This Day In History, January 19th

What happened on this day in history: Famed Gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe is born, bloodthirsty mobster Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso is arrested, and more.

1419: Henry V Captures Normandy

Henry V captures the capital of Normandy during the 100 Years’ War. Henry, the king of England, besieged the Norman capital of Rouen at the end of July 1418. By January, the French surrendered, and Henry went on to capture most of the rest of Normandy as well as large swaths of France.

1547: Henry Howard, Earl Of Surrey, Is Executed

Today In History January 19

Public DomainHenry Howard was found guilty of treason and beheaded.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is beheaded for treason in London at the age of 30. A first cousin of Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Catherine Howard, Howard eventually incurred the wrath of King Henry VIII for displaying “in his own heraldry the royal arms and insignia, with three labels silver, thereby threatening the king’s title to the throne and the prince’s inheritance.”

Howard was arrested and put on trial, during which Howard’s sister testified that he was a Catholic, dooming him to execution.

1809: Edgar Allan Poe Is Born

Edgar Allan Poe

Wikimedia CommonsA daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe in the spring of 1849, just six months before his death.

Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts. A writer and poet, he produced a number of iconic works including the short story The Tell-Tale Heart and the revered poem The Raven. Poe died mysteriously in 1849, possibly from suicide, alcoholism, or disease.

1903: L’Auto Announces The First Tour De France

French magazine L’Auto announces the first Tour de France. The three-year-old magazine had struggled to gain subscribers since its founding and decided to hold a bicycle race as a way to boost sales. It was a hit, and the Tour de France continues to this day.

1966: The First Reported Sighting Of A Crop Circle In Tully, Australia

Australian banana farmer George Pedley notices a large, circular area of his field has been flattened — in the same spot where he claimed to have seen a “vapor-like” saucer lift off. Pedley dubbed it a “saucer nest,” but it really marks the first reported discovery of a crop circle.

1993: Anthony Casso Is Arrested

Anthony Casso

Public DomainA surveillance image of Anthony Casso from the 1980s.

Anthony Casso is arrested by F.B.I. agents in New Jersey after 32 months on the run. An underboss of the Lucchese crime family in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Casso later admitted to killing 36 people and ordering the deaths of 100 more.

Though he turned informant and was briefly in the Witness Protection Program, Casso was eventually found guilty of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, murder, bribery, extortion, and tax evasion, and died in prison in 2020 while serving a 455-year sentence.