Today in History: 20th of January

BY MATTHEW COLLINS - JANUARY 20, 2015

On this day in history...

Infamous Wannsee Conference held in Nazi Germany  

On the 20th of January 1942, Nazi officials met at a villa in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss the infamous “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” in what became known as the Wannsee Conference, headed by the SS director, Reinhard Heydrich.

This “solution”, based on the notrious anti-semitism of the Nazi regime, would lead to the deliberate extermination of 6-million European Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, becoming a prominent example of genocide in human history.

Caption: Wannsee villa. Image courtesy of: www.scrapbookpages.com

British make camp at Isandlwana

On the 20th of January 1879, shortly after the start of the Anglo-Zulu conflict in South Africa, British troops under Lord Chelmsford established camp at the base of “Isandlwana”, a hill tucked away in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province and the iconic centre-stage for one of the most well-known battles of the Anglo-Zulu war, namely the Battle of Isandlwana.

In this battle, the British force of around 1500 soldiers would be massacred by at least 12 000 Zulu warriors.

Caption: British troops marching to Isandlwana, destined to be remembered in history. Image courtesy of: bennosfiguresforum.com

Hong Kong is relinquished to the British

On the 20th of January 1841, during the First Opium war (an Anglo-Chinese conflict), China relinquished the island of Hong Kong to British Rule.

Britain would continue to administer the island until, in 1997, it was handed back to China on condition that China did not interfere with Hong Kong’s economic system.

Caption: Early painting of Victoria, Hong Kong. Image courtesy of: 2hasmat.wordpress.com

Coup in Lesotho

On the 20th of January 1986, a bloodless coup carried out by the then head of the Lesotho Armed forces, Major-General Justin Lekhanya, ousted the then Prime Minister of Lesotho, Leabua Jonathan.

As a result of the coup, Lekhanya ruled through a military council and, through such a council, restored various powers to King Moshoeshoe II.

Caption: Justin Lekhanya. Image courtesy of: www.quazoo.com