, Chief of Naval Operations Chester Nimitz and Admiral Hyman G. Rickover wondered what it would take to shrink reactor technology for use on a ship. Rickover took a lead role, working in conjunction with Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago to design the S1W reactor prototype. …(Read more)

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