January 16

1547 - Ivan the Terrible was crowned Czar of Russia. 

1572 - The Duke of Norfolk was tried for treason for complicity in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England. He was executed on June 2. 

1759 - The British Museum opened. 

1809 - The British defeated the French at the Battle of Corunna, in the Peninsular War. 

1866 - Mr. Everett Barney patented the metal screw, clamp skate. 

1883 - The United States Civil Service Commission was established as the Pendleton Act went into effect. 

1896 - The first five-player college basketball game was played at Iowa City, IA. 

1900 - The U.S. Senate consented to the Anglo-German treaty of 1899, by which the U.K. renounced rights to the Samoan islands. 

1919 - The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited the sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages, was ratified. It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment. 

1920 - Prohibition went into effect in the U.S. 

1920 - The motion picture "The Kid" opened. 

1925 - Leon Trotsky was dismissed as Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the USSR. 

1939 - The "I Love a Mystery" debuted on NBC’s West-Coast outlets. 

1944 - General Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied invasion force in London. 

1961 - Mickey Mantle signed a contract that made him the highest paid baseball player in the American League at $75,000 for the 1961 season. 

1964 - "Hello Dolly!" opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City. 

1970 - Colonel Muammar el-Quaddafi became virtual president of Libya. 

1970 - Buckminster Fuller, the designer of the geodesic dome, was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects. 

1979 - The Shah of Iran and his family fled Iran for Egypt. 

1982 - Britain and the Vatican resumed full diplomatic relations after a break of over 400 years. 

1985 - "Playboy" magazine announced its 30-year tradition of stapling centerfold models in the bellybutton and elsewhere would come to an immediate end. 

1988 - Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder was fired as a CBS sports commentator one day after telling a TV station in Washington, DC, that, during the era of slavery, blacks had been bred to produce stronger offspring. 

1998 - Researchers announce that an altered gene helped to defend against HIV. 

1991 - The White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm. The operation was designed to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. 

1992 - Officials of the government of El Salvador and rebel leaders signed a pact in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war. At least 75,000 people were killed during the fighting. 

1998 - The first woman to enroll at Virginia Military Institute withdrew from the school. 

1998 - NASA officially announced that John Glenn would fly aboard the space shuttle Discovery in October. 

1998 - It was announced that Texas would receive $15.3 billion in a tobacco industry settlement. The payouts were planned to take place over 25 years. 

1998 - Three federal judges secretly granted Kenneth Starr authority to probe whether U.S. President Clinton or Vernon Jordan urged Monica Lewinsky to lie about her relationship with Clinton. 

2000 - Ricardo Lagos was elected Chile's first socialist president since Salvador Allende. 

2002 - U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that John Walker Lindh would be brought to the United States to face trial. He was charged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA, with conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens, providing support to terrorist organizations, and engaging in prohibited transactions with the Taliban of Afghanistan. 

2002 - The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted sanctions against Osama bin Laden, his terror network and the remnants of the Taliban. The sanctions required that all nations impose arms embargoes and freeze their finances. 

2009 - The iTunes Music Store reached 500 million applications downloaded.

January 17

1377 - The Papal See was transferred from Avignon in France back to Rome. 

1562 - French Protestants were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain. 

1773 - Captain Cook's Resolution became the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle. 

1795 - The Dudingston Curling Society was organized in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

1806 - James Madison Randolph, grandson of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, was the first child born in the White House. 

1852 - The independence of the Transvaal Boers was recognized by Britain. 

1871 - Andrew S. Hallidie received a patent for a cable car system. 

1882 - Thomas Edison's exhibit opened the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. 

1893 - Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown when a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate. 

1900 - The U.S. took Wake Island where there was in important cable link between Hawaii and Manila. 

1900 - Yaqui Indians in Texas proclaimed their independence from Mexico. 

1900 - Mormon Brigham Roberts was denied a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for his practicing of polygamy. 

