• On Jan. 16, 1605, Miguel de Cervantes’ “El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha,” better known as “Don Quixote,” is published. The novel gave rise to a number of now-common idioms, including the English phrase “tilting at windmills.”
• On Jan. 18, 1803, Thomas Jefferson requests funding from Congress to finance the Lewis and Clark expedition. Though he did not disclose his intentions to Congress, Jefferson planned to send Meriwether Lewis on a reconnaissance mission to assess future territorial expansion into the west.
• On Jan. 19, 1915, during World War I, Britain suffers its first casualties from an air attack when two German zeppelins drop bombs on the eastern coast of England.
• On Jan. 13, 1939, Arthur “Doc” Barker is killed while trying to escape from Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay. Barker, of the notorious “Bloody Barkers” gang, was spotted on the rock-strewn shore of the island after climbing over the walls. As he waded into the water, the guards shot and killed him.
• On Jan. 15, 1951, Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment in a court in West Germany. Nicknamed the “Witch of Buchenwald,” Ilse collected lampshades, book covers and gloves made from the skin of tattooed camp prisoners.
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