January 1

  • 1739 – French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier discovered Bouvet Island, an uninhabited sub-antarctic volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1801 – Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the dwarf planet Ceres, naming it after the Roman goddess of growing plants and of motherly love.
  • 1801 – The Kingdom of Ireland formally merged with the Kingdom of Great Britain, adding St. Patrick's saltire to the Union Flag.
  • 1808 – As a result of the lobbying efforts by the Abolitionist Movement, the importation of slaves into the United States was officially banned.
  • 1810 – Lachlan Macquarie became Governor of New South Wales, eventually playing a major role in the shaping of the social, economic and architectural development of the colony in Australia.
  • 1818 – Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a novel by Mary Shelley, was first published in London.
  • 1890 – The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, was first held, eventually becoming an annual event that is currently watched on television by millions in more than 200 countries and territories.
  • 1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia federated as the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • 1959 – Cuban President Fulgencio Batista fled to the Dominican Republic as forces under Fidel Castro took control of Havana, marking the end of the Cuban Revolution.
  • 1983 – History of the Internet: The ARPANET changed its core networking protocols from NCP to TCP/IP, marking the beginning of the Internet as we know it today.
  • 1995 – The World Trade Organisation, the international organisation designed to supervise and liberalise international trade, came into being, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
  • 1999 – The euro, the official currency of the European Union's Eurozone, was introduced.

January 2

  • 366 – The Alamanni, an alliance of west Germanic tribes, crossed the frozen Rhine in large numbers to invade the Roman Empire.
  • 533 – Mercurius became Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a regnal name upon elevation to the papacy.
  • 1492 – The Reconquista ended when the forces of Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon defeated the armies of Abu 'abd-Allah Muhammad XII of Granada, the last of the Moorish rulers.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces under the command of George Washington repulsed a British attack at the Battle of the Assunpink Creek near Trenton, New Jersey.
  • 1833 – Two British naval vessels arrived at the Falkland Islands to re-assert British sovereignty there.
  • 1860 – French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier announced the "discovery" of the planet Vulcan at a meeting at the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. This hypothesis, postulated by Le Verrier using classical mechanics, was later disproved by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.
  • 1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Siege of Port Arthur ended when the Russian fleet surrendered to Japanese forces at Port Arthur, a deep-water port and Russian naval base in present-day Lüshunkou, China.
  • 1942 – In the largest espionage case in American history, over 30 members of a German spy ring led by former South African Boer soldier and adventurer Fritz Joubert Duquesne were convicted following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • 1944 – 13,000 American and Australian troops made a successful landing at Saidor in New Guinea in an attempt to cut off a Japanese retreat.
  • 1949 – Luis Muñoz Marín became the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
  • 1959 – The Soviet spacecraft Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon, was launched by the Vostok rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome near Tyuratam, Kazakh SSR.
  • 1991 – Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC, thus becoming the first African American woman to lead a city of similar size and importance.

January 3

  • 1521 – Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem, excommunicating Martin Luther from the Roman Catholic Church after Luther refused to retract 41 of his 95 theses.
  • 1749 – Benning Wentworth, Governor of the New Hampshire Colony, began to issue the New Hampshire Grants on land which was also claimed by New York, and is now Vermont.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces under General George Washington defeated British troops in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • 1848 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts began his term as the first President of Liberia.
  • 1888 – The 91-cm refracting telescope at the Lick Observatory near San Jose, California, U.S., at the time the largest telescope in the world, was used for the first time.
  • 1938 – The American health charity March of Dimes was founded as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis to help raise money for polio research.
  • 1958 – Ten former British colonies in the Caribbean joined to form a new self-governing West Indies Federation.
  • 1959 – The Alaska Territory, an organised incorporated territory of the United States, became the 49th state of the union, and the first U.S. state outside of the 48 contiguous states.
  • 1973 – American businessman George Steinbrenner and a group of investors bought the New York Yankees professional baseball team for US$8.7 million.
  • 1990 – United States invasion of Panama: General Manuel Noriega, the deposed "strongman of Panama", surrendered to American forces.

January 4

  • 1698 – Most of London's Palace of Whitehall, the main residence of the English monarchs dating from 1530, was destroyed by fire.
  • 1854 – Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang discovered the McDonald Islands, uninhabited, barren islands located in the Southern Ocean about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica.
  • 1884 – The Fabian Society, an intellectual movement whose purpose is to advance the socialist cause by gradualist and reformist methods rather than revolutionary means, was founded in London.
  • 1903 – Topsy a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island's Luna Park, was executed by electrocution after it was deemed a threat to people, an event captured on film by inventor Thomas Edison.
  • 1936 – Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade.
  • 1944 – World War II: The U.S. Army Air Forces began Operation Carpetbagger, a military operation involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters across Europe.
  • 1948 – Burma achieved independence from the British Empire, with U Nu of the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League as its first Prime Minister.
  • 1973 – Last of the Summer Wine, the longest running sitcom in the world, premiered as an episode of the BBC's Comedy Playhouse.
  • 1988 – A massive ice storm began hitting eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, eventually killing over 30 people, injuring over 340 others, and causing massive damage to the area's electrical infrastructure.
  • 1989 – In the Second Gulf of Sidra incident over the Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean Sea, two American F-14A Tomcats shot down two Libyan MiG-23 Flogger Es that appeared to be attempting to engage them.
  • 2004 – Spirit, the first of two rovers of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission, landed successfully on Mars at 04:35 Ground UTC.
  • 2006 – Ehud Olmert became Acting Prime Minister of Israel after Ariel Sharon suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke that rendered him incapable of carrying out his duties.
  • 2007 – Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. Government.

January 5

  • 1463 – French poet François Villon was banned from Paris by the parliament after being commuted from a death sentence.
  • 1477 – Burgundian Wars: Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, was killed at the Battle of Nancy, eventually leading to the partition of Burgundy between France and the House of Habsburg.
  • 1527 – Felix Manz, co-founder of the original Swiss Brethren Anabaptist congregation in Zürich, was executed by drowning, becoming one of the first martyrs of the Radical Reformation.
  • 1895 – Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French military wrongly accused of treason, was stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island.
  • 1933 – Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge across the Straits of the Golden Gate, the entrance to San Francisco Bay.
  • 1941 – Australian and British troops defeated Italian forces in a battle in Bardia, Libya during the Western Desert Campaign of World War II.
  • 1968 – Alexander Dubcek came to power in Czechoslovakia, beginning a period of political liberalisation known as the Prague Spring that still enabled the Communist Party to maintain real power.
  • 1975 – The Tasman Bridge, crossing the Derwent River in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, was struck by the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra, killing seven of the ship's crewmen and five motorists on the bridge.
  • 1996 – Hamas operative Yahya Ayyash was assassinated by an Israeli Shabak-planted, bomb-laden cell phone.
  • 2000 – The 1st day of the 2000 Al Qaeda Summit.
  • 2005 – Eris, the largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System, was discovered by a team led by Michael E. Brown using images originally taken on October 21, 2003, at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, U.S.

January 6

  • 1066 – Harold Godwinson was crowned King of England, widely regarded as the last Anglo-Saxon king before the Norman conquest.
  • 1449 – Constantine XI Palaiologos was crowned Byzantine-Roman Emperor, the last one before the Fall of Constantinople.
  • 1661 – Thomas Venner and the Fifth Monarchists unsuccessfully attempted to seize control of London from the newly restored government of Charles II.
  • 1781 – At the Battle of Jersey, British forces stopped France's last attempt to militarily invade Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel.
  • 1838 – Samuel Morse and his assistant Alfred Vail successfully tested the electrical telegraph for the first time at Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey, USA.
  • 1907 – Italian educator Maria Montessori opened her first school and day care centre for working class children in Rome.
  • 1929 – King Alexander of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes abolished his country's constitution and introduced a dictatorship.
  • 1941 – During his State of the Union Address, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented his Four Freedoms as fundamental freedoms humans everywhere in the world ought to enjoy.
  • 1953 – The first Asian Socialist Conference, an organisation of socialist political parties in Asia, opened in Rangoon, Burma, with 177 delegates, observers and fraternal guests.
  • 1977 – The record label EMI ended its contract with the English punk rock band Sex Pistols in response to its members' disruptive behaviour at London Heathrow Airport two days earlier.
  • 1978 – The Holy Crown of Hungary, used to crown Hungarian kings from the 13th century onward, was returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II.
  • 1994 – Two-time American Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right leg by an assailant hired by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of her rival skater Tonya Harding.
  • 1995 – A suspicious fire in a Manila flat led to the foiling of the Bojinka Plot, a precursor to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • 2001 – A joint session of the U.S. Congress certified George W. Bush as the winner of the 2000 U.S. presidential election, despite 20 members of the House of Representatives filing objections to the electoral votes of Florida.

January 7

  • 1558 – Francis, Duke of Guise retook Calais, England's last continental possession, for France.
  • 1598 – Boris Godunov became the first non-Rurikid Tsar of Russia.
  • 1610 – Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei first observed three of the eventual four Galilean moons through his telescope: Io, Europa, and Callisto.
  • 1785 – Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries became the first to cross the English Channel by balloon.
  • 1797 – The first official Italian tricolour was adopted by the government of the Cispadane Republic.
  • 1924 – The International Hockey Federation, the global governing body for field hockey, was founded in Paris in response to the sport's omission from the 1924 Summer Olympics.
  • 1931 – Australian aviator Guy Menzies flew the first solo trans-Tasman flight, from Sydney to New Zealand's West Coast.
  • 1975 – The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women was established to promote empowerment and gender equality for the women of the Philippines.
  • 1979 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia fell to the People's Army of Vietnam, effectively ending the Khmer Rouge regime under Pol Pot.
  • 1996 – A major blizzard pounded the East Coast of the United States, killing more than 100 people.

January 8

  • 1198 – Lotario de Conti became Pope Innocent III. His first act was the restoration of the papal power in Rome.
  • 1790 – George Washington delivered the first ever State of the Union Address in New York City, then the provisional capital of the United States.
  • 1806 – British forces engaged the Batavian Republic at Battle of Blaauwberg, eventually establishing British rule in the Cape Colony.
  • 1815 – American forces led by General Andrew Jackson defeated the British Army at the Battle of New Orleans near New Orleans, two weeks after the United States and United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Ghent to end the War of 1812.
  • 1889 – Statistician Herman Hollerith received a patent for his electric tabulating machine.
  • 1918 – President of the United States Woodrow Wilson announced his Fourteen Points for a moral cause and for post-World War I peace in Europe.
  • 1956 – Five Evangelical Christian missionaries from the United States were killed by the Huaorani in the rainforest of Ecuador shortly after making contact with them.
  • 1964 – During his State of the Union Address, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "War on Poverty".
  • 1979 – The oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded at the offshore jetty of the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal off Bantry Bay, Ireland, killing approximately 50 people.
  • 1989 – British Midland Flight 92 crashed onto the embankment of the M1 motorway near Kegworth, Leicestershire, UK, killing 47 people and injuring 79 others.
  • 2004 – RMS Queen Mary 2, at the time the longest, widest and tallest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

January 9

  • 475 – Basiliscus became Byzantine Emperor after Zeno was forced to flee Constantinople.
  • 1768 – Philip Astley staged the first modern circus in London.
  • 1816 – Inventor Humphry Davy first tested his Davy lamp, a safety lamp containing a candle for use in coal mines.
  • 1839 – The French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype photographic process, named after its inventor, French artist and chemist Louis Daguerre.
  • 1861 – The civilian ship Star of the West was fired upon as it attempted to send supplies and reinforcements to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour before the American Civil War.
  • 1878 – Umberto I became King of Italy following the death of his father Victor Emmanuel II.
  • 1916 – World War I: The last British troops evacuated from Gallipoli, as the Ottoman Empire prevailed over a joint British and French operation to capture Istanbul at the Battle of Gallipoli.
  • 1917 – World War I: Troops of the British Empire defeated the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Rafa on the Sinai–Palestine border in present-day Rafah.
  • 1923 – The autogyro, a type of rotorcraft invented by civil engineer and pilot Juan de la Cierva, made its first successful flight at Cuatro Vientos Airfield in Madrid, Spain.
  • 1972 – RMS Queen Elizabeth, an ocean liner which sailed the Atlantic Ocean for the Cunard White Star Line, was destroyed by fire in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.
  • 2005 – Mahmoud Abbas was elected President of the Palestinian National Authority to replace Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004.