1905 - Punchboards were patented by a manufacturing firm in Chicago, IL. 

1912 - English explorer Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole. Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten him there by one month. Scott and his party died during the return trip. 

1913 - All partner interests in 36 Golden Rule Stores were consolidated and incorporated in Utah into one company. The new corporation was the J.C. Penney Company. 

1916 - The Professional Golfers Association was formed in New York City. 

1928 - The fully automatic, film-developing machine was patented by A.M. Josepho. 

1934 - Ferdinand Porsche submitted a design for a people's car, a "Volkswagen," to the new German Reich government. 

1938 - "Stepmother" debuted on CBS radio. 

1945 - Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II. 

1945 - Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody. Wallenberg was credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews. 

1946 - The United Nations Security Council held its first meeting. 

1949 - "The Goldbergs" debuted on CBS-TV. The program had been on radio since 1931. The TV version lasted for four years. 

1959 - Senegal and the French Sudan joined to form the Federal State of Mali. 

1961 - In his farewell address, U.S. President Eisenhower warned against the rise of "the military-industrial complex." 

1966 - A B-52 carrying four H-bombs collided with a refuelling tanker. The bombs were released and eight crewmembers were killed.

1977 - Double murderer Gary Gilmore became the first to be executed in the U.S. in a decade. The firing squad took place at Utah State Prison. 

1985 - Leonard Nimoy got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

1991 - Coalition airstrikes began against Iraq after negotiations failed to get Iraq to retreat from the country of Kuwait. 

1992 - An IRA bomb, placed next to a remote country road in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, killed seven building workers and injured seven others. 

1994 - The Northridge earthquake rocked Los Angeles, CA, registering a 6.7 on the Richter Scale. At least 61 people were killed and about $20 billion in damage was caused. 

1995 - More than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe, Japan. 

1997 - A court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country's history. 

1997 - Israel gave over 80% of Hebron to Palestinian rule, but held the remainder where several hundred Jewish settlers lived among 20,000 Palestinians. 

1998 - U.S. President Clinton gave his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against him. He was the first U.S. President to testify as a defendant in a criminal or civil lawsuit. 

2000 - British pharmaceutical companies Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC agreed to a merger that created the world's largest drugmaker. 

2001 - Congo's President Laurent Kabila was shot and killed during a coup attempt. Congolese officials temporarily placed Kabila's son in charge of the government. 

2001 - The director of Palestinian TV, Hisham Miki, was killed at a restaurant when three masked gunmen walked up to his table and shot him more than 10 times. 

2002 - It was announced that Microsoft had signed a joint venture agreement to produce software with two partners in China. The two partners were Beijin Centergate Technologies (Holding) Co. and the Stone Group.

January 18

1803 - Thomas Jefferson, in secret communication with Congress, sopught authorization for the first official exploration by the U.S.government. 

1778 - English navigator Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he called the "Sandwich Islands." 

1788 - The first English settlers arrived in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony. The group moved north eight days later and settled at Port Jackson. 

1871 - Wilhelm, King of Prussia from 1861, was proclaimed the first German Emperor. 

1886 - The Hockey Association was formed in England. This date is the birthday of modern field hockey. 

1896 - The x-ray machine was exhibited for the first time. 

1911 - For the first time an aircraft landed on a ship. Pilot Eugene B. Ely flew onto the deck of the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco harbor. 

1919 - The World War I Peace Congress opened in Versailles, France. 

1929 - Walter Winchell made his debut on radio. 

1937 - CBS radio debuted "Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories". 

1939 - Louis Armstrong and his orchestra recorded "Jeepers Creepers." 

1943 - During World War II, the Soviets announced that they had broken the Nazi siege of Leningrad, which had began in September of 1941. 

1943 - U.S. commercial bakers stopped selling sliced bread. Only whole loaves were sold during the ban until the end of World War II. 

1948 - "The Original Amateur Hour" debuted. The show was on the air for 22 years. 

1950 - The federal tax on oleomargarine was repealed. 

