January 25

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1971 Idi Amin, British-trained commander of the Ugandan armed forces, deposed President Milton Obote. His rule (1971–9) was one of the most brutal in African history.
  • 1917 The White Star liner Laurentic, carrying 479 passengers (mostly British Army personnel) and a secret cargo of gold bullion, struck German mines a few miles off Lough Swilly and sank within an hour; 354 lives were lost.
  • 1627 Robert Boyle, natural philosopher, was born in Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, the son of Richard Boyle, the ‘Great Earl of Cork’. In his Brief Lives John Aubrey quaintly noted that Ireland’s greatest scientist was ‘nursed by an Irish nurse, after the Irish manner, where they put the child in a pendulous satchel—instead of a cradle—with a slit for the child’s head to peep out’.

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