January 10, 1863 The world’s first underground railway opens in London. Initially around six kilometres of track were used to link Paddington Station to Farringdon Street via King’s Cross, with the resulting line named the Metropolitan Railway. Lines and stations have been added ever since and now a total of 408 kilometres of track are used by around three million people every day going between 275 stations. Only Shanghai boasts a bigger underground rail network. ‘The Tube’ as it has become known locally holds a special place in the minds of Londoners. During the second world war it was estimated that up to 175,000 people slept in the underground for protection against the Blitz bombing campaign. The underground logo and the map developed by Harold Beck in 1933 are recognisable across the world. For a look at how the map has changed over the years click here
Also on January 10: Napoleon Bonaparte and his first wife Joséphine are divorced (1810); start of the first General Assembly of the United Nations (1946); the Treaty of Versailles comes into effect, marking the official end of WWI (1920).
Born on January 10: Jim Croce (1943), Rod Stewart (1945), George Foreman (1949), Brian Cowen (1960).