January 6 ... on This Day ...

On this day in 1992 the USA halted breast surgery using silicone implants.

The US Food and Drug Administration called for the stoppage for 45 days while evidence of safety issues was examined by a specially-convened advisory panel.

The move has been prompted by growing fears around the world about the safety of silicone implants and their potential to leak or rupture causing illness and injury. In November 1991, the FDA received 2,500 complaints from women experiencing issues with their implants. At least two million women in America are said to have breast implants - 80% for cosmetic reasons but with manufacturers unable to provide enough safety date, the FDA felt it had no choice but to issue the moratorium.

The FDA moratorium was eventually ratified as a total ban on silicone implants in the US that wasn’t lifted until 2006.

The UK government didn’t agree with the US stance and accused them of scaremongering, arguing that silicone implants had been successful since their introduction in 1962. However, in 2001 the European Commission issued safety procedures governing breast implants.

Also on this day in:

1540: King Henry VIII of England was married to Anne of Cleves, his 4th wife.

1759: George Washington married and Martha Dandridge Custis.

1838: Samuel Morse demonstrated the telegraph in public for the first time.

1912: New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state.

1919: Former US President Theodore Roosevelt dies

1931: Thomas Edison executed his last patent application.

1942: PanAm completed the first commercial around-the-world airline flight.

1975: Two thousand Led Zeppelin fans trash the Boston Garden

1994: Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked.