January 25

1504 - The English Parliament passed statutes against retainers and liveries, to curb private warfare. 

1533 - England's King Henry VIII secretly married his second wife Anne Boleyn. Boleyn later gave birth to Elizabeth I. 

1579 - The Treaty of Utrecht was signed marking the beginning of the Dutch Republic. 

1799 - Eliakim Spooner patented the seeding machine. 

1858 - Mendelssohn’s "Wedding March" was presented for the first time, as the daughter of Queen Victoria married the Crown Prince of Prussia. 

1870 - G.D. Dows patented the ornamental soda fountain. 

1881 - Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and others signed an agreement to organize the Oriental Telephone Company. 

1890 - The United Mine Workers of America was founded. 

1915 - In New York, Alexander Graham Bell spoke to his assistant in San Francisco, inaugurating the first transcontinental telephone service. 

1924 - The 1st Winter Olympic Games were inaugurated in Chamonix in the French Alps. 

1927 - Jack Benny married Sadye Marks on this day. Sadye changed her name to Mary Livingstone. 

1937 - NBC radio presented the first broadcast of "The Guiding Light." The show remained on radio until 1956 and began on CBS-TV in 1952. 

1945 - Richard Tucker debuted at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City in the production of "La Gioconda". 

1946 - The United Mine Workers rejoined the American Federation of Labor. 

1949 - The first Emmys were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club. 

1950 - A federal jury in New York City found former State Department official Alger Hiss guilty of perjury. 

1959 - In the U.S., American Airlines had the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707. 

1961 - John F. Kennedy presented the first live presidential news conference from Washington, DC. The event was carried on radio and television. 

1971 - Charles Manson and three female members of his "family" were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit murder and seven counts of murder in the first degree. They were all sentenced to death for the 1969 killings. The sentences were later commuted to life sentences. 

1971 - Maj. Gen. Idi Amin led a coup that deposed Milton Obote and became president of Uganda. 

1981 - Jiang Qing, Mao's widow, was tried for treason and received a death sentence, which was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment. 

1981 - The 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States and were reunited with their families. 

1987 - The New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos, 39-20, in Super Bowl XXI on NBC. The game featured TV commercials cost $550,000 for 30 seconds. 

1993 - A gunman shot and killed two CIA employees outside the agencies headquarters in Virginia. Mir Aimal Kansi, a Pakistani national, was later convicted of the shootings. 

1995 - The defense gave its opening statement in the O.J. Simpson trial. 

1998 - The Denver Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII. The Broncos had lost 3 previous Super Bowl appearances with quarterback John Elway. 

1999 - At least 1,000 people were killed when an earthquake hit western Columbia. The quake registered 6.0 on the Richter Scale. 

1999 - In Louisville, KY, man received the first hand transplant in the United States. 

2001 - A minor earthquake hit northeastern Ohio. The quake measured only 4.2 on the Richter Scale. 

2010 - In Arlington, TX, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame had its grand opening.

January 26

1500 - Vicente Yáñez Pinzón discovered Brazil. 

1736 - Stanislaus I formally abdicated as King of Poland. 

1784 - In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the eagle as the symbol of America. He wanted the symbol to be the turkey. 

1788 - The first European settlers in Australia, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed in what became known as Sydney. The group had first settled at Botany Bay eight days before. This day is celebrated as Australia Day. 

1802 - The U.S. Congress passed an act calling for a library to be established within the U.S. Capitol. 

1827 - Peru seceded from Colombia in protest against Simón Bolívar's alleged tyranny. 

1837 - Michigan became the 26th state to join the United States. 

1841 - Britain formally occupied Hong Kong, which the Chinese had ceded to the British. 

1861 - In the U.S., Louisiana seceded from the Union. 

1870 - The state of Virgina rejoined the Union. 

1875 - George F. Green patented the electric dental drill for sawing, filing, dressing and polishing teeth. 

1905 - The Cullinan diamond, at 3,106.75 carats, was found by Captain Wells at the Premier Mine, near Pretoria, South Africa. 

1911 - Inventor Glenn H. Curtiss flew the first successful seaplane. 

1934 - The Apollo Theatre opened in New York City. 

1939 - In the Spanish Civil War, Franco's forces, with Italian aid, took Barcelona. 

1942 - The first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore in Northern Ireland. 

1947 - "The Greatest Story Ever Told" was first heard on ABC radio. 

1950 - India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president. 

1950 - The American Associated Insurance Companies, of St. Louis, MO, issued the first baby sitter’s insurance policy. 

1959 - "Alcoa Presents" debuted on ABC-TV. The show would later be renamed "One Step Beyond". 

1961 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy appointed Dr. Janet G. Travell as the first woman to be the "personal physician to the President". 

1962 - The U.S. launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon. The probe missed its target by about 22,000 miles. 

1965 - Hindi was made the official language of India. 

1969 - California was declared a disaster area two days of flooding and mudslides. 

