Also on this day
The first Mickey Mouse comic strip appears in the USA.
Johnny Cash, right, records iconic live album at Folsom State Prison.
Cruise ship Costa Concordia sinks off the coast of Italy, killing 32.
pointed out the obvious flaws in the evidence and accused the army of covering up an investigation which identified the real culprit.
The response was extraordinary. Zola was prosecuted for libel, arguably his intention as it meant the case, including evidence supporting Dreyfus, would be heard in public. He was convicted, fined and jailed for a year, although he fled to Britain to avoid the sentence.
But the storm led to Dreyfus being returned to France for a new court martial the following year. He was convicted again but pardoned by the President, setting him free. He appealed again and in 1906 was cleared of all charges, promoted from Captain to Major and awarded the Légion d’honneur for good measure.
Zola returned to France in 1899 but didn’t live to see Dreyfus exonerated. He died in 1902. Dreyfus attended the funeral and the writer now lies in Paris’s Panthéon, alongside Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.
The L’Aurore front page remains one of the most celebrated in journalism and is a striking example of the power of the press.
Last week I asked which Not The Nine O’Clock News comedian was born on January 6, 1955. The answer is Rowan Atkinson. This week’s question: which acclaimed Irish novelist died this day in 1941?
Watch Shaun and his colleagues on The Chase on ITV at 5pm every day of the week