21 January 1663

Wiltshire antiquary John Aubrey was elected a member of the Royal Society. Although an early student of the stone circles at both Avebury and Stonehenge, Aubrey is best known for his collection of biographical essays, Brief Lives.


21 January 1908

The New York City authorities make it an offence for anyone owning or managing a "public place" to allow women to smoke in public. Two weeks later the Mayor of New York vetoes the ban.

21 January 1932

Death at Ham, Wiltshire, of writer and critic Lytton Strachey, author of Eminent Victorians and a founder member of the Bloomsbury Group.

21 January 1941

Because of its pro-Soviet stance the Daily Worker was suppressed by order of British home secretary Herbert Morrison. The ban was lifted 18 months later after a campaign led by, among others, Hewlett Johnson, dean of Canterbury.


21 January 1959

American film director, producer and screenwriter Cecil B DeMille dies of heart failure in Hollywood aged 77. Famous for his biblical epics, the last film he directed was The Ten Commandments.

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