1972 - In Hermsdorf, Czechoslovakia, a JAT Yugoslav Airlines flight crashed after the detonation of a bomb in the forward cargo hold killing 27 people. The bomb was believed to have been placed on the plane by a Croatian extremist group. Vesna Vulovic, a stewardess, survived after falling 33,000 feet in the tail section. She broke both legs and became paralyzed from the waist down. 

1979 - The ‘Gizmo’ guitar synthesizer was first demonstrated. 

1984 - CBS television debuted Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer." 

1992 - Russian president Boris Yeltsin announced that his country would stop targeting U.S. cities with nuclear weapons. 

1993 - Former Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel was elected president of the new Czech Republic. 

1994 - In Sydney, Australia, a young man lunged at and fired two blank shots at Britain's Prince Charles. 

1996 - U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before a grand jury concerning the Whitewater probe. 

1998 - U.S. President Clinton denied having an affair with a former White House intern, saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." 

1999 - Saddam Hussein vowed revenge against the U.S. in response to air-strikes that reportedly killed civilians. The strikes wereU.S. planes defending themselves against anti-aircraft fire. 

1999 - Gary Busey was released from jail after being arrested the night before for investigation of misdemeanor spousal abuse. Tiana Busey had no visible injuries. 

2001 - Near Ciudad Boliva, Venezuela, twenty four people were killed when a 50-year-old DC-3 crashed. 

2009 - The first trial at the International Criminal Court was held. Former Union of Congolese Patriots leader Thomas Lubanga was accused of training child soldiers to kill, pillage, and rape. 

2009 - The Icelandic government and banking system collapsed. Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned. 

2010 - It was announced that James Cameron's movie "Avatar" had become the highest-grossing film worldwide.

January 27

1606 - The trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators began. They were executed on January 31. 

1870 - Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women’s sorority, was founded at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in Greencastle, IN. 

1880 - Thomas Edison patented the electric incandescent lamp. 

1888 - The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, DC. 

1900 - In China, foreign diplomats in Peking, fearing a revolt, demanded that the imperial government discipline the Boxer rebels. 

1926 - John Baird, a Scottish inventor, demonstrated a pictorial transmission machine called television. 

1927 - United Independent Broadcasters Inc. started a radio network with contracts with 16 stations. The company later became Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). 

1931 - NBC radio debuted "Clara, Lu ’n’ Em" on its Blue network (later, ABC radio). 

1943 - During World War II, the first all American air raid against Germany took place when about 50 bombers attacked Wilhlemshaven. 

1944 - The Soviet Union announced that the two year German siege of Leningrad had come to an end. 

1945 - Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland. 

1948 - Wire Recording Corporation of America announced the first magnetic tape recorder. The ‘Wireway’ machine with a built-in oscillator sold for $149.50. 

1951 - In the U.S., atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats. 

1957 - The "CBS Radio Workshop" was heard for the first time. 

1967 - At Cape Kennedy, FL, astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo I spacecraft. 

1967 - More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty which banned the orbiting of nuclear weapons and placing weapons on celestial bodies or space stations. 

1973 - The Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris. 

1977 - The Vatican reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's ban on female priests. 

1981 - U.S. President Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran at the White House. 

1984 - Carl Lewis beat his own two-year-old record by 9-1/4 inches when he set a new indoor world record with a long-jump mark of 28 feet, 10-1/4 inches. 

1984 - Wayne Gretzky set a National Hockey League (NHL) record for consecutive game scoring. He ended the streak at 51 games. 

1985 - The Coca-Cola Company, of Atlanta, GA, announced a plan to sell its soft drinks in the Soviet Union. 

1992 - Former world boxing champion Mike Tyson went on trial for allegedly raping an 18-year-old contestant in the 1991 Miss Black America Contest. 

1996 - Mahamane Ousmane, the first democratically elected president of Niger, was overthrown by a military coup. Colonel Ibrahim Bare Mainassara declared himself head of state. 

1997 - It was revealed that French national museums were holding nearly 2,000 works of art stolen from Jews by the Nazis during World War II. 

1998 - U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on NBC's "Today" show. She charged that the allegations against her husband were the work of a "vast right-wing conspiracy." 

1999 - The U.S. Senate blocked dismissal of the impeachment case against President Clinton and voted for new testimony from Monica Lewinsky and two other witnesses. 

2002 - A series of explosions occurred at a military dump in Lagos, Nigeria. More than 1,000 people were killed in the blast and in the attempt to escape. 

2003 - Altria Group, Inc. became the name of the parent company of Kraft Foods, Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. 

2010 - Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad.

January 28

1521 - The Diet of Worms began, at which Protestant reformer Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic church. 

1547 - England's King Henry VIII died. He was succeeded by his 9 year-old son, Edward VI. 

1788 - The first British penal settlement was founded at Botany Bay. 

1807 - London's Pall Mall became the first street lit by gaslight. 

1871 - France surrendered in the Franco-Prussian War. 

1878 - The first telephone switchboard was installed in New Haven, CT. 