January 10

  • 49 BC – Julius Caesar and his XIII legion crossed the Rubicon, violating Roman law and starting Caesar's Civil War.
  • 1475 – Moldavian–Ottoman Wars: Moldavian forces under Stephen the Great defeated an Ottoman attack led by Hadân Suleiman Pasha, the Beylerbeyi of Rumelia, near Vaslui in present-day Romania.
  • 1645 – William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and a fervent supporter of King Charles I, was beheaded in the midst of the English Civil War.
  • 1776 – Common Sense by Thomas Paine, a document denouncing British rule in the Thirteen Colonies, was published.
  • 1810 – Childless after 14 years of marriage, Napoleon divorced his first wife Joséphine so he could remarry in the hope of having an heir.
  • 1863 – Service began on the Metropolitan Railway between Paddington and Farringdon Street, today the oldest segment of the London Underground.
  • 1927 – The film Metropolis, the most expensive silent film of the time, costing approximately 7 million Reichsmark to make, was released.
  • 1929 – The Ring-tailed Lemur was officially listed at the type species for the genus Lemur by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) when it published Opinion 122, even though the genus originally described lorises.
  • 1929 – The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé that has been sold in over 50 languages and more than 200 million copies to date, first appeared in a children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle.
  • 1946 – The first session of the United Nations General Assembly convened at the Westminster Central Hall in London with representatives from 51 member states.
  • 2000 – America Online announced an agreement to buy Time Warner for $162 billion, the largest corporate merger in history.
  • 2003 – Illinois Governor George Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois' death row based on the Jon Burge scandal.

January 11

  • 532 – Fans of chariot racing broke into a prison and set fire to parts of Constantinople, starting the Nika riots.
  • 1055 – Theodora, the daughter of Constantine VIII and Helena, daughter of Alypius, became Byzantine Empress.
  • 1787 – German-born British astronomer and composer William Herschel discovered the Uranian moons Oberon and Titania. They were later named by his son John after the King and the Queen of the Faeries from William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, respectively.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: At the Battle of Fort Hindman Union forces under Admiral David Dixon Porter and General John Alexander McClernand captured Fort Hindman near the mouth of the Arkansas River in Arkansas Post, Arkansas.
  • 1879 – The Anglo-Zulu War broke out.
  • 1922 – Insulin was first administered to a human patient with diabetes at the Toronto General Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
  • 1923 – Troops from France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr Area to force the German Weimar Republic to pay its reparation payments in the aftermath of World War I.
  • 1942 – World War II: Japanese forces attacked Manado on present-day Sulawesi Island as an attempt to open up a passage to attack Australia through the eastern part of Dutch East Indies.
  • 1964 – In a landmark report, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry issued the warning that smoking may be hazardous for one's health, concluding that it has a causative role in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other illnesses.
  • 1986 – The Gateway Bridge in Brisbane, Australia, at the time the longest prestressed concrete free-cantilever bridge in the world, opened.
  • 2007 – In her room at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, British author J. K. Rowling left a signed statement on a marble bust of Hermes which read, "J. K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room", her seventh and final Harry Potter novel.

January 12

  • 1808 – The Wernerian Natural History Society, a learned society interested in the broad field of natural history, was founded in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • 1838 – In order to avoid anti-Mormon persecution, Latter Day Saint movement founder Joseph Smith, Jr. and his followers fled Kirtland, Ohio for Far West, Missouri.
  • 1848 – The Palermo rising in Sicily commenced against the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  • 1872 – Yohannes IV was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first imperial coronation in that city in over 200 years.
  • 1895 – The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, was founded.
  • 1911 – The University of the Philippines College of Law was founded, eventually graduating many of the leading Filipino political figures since then.
  • 1932 – Running in a special election, Hattie Caraway became the first woman elected to the United States Senate.
  • 1959 – Motown Records was founded as Tamla Records in Detroit, eventually popularising the "Motown" style of soul music.
  • 1964 – Rebels led by John Okello overthrew Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah, ending 200 years of Arab dominance in Zanzibar.
  • 1967 – Seventy-three-year-old psychology professor James Bedford became the first person to be cryonically frozen with intent of future resuscitation.
  • 1969 – British rock band Led Zeppelin released their first record album, Led Zeppelin.
  • 1970 – The self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra in southeastern Nigeria capitulated, ending the Nigerian Civil War.
  • 1971 – The American situation comedy All in the Family, starring Carroll O'Connor as reactionary, bigoted, blue-collar worker Archie Bunker, was first broadcast on the CBS television network; the show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously deemed unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy.
  • 2010 – A 7.0 Mw earthquake struck Haiti, affecting an estimated three million people.

January 13

  • 532 – The Nika riots began in Constantinople, resulting in nearly half the city being burned or destroyed and tens of thousands of people being killed.
  • 1797 – A naval battle fought between a French ship of the line and two British frigates off the coast of Brittany during the French Revolutionary Wars ended with the French vessel running ashore, resulting in the death of over 900.
  • 1822 – The design of the current Flag of Greece was originally adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus for their naval flag.
  • 1842 – When he reached the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, William Brydon, an assistant surgeon in the British Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, became the sole European survivor of a party of over 4,500 military personnel and over 10,000 civilian camp followers retreating from Kabul, excluding a few prisoners released later.
  • 1847 – The Treaty of Cahuenga was signed, informally ending the fighting of the Mexican-American War in California.
  • 1898 – The Paris newspaper L'Aurore published "J'accuse…!", an open letter by French writer Émile Zola to Félix Faure, the President of the Republic, exposing the Dreyfus affair.
  • 1957 – The Wham-O toy company produced their first flying disc, later renamed the Frisbee.
  • 1967 – General Gnassingbé Eyadéma seized power in Togo after a coup d'état, ruling as head of state until his death in February 2005.
  • 1968 – American singer Johnny Cash recorded his landmark album At Folsom Prison live at the Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California.
  • 1972 – Ignatius Kutu Acheamphong led a coup d'état to overthrow Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia and President Edward Akufo-Addo of Ghana.
  • 1991 – The January Events: Soviet troops attacked Lithuanian independence supporters at the TV Tower in Vilnius, killing 14 people.

January 14

  • 1301 – The Árpád dynasty, which ruled in Hungary since the late 9th century, ended with the death of King Andrew III.
  • 1724 – Philip V, the first Bourbon ruler of Spain, abdicated the throne to his eldest son Louis.
  • 1761 – The Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated the French-supplied and trained Maratha troops at the Third Battle of Panipat in Panipat, present-day Haryana, India.
  • 1814 – Sweden and Denmark–Norway signed the Treaty of Kiel, whereby Frederick VI of Denmark, a loser in the Napoleonic Wars, ceded Norway to Sweden in return for the Swedish holdings in Pomerania.
  • 1900 – Giacomo Puccini's opera Tosca, based on the play La Tosca by French dramatist Victorien Sardou, premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome.
  • 1933 – The controversial Bodyline cricket tactics used by Douglas Jardine's England peaked when Australian captain Bill Woodfull was hit in the heart.
  • 1939 – Norway claimed Queen Maud Land in Antarctica as a dependent territory.
  • 1943 – Japanese forces began their withdrawal from Guadalcanal at the conclusion of the Guadalcanal Campaign of World War II.
  • 1952 – Today, the world's first morning/breakfast television show, debuted on the American television network NBC.
  • 1967 – American Counterculture of the 1960s: The Human Be-In, was held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, launching the Summer of Love.
  • 1972 – Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ascended to the throne under a new act of succession.
  • 2004 – The Five Cross Flag was restored to official use as the national flag of Georgia after a hiatus of some 500 years.

January 15

  • 1759 – The British Museum in London, today containing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world, opened to the public in Montagu House, Bloomsbury.
  • 1777 – The Republic of New Connecticut declared its independence from several jurisdictions and land claims of the British colonies of New Hampshire and New York.
  • 1885 – American photographer Wilson Bentley took the first known photograph of a snowflake by attaching a bellows camera to a microscope.
  • 1908 – Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Greek-lettered sorority established and incorporated by African American college women, was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by nine students.
  • 1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: A large molasses tank in Boston burst and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.
  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two prominent socialists in Germany, were tortured and murdered by the Freikorps.
  • 1943 – The highest-capacity office building in the world, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defence known as the Pentagon, was dedicated.
  • 1947 – The brutalised corpse of the Black Dahlia, a 22-year-old American woman who was the victim of a gruesome and much-publicised murder, was found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California.
  • 1967 – The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the American football championship game now known as Super Bowl I.
  • 1991 – Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of Australia, signed letters patent allowing Australia to become the first Commonwealth Realm to institute its own separate Victoria Cross award in its own honours system.
  • 1993 – Salvatore "The Beast" Riina, one of the most powerful members of the Sicilian Mafia, was arrested after three decades as a fugitive.

January 16

  • 27 BC – Gaius Octavianus was given the title Augustus by the Roman Senate.
  • 929 – Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III of Cordoba declared himself caliph, thereby establishing the Caliphate of Córdoba.
  • 1120 – The Council of Nablus was held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
  • 1547 – Ivan the Terrible was crowned Tsar of Russia.
  • 1809 – Peninsular War: French forces under Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult attacked the amphibious evacuation of the British under Sir John Moore in Corunna, Galicia, Spain.
  • 1909 – The Nimrod Expedition led by Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton reached the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Zimmermann Telegram was dispatched.
  • 1919 – The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by thirty-six of the forty-eight states, establishing the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the United States.
  • 1942 – TWA Flight 3 crashed into Potosi Mountain in Nevada, killing actress Carole Lombard and all of the other 21 people on board.
  • 1969 – Student Jan Palach set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square in Prague to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia one year earlier. He died three days later from the third-degree burns he suffered.
  • 1986 – The Internet Engineering Task Force, a standards organisation that develops and promotes Internet standards, held its first meeting, consisting of twenty-one United States-government-funded researchers.
  • 1991 – Operation Desert Storm: A United Nations-led Coalition began an assault on Iraqi forces to free Kuwait.
  • 1992 – The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed, ending the 12-year Salvadoran Civil War between the military-led government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front.
  • 2006 – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in as President of Liberia, becoming Africa's first female elected head of state.

