History January This Day in History


January This Day in History, Historic Events


What Historic January Events Occurred on Your Birthday?

Our “This Day in History for January” section contains historical January events categorized by month and day. See what happened on your birthday, or any day of the year. Find out what happened on this day in January.

Major Historical January Events:

January 1, 45 B.C. –  The Julian calendar is first used.

January 1, 1878 – Emma M. Nutt becomes the first woman telephone operator.

January 1, 1890 – The first Rose Bowl Parade was held. The first Rose Bowl football game was played in 1902, to help pay for the cost of the parade.

January 1, 1908 – The ball was first dropped at Times Square in New York City.

 January 2, 1947 – Mahatma Gandhi begins his march for peace in East Bengal.

January 3, 1521 – Martin Luther is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.

January 3, 1870 –  Construction began on the Brooklyn Bridge

 January 4, 1790 – President George Washington delivers the first State of the Union Address.

January 4, 1847 – Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the U.S. government.

January 5, 1972 – President Richard M. Nixon signs a $5.5B over 6 years to build and test a space shuttle.

January 6, 1838 – Samuel Morse demonstrates the telegraph

January 6, 1975 – Television game show “Wheel of Fortune” premieres.

January 7, 1610 – Astronomer Galileo Galilei discovers four of Jupiter’s moons.

 January 8, 1964 – In his State of the Union address, President Lyndon B. Johnson declares his “War on Poverty Program”.

January 9, 1951 – The United Nations opens its headquarters in New York City.

January 10, 1863 – The world’s first underground passenger railway system opens in London, England.

Football Stadium

Historic January Events Include Snowstorms

January 11, 1838 – Samuel Morse and Alford Vail demonstrate the magnetic electric telegraph using Morse code

January 11, 1973 – American League baseball adopts the “Designated Hitter” rule.

January 12, 1966 – Batman debuts on television.

January 12, 1971 –  The television comedy “All in the Family” premieres.

 January 13, 1943 – Germany’s Adolf Hitler declares “Total War” against the Allies.

January 14, 1784 – The United States of America ratifies a treaty with England ending the Revolutionary War.

January 14, 1973 – The Miami Dolphins defeat the Washington Redskins in Superbowl VII, and become the first undefeated team in NFL history.

January 14, 1990 – The Simpsons debut on television. Will TV ever be the same again!?!

January 15, 1943 -The Pentagon opens. It is the world’s largest office building at 6.5 million square feet.

January 15, 1967 – Green Bay beats Kansas City in the first NFL Super Bowl in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

January 15, 1974 – Happy Days premieres on television.

January 16, 1991 – Operation Desert Storm begins to oust Saddam Hussein’s’ Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

January 17, 1873 – Andrew Hallikie receives a patent for a cable car system in San Francisco, which began service in 1873.

January 17, 1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that taping on home VCRs does not violate copyright laws.

January 18, 1778 – Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands.

January 19, 1883 – The first electrical lighting system using overhead wires was constructed by Thomas Edison.

 January 20, 1964 – The Beatles release “Meet the Beatles”, their first album to the U.S., sparking a new “English invasion”.

January 20, 1981 – At 69 years, 349 days old, Ronald Reagan becomes the oldest person to become U.S. president.

Olympic Rings

Historic January Events include - Beer sold in cans for the first time

January 21, 1799 – Edward Jenner introduces the smallpox vaccine, which eventually leads to wiping out this deadly disease.

January 21, 1915 – The first Kiwanis club is formed in Detroit.

January 21, 1950 – Science fiction writer George Orwell dies.

January 22, 1973 – Historic Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade legalizes abortion. 

January 23, 1556 – The deadliest earthquake in history strikes Shansi, China, killing 830,000 people. 

January 24, 1935 – Beer was first sold in cans. See Beer Can Appreciation Day

January 24, 1945 – WWII Yalta agreement signed by the U.S., England, and Russia. The agreement defined how Germany would be divided and administered after the war’s end.

January 25, 1924 – The first Winter Olympic Games begin in Chamonix, France.

January 25, 1949 – The first Emmy awards were given out.

January 26, 1875 – The Dental Drill was patented. Now open your mouth and say “Ahhh”.

January 27, 1945 – The Russians liberate Auschwitz in WWII.

January 27, 1967 – Tragedy strikes the Apollo space program as a fire in the command module kills astronauts Lt. Col. Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Lt. Col. Edward H. White, and Lt. Cdr. Roger Chafee. 

January 28, 1986 – U.S. space shuttle Challenger explodes 72 seconds after liftoff, killing the seven crew members. Among the crew was school teacher Christa McAuliffe.

January 29, 1900 – Baseball’s American League is founded.

January 30, 1968 – Tet New Year offensive launched by Viet Cong guerillas in Vietnam

January 30, 1969 – The Beatles held their last concert on the roof of their Apple Studio in London. It was interrupted when police received noise complaints from neighbors.

January 31, 1865 – U.S. House of Representatives approves a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

January 31, 1865 – Confederates appoint Robert E. Lee as their Commander in Chief.

January 1, 1940 – Ida Fuller of Ludlow, VT receives the first Social Security. The monthly check was $22.54.

Additional Resources

Flower of the Month

Birthstone of the Month

Famous Birthdays Who else was born on your Birthday? Find out!

Holiday Insights, where every day is a holiday, a bizarre day, a National holiday, a wacky day, or a special event. Join us in the fun each and every day of the year.

Did You Know? There are literally thousands of holidays, special events and observances, more than one for every day of the year. Many new holidays are being created on a very frequent basis. At Holiday Insights we strive to thoroughly research and report details of each one as accurately as possible.