1878 - "The Yale News" was published for the first time. It was the first, daily, collegiate newspaper in the U.S. 

1902 - The Carnegie Institution was established in Washington, DC. It began with a gift of $10 million from Andrew Carnegie. 

1909 - The United States ended direct control over Cuba. 

1915 - The Coast Guard was created by an act of the U.S. Congress to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea. 

1916 - Louis D. Brandeis was appointed by President Wilson to the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming its first Jewish member. 

1918 - The Bolsheviks occupied Helsinki, Finland. 

1922 - The National Football League (NFL) franchise in Decatur, IL, transferred to Chicago. The team took the name Chicago Bears. 

1935 - Iceland became the first country to introduce legalized abortion. 

1938 - The first ski tow started operation in Vermont. 

1945 - During World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road. 

1957 - The Brooklyn Dodgers announced that circus clown Emmett Kelly had been hired to entertain fans at baseball games. 

1958 - Roy Campanella (Brooklyn Dodgers) was seriously injured in an auto accident in New York. He would never return to play again. 

1958 - Construction began on first private thorium-uranium nuclear reactor. 

1965 - General Motors reported the biggest profit of any U.S. company in history. 

1973 - CBS-TV debuted "Barnaby Jones." 

1980 - Six Americans who had fled the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, left Iran using false Canadian diplomatic passports. The Americans had been hidden at the Canadian embassy in Tehran. 

1982 - Italian anti-terrorism forces rescued U.S. Brigadier General James L. Dozier. 42 days before he had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades. 

1986 - The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just after takeoff. All seven of its crewmembers were killed. 

1994 - In Los Angeles, Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg declared a mistrial in the case of Lyle Menendez in the murder of his parents. Lyle, and his brother Erik, were both retried later and were found guilty. They were sentenced to life in prison without parole. 

1997 - Clive Davis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

1998 - In Manilla, Philippines, gunmen held at least 400 children and teachers for several hours at an elementary school. 

1999 - Ford Motor Company announced the purchase of Sweden's Volvo AB for $6.45 billion. 

2002 - Toys R Us Inc. announced that it would be closing 27 Toys R Us stores and 37 Kids R Us stores in order to cut costs and boost operating profits.

January 29

1728 - John Gay's The Beggar's Opera was first performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London. 

1802 - John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress. 

1820 - Britain's King George III died insane at Windsor Castle. 

1845 - Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" was published for the first time in the "New York Evening Mirror." 

1848 - Greenwich Mean Time was adopted by Scotland. 

1850 - Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state. 

1856 - Britain's highest military decoration, the Victoria Cross, was founded by Queen Victoria. 

1861 - In America, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union. 

1886 - The first successful petrol-driven motorcar, built by Karl Benz, was patented. 

1916 - In World War I, Paris was bombed by German zeppelins for the first time. 

1924 - R. Taylor patented the ice cream cone rolling machine. 

1936 - The first members of major league baseball's Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY. 

1940 - The W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company displayed the first tetraploid flowers at the New York City Flower Show. 

1949 - "The Newport News" was commissioned as the first air-conditioned naval ship in Virginia. 

1956 - "Indictment" debuted on CBS radio and stayed on the air for three years. 

1958 - Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married. 

1958 - Charles Starkweather was captured by police in Wyoming. 

1963 - The first members to the NFL's Hall of Fame were named in Canton, OH. 

1963 - Britain was refused entry into the EEC. 

1966 - "Sweet Charity" opened at the Palace Theatre in New York City. It ran for 608 performances. 

1979 - U.S. President Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House. The visit followed the establishment of diplomatic relations. 

1985 - The Dow Jones industrial average peaked at 1,292.62. 

1987 - "Physician’s Weekly" announced that the smile on the face of Leonardo DeVinci's Mona Lisa was caused by a "...facial paralysis resulting from a swollen nerve behind the ear." 

1990 - Joseph Hazelwood, the former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, went on trial in Anchorage, AK, on charges that stemmed from America's worst oil spill. Hazelwood was later acquitted of all the major charges and was convicted of a misdemeanor. 

1995 - The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League (NFL) history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26. 

1996 - French President Jacques Chirac announced the "definitive end" to nuclear testing. 

1996 - La Fenice, the 204 year old opera house in Venice, was destroyed by fire. Arson was suspected. 

1997 - America Online agreed to give refunds to frustrated customers under threat of lawsuits across the country. Customers were unable to log on after AOL offered a flat $19.95-a-month rate. 

1998 - A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, AL, killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta. 

1999 - Paris prosecutors announced the end of the investigation into the accident that killed Britain's Princess Diana. 

1999 - The U.S. Senate delivered subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky and two presidential advisers for private, videotaped testimony in the impeachment trial. 

2001 - In Indonesia, thousands of student protesters stormed the parliament property and demanded that President Abdurrahman Wahid quit due to his alleged involvement in two corruption scandals. Wahid announced that he would not resign.

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