January 17

  • 1377 – Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon, effectively becoming the last Avignon Pope.
  • 1608 – Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia and his troops surprised a raiding army of the Oromo at Ebenat, reportedly killing 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 men.
  • 1781 – American Revolutionary War: American forces decisively defeated British forces at the Battle of Cowpens.
  • 1885 – Mahdist War: British troops defeated Mahdist Sudanese forces at the Battle of Abu Klea in Khartoum, Sudan.
  • 1893 – The Citizens' Committee of Public Safety led by Lorrin A. Thurston overthrew the government of Queen Liliuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
  • 1899 – The United States took possession of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1904 – Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play, The Cherry Orchard, premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre in Moscow.
  • 1917 – Denmark sold their portion of the Virgin Islands archipelago to the United States for US$25 million.
  • 1929 – American cartoonist E. C. Segar's character Popeye first appeared in his newspaper comic strip Thimble Theatre.
  • 1946 – The United Nations Security Council, the organ of the United Nations charged with the maintenance of international peace and security, held its first meeting at Church House in London.
  • 1966 – A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress collided with a KC-135 Stratotanker during aerial refueling over the Mediterranean Sea, dropping three hydrogen bombs on land near Palomares in the municipality of Cuevas del Almanzora, Andalucía, Spain; and a fourth one into the sea.
  • 1977 – Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a four-year moratorium on the death penalty in the United States.
  • 1991 – A military coalition led by the U.S. launched Operation Desert Storm against Iraq.
  • 1994 – A 6.7 Mw earthquake killed 72 people, injured more than 9,000 others, and caused an estimated US$20 billion in damage in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
  • 1995 – The Great Hanshin Earthquake struck near Kobe, Japan, killing over 6,000 people and causing over ¥10 trillion (US$200 billion) worth of damage.
  • 2002 – Mount Nyiragongo erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 20 kilometres north of the town of Goma, destroying 4,500 buildings and leaving about 120,000 people homeless.

January 18

  • 1126 – Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty of China abdicated the throne in favour of his son Qinzong.
  • 1486 – Elizabeth of York married Henry VII of England, becoming Queen consort.
  • 1535 – Conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Ciudad de los Reyes, present-day Lima, Peru, as the capital of the lands he conquered for the Spanish Crown.
  • 1778 – English explorer James Cook became the first known European to reach the Sandwich Islands, now known as the Hawaiian Islands.
  • 1871 – A number of independent German states unified into the German Empire, with Prussian King Wilhelm I being proclaimed as its first Emperor.
  • 1915 – Japanese Prime Minister Okuma Shigenobu issued the Twenty-One Demands to the Republic of China in a bid to increase its power in East Asia.
  • 1955 – Chinese Civil War: The People's Liberation Army engaged the National Revolutionary Army on the Yijiangshan Islands, one of the last strongholds of nationalist forces near mainland China.
  • 1958 – African Canadian Willie O'Ree of the Boston Bruins played his first game in the National Hockey League, breaking the colour barrier in professional ice hockey.
  • 1977 – The mysterious Legionnaires' disease was found to be caused by a novel bacterium now known as Legionella.
  • 2003 – Bushfires burning out of control began blazing through residential areas of Canberra, Australia, eventually killing four people, and damaging or destroying more than 500 homes.

January 19

  • 1764 – English radical and politician John Wilkes was expelled from the British Parliament and declared an outlaw for seditious libel.
  • 1806 – The United Kingdom occupied the Cape of Good Hope for a second time after relinquishing control of the territory three years earlier.
  • 1817 – An army of over 5,400 soldiers led by General José de San Martín crossed the Andes from Argentina to liberate Chile and then Peru from Spanish rule.
  • 1839 – The Royal Marines landed at Aden to occupy the territory and stop attacks by pirates against the British East India Company's shipping to India. The city in present-day Yemen remained under British control until 1967.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: In their first significant victory, Union forces defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Mill Springs in Wayne and Pulaski counties, near current Nancy, Kentucky.
  • 1917 – Approximately 50 tons of TNT exploded at a munitions factory in Silvertown in West Ham, present-day Greater London, killing over 70 people and injuring over 400 others.
  • 1935 – In Chicago, Coopers Inc. sold the world's first briefs, a new style of men's undergarment.
  • 1977 – Iva Toguri, allegedly a Tokyo Rose, a generic name given by Allied forces during World War II to approximately twenty English-speaking female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda, was granted a full pardon by U.S. President Gerald Ford.
  • 1983 – Apple Inc. introduced the Apple Lisa, their first commercial personal computer with a graphical user interface and a computer mouse. It had 1 MB of RAM, and was priced at US $9,995.
  • 2006 – In the deadliest aviation accident in Slovak history, an Antonov An-24 aircraft operated by the Slovak Air Force crashed in northern Hungary, near Hejce and Telkibánya, killing 42 of the 43 people on board.

January 20

  • 250 – Pope Fabian became one of the first people to die during Roman Emperor Decius' widespread persecution of Christians.
  • 1156 – According to legend, freeholder Lalli slayed Bishop Henry of Finland with an axe on the ice of the lake Köyliönjärvi in Köyliö, Finland.
  • 1523 – Christian II was forced to abdicate as both King of Denmark and King of Norway.
  • 1576 – León in Guanajuato, Mexico, was founded by order of Viceroy Martín Enríquez de Almanza of New Spain.
  • 1839 – Chilean troops decisively defeated the forces of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation at the Battle of Yungay in the Ancash Region of Peru, effectively ending the War of the Confederation.
  • 1840 – William II became King of the Netherlands after his father William I abdicated the throne.
  • 1843 – Honório Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná became the de facto first prime minister of the Empire of Brazil.
  • 1885 – LaMarcus Adna Thompson, sometimes called the "Father of Gravity", patented the roller coaster.
  • 1921 – The first Turkish Constitution was ratified by the Grand National Assembly, making fundamental changes in Turkey by enshrining the principle of national sovereignty.
  • 1942 – The Holocaust: SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich and other senior Nazi German officials met at the Wannsee Conference in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss implementation of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question".
  • 1968 – The Houston Cougars upset the UCLA Bruins in what became known as "Game of the Century", ending the Bruins' 47-game winning streak, and establishing college basketball as a sports commodity on American television.
  • 1990 – The Soviet Red Army violently cracked down on Azeri pro-independence demonstrations in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR.
  • 2001 – The EDSA Revolution of 2001 allowed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to succeed into the presidency after her predecessor, Joseph Estrada, resigned from office.
  • 2009 – In Washington, D.C., over 1 million people attended the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States.

