49 BC - Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River signaling a war between Rome and Gaul.
1519 - Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I died.
1773 - The first public museum in America was established in Charleston, SC.
1866 - The Royal Aeronautical Society was founded in London.
1875 - Kwang-su was made emperor of China.
1882 - Thomas Edison's central station on Holborn Viaduct in London began operation.
1895 - The first performance of King Arthur took place at the Lyceum Theatre.
1896 - At Davidson College, several students took x-ray photographs. They created the first X-ray photographs to be made in America.
1908 - A wireless message was sent long-distance for the first time from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
1915 - The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.
1915 - The U.S. Congress established the Rocky Mountain National Park.
1926 - "Sam ‘n’ Henry" debuted on WGN Radio in Chicago, IL.
1932 - Hattie W. Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
1938 - Austria recognized the Franco government in Spain.
1940 - Soviet bombers raided cities in Finland.
1942 - U.S. President Roosevelt created the National War Labor Board.
1943 - The Office of Price Administration announced that standard frankfurters/hot dogs/wieners would be replaced by 'Victory Sausages.'
1945 - During World War II, Soviet forces began a huge offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.
1948 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not discriminate against law-school applicants because of race.
1949 - "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends" was debuted on CBS-TV. The show stayed on the network for seven years.
1949 - "Kukla, Fran and Ollie", the Chicago-based children’s show, made its national debut on NBC-TV.
1955 - Rod Serling’s career began with the TV production of "Patterns."
1960 - Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals became the first pro basketball player in the NBA to score more than 15,000 points in his career.
1964 - Leftist rebels in Zanzibar began their successful revolt against the government and a republic was proclaimed.
1966 - U.S. President Johnson said in his State of the Union address that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there was ended.
1966 - "Batman" debuted on ABC-TV.
1967 - "Dragnet" returned to NBC-TV after being off the network schedule for eight years.
1970 - The breakaway state of Biafra capitulated and the Nigerian civil war came to an end.
1970 - Nigeria's civil war ended.
1971 - "All In the Family" debuted on CBS-TV.
1973 - Yassar Arafat was re-elected as head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
1986 - Space shuttle Columbia blasted off with a crew that included the first Hispanic-American in space, Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz.
1991 - The U.S. Congress passed a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military power to force Iraq out of Kuwait.
1995 - Northern Ireland Secretary Patrick Mayhew announced that as of January 16 British troops would no longer carry out daylight street patrols in Belfast.
1998 - Tyson Foods Inc. pled guilty to giving $12,000 to former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. Tyson was fined $6 million.
1998 - 19 European nations agreed to prohibit human cloning.
1998 - Linda Tripp provided Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's office with taped conversations between herself and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
1999 - Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball was sold at auction in New York for $3 million to an anonymous bidder.
2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, gave police broad authority to stop and question people who run at the sight of an officer.
2000 - Charlotte Hornets guard Bobby Phills was killed in a crash during a drag race.
2005 - NASA launched "Deep Impact". The spacecraft was planned to impact on Comet Tempel 1 after a six-month, 268 million-mile journey.
2006 - The U.S. Mint began shipping new 5-cent coins to the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. The coin has an image of Thomas Jefferson taken from a 1800 Rembrandt Peale portrait in which the president is looking forward. Since 1909, when presidents were first depicted on circulating coins, all presidents had been shown in profile.