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|<<||Selected anniversaries for January||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2021 day arrangement
- 1068 – Having been pardoned by Eudokia Makrembolitissa, the regent of the Byzantine Empire, for attempting to usurp the throne, Romanos IV Diogenes married her to become Byzantine emperor.
- 1818 – Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a novel by the British author Mary Shelley, was first published anonymously in London.
- 1892 – The immigration station on Ellis Island (pictured) in New York Harbor opened, and would process almost 12 million immigrants to the United States over the course of its existence.
- 1957 – The revised Thai criminal code came into force, strengthening the law on lèse-majesté in Thailand to include insult, and treating it as a crime against national security.
- 2011 – A suicide bombing took place outside a Coptic Orthodox church in Alexandria, Egypt, following a New Year service, killing 23 people.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces under the command of George Washington repulsed a British attack at the Battle of the Assunpink Creek near Trenton, New Jersey.
- 1941 – Second World War: Llandaff Cathedral (pictured) in Cardiff, Wales, was severely damaged by German bombing during the Cardiff Blitz.
- 1991 – Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as the mayor of Washington, D.C., becoming the first African-American woman to hold the position.
- 2016 – Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia, was executed by the Saudi government along with 46 other people.
- 1749 – The first issue of Berlingske, Denmark's oldest continually operating newspaper, was published.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces under General George Washington defeated British troops at the Battle of Princeton (depicted).
- 1911 – A gun battle in the East End of London left two dead and sparked a political row over the involvement of Winston Churchill, then Home Secretary.
- 1961 – All twenty-five people on board Aero Flight 311 died in Finland's worst civilian air accident when the plane crashed near Kvevlax.
- 1798 – After his investiture as Prince of Wallachia, Constantine Hangerli (pictured) arrived in Bucharest to assume the throne.
- 1853 – Solomon Northup regained his freedom after having been sold into slavery in the American South; his memoir Twelve Years a Slave later became a national bestseller.
- 1912 – The Boy Scouts Association was incorporated throughout the British Empire by royal charter.
- 1951 – Korean War: Chinese and North Korean troops captured Seoul from United Nations forces.
- 2018 – A passenger train collided with a truck and derailed in the Free State, South Africa, killing 21 people and injuring 254 others.
- 1675 – Franco-Dutch War: French troops defeated Austrian and Brandenburg forces at the Battle of Turckheim in Alsace.
- 1757 – Louis XV of France survived an assassination attempt by Robert-François Damiens, who later became the last person in the country to be executed by being drawn and quartered.
- 1941 – Second World War: Australian and British troops defeated Italian forces in Bardia, Libya, the first battle of the war in which an Australian Army formation (pictured) took part.
- 1976 – The Troubles: In response to the killings of six Catholics the night before, South Armagh Republican Action Force gunmen killed ten Protestants in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
- 1991 – Georgian troops attacked Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, beginning the First South Ossetia War.
- 1449 – Four years before the Fall of Constantinople, Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last Byzantine emperor, assumed the throne.
- 1540 – King Henry VIII of England married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves; the marriage was annulled six months later.
- 1907 – Italian educator Maria Montessori (pictured) opened her first school and day-care centre for working-class children in Rome, employing the philosophy of education that now bears her name.
- 1941 – During his State of the Union address, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt presented his Four Freedoms as fundamental freedoms that all people ought to enjoy.
- 1953 – The first Asian Socialist Conference, an organisation of socialist political parties in Asia, opened in Rangoon with 177 delegates, observers and fraternal guests.
- 1797 – The first official Italian tricolour was adopted by the government of the Cispadane Republic.
- 1904 – The Marconi International Marine Communication Company specified CQD as the distress signal to be used by its operators.
- 1939 – The French physicist Marguerite Perey identified francium, the last element first discovered in nature, rather than by synthesis.
- 1978 – An article entitled "Iran and Red and Black Colonization" was published in the newspaper Ettela'at attacking Ruhollah Khomeini, then in exile in Iraq.
- 1993 – The Fourth Republic of Ghana was inaugurated with Jerry Rawlings (pictured), the country's former military ruler, as president.
- 1697 – Scottish student Thomas Aikenhead became the last person in Great Britain to be executed for blasphemy.
- 1735 – George Frideric Handel's opera Ariodante premiered at the Covent Garden Theatre (pictured) in London.
- 1981 – In Trans-en-Provence, France, a local farmer reported a UFO sighting claimed to be "perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time".
- 2011 – Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a public meeting held by U.S. representative Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people and injuring twelve others.
- 1909 – Ernest Shackleton, leading the Nimrod Expedition, planted the British flag (pictured) 97.5 nautical miles (180.6 km; 112.2 mi) from the South Pole, the farthest south explorers had reached at the time.
- 1917 – First World War: Troops of the British Empire defeated Ottoman forces at the Battle of Rafa on the Sinai–Palestine border in present-day Rafah.
- 1996 – First Chechen War: Chechen separatists launched raids in the city of Kizlyar, Dagestan, which turned into a massive hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.
- 2011 – In poor weather conditions, Iran Air Flight 277 crashed near Urmia Airport, Iran, killing 78 people.
- 236 – Pope Fabian, said to have been chosen by the Holy Spirit when a dove landed on his head, began his papacy.
- 1776 – Common Sense, a pamphlet by Thomas Paine denouncing British rule in the Thirteen Colonies, was published.
- 1901 – The first great gusher (pictured) of the Texas oil boom was discovered in the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont.
- 1946 – The first session of the United Nations General Assembly convened at the Methodist Central Hall in London with representatives from 51 member states.
- 1966 – India and Pakistan signed the Tashkent Declaration to end the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
- 1654 – Arauco War: The Mapuche-Huilliche of southern Chile defeated a slave-hunting Spanish army at the Battle of Río Bueno.
- 1787 – German-born British astronomer William Herschel discovered two Uranian moons, later named Oberon and Titania by his son.
- 1912 – Immigrant textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, went on strike in response to a pay cut corresponding to a new state law shortening the working week.
- 1946 – The People's Republic of Albania was proclaimed, with Enver Hoxha as the country's de facto head of state.
- 1986 – The Gateway Bridge (pictured) in Brisbane, Australia, opened as the largest prestressed-concrete, single-box bridge in the world.
- 475 – Basiliscus became Byzantine emperor after Zeno was forced to flee Constantinople.
- 1808 – John Rennie's scheme to defend St Mary's Church, Reculver, from coastal erosion was abandoned in favour of demolition, despite the church being an exemplar of Anglo-Saxon architecture.
- 1921 – Seeking to restore confidence after the Black Sox Scandal, owners of Major League Baseball teams elected former United States district court judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (pictured) as baseball's first commissioner.
- 1967 – Seventy-three-year-old psychology professor James Bedford became the first person to be cryonically frozen with intent of future resuscitation.
- 2007 – Comet McNaught reached perihelion and became the brightest comet in over 40 years with an apparent magnitude of −5.5.
- 1435 – Sicut dudum, forbidding the enslavement of the Guanche natives in Canary Islands by the Spanish, was promulgated by Eugene IV.
- 1878 – Ada Anderson, a record-setting pedestrian from England, completed her U.S. debut, walking 2,700 quarter-miles (1,086 km total) in 2,700 quarter-hours.
- 1953 – An article published in Pravda accused nine eminent doctors in Moscow of taking part in a plot to poison members of the top Soviet political and military leadership.
- 1968 – American singer Johnny Cash (pictured) recorded his landmark album At Folsom Prison live at the Folsom State Prison in California.
- 2001 – The first of two large earthquakes struck El Salvador, killing at least 944 people and destroying over 100,000 homes.
- 1301 – The Árpád dynasty, which had ruled Hungary since the late 9th century, ended with the death of King Andrew III.