January 21

  • 1525 – The Anabaptist Movement was born when founders Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and George Blaurock re-baptised each other and other followers in Zürich, Switzerland, believing that the Christian religious practice of infant baptism is invalid because a child cannot commit to a religious faith.
  • 1793 – French Revolution: After being found guilty of treason by the National Convention, King Louis XVI was guillotined in front of a cheering crowd at the Place de la Révolution in Paris.
  • 1915 – The first Kiwanis service club was founded in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1919 – The First Dáil Éireann first convened at the Mansion House in Dublin, adopting a Declaration of Independence calling for a new sovereign state: the Irish Republic.
  • 1948 – The Flag of Quebec, featuring a white cross and four fleurs-de-lis on a blue field, was adopted and flown for the first time over the Quebec Parliament Building in Quebec City.
  • 1968 – Cold War: A B-52 bomber carrying four nuclear weapons crashed onto sea ice near Thule Air Base, Greenland, causing widespread radioactive contamination.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: The Vietnam People's Army attacked Khe Sanh Combat Base, a U.S. Marines outpost in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, starting the Battle of Khe Sanh.
  • 1972 – Tripura became a full-fledged state in India.
  • 1976 – The Concorde supersonic transports began scheduled commercial flights to London, Paris, Bahrain, and Rio de Janeiro.
  • 2008 – The Eyak language in Alaska became extinct after Marie Smith Jones, the language's last native speaker, died, an event that became a symbol in the fight against language extinction.

January 22

  • 565 – Justinian the Great deposed Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople, after he refused the Byzantine Emperor's order to adopt the tenets of the Aphthartodocetae, a sect of Monophysites.
  • 1863 – The January Uprising, the longest Polish, Belarusian and Lithuanian uprising against the Russian Empire, broke out, originally as a spontaneous protest by young Poles against conscription into the Russian Army.
  • 1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: Zulu forces of King Cetshwayo fought to a decisive victory at the Battle of Isandlwana.
  • 1905 – Russian Revolution: Peaceful demonstrators, led by Father Gapon, a Russian Orthodox priest, were massacred outside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.
  • 1919 – The Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian National Republic signed the Act Zluky in Kiev, an agreement aimed at creating a unified Ukrainian state, although both governments retained their own separate armies, administrations and government structure.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Allies commenced Operation Shingle, an amphibious landing against Axis forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy.
  • 1946 – Iran Crisis: The Republic of Mahabad declared its independence, seeking autonomy for the Kurds within Iran.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: American forces began implementing Operation Igloo White, an electronic surveillance system designed to stop the People's Army of (North) Vietnam from infiltrating into South Vietnam.
  • 1973 – The U.S. Supreme Court delivered its decision in the landmark case Roe v. Wade, striking down laws restricting abortion during the first six to seven months of pregnancy.
  • 1980 – Andrei Sakharov, a key architect of the Soviet hydrogen bomb and winner of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize, was arrested in Moscow following his public protests against the Soviet war in Afghanistan and exiled to Gorky.
  • 1995 – Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Beit Lid Junction, an important road junction in the Sharon region of Israel, killing over 20 people.

January 23

  • 1368 – Zhu Yuanzhang ascended to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that would last for three centuries.
  • 1556 – The deadliest earthquake in history killed about 830,000 people in Shaanxi Province, China.
  • 1579 – The Union of Utrecht was signed, unifying the northern provinces in the Low Countries which later formed the Dutch Republic.
  • 1656 – Under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte, French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal published the first of his Lettres provinciales, attacking the Jesuits and their use of casuistic reasoning.
  • 1719 – Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI established Liechtenstein, the only principality in the Holy Roman Empire still remaining today.
  • 1789 – The purchase of a large plot of land by Bishop John Carroll marks the establishment of Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic university in the United States.
  • 1912 – Twelve nations signed the International Opium Convention, the first international drug control treaty, to regulate the production and distribution of opiates.
  • 1960 – The bathyscaphe Trieste reached the record depth of 10,916 m (35,813 feet) in Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench.
  • 1968 – USS Pueblo was seized by North Korean forces, who claimed that it had violated their territorial waters while spying.
  • 1986 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members, including Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley.
  • 2001 – Five people attempted to set themselves on fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, an act that many people later claimed was staged by the Communist Party of China to frame Falun Gong and thus escalate their persecution.
  • 2006 – After 12 years of Liberal Party's rule, Stephen Harper's Conservative Party won the most seats in the Canadian federal election.

January 24

  • 41 – Roman Emperor Caligula was murdered by Cassius Chaerea and the disgruntled Praetorian Guards. Caligula's uncle Claudius was proclaimed emperor in his place.
  • 1438 – The Council of Basel suspended Pope Eugene IV and pronounced him deposed the following year, giving rise to a new schism by electing Amadeus VIII of Savoy as an antipope.
  • 1639 – The Fundamental Orders, the first written constitution in North American history, was adopted in Connecticut.
  • 1848 – James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California, USA, leading to the California Gold Rush.
  • 1857 – The University of Calcutta, the first modern university in the Indian subcontinent, was established in Calcutta, India.
  • 1891 – Prime Minister John Ballance began his term with his Liberal Party, the first political party in power in New Zealand.
  • 1924 – Three days after the death of Vladimir Lenin, the City of Petrograd, founded by Peter the Great of Russia in 1703, was renamed Leningrad.
  • 1968 – The 1st Australian Task Force launched Operation Coburg against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong during wider fighting around Long Binh and Bien Hoa.
  • 1972 – Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi was found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II.
  • 1977 – During the Spanish transition to democracy, neo-facists attacked an office near the Atocha railway station in Madrid, where specialists of labour law, members of the Workers' Commissions trade union, and of the then Communist Party of Spain had gathered, killing five people and injuring four others.
  • 1984 – The first Apple Macintosh, today known as the Macintosh 128K, went on sale, becoming the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface rather than a command line interface.
  • 1993 – Turkish journalist and writer Ugur Mumcu was assassinated by a car bomb outside his home in Ankara.

