Born On This Day:
- Richard II, 1367
- Joan of Arc, 1412
- Gustave Doré, 1832
- Sherlock Holmes, 1854
- Carl Sandburg, 1878
- Tom Mix, 1880
- Sam Rayburn, 1882
- Khalil Gibran, 1883
- Wright Morris, 1910
- Joey Adams, 1911
- Danny Thomas, 1912
- Loretta Young, 1913
- Alan Watts, 1915
- Sun Myung Moon, 1920
- Sun Myung Moon, 1920
- Lou Harris, 1921
- Earl Scruggs, 1924
- John De Lorean, 1925
- John DeLorean, 1925
- Vic Tayback, 1930
- E. L. Doctorow, 1931
- Bonnie Franklin, 1944
- Syd Barrett, 1946
- Anthony Minghella, 1954
- Rowan Atkinson, 1955
- Nigella Lawson, 1960
Died On This Day:
- Louis Braille, 1852
- Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, 1919
- Victor Fleming, 1949
- Robert Welch, 1985
- Rudolph Nureyev AIDS, 1993
- Dizzy Gillespie, 1993
- Lou Rawls, 2006
- AD 548 - Today the Church in Jerusalem observed birth of Jesus for last time; December 25 becomes date.
- 1066 - Harold Godwinson crowned King Harold II, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England.
- 1540 - King Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleaves in a wedding that will last only six months.
- 1639 - Virginia Assembly okays world's first destruction of surplus tobacco crop.
- 1681 - First reported boxing match in history in England - butler of the Duke of Albemarle vs. his butcher.
- 1844 - Patent for process to obtain iron from iron ore granted to S. Broadmeadow of N.J.
- 1907 - Educator Maria Montessori opens her first Montessori school in Rome.
- 1912 - New Mexico becomes 47th State admitted to Union.
- 1914 - Merrill Lynch founded today.
- 1924 - Albania proclaims itself a republic under president Ahmed Zogu.
- 1950 - Britain recognizes the Communist government of China.
- 1984 - First test tube quadruplets born in Australia.
- 1987 - Astronomers report the sighting of a new galaxy 12 billion light years away.
- 2001 - Congress formally certifies George W. Bush as winner of controversial 2000 election; Gore presides.
Feast Day of Saint:
- Three Kings Day
- Twelfth Night
- Day of Wise Men in Mexico
- Dezomeshinki (New Year) in Japan.
- Christmas Day in Spain
- Old Christmas Day
- 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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