Born On This Day:
- Georgi Malenkov, 1902
- Peter Arno, 1904
- Butterfly McQueen, 1911
- José Ferrer, 1912
- Larry Storch, 1925
- Soupy Sales, 1926
- Bill Graham, 1931
- Charles Osgood, 1933
- Roy Kinnear, 1934
- Elvis Presley, 1935
- Shirley Bassey, 1937
- Yvette Mimieux, 1941
- Graham Chapman, 1941
- Stephen Hawking, 1942
- David Bowie, 1947
- Wolfgang Puck, 1949
Died On This Day:
- Galileo Galilei, 1642
- John Baskerville, 1775
- Eli Whitney, 1825
- Paul Verlaine, 1896
- Robert Baden-Powell, 1941
- Chou En-lai, 1976
- Terry-Thomas, 1990
- Red Thunder Cloud, 1996
- François Mitterand, 1996
- Yvonne de Carlo, 2007
- 1297 - Warrior Francesco Grimaldi, masquerading as a monk seeking asylum, begins his conquest of Monaco.
- 1656 - The Courant, oldest existing commercial newspaper, first published in Haarlem in the Netherlands.
- 1790 - George Washington makes first annual address to Congress.
- 1806 - Britain occupies Cape of Good Hope.
- 1815 - Andrew Jackson defeats British in Battle of New Orleans 2 weeks after war of 1812 officially ended.
- 1867 - Black people can vote in Washington DC after Congress approves legislation.
- 1918 - President Wilson's 'Fourteen points' program for peace outlined in speech to Congress.
- 1940 - Butter, bacon and sugar rationing begin in Britain. WW2.
- 1973 - Watergate trials begin in Washington.
- 1974 - President Gerald Ford grants pardon to former President Richard Nixon for Watergate conspiracy.
- 1982 - Beginning of telephone reform in U.S.; AT&T agrees to sell 22 Bell Telephone local systems.
- 1987 - Dow Jones closes above 2000 for the first time.
- 1996 - On the death of last Catawba Indian, Red Thunder Cloud, ancient oral Catawba language dies with him.
- 2011 - Australia's most devastating natural disaster begins - Queensland flooded with torrential rains; 22 dead; 2,100 Brisbane streets flooded.
Feast Day of Saint:
- Gudula (died today in 712)
- Severinus of Noricum
- Lucian of Beauvais
- 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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