January 25

  • 1554 – Jesuit missionaries José de Anchieta and Manoel da Nóbrega established a mission at São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga, which grew to become São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 1573 – Sengoku period: The forces of Takeda Shingen defeated those of Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Mikatagahara in Mikatagahara, north of Hamamatsu, Mikawa Province.
  • 1755 – Russian Empress Elizabeth issued a decree ordering the establishment of what is now Lomonosov Moscow State University, today the largest university in Russia.
  • 1919 – The Paris Peace Conference, convened to build a lasting peace after World War I, approved the proposal to create the League of Nations.
  • 1924 – The first Winter Olympic Games opened at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France, attracting more than 200 athletes from 16 nations.
  • 1937 – The Guiding Light, the longest-running programme in broadcast history, first aired on the NBC Red radio network.
  • 1971 – Idi Amin Dada seized power in a military coup d'état from President Milton Obote, beginning eight years of military rule in Uganda.
  • 1993 – Five people were shot outside the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, USA, resulting in two deaths.
  • 2004 – Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed on Mars and rolled into Eagle crater, a small crater on the Meridiani Planum.
  • 2006 – Three independent observing campaigns announced the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, a super-Earth extrasolar planet 21,500 ± 3,300 light years away from Earth near the centre of the Milky Way.

January 26

  • 1500 – Spanish navigator, explorer, and conquistador Vicente Yáñez Pinzón reached the north coast of what today is Brazil.
  • 1565 – The Deccan sultanates defeated the Vijayanagara Empire at the Battle of Talikota in present-day Karnataka, ending the last great Hindu kingdom in South India.
  • 1700 – The magnitude 9 Cascadia Earthquake took place off the Pacific coast of the American Northwest, as evidenced by Japanese records of tsunamis.
  • 1788 – Captain Arthur Phillip and the British First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove on the shore of Port Jackson in present-day Sydney, establishing the first permanent European settlement in Australia.
  • 1808 – Governor of New South Wales William Bligh was deposed by the New South Wales Corps in the only successful armed takeover of government in Australia's recorded history.
  • 1856 – Puget Sound War: United States Marines from the USS Decatur defeated Native American forces after an all day battle with settlers in Seattle, Washington.
  • 1905 – The Cullinan Diamond, the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found at 3,106.75 carats, was discovered at the Premier Mine in Cullinan, Gauteng, South Africa.
  • 1934 – Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic signed the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact, pledging to resolve their problems through bilateral negotiations and to forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years.
  • 1950 – Indian independence movement: India officially became a republic under a new constitution, with Rajendra Prasad as its first president.
  • 1983 – The spreadsheet programme Lotus 1-2-3 was first released, becoming the IBM Personal Computer's first "killer application".
  • 1988 – Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera, based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City, becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time.
  • 2001 – A 7.7 Mw earthquake struck Gujarat, India, killing more than 20,000 people, injuring 167,000 others, and destroying about one million homes.

January 27

  • 661 – The Rashidun Caliphate, the first Arab caliphate founded after Muhammad's death in 632, effectively ended with the death of Ali.
  • 1343 – Pope Clement VI issued the papal bull Unigenitus to justify the power of the pope and the use of indulgences.
  • 1785 – The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, one of the oldest public universities in the United States, was founded.
  • 1888 – Two weeks after a group of over thirty explorers and scientists met in Washington, D.C. to organise "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge," the National Geographic Society, publisher of the National Geographic Magazine, was incorporated.
  • 1909 – The Young Liberals of Norway, the youth league of the Norwegian political party Venstre was founded, today advocating a more liberal version of the mother party's social liberalist ideology.
  • 1918 – The first hostilities in the Finnish Civil War began when White Guards attacked trains carrying a large shipment of weapons from Bolshevist Russia to the Red Guards.
  • 1939 – The Lockheed P-38 Lightning made its first flight, becoming the only American fighter aircraft in active production throughout the duration of American involvement in World War II.
  • 1944 – World War II: The two year Siege of Leningrad was lifted.
  • 1945 – The Soviet Red Army liberated over 7,500 prisoners left behind by Nazi personnel in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland.
  • 1951 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site began with a one–kiloton (4–terajoule) bomb dropped on Frenchman Flats.
  • 1967 – The Outer Space Treaty, a treaty that forms the basis of international space law, opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.
  • 1967 – The Apollo 1 spacecraft was destroyed by fire at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, U.S., killing astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee.
  • 1973 – The Paris Peace Accords were signed in Paris, temporarily ending the Vietnam War with a ceasefire. North Vietnam would violate the treaty one year later when it attacked South Vietnam on December 13, 1974.
  • 1996 – Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara deposed Mahamane Ousmane, the first democratically elected president of Niger, in a military coup d'état.
  • 2003 – The first selections for the National Recording Registry were announced by the Library of Congress.

January 28

  • 1077 – Walk to Canossa: Pope Gregory VII lifted the excommunication of Henry IV after the Holy Roman Emperor made his trek from Speyer to Canossa Castle to beg the pope for forgiveness for his actions in the Investiture Controversy.
  • 1521 – Emperor Charles V and the estates of the Holy Roman Empire convened at the Diet of Worms to discuss Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation.
  • 1547 – Nine-year-old Edward VI became the first Protestant ruler of England, during whose reign Protestantism was established for the first time in the country with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the mass.
  • 1573 – The Warsaw Confederation was signed, sanctioning religious freedom in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • 1724 – The Russian Academy of Sciences, the national academy of Russia, was established.
  • 1754 – Horace Walpole first coined the word "serendipity" in a letter he wrote to a friend, saying that he derived the term from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip.
  • 1813 – The novel Pride and Prejudice by English author Jane Austen was published, using material from an unpublished manuscript that she originally wrote between 1796 and 1797.
  • 1820 – A Russian expedition led by naval officers Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev approached the coast of Antarctica.
  • 1846 – The British led by Sir Harry Smith defeated the Sikh Khalsa Army led by Ranjodh Singh Majithia at the Battle of Aliwal, sometimes regarded as the turning point of the First Anglo-Sikh War.
  • 1855 – A train on the Panama Railway made the world's first transcontinental crossing by rail, a 48-mile trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean across the Isthmus of Panama.
  • 1871 – French forces surrendered at the Siege of Paris, leading to the end of the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire.
  • 1921 – A Tomb of the Unknown Soldier memorial was installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris with the remains of an unknown French soldier killed in World War I.
  • 1932 – The January 28 Incident, a short war fought in and around Shanghai between the armies of the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan, began.
  • 1958 – The Denmark toy company Lego Group patented their design of Lego bricks.
  • 1986 – The NASA Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds into its tenth mission, killing all seven crew members.