1951 - Joan Blondell made her TV debut on "Pot of Gold" episode of "Airflyte Theatre" on CBS-TV. 

1957 - The first, non-stop, around-the-world, jet flight came to an end at Riverside, CA. The plane was refueled in mid-flight by huge aerial tankers. 

1958 - Willie O'Ree made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins. He was the first black player to enter the league. 

1964 - The plans for the World Trade Center in New York were disclosed. 

1967 - Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," was convicted in Cambridge, MA, of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. He was sentenced to life in prison. Desalvo was killed in 1973 by a fellow inmate. 

1972 - Former Rhodesian prime minister Garfield Todd and his daughter were placed under house arrest for campaigning against Rhodesian independence. 

1975 - "The Jeffersons" debuted on CBS-TV. 

1978 - The European Court of Human Rights cleared the British government of torture but found it guilty of inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners in Northern Ireland. 

1985 - Mary Decker broke a world, indoor record when she ran the women’s, 2,000-meter race in 5:34.2. She also ran the outdoor mile in 4:16.7. 

1987 - For the first time in history the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) was seen by over 100 million viewers. The audience was measured during the week of January 12-18. 

1990 - A jury in Los Angeles, CA, acquitted former preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges. 

1990 - In an FBI sting, Washington, DC, Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for drug possession. He was later convicted of a misdemeanor. 

1991 - Eastern Airlines shut down after 62 years in business due to financial problems. 

1993 - The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 U.S. states for the first time. 

1995 - A network of caves were discovered near the town of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in southern France. The caves contained paintings and engravings that were 17,000 to 20,000 years old. 

1997 - Hutu militiamen killed three Spanish aid workers and three soldiers and seriously wound an American in a night attack in NW Rwanda. 

2002 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of a saliva-based ovulation test. 

2012 - Wikipedia began a 24-hour "blackout" in protest against proposed anti-piracy legislation (S. 968 and H.R. 3261) known as the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Many websites, including Reddit, Google, Facebook, Amazon and others, contended would make it challenging if not impossible for them to operate. 

January 19

1419 - Rouen surrendered to Henry V, completing his conquest of Normandy. 

1764 - John Wilkes was expelled from the British House of Commons for seditious libel. 

1793 - King Louis XVI was tried by the French Convention, found guilty of treason and sentenced to the guillotine. 

1825 - Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett of New York City patented a canning process to preserve salmon, oysters and lobsters. 

1861 - Georgia seceded from the Union. 

1883 - Thomas Edison's first village electric lighting system using overhead wires began operation in Roselle, NJ. 

1907 - The first film reviews appeared in "Variety" magazine. 

1915 - George Claude, of Paris, France, patented the neon discharge tube for use in advertising signs. 

1915 - More than 20 people were killed when German zeppelins bombed England for the first time. The bombs were dropped on Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn. 

1937 - Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record. He flew from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds. 

1942 - The Japanese invaded Burma (later Myanmar). 

1944 - The U.S. federal government relinquished control of the nation's railroads after the settlement of a wage dispute. 

1949 - The salary of the President of the United States was increased from $75,000 to $100,000 with an additional $50,000 expense allowance for each year in office. 

1952 - The National Football League (NFL) bought the franchise of the New York Yankees from Ted Collins. The franchise was then awarded to a group in Dallas on January 24. 

1953 - Sixty-eight percent of all TV sets in the U.S. were tuned to CBS-TV, as Lucy Ricardo, of "I Love Lucy," gave birth to a baby boy. 

1955 - U.S. President Eisenhower allowed a filmed news conference to be used on television (and in movie newsreels) for the first time. 

1957 - Philadelphia comedian, Ernie Kovacs, did a half-hour TV show without saying a single word of dialogue. 

1966 - Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India. 

1969 - In protest against the Russian invasion of 1968, Czech student Jan Palach set himself on fire in Prague's Wenceslas Square. 

