1649 - England's King Charles I was beheaded.
1790 - The first purpose-built lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne.
1798 - The first brawl in the U.S. House of Representatives took place. Congressmen Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold fought on the House floor.
1844 - Richard Theodore Greener became the first African American to graduate from Harvard University.
1847 - The town of Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco.
1862 - The U.S. Navy's first ironclad warship, the "Monitor", was launched.
1889 - Rudolph, crown prince of Austria, and his 17-year-old mistress, Baroness Marie Vetsera, were found shot in his hunting lodge at Mayerling, near Vienna.
1894 - C.B. King received a patent for the pneumatic hammer.
1900 - The British fighting the Boers in South Africa ask for a larger army.
1910 - Work began on the first board-track automobile speedway. The track was built in Playa del Ray, CA.
1911 - The first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer "Terry." Pilot James McCurdy was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
1933 - "The Lone Ranger" was heard on radio for the first time. The program ran for 2,956 episodes and ended in 1955.
1933 - Adolf Hitler was named the German Chancellor.
1948 - Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist.
1950 - NBC-TV debuted "Robert Montgomery Presents." The show lasted for seven seasons.
1958 - Yves Saint Laurent, at age 22, held his first major fashion show in Paris.
1958 - The first two-way moving sidewalk was put in service at Love Field in Dallas, TX. The length of the walkway through the airport was 1,435 feet.
1960 - The women’s singles U.S. figure skating championship was won by Carol Heiss.
1962 - Two members of the "Flying Wallendas" high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit, MI.
1964 - January 30 - The U.S. launched Ranger 6. The unmanned spacecraft carried television cameras and was intentionally crash-landed on the moon. The cameras did not return any pictures to Earth.
1968 - The Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.
1972 - In Northern Ireland, British soldiers shot and killed thirteen Roman Catholic civil rights marchers. The day is known as "Bloody Sunday."
1979 - The civilian government of Iran announced it had decided to allow Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to return. He had been living in exile in France.
1989 - The U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan was closed.
1994 - Peter Leko became the world's youngest-ever grand master in chess.
1995 - The U.N. Security Council authorized the deployment of a 6,000-member U.N. peace-keeping contingent to assume security responsibilities in Haiti from U.S. forces.
1995 - Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced that clinical trials had demonstrated the effectiveness of the first preventative treatment for sickle cell anaemia.
1996 - Gino Gallagher, the reputed leader of the Irish National Liberation Army, was shot and killed as he queued for his unemployment benefit.
1997 - A New Jersey judge ruled that the unborn child of a female prisoner must have legal representation. He denied the prisoner bail reduction to enable her to leave the jail and obtain an abortion.
2002 - Slobodan Milosevic accused the U.N. war crimes tribunal of an "evil and hostile attack" against him. Milosevic was defending his actions during the Balkan wars.
2002 - Japan's last coal mine was closed. The closures were due to high production costs and cheap imports.