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On January 4th...

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871 Ethelred of Wessex beat a Danish invasion army at the Battle of Reading.

1357 Earl Louis of Flanders and Duke Wenceslaus of Luxembourg signed a peace treaty.

1581 James Ussher, Old Testament scholar, was born.

King Charles I1642 King Charles I, with 400 soldiers, attacked the English parliament.

1698 Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarch, was destroyed by fire.

1717 Netherlands, England, and France signed the Triple Alliance.

1746 Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born.

Columbia University1754 Kings College (now Columbia University) was founded.

1762 England declared war on Spain and Naples.

1780 Businessman Joseph Morgan was born.

Jakob Ludwig Grimm1785 Jakob Ludwig Grimm, collector and publisher of fairy tales, was born.

Louis Braille1809 Louis Braille, developer of the Braille System of writing and reading for the blind, was born.

Samuel Colt1847 Samuel Colt sold his first revolver pistol to the United States.

1854 The McDonald Islands were discovered by Captain William McDonald.

1858 U. S. Senator Carter Glass was born.

1863 James Plimpton patented 4-wheeled roller skates.
1863 The New Apostolic Church was established in Germany.

New York Stock Exchange1865 The New York Stock Exchange opened its first permanent headquarters, at 10-12 Broad Street.

1877 Cornelius Vanderbilt, the richest man in the United States at the time, died.

1882 Chemist John William Draper died.

1884 The Fabian Society was founded in London.

1885 Dr. W. W. Grant performed the world's first appendectomy, on 22-year-old Mary Gartside.

1887 Thomas Stevens became the first person to bicycle around the world (San Francisco to San Francisco).

Utah1896 Utah was admitted as the 45th state.
1896 U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen was born.

1902 The French Panama Canal Company offered to sell its right to build a canal to the United States for $40 million.

Thomas Edison1903 Thomas Edison electrocuted an elephant named Topsy.

1904 The Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans cannot be denied admission into the United States.

1912 The Scout Association was incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.

1915 The first Jewish Governor in the United States, Moses Alexander, took office in Idaho.

1916 Film director Robert Parrish was born.

1920 The National Negro Baseball League was organized.
1920 CIA Director William Colby was born.

1930 NFL coach Don Shula was born.

1932 A state of siege was proclaimed in Honduras.

1933 U. S. Congressman Ed Jenkins was born.

1935 Fort Jefferson National Monument was established in Florida.
1935 Boxer Floyd Patterson was born.

1936 Billboard magazine published its first "Hit Parade."

1937 Actress Dyan Cannon was born.

Technetium1947 Emilio G. Segrč and Carlo Perrier announced technetium, the first artificially synthesized chemical element.

Union of Burma1948 The Union of Burma was established.

1951 Chinese forces recaptured Seoul, South Korea.

1957 "Blondie" premiered on NBC-TV.
Singer Patty Loveless was born.

1958 Sir Edmund Hillary reached the South Pole.

1960 The European Free Trade Association was created.
1960 Michael Stipe, lead singer of R.E.M., was born.
Albert Camus1960 Author Albert Camus died.

1962 The first automated subway train in New York City, New York, went into operation.

1963 Actor Dave Foley was born.

1965 Poet T. S. Eliot died.

1967 Donald Campbell, holder of the world water speed record of 276.33 mph, was killed while attempting to better it, at Coniston Water, England.

1970 A magnitude 7.7 earthquake killed more than 15,000 persons in Tonghai, China.

1971 Melvin H. Evans was inaugurated as the first elected Governorof the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ohio agreed to pay $675,000 to relatives of Kent State victims.
Veterans' Stadium was dedicated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1976 The Ulster Volunteer Force killed 6 Catholic civilians in two co-ordinated attacks in County Armagh, North Ireland.

1981 British police arrested Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper."

1982 Bryant Gumbel and Chris Wallace became co-hosts of NBC's "Today Show."

1983 The U. S. Football League held its first player draft.

1984 "Night Court" premiered on NBC-TV.

1987 An Amtrak passenger train collided with a Conrail freight train near Baltimore, Maryland, killing 16 and injuring more than 170.

1990 An overloaded passenger train collided with an empty freight trin in Pakistan, killing 307 persons and injuring 700.

1991 Jan Krzystof Bielecki became Premier of Poland.

1998 Over 170 persons in three remote Algerian villages were massacred.

1999 Gunmen opened fire on Shiite Muslims worshipping in an Islamabad, Pakistan, mosque, killing 16 and injuring 25.
1999 Tennessee beat Florida State, 23-16, in the first ever BCS National Championship (aka the 28th Fiesta Bowl).

2000 Two trains collided in Asta, Norway, killing 19 persons.

2001 Band leader Les Brown died.

2004 The Spirit rover landed on Mars.

2010 The Burj Khalifa in Dubai was officially opened as the world's tallest building.

2013 A car bomb killed 9 persons in Damascus, Syria.
2013 A gunman killed 8 persons in Kawit, the Philippines.
2013 A snowmobile veered off a ski slope on Mt. Cermis, Italy, killing 6 persons and seriously injuring 2 others.

2014 A three-story building construction site collapsed in Goa, India, killing 14 persons.

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This page was last updated on January 04, 2019.