DATES. EVENTS. PEOPLE.
January 26th is the International Customs Day. On January 26th, 1953, the founding session of the Customs Co-operation Council (now the World Customs Organisation) took place in Brussels. It has been celebrated since 1983. The holiday is an occasion to draw public attention to the importance of the role of customs in the economic and social development of society.
On January 26th, 1500, Europeans first set foot in Brazil. The laurels of the discoverer of the territories of modern Brazil belong to Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, a Spanish navigator, explorer and conquistador.
On January 26th, 1525, the first printed version of the map of Rus’ was published — the map of Moscow lands. According to the surviving data, the history of cartography in Rus’ began in pre-Petrine times. The archives of Ivan the Terrible include 248 maps, during his reign the first geodetic manual The Geometry Book, or Land Surveying with Radix and Compasses... was written.
On January 26th, 1905, the world’s largest Cullinan diamond was mined in South Africa, weighing 3,106 carats (621.2 g). The diamond was presented to the English king on his birthday on November 9th, 1907. Later it was decided to break it into pieces and cut it. After cutting, nine largest and most famous diamonds became the pride of the English crown.
January 27th, 1820, is the day of the discovery of Antarctica. The first Russian Antarctic expedition led by Faddey Bellingshausen, saw the cherished southern continent six months after the departure. However, the sailors did not manage to get ashore. Nevertheless, 28 islands and the previously unknown coast of the mainland were discovered in the southern seas.
On January 27th, 1944, the blockade of Leningrad was lifted by the forces of the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts, which lasted 872 days. According to various sources, more than 1 million people died over the years of the blockade. This event of the Great Patriotic War became a victorious, heroic and tragic page in the history of the Russian people. Enormous damage was done to historical buildings and monuments of Leningrad.
On January 27th, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the prisoners of the largest fascist mass extermination camp — Auschwitz, located on the territory of Poland. Crematoriums and gas chambers, instruments of torture, thousands of kilogrammes of human hair and ground bones prepared for shipment to Germany appeared before the eyes of the liberators. More than two and a half million people were killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz. In addition, more than 500,000 people died of starvation and disease.
On January 28th, 1943, Mikhail Ptashuk (1943—2002), film director, Honoured Art Worker and People’s Artist of Belarus was born. The theme of the Great Patriotic War occupied a significant place in his creativity. M.Ptashuk’s works include: films based on I. Shamyakin’s I’ll Take Your Pain, V. Bykov’s Sign of Trouble, V. Korotkevich’s The Dark Castle Olshansky and others. He was the laureate of the State Prize of Belarus and prizes of international film festivals.
On January 28th, 1588, King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Zygmunt III Waza approved the 3rd Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania — a set of laws of feudal law, a unique monument of Belarusian writing and legal thought. It was valid until 1840.
January 29th is the Day of Belarusian Science in the Republic of Belarus. The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, founded in 1928, is the leading research and scientific centre of the country. Today it brings together highly qualified scientists of various specialties and dozens of research, scientific and production, design and implementation organisations.
January 29th, 1886, is considered the birthday of the car — Karl Benz received a patent for his first car on that day. It was a three-wheeled two-seater carriage weighing 250 kilogrammes on high wheels with spokes. Benz put his new 0.9 hp four-stroke water-cooled gasoline engine in it.