A Historical Day

(532) Justinian I decrees the building of the Hagia Sophia

532 Byzantine emperor Justinian I orders a new basilica of grand proportions and precious materials be built in Constantinople. It will endure into the 21st century as one of the great architectural wonders of the world. .

(1455) First book in the West to be printed by moveable type

1455 The Gutenberg Bible is produced using Johannes Gutenberg’s invention, the moveable type printing press. Forty-eight copies of the original pressing will survive to the 21st century, and be sought after as immensely valuable collectibles. .

(1836) Battle of the Alamo begins

1836 Mexican general Santa Ana leads 1,500 men in a siege against US colonel William Travis’ much smaller Texian force garrisoned behind the walls of the Alamo Mission. The 13-day siege will end in death for all the Texians and inspire calls for vengeance in what will prove a turning point in the Texas Revolution. .

(1954) Mass polio vaccine inoculations start

1954 Pittsburgh elementary school students are the first group to receive Dr. Jonas Salk’s new polio vaccine. The disease that for centuries has paralyzed and killed millions will be almost eradicated by the end of the 20th century..