- 1900 – Giacomo Puccini's opera Tosca, based on the play La Tosca by French dramatist Victorien Sardou, premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome.
- 1907 – An earthquake registering 6.5 Mw struck Kingston, the capital of Jamaica (damage pictured), resulting in approximately 1,000 deaths.
- 1960 – The Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank and banknote-issuing authority, was established.
- 1970 – The self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra in southeastern Nigeria surrendered to the federal government less than three years after declaring independence, ending the Nigerian Civil War.
- 1865 – American Civil War: The Union Army captured Fort Fisher, the last seaport of the Confederacy.
- 1885 – Wilson Bentley took the first known photograph of a snowflake by attaching a bellows camera to a microscope (process pictured).
- 1947 – The mutilated corpse of the "Black Dahlia", a 22-year-old woman whose murder is one of the most famous unsolved crimes in the U.S., was found in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
- 1975 – Portugal signed the Alvor Agreement with the nationalist factions of UNITA, the MPLA, and the FNLA, ending the Angolan War of Independence.
- 1993 – Salvatore Riina, one of the most powerful members of the Sicilian Mafia, was arrested in Palermo after 23 years as a fugitive.
- 1362 – The Danish settlement of Rungholt reportedly sank into the North Sea due to a massive windstorm.
- 1809 – Peninsular War: French forces under Jean-de-Dieu Soult attacked the British's amphibious evacuation under Sir John Moore at Corunna in Galicia, Spain.
- 1920 – The League of Nations, the first worldwide intergovernmental organization with a focus on peace and security, held its first council meeting in Paris.
- 1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler and his staff moved into the Führerbunker in Berlin (entrance pictured), where he would eventually commit suicide.
- 1377 – Pope Gregory XI entered Rome after a four-month journey from Avignon, returning the papacy to its original city and effectively becoming the last Avignon pope.
- 1773 – On James Cook's second voyage, his ship HMS Resolution became the first vessel to cross the Antarctic Circle.
- 1920 – The Volstead Act went into effect, beginning the prohibition of alcohol in the United States.
- 1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg (pictured), who had saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, was taken into Soviet custody during the Siege of Budapest and was never seen in public again.
- 1948 – Indonesian National Revolution: The Renville Agreement between the Netherlands and Indonesian republicans was ratified, in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to resolve disputes arising from the Linggadjati Agreement of 1946.
- 474 – Seven-year-old Leo II became sole Byzantine emperor upon the death of his grandfather Leo I.
- 1486 – Elizabeth of York married King Henry VII, becoming queen consort of England.
- 1788 – The armed tender HMS Supply, the first ship of the First Fleet, arrived at Botany Bay, Australia.
- 1956 – Navvab Safavi, an Iranian Shia cleric and the founder of the Fada'iyan-e Islam fundamentalist group, was executed with three of his followers for attempting to assassinate Prime Minister Hossein Ala'.
- 1977 – The CDC announced that the lung infection Legionnaires' disease is caused by a previously unknown bacterium now known as Legionella (colonies pictured).
- 649 – Conquest of the Western Turks: Kuchean forces surrendered after a siege, establishing Tang control over the northern Tarim Basin in what is now Xinjiang, China.
- 1795 – The Batavian Republic was established, a day after Prince William V (portrait shown) fled the Dutch Republic as a result of the Batavian Revolution in Amsterdam.
- 1920 – The American Civil Liberties Union was founded by the directors of the National Civil Liberties Bureau.
- 1930 – In Watsonville, California, tensions between nativists and Filipino Americans escalated into riots that later spread to other cities in the state.
- 1975 – An earthquake registering 6.8 Ms struck northern Himachal Pradesh in India, causing extensive damage to the region.
- 250 – Pope Fabian was martyred during a widespread persecution of Christians for refusing to demonstrate loyalty to the Roman Empire.
