Born On This Day:
- Horatio Alger, 1832
- Sophie Tucker, 1884
- Robert Stack, 1919
- Roland Petit, 1924
- Gwen Verdon, 1926
- Charles Nelson Reilly, 1931
- Brandon Tartikoff, 1949
- Steven Hendry, 1969
- Orlando Bloom, 1977
Died On This Day:
- Edmund Spenser, 1599
- Stephen Foster, 1864
- Wyatt Earp, 1929
- James Joyce, 1941
- Jesse Lasky, 1958
- Ernie Kovacs killed, 1962
- Hubert Humphrey, 1978
- Andre Kostelanetz, 1980
- Brooks Atkinson, 1984
- Georgi Malenkov, 1988
- Harold Shipman, 2004
- Patrick McGoohan, 2009
- Teddy Pendergrass, 2010
- Anthony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon), 2017
- 1610 - Galileo Galilei discovers Callisto, the fourth satellite of Jupiter.
- 1733 - 130 settlers lead by James Oglethorpe establish Charleston, SC to settle British territory Georgia.
- 1854 - The accordion patented by Anthony Faas of Philadelphia.
- 1886 - Lagos becomes separate British colony from Nigeria.
- 1888 - National Geographic Society founded at Cosmos Club opposite White House, DC.
- 1893 - First meeting of Britain's Independent Labor Party, precursor of current Labor party.
- 1910 - Caruso's singing of 'I Pagliacci' is first operatic song to be transmitted by radio waves from NY.
- 1915 - Earthquake in central Italy kills 29,500; 17 villages in Abruzzi destroyed.
- 1920 - New York Times publishes editorial saying rockets will never be able to fly.
- 1930 - Mickey Mouse comic strip appears for first time.
- 1938 - First animated feature 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' opens at Radio City Music Hall.
- 1942 - Henry Ford patents a plastic-bodied car, 30% lighter than ordinary cars.
- 1957 - Walter Frederick Morrison and Wham-O Company of San Gabriel, CA market first Frizbee.
- 1978 - NASA appoints first women astronaut; six women hired to perform medical tasks on space shuttles.
- 1985 - Worst South African railroad accident in history kills 392 when train falls into canyon.
- 1987 - Seven New York Mafia bosses sentenced to 100 years each in prison.
- 1989 - Friday the 13th virus hits IBM computers in Britain.
- 2002 - The Fantasticks closes in New York after a 42-year 17,162 performance run - 2nd longest in history.
- 2011 - Floods and mudslides in Rio de Janeiro and south-eastern Brazil kill more than 500.
- 2012 - Cruise ship Costa Concordia hits rocky shoal on Friday the 13th and sinks off Island of Giglio; 16 dead, 17 missing.
Feast Day of Saint:
- Hilary of Poitiers
- Day of Hesus of Hu (Druid form of Christ)
- Only Urnaesch in Switzerland celebrates New Years Day (Julian Calendar)
- Canute's Day or Tjugondag Knut celebrated in Sweden
- Stephen Foster Memorial Day in US
- YÜAN TAN. Chinese New Year's Day. Based on lunar calendar - starts sunset on day of 2nd New Moon.
- CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL 15th day of first month of lunar calendar marks end of Chinese New Year.
- TU BI-SHEBAT (Judaism) New Year for Trees, celebrated on 15th of lunar month Shebat.
- MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY 3rd Monday in January
- ADULTS DAY in Japan - second Monday in January - 'Seijin no hi'
- SNOW FESTIVAL - Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
- GANESHA CHATURTHI, Hindu Festival of the Elephant God
- VASANT PANCHAMI, Hindu Festival of Spring and of Saraswati, Goddess of Learning (end of January)
- PONGAL AND MAKARA SANKRANTI, mid-January, Harvest festival celebrated in Southern India and Singapore
- LAILAT AL MIRAJ Muslim Festival celebrating ascent of Muhammad into Heaven
- JAPANESE NEW YEAR - 3 day festival
- LOHRI, the Hindu Bonfire Festival, celebrated early January
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