1569 - England's first state lottery was held.
1770 - The first shipment of rhubarb was sent to the United States from London.
1805 - The Michigan Territory was created.
1815 - U.S. General Andrew Jackson achieved victory at the Battle of New Orleans. The War of 1812 had officially ended on December 24, 1814, with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. The news of the signing had not reached British troops in time to prevent their attack on New Orleans.
1861 - Alabama seceded from the United States.
1867 - Benito Juarez returned to the Mexican presidency, following the withdrawal of French troops and the execution of Emperor Maximilian.
1878 - In New York, milk was delivered in glass bottles for the first time by Alexander Campbell.
1902 - "Popular Mechanics" magazine was published for the first time.
1913 - The first sedan-type car was unveiled at the National Automobile Show in New York City. The car was manufactured by the Hudson Motor Company.
1922 - At Toronto General Hospital, Leonard Thompson became the first person to be successfully treated with insulin.
1935 - Amelia Earhart Putnam became the first woman to fly solo from Hawaii to California.
1938 - In Limerick, ME, Frances Moulton assumed her duties as the first woman bank president.
1942 - Japan declared war against the Netherlands. The same day, Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.
1943 - The United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.
1947 - "Murder and Mrs. Malone" debuted on ABC radio.
1958 - "Seahunt" debuted on CBS-TV. The show was aired on the network for four years.
1964 - U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report that said that smoking cigarettes was a definite health hazard.
1973 - The Open University awarded its first degrees.
1973 - Owners of American League baseball teams voted to adopt the designated-hitter rule on a trial basis.
1977 - France released Abu Daoud, a Palestinian suspected of involvement in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
1978 - Two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 27 capsule linked up with the Salyut 6 orbiting space station, where the Soyuz 26capsule was already docked.
1980 - Nigel Short, age 14, from Bolton in Britain, became the youngest International Master in the history of chess.
1986 - Author James Clavell signed a 5$ million deal with Morrow/Avon Publishing for the book "Whirlwind". The book is a 2,000 page novel.
1988 - U.S. Vice President George Bush met with representatives of independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh to answer questions about the Iran-Contra affair.
1991 - An auction of silver and paintings that had been acquired by the late Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, brought in a total of $20.29 million at Christie's in New York.
1996 - Ryutaro Hashimoto become Japan's prime minister. He replaced Tomiichi Murayama who had resigned on January 5, 1996.
2000 - The merger between AOL and Time Warner was approved by the U.S. government with restrictions.
2000 - The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the second Vietnam Veterans Memorial commemorative stamp in a ceremony at The Wall.
2001 - The Texas Board of Criminal Justice released a review of the escape of the "Texas 7." It stated that prison staff missed critical opportunities to prevent the escape by ignoring a fire alarm, not reporting unsupervised inmates and not demanding proper identification from inmates.
2002 - Thomas Junta, 44, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for beating another man to death at their son's hockey practice. The incident occurred on July 5, 2000.
49 BC - Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River signaling a war between Rome and Gaul.
1519 - Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I died.
1773 - The first public museum in America was established in Charleston, SC.
1866 - The Royal Aeronautical Society was founded in London.
1875 - Kwang-su was made emperor of China.
1882 - Thomas Edison's central station on Holborn Viaduct in London began operation.
1895 - The first performance of King Arthur took place at the Lyceum Theatre.
1896 - At Davidson College, several students took x-ray photographs. They created the first X-ray photographs to be made in America.
1908 - A wireless message was sent long-distance for the first time from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
1915 - The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.
1915 - The U.S. Congress established the Rocky Mountain National Park.
1926 - "Sam ‘n’ Henry" debuted on WGN Radio in Chicago, IL.
1932 - Hattie W. Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
1938 - Austria recognized the Franco government in Spain.
1940 - Soviet bombers raided cities in Finland.
1942 - U.S. President Roosevelt created the National War Labor Board.
1943 - The Office of Price Administration announced that standard frankfurters/hot dogs/wieners would be replaced by 'Victory Sausages.'
1945 - During World War II, Soviet forces began a huge offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.
1948 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not discriminate against law-school applicants because of race.
1949 - "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends" was debuted on CBS-TV. The show stayed on the network for seven years.
1949 - "Kukla, Fran and Ollie", the Chicago-based children’s show, made its national debut on NBC-TV.
1955 - Rod Serling’s career began with the TV production of "Patterns."
1960 - Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals became the first pro basketball player in the NBA to score more than 15,000 points in his career.
1964 - Leftist rebels in Zanzibar began their successful revolt against the government and a republic was proclaimed.
1966 - U.S. President Johnson said in his State of the Union address that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there was ended.
1966 - "Batman" debuted on ABC-TV.
1967 - "Dragnet" returned to NBC-TV after being off the network schedule for eight years.
1970 - The breakaway state of Biafra capitulated and the Nigerian civil war came to an end.
1970 - Nigeria's civil war ended.
