January 6


1919: Theodore Roosevelt (26th U.S. president, 1901-1909) died at Oyster Bay, N.Y., at age 60.

1969: Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter (later president, 1976-1980) and 20 other people saw an unidentified flying object that hovered for 10 minutes over Leary, Georgia. Gov. Carter filed a detailed report of the sighting with the National Investigations Committee of Aerial Phenomena.

1982: Faced with the rising price of copper, the U.S. Mint began issuing pennies made of copper-plated zinc.


January 7


1782: The first American commercial bank, the Bank of North America, opened in Philadelphia.1797: The modern flag of Italy was flown for the first time, in Rome.

1927: The first transatlantic telephone service was established, between New York City and London, England.

1980: U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorized legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.


January 8


1790: George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address in New York, New York.

1815: Gen. Andrew Jackson (seventh president, 1829-1837) won the Battle of New Orleans against the British.

1835: The United States national debt was zero for the first and only time.


January 9

1788: Connecticut ratified the U.S. Constitution.

1839: The French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype photographic process.

1967: Born this day: rock musicians Dave Matthews (Dave Matthews Band), Carl Bell (Fuel) and Steve Harwell (Smash Mouth).

1972: The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth was destroyed by a fire of mysterious origin in Hong Kong harbor. (The listing, burned-out hull appeared in the 1974 James Bond movie Man With the Golden Gun starring Roger Moore. The hull was dismantled and removed shortly after filming was completed.)


January 10

1861: Florida became the third Southern state to secede from the Union.

1920: the League of Nations formally came into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, took effect.

1946: The United Nations convened for the first time in London, England.

2011: Swiss high-wire artist Freddy Nock walked 5,200 feet down the wire of a cable car on Mount Corvatsch near St. Moritz, Switzerland. He descended from an altitude of 10,836 feet to 8,865 feet.


January 11

1569: The first recorded lottery in England took place in London.

1759: The first life insurance company in America was incorporated, in Philadelphia.

1861: Alabama seceded from the United States.

1908: President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a national monument.

1935: Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.

1949: The first recorded instance of snowfall occurred in Los Angeles, Calif. The first “networked” TV programs were broadcast simultaneously on the East and West coasts.

1964: Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry, M.D., published the landmark report ‘Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States,’ saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking national and worldwide anti-smoking efforts.

1972: East Pakistan renamed itself Bangladesh.

2002: The first 20 kidnapped men arrived at Camp X-Ray at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.


January 12

1554: Bayinnaung was crowned King of Burma and went on to assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia.

1893: Born this day: Hermann Göring, Nazi German officer (committed suicide on Oct. 15, 1946, the day of his scheduled execution; and Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi German architect and politician (executed on Oct. 16, 1946).

1900: The Detroit Automobile Company finished its first commercial vehicle, a delivery wagon. The wagon was designed by a young engineer named Henry Ford, who had produced his own first motorcar, the quadricycle, before joining the company. (Frustrated with his employers, Ford soon quit to start his own company.)

1905: Born this day: Jimmy Griffin, famous U.S. archaeologist (died 1997); and Tex Ritter, U.S. singer and actor (died 1974).

1908: A long-distance radio message was sent from the Eiffel Tower in Paris for the first time.

1918: Finland granted Finnish Jews full citizenship.

1921: Acting to restore confidence in baseball after the Black Sox Scandal, U.S. District Court Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1866-1944) was elected as the first commissioner of Major League Baseball.

1925: Born this day: Bill Burrud, travel program host and producer (died 1990); and Katherine MacGregor, U.S. actress (Little House on the Prairie).

2007: Comet McNaught reached perihelion and became the brightest comet in more than 40 years.


January 13


1864: America’s first professional songwriter, Stephen Foster, died in a charity ward in New York’s Bellevue Hospital at age 37 after falling and striking his head on a wash basin. (Foster wrote over 200 songs, many still sung today, including “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races” and “Beautiful Dreamer.”)

1928: RCA and General Electric installed experimental television sets in three homes in Schenectady, N.Y. The screen on each set was 1½ inches square.

1929: Wyatt Earp, frontier lawman best known for the famous gunfight at OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., died in Los Angeles at age 80.

1941: James Joyce, regarded by many as Ireland’s greatest author, died in Zurich, Switzerland, at age 58.


January 14

1514: Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery.

1943: Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. President to travel by airplane while in office when he flew from Miami to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill.

1952: NBC’s morning news program Today debuted with host Dave Garroway.

1954: The Hudson Motor Car Co. merged with Nash-Kelvinator, an automaker formed by the merger of the Nash automobile firm and the Kelvinator kitchen-appliance company. The new company was called American Motors Corporation. (It went out of business in 1987.)

1978: Kurt Gödel, the Austrian/American logician and mathematician, died of starvation when his wife was hospitalized. Gödel suffered from extreme paranoia and refused to eat food prepared by anyone else.


January 15


1929: Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta.

1967: The first Super Bowl game was played at the Los Angeles Coliseum between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs.