January 22



1889: Columbia Phonograph (later Columbia Records) was formed in Washington, D.C.

1927: Teddy Wakelam gave the first live radio commentary of a football match anywhere in the world, between Arsenal F.C. and Sheffield United at Highbury.

1946: The Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency, was founded.

1947: KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, began operation in Hollywood, Calif.

1990: Robert Tappan Morris Jr. was convicted of releasing the 1988 internet computer worm.

2002: Kmart became the largest retailer in U.S. history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

2006: Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers scored the second highest total in NBA history, 81 points, in game versus the Toronto Raptors.


January 23


1789: The first Catholic university in the United States, Georgetown College, was founded in Georgetown, Md. (now a part of Washington, D.C.)

1855: The first bridge over the Mississippi River opened in what is now Minneapolis, Minn., a crossing made today by the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

1943: Duke Ellington played at Carnegie Hall for the first time.

1950: Jerusalem became the capital of Israel.

1957: Toy company Wham-O introduced the aerodynamic plastic flying disc called the Frisbee.

1960: The bathyscaphe USS Trieste broke a depth record by descending to 35,797 feet in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.

1964: The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections.

January 24


1848: The California Gold Rush began when James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento.

1860: French inventor Etienne Lenoir was issued a patent for the first successful internal-combustion engine.

1908: The Boy Scouts movement began in England with the publication of the first installment of Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys.

1935: The first canned beer, Kreuger’s, was test marketed in Richmond, Va.

1961: A U.S. B-52 bomber carrying two H-bombs broke up in mid-air over Goldsboro, N.C. (The uranium core of one bomb was never found.)

1965: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through World War II, died in London at the age of 90.

1972: Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi (1915-1997) was found hiding in a Guam jungle where he had been since the end of World War II in 1945.

1984: The first Apple Macintosh went on sale.

2003: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially began operation.


January 25


1890: New York World reporter Nellie Bly completed her round-the-world journey in 72 days.

1924: The first Winter Olympics opened at Chamonix in the French Alps.

1944: Florence Li Tim-Oi became the first woman Anglican priest when she was ordained in China.

1947: Thomas Goldsmith Jr. (1910-2009) filed a patent for a “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device,” the first ever electronic game.

1949: The first Emmy Awards were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club.

1961: President John F. Kennedy held the first televised press conference.

1968: The Israeli submarine Dakar, carrying 69 sailors, disappeared and was never seen again. The exact fate of this vessel remains a mystery.

January 26


1500: Vicente Yáñez Pinzón became the first European to set foot on Brazil.

1808: The Rum Rebellion took place, becoming the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia.

1837: Michigan was admitted as the 26th U.S. state.

1911: Glenn H. Curtiss flew the first successful U.S. seaplane.

1915: Rocky Mountain National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress.

1920: The Lincoln Motor Car Co. was founded. (It was bought out two years later by Ford Motor Co.)

1950: The Indian constitution took effect, making the Republic of India the most populous democracy in the world.

1960: Danny Heater set a worldwide high school basketball scoring record when he recorded 135 points for Burnsville High School in West Virginia.

1961: President John F. Kennedy appointed Janet G. Travell to be his physician, the first time a woman held the appointment of Physician to the President.

1992: Boris Yeltsin announced that Russia will stop targeting United States cities with nuclear weapons.

2004: A dead whale exploded in the town of Tainan, Taiwan. A build-up of gas in the decomposing sperm whale is suspected of causing the explosion.

2015: Libby Lane (born 1966) became the first woman ordained a bishop of the Church of England.


January 27


98: Trajan succeeded his adoptive father Nerva as Roman emperor. (Under Trajan’s rule, the Roman Empire reached its maximum size.)

1785: The University of Georgia was founded, the first public university in the United States.

1880: Thomas Edison (1847-1931) received the patent for his incandescent lamp.

1888: The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C.

1926: John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gave the first public demonstration of a true television system in London, England.

1944: Nazi Germany’s 872-day Siege of Leningrad ended.

1974: The largest flood in the 20th century to affect the city of Brisbane, Australia, occurred when the Brisbane River breached its banks.

1996: Germany observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day for the first time.

2006: Western Union discontinued its telegram and commercial messaging services after being in business since 1851.

January 28


1547: King Henry VIII died in London, England.

1624: Sir Thomas Warner founded the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.

1754: The word “serendipity” (meaning “pleasant surprise”) was coined by Horace Walpole (1717-1797) in a letter to a friend.

1813: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was first published in the United Kingdom.

1851: Northwestern University in Chicago became the first chartered university in Illinois.

1878: Yale Daily News became the first daily college newspaper in the United States.

1887: The largest reported snowflake was discovered by a ranch owner at Fort Keogh, Mont.; it measured 15 inches across and 8 inches thick.

1902: The Carnegie Institution of Washington was founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.

1915: An act of Congress created the U.S. Coast Guard as a branch of the United States armed forces.

1917: City-owned streetcars began operating in San Francisco, Calif.

1934: The first ski tow in the United States began operating in Vermont.

1937: The first Rolls Royce prototype, known as the Silver Wraith, was test driven in England.