1971 - "All In the Family" debuted on CBS-TV.
1973 - Yassar Arafat was re-elected as head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
1986 - Space shuttle Columbia blasted off with a crew that included the first Hispanic-American in space, Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz.
1991 - The U.S. Congress passed a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military power to force Iraq out of Kuwait.
1995 - Northern Ireland Secretary Patrick Mayhew announced that as of January 16 British troops would no longer carry out daylight street patrols in Belfast.
1998 - Tyson Foods Inc. pled guilty to giving $12,000 to former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. Tyson was fined $6 million.
1998 - 19 European nations agreed to prohibit human cloning.
1998 - Linda Tripp provided Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's office with taped conversations between herself and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
1999 - Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball was sold at auction in New York for $3 million to an anonymous bidder.
2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, gave police broad authority to stop and question people who run at the sight of an officer.
2000 - Charlotte Hornets guard Bobby Phills was killed in a crash during a drag race.
2005 - NASA launched "Deep Impact". The spacecraft was planned to impact on Comet Tempel 1 after a six-month, 268 million-mile journey.
2006 - The U.S. Mint began shipping new 5-cent coins to the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. The coin has an image of Thomas Jefferson taken from a 1800 Rembrandt Peale portrait in which the president is looking forward. Since 1909, when presidents were first depicted on circulating coins, all presidents had been shown in profile
1128 - Pope Honorius II granted a papal sanction to the military order known as the Knights Templar. He declared it to be an army of God.
1794 - U.S. President Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union.
1854 - Anthony Faas of Philadelphia, PA, patented the accordion.
1893 - Britain's Independent Labor Party, a precursor to the current Labor Party, met for the first time.
1898 - Emile Zola's "J'accuse" was published in Paris.
1900 - In Austria-Hungary, Emperor Franz Joseph decreed that German would be the language of the imperial army to combat Czech nationalism.
1906 - Hugh Gernsback, of the Electro Importing Company, advertised radio receivers for sale for the price of just $7.50 in "Scientific American" magazine.
1928 - Ernst F. W. Alexanderson gave the first public demonstration of television.
1942 - Henry Ford patented the plastic automobile, which allowed for a 30% decrease in car weight.
1957 - Wham-O began producing "Pluto Platters." This marked the true beginning of production of the flying disc.
1962 - Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles, CA.
1966 - Elizabeth Montgomery’s character, Samantha, on "Bewitched," had a baby. The baby's name was Tabitha.
1966 - Robert C. Weaver became the first black Cabinet member when he was appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by U.S. President Johnson.
1982 - An Air Florida 737 crashed into the capital's 14th Street Bridge after takeoff and fell into the Potomac River. 78 people were killed.
1984 - Wayne Gretzky extended his NHL consecutive scoring streak to 45 games.
1986 - The NCAA adopted the controversial "Proposal 48," which set standards for Division 1 freshman eligibility.
1986 - "The Wall Street Journal" printed a real picture on its front page. The journal had not done this in nearly 10 years. The story was about artist, O. Winston Link and featured one of his works.
1989 - Bernhard H. Goetz was sentenced to one year in prison for possession of an unlicensed gun that he used to shoot four youths he claimed were about to rob him. He was freed the following September.
1990 - L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, the nation's first elected black governor, took the oath of office in Richmond.
1992 - Japan apologized for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.
1997 - Debbie Reynolds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1998 - NBC agreed to pay almost $13 million for each episode of the TV show E.R. It was the highest amount ever paid for a TV show.
1998 - ABC and ESPN negotiated to keep "Monday Night Football" for $1.15 billion a season.
1998 - One of the 110 missing episodes of the British TV show "Doctor Who" was found in New Zealand.
1999 - Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls) announced his retirement from the NBA.
2002 - The exhibit "In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." opened at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. More than 100 artists supplied the collection of 120 works of art.
2002 - Japan and Singapore signed a free trade pact that would remove tariffs on almost all goods traded between the two countries.
2002 - U.S. President George W. Bush fainted after choking on a pretzel.
2009 - Ethiopian military forces began pulling out of Somalia, where they had tried to maintain order for nearly two years.
1639 - Connecticut's first constitution, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted.
1784 - The United States ratified a peace treaty with England ending the Revolutionary War.
1858 - French emperor Napoleon III escaped an attempt on his life.
1873 - John Hyatt's 1869 invention ‘Celluloid’ was registered as a trademark.
1878 - Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone for Britain's Queen Victoria.
1882 - The Myopia Hunt Club, in Winchester, MA, became the first country club in the United States.
1907 - An earthquake killed over 1,000 people in Kingston, Jamaica.
1939 - "Honolulu Bound" was heard on CBS radio for the first time.
1943 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane while in office. He flew from Miami, FL, to French Morocco where he met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to discuss World War II.
1951 - The first National Football League Pro Bowl All-Star Game was played in Los Angeles, CA.
