28 January 1624

Sir Thomas Warner founds the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.

Saint Kitts, officially known as Saint Christopher Island, is part of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. The history of Saint Kitts is rich and spans centuries, involving indigenous people, European colonization, and the complex legacy of slavery. Here’s an overview:

Indigenous Peoples:
The island was originally inhabited by the Kalinago people, who called it “Liamuiga,” meaning “fertile land.” The Kalinago were skilled in agriculture and fishing and had a complex social structure.

European Colonization:
Christopher Columbus is believed to have sighted Saint Kitts in 1493 during his second voyage to the Americas. However, European colonization did not begin until the early 17th century when the English and the French established settlements on the island. The first English settlement was established in 1623, and the first French settlement followed in 1625.

Colonial Conflicts:
The island became a focal point of conflicts between European powers, particularly the English and the French, who sought control over its valuable sugar-producing land. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 ultimately awarded Saint Kitts to the British, solidifying their control.

Sugar Plantations and Slavery:
Like many Caribbean islands, Saint Kitts became a hub for sugar production. The development of large-scale sugar plantations led to the importation of enslaved Africans to work on these plantations. The institution of slavery played a significant role in shaping the island’s demographics and cultural landscape.

Emancipation and Post-Slavery Era:
Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1834. After emancipation, Saint Kitts faced economic challenges as the sugar industry declined. The island underwent social and economic changes, and former slaves sought to establish their own communities and livelihoods.

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis:
Saint Kitts and Nevis gained independence from British rule on September 19, 1983, becoming one of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere. The two islands form a federal state with a shared government.

Modern Economy and Tourism:
In recent years, Saint Kitts has diversified its economy beyond agriculture, with a focus on tourism and offshore financial services. The island has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and vibrant culture.

Historical Sites:
Saint Kitts has preserved some of its historical sites, including Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. Brimstone Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a well-preserved fortress that showcases the island’s colonial history. It played a strategic role in the defense of the island during periods of European conflicts.

28 January 1932

Japanese forces attack Shanghai.

This article is about the 1937 battle. For the 1932 Japanese attack on Shanghai, see January 28 incident. For other uses, see Battle of Shanghai.
The Battle of Shanghai was the first of the twenty-two major engagements fought between the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and the Imperial Japanese Army of the Empire of Japan at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire war, described as “Stalingrad on the Yangtze”.

Since the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 followed by the Japanese attack of Shanghai in 1932, there had been ongoing armed conflicts between China and Japan without an official declaration of war. These conflicts finally escalated in July 1937, when the Marco Polo Bridge Incident triggered the full invasion from Japan. Dogged Chinese resistance at Shanghai was aimed at stalling the rapid Japanese advance, giving much needed time for the Chinese government to move vital industries to the interior, while at the same time attempting to bring sympathetic Western powers to China’s side. During the fierce three-month battle, Chinese and Japanese troops fought in downtown Shanghai, in the outlying towns, and on the beaches of the Yangtze River and Hangzhou Bay, where the Japanese had made amphibious landings.

The Chinese soldiers had to rely primarily on small-caliber weapons in their defense of Shanghai, against an overwhelming Japanese onslaught of air, naval, and armored striking power. In the end, Shanghai fell, and China lost a significant portion of its best troops, while also failing to elicit any international intervention. The resistance of Chinese forces, however, shocked the Japanese, who had been indoctrinated with notions of cultural and martial superiority, and dramatically demoralized the Imperial Japanese Army.

The battle can be divided into three stages, and eventually involved nearly one million troops. The first stage lasted from August 13 to August 22, 1937, during which the NRA attempted to eradicate Japanese troop presence in downtown Shanghai. The second stage lasted from August 23 to October 26, 1937, during which the Japanese launched amphibious landings on the Jiangsu coast and the two armies fought a Stalingrad-type house-to-house battle, with the Japanese attempting to gain control of the city and the surrounding regions. The last stage, ranging from October 27 to the end of November 1937, involved the retreat of the Chinese army in the face of Japanese flanking maneuvers, and the ensuing combat on the road to China’s capital, Nanjing.

28 January 1956

Elvis Presley first appears on American television.

His first TV appearance was on January 28, 1956 on the little remembered, Stage Show, co-hosted by Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. He appeared on the next 3 episodes and a total of 6 appearances. I’m not sure if the show lasted much longer than that but the press really didn’t pay much attention. His first national TV appearance was on April 3, 1956 on the Milton Berle Show. Berle remembered that there were many stars on that night including Hugh Jarrett, Esther Williams, Buddy Rich and Harry James. Milton Berle also mentioned Buddy Hackett but the rundown of those who appeared does not list Hackett. In any event, Elvis was an unknown young performer. Elvis’s agent, Colonel Parker (see book about Parker and Presley) had called Berle and asked him to give Elvis an audition. Berle did and was impressed enough to book Elvis on the show. Elvis performed “Shake Rattle and Roll,” “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Blue Suede Shoes.” Of the three, Elvis wrote “Heartbreak Hotel.”

The New York Journal-American wrote that the young man’s “primitive physical movement difficult to describe in terms suitable to a family newspaper.” The San Francisco Chronicle called the performance “In appalling taste.” The New York Daily News said that Elvis “gave an exhibition that was suggestive and vulgar, tinged with the kind of animalism that should be confined to dives and bordellos.” Berle said that 4 days after the show he received 400,000 “pan” letters. Not “fan mail” but “pan mail.” People wrote to Berle and said that they would never watch his show again after he showed that disgusting young man. Berle said that he called Colonel Parker to inform him that he had a star on his hands. Berle recognized that if that many people took the time to write letters then he had to be on the minds of just about everyone. All publicity is good publicity.