- 1945 – World War II: Germany began the evacuation of at least 1.8 million people (refugees pictured) from East Prussia in anticipation of the advancing Soviet Red Army, an operation that took nearly two months to complete.
- 1968 – The Houston Cougars upset the UCLA Bruins in what became known as the "Game of the Century", ending the Bruins' 47-game winning streak, and establishing college basketball as a sports commodity on American television.
- 2018 – A group of Taliban gunmen attacked the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, sparking a 12-hour battle that left at least 21 people dead.
- 1789 – The Power of Sympathy by William Hill Brown, widely considered to be the first American novel, was published.
- 1919 – The First Dáil convened at the Mansion House in Dublin and adopted a declaration of independence calling for the establishment of the Irish Republic.
- 1941 – World War II: Sparked by the murder of a German officer on the previous day in Bucharest, Romania, members of the Iron Guard began a rebellion and pogrom.
- 1968 – Cold War: A B-52 bomber carrying four nuclear weapons crashed onto sea ice near Thule Air Base, Greenland, causing localized radioactive contamination.
- 1981 – The DeLorean Motor Company completed the first production car of the DMC DeLorean (example pictured).
- 565 – Eutychius, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, was arrested after he refused Byzantine emperor Justinian I's order to adopt the tenets of the Aphthartodocetae, a sect of non-Chalcedonian Christians.
- 1689 – The Convention Parliament met to decide the fate of the English throne after James II, the last Catholic monarch, had fled to France as a result of the Glorious Revolution.
- 1905 – Russian Revolution: Unarmed demonstrators, led by Russian Orthodox priest Georgy Gapon, were massacred by the Imperial Guard outside the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg.
- 1970 – The Boeing 747, the world's first wide-body commercial airliner, entered service for Pan Am on the New York–London route.
- 2006 – Evo Morales (pictured) was inaugurated as President of Bolivia, becoming the country's first democratically elected indigenous leader.
- 1570 – James Hamilton killed James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, in the first recorded assassination of a head of government using a firearm.
- 1870 – American Indian Wars: The United States Army massacred a friendly band of Piegan Blackfeet in the Montana Territory, resulting in about 200 deaths.
- 1909 – Two men committed an armed robbery in Tottenham, London, and led police on a two-hour tram chase (illustration shown), ending in the perpetrators' suicides.
- 1942 – World War II: Japan began its invasion of the island of New Britain in the Australian Territory of New Guinea.
- 1993 – The first version of Mosaic, created by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, was released, becoming the first popular web browser and Gopher client.
- 914 – The Fatimid Caliphate began their first invasion of Egypt, against the Abbasids, which eventually ended in failure.
- 1848 – James W. Marshall (pictured) discovered gold at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California, leading to the California Gold Rush.
- 1978 – The Soviet nuclear-powered satellite Kosmos 954 burned up during atmospheric reentry, scattering radioactive debris across Canada's Northwest Territories.
- 1990 – Japan launched the Hiten spacecraft, the first lunar probe launched by a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States.
- 2011 – A North Caucasian jihadist carried out a suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, killing 37 people.
- 1573 – Sengoku period: Takeda Shingen's forces defeated those of Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Mikatagahara (depicted), north of Hamamatsu in present-day Japan's Mikawa Province.
- 1792 – Thomas Hardy founded the London Corresponding Society to seek a "radical reform of parliament", later influencing the reform movements of early 19th-century England.
- 1971 – Idi Amin seized power from Ugandan president Milton Obote in a coup d'état, beginning eight years of military rule.
- 1993 – Five people were shot by Pakistani national Mir Aimal Kansi outside the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, resulting in two deaths.
- 2010 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, en route to Addis Ababa, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after takeoff from Beirut, Lebanon, killing all 90 people on board.
- 1564 – Livonian War: A Lithuanian surprise attack resulted in a decisive defeat of numerically superior Russian forces.
- 1841 – Commodore Gordon Bremer took formal possession of Hong Kong Island for the United Kingdom at Possession Point.
