Born On This Day:
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756
- Lewis Carroll, 1832
- Samuel Gompers, 1850
- Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1859
- Jerome Kern, 1885
- Harry Ruby, 1895
- Hyman Rickover, 1900
- William Randolph Hearst Jr., 1908
- Skitch Henderson, 1918
- Donna Reed, 1921
- Mordecai Richler, 1931
- Mohammad Al Fayed, 1933
- Edith Cresson, 1934
- Troy Donahue, 1937
- Mikhail Baryshnikov, 1948
- Briget Fonda, 1964
Died On This Day:
- John James Audubon, 1851
- Giuseppe Verdi, 1901
- Thomas Crapper, 1910
- Nellie Bly, 1922
- Benjamin Tillett, 1943
- Virgil Gus Grissom/Edward Higgins White/Roger Chaffee, 1967
- Mahalia Jackson, 1972
- Lilli Palmer, 1986
- Sir Thomas Sopwith, 1989
- Andre the Giant, 1993
- Claude Akins, 1994
- Hugh, Lord Scanlon, 2004
- Jack Paar, 2004
- President Suharto of Indonesia, 2008
- John Updike, 2009
- J. D. Salinger, 2010
- Pete Seeger, 2014
- 1822 - Greek Independence formally proclaimed.
- 1865 - Treaty between Spain and Peru recognizes Peruvian Independence.
- 1870 - First Sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, founded at Indiana Asbury University (now De Pauw).
- 1880 - Patent granted to Thomas Alva Edison for the electric incandescent lamp.
- 1888 - National Geographic Society founded in Washington D.C.
- 1915 - Babe Ruth, playing for the Boston Red Sox, hits his first major league home run.
- 1945 - Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp; 5,000 Jewish prisoners freed.
- 1967 - Beatles sign nine-year contract with EMI Records.
- 1967 - First astronauts die in a spacecraft in a launch pad fire at Cape Kennedy, FL.
- 1973 - North Vietnam and USA sign cease-fire agreement at Paris ending first lost war in U.S. history.
- 1992 - Macy's files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- 1993 - Chad Rowan, known as Akebono, becomes first non-Japanese to become yokozuna-grand Sumo champ.
- 2013 - Second deadliest nightclub fire in history in Santa Maria, Brazil kills 233.
Feast Day of Saint:
- 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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