1952 - NBC's "Today" show premiered.
1953 - Josip Broz Tito was elected president of Yugoslavia by the country's Parliament.
1954 - Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married. The marriage only lasted nine months.
1954 - The Hudson Motor Car Company merged with Nash-Kelvinator. The new company was called the American Motors Corporation.
1963 - George C. Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama.
1969 - An explosion aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise off Hawaii killed 25 crew members.
1972 - NBC-TV debuted "Sanford & Son."
1973 - The Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII and became the first NFL team to go undefeated in a season.
1985 - Martina Navratilova won her 100th tournament. She joined Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert Lloyd as the only professional tennis players to win 100 tournaments.
1985 - Former Miss America, Phyllis George, joined Bill Kurtis as host of "The CBS Morning News".
1986 - "Rambo: First Blood, Part II" arrived at video stores. It broke the record set by "Ghostbusters", for first day orders. 435,000 copies of the video were sold.
1993 - Television talk show host David Letterman announced he was moving from NBC to CBS.
1993 - The British government pledged to introduce legislation to criminalize invasions of privacy by the press.
1994 - U.S. President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed Kremlin accords to stop aiming missiles at any nation and to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine.
1996 - Jorge Sampaio was elected president of Portugal.
1996 - Juan Garcia Abrego was arrested by Mexican agents. The alleged drug lord was handed over to the FBI the next day.
1998 - Whitewater prosecutors questioned Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House for 10 minutes about the gathering of FBI background files on past Republican political appointees.
1998 - In Dallas, researchers report an enzyme that slows the aging process and cell death.
1999 - The impeachment trial of U.S. President Clinton began in Washington, DC.
1999 - The U.S. proposed the lifting of the U.N. ceilings on the sale of oil in Iraq. The restriction being that the money be used to buy medicine and food for the Iraqi people.
2000 - A U.N. tribunal sentenced five Bosnian Croats to up to 25 years for the 1993 massacre of over 100 Muslims in a Bosnian village.
2000 - The Dow Jones industrial average hit a new high when it closed at 11,722.98. Earlier in the session, the Dow had risen to 11,750.98. Both records stood until October 3, 2006.
2002 - NBC's "Today" celebrated its 50th anniversary on television.
2002 - Actor Brad Renfro, 19, was arrested after being stopped on a traffic violation. He was charged with public intoxication and driving without a license.
2004 - In St. Louis, a Lewis and Clark Exhibition opened at the Missouri History Museum. The exhibit featured 500 rare and priceless objects used by the Corps of Discovery.
2005 - A probe, from the Cassini-Huygens mission, sent back pictures during and after landing on Saturn's moon Titan. The mission was launched on October 15, 1997.
1559 - England's Queen Elizabeth I (Elizabeth Tudor) was crowned in Westminster Abbey.
1624 - Many riots occurred in Mexico when it was announced that all churches were to be closed.
1777 - The people of New Connecticut (now the state of Vermont) declared their independence.
1844 - The University of Notre Dame received its charter from the state of Indiana.
1863 - "The Boston Morning Journal" became the first paper in the U.S. to be published on wood pulp paper.
1870 - A cartoon by Thomas Nast titled "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" appeared in "Harper's Weekly." The cartoon used the donkey to symbolize the Democratic Party for the first time.
1892 - "Triangle" magazine in Springfield, MA, published the rules for a brand new game. The original rules involved attaching a peach baskets to a suspended board. It is now known as basketball.
1899 - Edwin Markham's poem, "The Man With a Hoe," was published for the first time.
1906 - Willie Hoppe won the billiard championship of the world in Paris, France.
1908 - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America's first Greek-letter organization established by African-American college women.
1913 - The first telephone line between Berlin and New York was inaugurated.
1936 - The first, all glass, windowless building was completed in Toledo, OH. The building was the new home of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company Laboratory.
1943 - The Pentagon was dedicated as the world's largest office building just outside Washington, DC, in Arlington, VA. The structure covers 34 acres of land and has 17 miles of corridors.
1945 - CBS Radio debuted "House Party". The show was on the air for 22 years.
1953 - Harry S Truman became the first U.S. President to use radio and television to give his farewell as he left office.
1955 - The first solar-heated, radiation-cooled house was built by Raymond Bliss in Tucson, AZ.
1967 - The first National Football League Super Bowl was played. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League. The final score was 35-10.
1973 - U.S. President Nixon announced the suspension of all U.S. offensive action in North Vietnam. He cited progress in peace negotiations as the reason.
1974 - "Happy Days" premiered on ABC-TV.
1986 - President Reagan signed legislation making Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a national holiday to be celebrated on the third Monday of January.
1987 - Paramount Home Video reported that it would place a commercial at the front of one of its video releases for the first time. It was a 30-second Diet Pepsi ad at the beginning of "Top Gun."
2003 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Congress had permission to repeatedly extend copyright protection.