475 - Byzantine Emperor Zeno is forced to flee his capital at Constantinople.
1349 - The Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing bubonic plague, were rounded up and incinerated.
1431 - Judges' investigations for the trial of Joan of Arc begin in Rouen, France, the seat of the English occupation government.
1760 - Afghans defeat Marathas in the Battle of Barari Ghat.
1768 - Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in London.
1788 - Connecticut becomes the fifth state to be admitted to the United States.
1793 - Jean-Pierre Blanchard becomes the first person to fly in a balloon in the United States.
1799 - British Prime Minister William Pitt introduces income tax to raise funds for the war against Napoleon.
1806 - Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson receives a state funeral and is interred in St Paul's Cathedral.
1816 - Sir Humphry Davy tests the Davy lamp for miners at Hebburn Colliery.
1822 - The Portuguese prince Pedro I of Brazil decides to stay in Brazil against the orders of the Portuguese king João VI, starting the Brazilian independence process.
1839 - The French Academy of Sciences announces the Daguerreotype photography process.
1857 - The Fort Tejon earthquake of California occurs, registering an estimated magnitude of 7.9.
1858 - Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas, commits suicide.
1861 - American Civil War: The "Star of the West" incident occurs near Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered by some historians to be the "First Shots of the American Civil War".
1861 - Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union before the outbreak of the American Civil War.
1863 - American Civil War: the Battle of Fort Hindman occurs in Arkansas.
1878 - Umberto I becomes King of Italy.
1880 - The Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow.
1894 - New England Telephone and Telegraph installs the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.
1903 - Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, son of the famous poet Alfred Tennyson, becomes the second Governor-General of Australia.
1905 - According to the Julian Calendar which was used at the time, Russian workers stage a march on the Winter Palace that ends in the massacre by Tsarist troops known as Bloody Sunday, setting off the Russian Revolution of 1905.
1916 - World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli concludes with an Ottoman Empire victory when the last Allied forces are evacuated from the peninsula.
1917 - World War I: the Battle of Rafa occurs near the Egyptian border with Palestine.
1923 - Juan de la Cierva makes the first autogyro flight.
1941 - World War II: First flight of the Avro Lancaster.
1941 - World War II: The Greek Triton (S.112) sinks the Italian submarine Neghelli in Otranto.
1945 - World War II: The United States invades Luzon in the Philippines.
1947 - Elizabeth "Betty" Short, the Black Dahlia, is last seen alive.
1951 - The United Nations headquarters officially opens in New York City.
1964 - Martyrs' Day: Several Panamanian youths try to raise the Panamanian flag on the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal Zone, leading to fighting between U.S. military and Panamanian civilians.
1968 - The only known snowfall in Mexico City occurs; additional snow falls on January 10 and 11.
1972 - The RMS Queen Elizabeth is destroyed by fire in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.
1986 - After losing a patent battle with Polaroid, Kodak must give up its instant camera business.
1990 - Space Shuttle program: Columbia lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center on mission STS-32.
1991 - The Soviets storm Vilnius to stop Lithuanian independence.
1997 - A Comair Embraer EMB 120 crashes during approach into Detroit Metro Airport, killing 29 people.
2001 - Shenzhou 2, an unmanned Chinese spacecraft, is launched.
2005 - The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, commonly known as the Naivasha Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement rebel group in Naivasha, Kenya.
2005 - Elections are held to replace Yasser Arafat as head of the Palestine Liberation Organiz