Born On This Day:
- Andre Michelin, 1853
- Robert Service, 1874
- Fulgencio Batista, 1901
- Phil Harris, 1904
- Dizzy Dean, 1911
- Ethel Merman, 1912
- Francesco Scavullo, 1929
- Norman Podhoretz, 1930
- Marilyn Horne, 1943
- Ronnie Milsap, 1946
- Dr. Laura Schlessinger, 1947
- John Carpenter, 1948
- Debbie Allen, 1950
- Sade (Helen Folasade Adu), 1959
- Roy Jones, Jr., 1969
- Kate Moss, 1974
Died On This Day:
- Edward Gibbon, 1794
- Leo Delibes, 1891
- Marshall Field, 1906
- Ma Barker and her boys shot, 1935
- Carole Lombard killed, 1942
- Arturo Toscanini, 1957
- Vernon Duke, 1969
- A.J. Cronin, 1981
- Earl Wilson, 1987
- John Mortimer, 2009
- Andrew Wyeth, 2009
- 1493 - Christopher Columbus sets sail for Spain from Hispaniola (now Haiti) after his big discovery.
- 1547 - Ivan the Terrible, (Ivan IV) first Russian Czar, crowned.
- 1604 - King James I ends meetings with Puritans at the Hampton Court Conference and agrees to commission new English translation of bible.
- 1780 - Second battle of Cape St. Vincent with future King William IV (later known as Sailor King).
- 1786 - Virginia passes religious freedom act, written by Tom Jefferson, precursor to first Amendment.
- 1868 - Detroit fish salesman, William Davis, granted patent on refrigerated car - 'ice box on wheels.'
- 1882 - Knights of Columbus fraternal benefit association founded in New Haven, Conn.
- 1909 - Ernest Shackleton Expedition from Britain reaches magnetic South Pole.
- 1919 - League of Nations convenes its first meeting in Paris.
- 1920 - 18th Amendment (Prohibition) comes into effect at midnight; beer, wine, liquor banned from U.S.A.
- 1928 - Pan Am becomes first U.S. airline to operate permanent international service (to Havana).
- 1945 - Battle of the Bulge Ends. WWII.
- 1958 - William Gibson's 'Two For the Seesaw' opens on Broadway at the Booth Theatre.
- 1964 - 'Hello Dolly' opens 2,844 performance run at St. James Theatre, N.Y. starring Carol Channing.
- 1973 - 'Bonanza,' TV Western series, airs last episode after 14 years.
- 1978 - Ward Christiansen and Randy Suess begin to create the first computer bulletin board system in Chi.
- 1979 - Fall of the Shah of Iran; Shah forced to flee.
- 1982 - California cuisine is born; Wolfgang Puck's restaurant, Spago, opens in Los Angeles.
- 2005 - Romanian woman, Adriana Iliescu, becomes world's oldest new mother giving birth at age 67.
- 2013 - Four day siege in a Sahara Desert Gas plant in Algeria begins; Al Queda takes hostages and kills at least 40.
Feast Day of Saint:
- Berard and his companions
- Honoratus of Arles
- Day of commemoration of the Temple of Concord
- 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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