January 29

  • 904 – Sergius III, whose pontificate was marked with feudal violence and disorder in central Italy, came out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher.
  • 1845 – American poet Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" appeared in the New York Evening Mirror, the first publication attributed to Poe.
  • 1850 – U.S. Senator Henry Clay introduced the Compromise of 1850, a series of laws designed to balance the interests between the slaveholding Southern United States and the free states of the north.
  • 1856 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom issued a Warrant under the Royal sign-manual that established the Victoria Cross, originally to recognise acts of valour by British military personnel during the Crimean War.
  • 1863 – Indian Wars in North America: The United States Army led by Patrick Edward Connor massacred Chief Bear Hunter and forces of the Shoshone at the Bear River massacre in present day Franklin County, Idaho.
  • 1886 – German engine designer and engineer Karl Benz filed a patent for the Motorwagen, the first purpose-built, gasoline-driven automobile.
  • 1943 – The Battle of Rennell Island, the last major naval engagement between the United States Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Guadalcanal campaign, began.
  • 1944 – World War II: At least 38 people were killed and about a dozen injured when the Polish village of Koniuchy (present-day Kaniukai, Lithuania) was attacked by Soviet partisan units.
  • 2002 – In his State of the Union Address, U.S. President George W. Bush described governments he accused of sponsoring terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction as an "axis of evil", specifically naming Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.
  • 2006 – India's Irfan Pathan became the first bowler to take a Test cricket hat-trick in the opening over of a match.
  • 2009 – Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich was convicted of several corruption charges, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for then-U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.

January 30

  • 1649 – English Civil War: King Charles I, who was defeated in both the First and the Second Civil War, was beheaded for high treason in front of the Banqueting House in London.
  • 1820 – Edward Bransfield of the Royal Navy landed on the mainland of Antarctica.
  • 1826 – The Menai Suspension Bridge, connecting the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales, one of the world's first modern suspension bridges, opened.
  • 1858 – The Hallé, the United Kingdom's oldest extant symphony orchestra, and the fourth oldest in the world, held their first concert in Manchester.
  • 1930 – In Pavlovsk, USSR, meteorologist Pavel Molchanov launched one of the world's first radiosondes, a device attached to weather balloons to measure various atmospheric parameters.
  • 1942 – World War II: In one of the largest loss of life in a single sinking in maritime history, the Soviet submarine S-13 sank the Wilhelm Gustloff carrying German soldiers and refugees evacuating from East Prussia during Operation Hannibal, killing at least 9,400 people.
  • 1945 – World War II: Allied forces liberated over 500 prisoners of war from a Japanese POW camp near Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.
  • 1948 – Nathuram Godse fatally shot Mahatma Gandhi, political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement, at Birla House in Delhi.
  • 1964 – In a bloodless coup, General Nguyen Khanh overthrew General Duong Van Minh's military junta in South Vietnam, less than three months after Minh came to power in a bloody coup against then-President Ngo Dinh Diem.
  • 1972 – On Bloody Sunday, members of the British Parachute Regiment shot at twenty-six civil rights protesters in Derry, Northern Ireland, killing at least thirteen people.

January 31

  • 1606 – Explosives expert Guy Fawkes and several others were hanged, drawn and quartered for their involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to destroy the Houses of Parliament in London during the State Opening.
  • 1747 – The London Lock Hospital, the first clinic specialising in the treatment of venereal diseases, opened.
  • 1814 – Gervasio Antonio de Posadas became Supreme Director of Argentina.
  • 1862 – American telescope-maker and astronomer Alvan Graham Clark first observed the faint white dwarf companion of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.
  • 1900 – The Mat Salleh Rebellion, a series of major disturbances in North Borneo, now Malaysian state of Sabah, ended when its leader Datu Muhammad Salleh was shot dead in Tambunan.
  • 1917 – World War I: Germany announced its U-boats would resume unrestricted submarine warfare, less than two years after suspending its attacks when the United States protested the sinking of the ocean liner RMS Lusitania.
  • 1943 – American and Australian forces stopped a Japanese advance during the New Guinea campaign, killing around 1,200 troops during the Battle of Wau.
  • 1946 – In the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a new constitution established the six constituent republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.
  • 1953 – The North Sea flood and its associated storm began hitting the coastlines of several European countries along the North Sea, eventually killing more than 2,000 people.
  • 1961 – Aboard NASA's Mercury-Redstone 2, Ham the Chimp became the first hominid launched into outer space.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: Forces of the Viet Cong and the Vietnam People's Army launched the Tet Offensive to strike military and civilian command and control centres throughout South Vietnam.
  • 1971 – The Winter Soldier Investigation, a three-day media event sponsored by the anti-war organisation Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicise war crimes and other atrocities by American forces and their allies during the Vietnam War, began.
  • 2000 – Alaska Airlines Flight 261, experiencing problems with its horizontal stabiliser system, crashed in the Pacific off the coast of California's Anacapa Island, killing all 88 people on board.
  • 2007 – Suspects were arrested in Birmingham, UK, accused of plotting to kidnap, and eventually behead, a Muslim British soldier serving in Iraq.
 
We reserve the right to not be responsible for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided.
 
 

Learn more ...

Dictionary
  • Dictionary
  • English Dictionary

BETA

 Double click on any word  on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com