AD41: The mad Roman emperor Caligula was assassinated.
1568: William of Orange (The Silent) declared an outlaw.
1798: Irish rebellion broke out.
1848: Gold was discovered in California at Sutter’s Mill, near Coloma, by James Marshall, touching off the Gold Rush.
1907: First Boy Scout troop was organised by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.
1915: Battle of the Dogger Bank, in which German cruiser Blucher was sunk.
1924: Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in honour of founder of Soviet Union.
1935: Canned beer made its first appearance, marketed by Krueger Brewery of Richmond, Virginia, United States.
1946: United Nations General Assembly voted to create United Nations Atomic Energy Commission.
1973: US negotiator Henry Kissinger said Vietnam peace agreement worked out in Paris also meant an end to fighting in Laos and Cambodia. Hanoi’s De Luc Tho called it “a great victory for the Vietnamese people.”
1975: Dr Donald Coggan was enthroned as 101st Archbishop of Canterbury.
1976: Margaret Thatcher was dubbed the Iron Lady in the Soviet defence ministry’s newspaper Red Star after a speech on 19 January about the Soviet threat.
1978: Russian space satellite crashed near Yellow Knife, Canada.
1986: The Westland affair reached its climax with resignation of Leon Brittan.
1987: Clashes outside News International plant at Wapping, east London, left 162 policemen and 33 demonstrators hurt in worst disturbances of year-long newspaper printers’ dispute.
1988: The Liberals voted for a merger with the Social Democratic Party.
1993: A Sikh plot to assassinate VIPs, including John Major, at a Republic Day parade in India was thwarted by police.
2003: The US Department of Homeland Security officially began operation.
2008: Peter Hain resigned as work and pensions and Welsh secretary after the Electoral Commission referred the non-declaration of more than £100,000 in donations to his campaign for the Labour Party deputy leadership to the police.
2009: Three climbers died following an avalanche on a mountain in Glencoe.
Jools Holland, musician and television presenter, 55; Tatyana Ali, actress and singer, 34; Michael Des Barres, singer (Detective) and Oscar-winning actor, 65; Neil Diamond, singer and actor, 72; Adrian Edmondson, comic actor, 56; Bamber Gascoigne, broadcaster and author, 78; Nastassia Kinski, actress, 54; Doctor Desmond Morris, anthropologist and author, 85; Aaron Neville, R&B singer, 72; Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, golfer, 66; Vic Reeves, comedian, 54.
Births: 1712 Frederick the Great, Prussian king; 1862 Edith Wharton, novelist; 1888 Ernst Heinkel, aircraft engineer; 1917 Ernest Borgnine actor; 1924 Earl Spencer, father of Princess of Wales; 1930 Bernard Matthews CBE, poultry producer.
Deaths: 1874 Adam Black, Edinburgh-born publisher and politician; 1895 Lord Randolph Churchill, Conservative Party leader, and father of Sir Winston Churchill, who died on the same day in 1965; 1920 Amedeo Modigliani, painter and sculptor.