1971 - At the Charles Manson murder trial, the Beatles' "Helter Skelter" was played. At the scene of one of his gruesome murders, the words "helter skelter" were written on a mirror. 

1971 - "No, No Nanette" opened at the 46th Street Theatre in New York City. 

1977 - U.S. President Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D'Aquino (the "Tokyo Rose"). 

1979 - Former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell was released on parole after serving 19 months at a federal prison inAlabama. 

1981 - The U.S. and Iran signed an agreement paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months and for arrangements to unfreeze Iranian assets and to resolve all claims against Iran. 

1983 - China announced that it was bannning 1983 purchases of cotton, soybeans and chemical fibers from the United States. 

1993 - IBM announced a loss of $4.97 billion for 1992. It was the largest single-year loss in U.S. corporate history. 

1995 - Russian forces overwhelmed the resistance forces in Chechnya. 

1996 - U.S. first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury. The investigation was concerning the discovery of billing records related to the Whitewater real estate investment venture. 

1997 - Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron for the first time in more than 30 years. He joined 60,000 Palestinians in celebration over the handover of the last West Bank city in Israeli control. 

2000 - In New York's Time Square, the first WWF restaurant opened. 

2001 - Texas officials demoted a warden and suspended three other prison workers in the wake of the escape of the "Texas 7."

January 20

1265 - The first English parliament met in Westminster Hall. 

1801 - John Marshall was appointed chief justice of the United States. 

1839 - Chile defeated a confederation of Peru and Bolivia in the Battle of Yungay. 

1841 - The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain. It returned to Chinese control in July 1997. 

1885 - The roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson. 

1886 - The Mersey Railway Tunnel was officially opened by the Prince of Wales. 

1887 - The U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base. 

1891 - James Hogg took office as the first native-born governor of Texas. 

1892 - The first official basketball game was played by students at the Springfield, MA, YMCA Training School. 

1929 - The movie "In Old Arizona" was released. The film was the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors. 

1937 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on January 20th. The 20th Amendment of theU.S. Constitution officially set the date for the swearing in of the President and Vice President. 

1942 - Nazi officials held the Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their "final solution" that called for exterminating Europe's Jews. 

1944 - The British RAF dropped 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin. 

1952 - In Juarez, Mexico, Patricia McCormick debuted as the first professional woman bullfighter from the United States. 

1953 - "Studio One" became the first television show to be transmitted from the United States to Canada. 

1954 - The National Negro Network was formed on this date. Forty radio stations were charter members of the network. 

1961 - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were divorced. They were married on June 29, 1956. 

1972 - The number of unemployed in Britain exceeded 1 million. 

1981 - Iran released 52 Americans that had been held hostage for 444 days. The hostages were flown to Algeria and then to a U.S. base in Wiesbaden, West Germany. The release occurred minutes after the U.S. presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. 

1985 - The most-watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 38-16. Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars a minute. 

1986 - The U.S. observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. 

1986 - Britain and France announced their plans to build the Channel Tunnel. 

1986 - New footage of the 1931 "Frankenstein" was found. The footage was originally deleted because it was considered to be too shocking. 

1987 - Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon. He was there attempting to negotiate the release of Western hostages. He was not freed until November 1991. 

1994 - Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. Faulkner joined the cadet corps in August 1995 under court order but soon dropped out. 

1996 - Yasser Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority and his supporters won two thirds of the 80 seats in the Legislative Council. 

1997 - Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term as president of the United States. 

1998 - American researchers announced that they had cloned calves that may produce medicinal milk. 

1998 - In Chile, a judge agreed to hear a lawsuit that accused Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet with genocide. 

1999 - The China News Service announced that the Chinese government was tightening restrictions on internet use. The rules were aimed at 'Internet Bars.' 

2000 - Greece and Turkey signed five accords aimed to build confidence between the two nations. 

2002 - Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards) played his first game in Chicago as a visiting player. The Wizards beat the Bulls 77-69.

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