- 1945 – Audie Murphy (pictured) engaged in action at the Colmar Pocket that won him a Medal of Honor and made him one of the most famous and decorated U.S. soldiers of World War II.
- 1972 – JAT Flight 367 exploded in mid-air over Czechoslovakia; the only survivor of the 28 on board, flight attendant Vesna Vulović, fell 10,160 m (33,330 ft), setting the record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute.
- 2001 – An earthquake in the Indian state of Gujarat killed at least 13,000 people, injured another 167,000 and destroyed nearly 400,000 homes.
- 1785 – The University of Georgia, one of the oldest public universities in the United States, was founded.
- 1820 – A Russian expedition led by naval officers Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev became the first explorers to sight the coast of Antarctica.
- 1945 – The Soviet Red Army liberated about 7,000 prisoners left behind by the Nazis in Auschwitz concentration camp (entrance pictured), in present-day Oświęcim, Poland.
- 1980 – Assisted by Canadian government officials, six American diplomats who had avoided capture in the Iran hostage crisis escaped to Zürich, Switzerland.
- 2010 – Porfirio Lobo Sosa became the new President of Honduras, ending the constitutional crisis that had begun in 2009 when Manuel Zelaya was forcibly removed from office.
- 1069 – Robert de Comines, Earl of Northumbria, was killed in Durham, causing William the Conqueror to embark on a campaign to subjugate northern England.
- 1393 – King Charles VI of France was nearly killed when several dancers' costumes caught fire during a masquerade ball.
- 1813 – The novel Pride and Prejudice by English author Jane Austen (portrait shown) was published, using material from an unpublished manuscript that she originally wrote between 1796 and 1797.
- 1933 – Choudhry Rahmat Ali published a pamphlet in which he called for the creation of a Muslim state in north-western India that he termed "Pakstan".
- 1964 – An unarmed U.S. Air Force T-39 Sabreliner on a training mission was shot down over Erfurt, East Germany, by a Soviet MiG-19, killing all three aboard.
- 1856 – Queen Victoria introduced the Victoria Cross, originally to recognise acts of valour by British military personnel during the Crimean War.
- 1891 – Liliʻuokalani (pictured), the last monarch and only queen regnant of the Hawaiian Kingdom, ascended the throne.
- 1944 – World War II: At least 38 civilians were killed and about a dozen others injured when the Polish village of Koniuchy was attacked by a Soviet partisan unit with a contingent of Jewish partisans.
- 1991 – The first major ground engagement of the Gulf War began with Iraq's invasion of the Saudi Arabian city of Khafji, which would be recaptured three days later by Coalition forces.
- 2006 – India's Irfan Pathan became the only bowler to take a Test cricket hat-trick in the opening over of a match.
- 1661 – Two years after his death, Oliver Cromwell's remains were exhumed for a posthumous execution and his head was placed on a spike above Westminster Hall in London, where it remained until 1685.
- 1835 – Richard Lawrence became the first person to attempt to assassinate a sitting U.S. president when he failed to kill Andrew Jackson at the U.S. Capitol (assassination attempt pictured) and was subdued by the crowd.
- 1945 – World War II: Allied forces liberated more than 500 prisoners of war from a Japanese POW camp near Cabanatuan in the Philippines.
- 2000 – Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Ivory Coast shortly after takeoff, killing 169 on board.
- 1208 – King Sverker II of Sweden was defeated at the Battle of Lena by Prince Eric, who succeeded to the throne.
- 1862 – American astronomer Alvan Graham Clark first observed the faint white dwarf companion of Sirius (both stars pictured), the brightest star in the night sky.
- 2000 – Alaska Airlines Flight 261, experiencing problems with its horizontal stabilizer system, crashed in the Pacific Ocean off Anacapa Island, California, killing all 88 people on board.
- 2010 – James Cameron's Avatar became the first film to earn over US$2 billion worldwide.