Hilari Day in Solothurn and surroundings, Switzerland (The Hilari is a fasnachtähnlicher custom. It is celebrated exclusively in the four villages Feuerthalen-Langwiesen, Flurlingen and Laufen-Uhwiesen along the Cholfirst in the north of the canton of Zurich. The Hilari is considered one of the oldest Carnival customs of the canton)
1991 – Soviet Union troops attack Lithuanian independence supporters in Vilnius, killing 14 people and wounding around 1000 others.
1990 – Douglas Wilder becomes the first elected African American governor as he takes office in Richmond, Virginia.
1988 – Lee Teng-hui becomes the first native Taiwanese President of the Republic of China.
1978 – United States Food and Drug Administration requires all blood donations to be labeled "paid" or "volunteer" donors.
1968 – Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom State Prison
1966 – Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet member when he is appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
1960 – The Gulag system of forced labor camps in the Soviet Union is officially abolished.
1953 – An article appears in Pravda accusing some of the most prestigious and prominent doctors, mostly Jews, in the Soviet Union of taking part in a vast plot to poison members of the top Soviet political and military leadership.
1951 – First Indochina War: The Battle of Vĩnh Yên begins.
1942 – Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which is 30% lighter than a regular car.
1942 – World War II: First use of an aircraft ejection seat by a German test pilot in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter.
1939 – The Black Friday bush fires burn 20,000 square kilometers of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.
1915 – The 6.7 Mw Avezzano earthquake shakes the Province of L'Aquila in Italy with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), killing between 29,978–32,610.
1910 – The first public radio broadcast takes place; a live performance of the operas Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci are sent out over the airwaves from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
1895 – First Italo-Ethiopian War: the war's opening battle, the Battle of Coatit, occurs; it is an Italian victory.
1893 – The Independent Labour Party of the United Kingdom holds its first meeting.
1888 – The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.
1847 – The Treaty of Cahuenga ends the Mexican–American War in California.
1842 – Dr. William Brydon, an assistant surgeon in the British East India Company Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, becomes famous for being the sole survivor of an army of 4,500 men and 12,000 camp followers when he reaches the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
1833 – United States President Andrew Jackson writes to Vice President Martin Van Buren expressing his opposition to South Carolina's defiance of federal authority in the Nullification Crisis.
1822 – The design of the Greek flag is adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.
1989 – Morgan Burnett, American football player. Morgan Mark Burnett (born January 13, 1989) is an American football strong safety for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL).
1988 – Josh Freeman, American football player. Freeman was also a member of the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts, as well as the Brooklyn Bolts of the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
1984 – Nick Mangold, American football player. Mangold was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection with the Jets, and was considered to be among the best at his position.
1981 – Darrell Rasner, American baseball player. Darrell Wayne Rasner, Jr. (born January 13, 1981) is an American former professional baseball pitcher.
1978 – Nate Silver, American journalist and statistician, developed PECOTA. Nathaniel Read Silver (born January 13, 1978) is an American statistician and writer who analyzes baseball (see sabermetrics) and elections (see psephology).
1977 – James Posey, American basketball player and coach. Posey won NBA championships as a member of the 2006 Miami Heat and the 2008 Boston Celtics, respectively.
1972 – Nicole Eggert, American actress. She guest-starred in The Super Mario Bros.
1970 – Shonda Rhimes, American actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. Rhimes has also served as the executive producer of the ABC television series Off the Map, How to Get Away with Murder, and The Catch.
1966 – Patrick Dempsey, American actor. Patrick Galen Dempsey (born January 13, 1966) is an American actor and racecar driver, best known for his role as neurosurgeon Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd in Grey's Anatomy, starring alongside Ellen Pompeo (Dr.
1965 – Rod Rosenstein, American political figure, United States Deputy Attorney General. At the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General in April 2017, he was the nation's longest-serving U.S.
1964 – Penelope Ann Miller, American actress. She has starred in several major Hollywood films, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Biloxi Blues (1988), Big Top Pee-wee (1988), The Freshman (1990), Awakenings (1990), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Other People's Money (1991), Year of the Comet (1992), and Carlito's Way (1993), for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination.
1962 – Trace Adkins, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Since then, Adkins has released ten more studio albums and two Greatest Hits compilations.
1961 – Julia Louis-Dreyfus, American actress, comedian, and producer. She is one of the most awarded actresses in American television history, winning more Emmy Awards and more Screen Actors Guild Awards than any other performer (eight of the Emmy Awards were for acting, tying Cloris Leachman for the most acting wins).
1961 – Wayne Coyne, American singer-songwriter and musician. He is the lead singer, occasional backing vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, theremin player and songwriter for the band the Flaming Lips.
1960 – Eric Betzig, American physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate. Robert Eric Betzig (born January 13, 1960) is an American physicist who works as a Professor of Physics and Professor Molecular and Cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley.
1957 – Claudia Emerson, American poet and academic (d. 2014). She won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection Late Wife, and was named the Poet Laureate of Virginia by then-Governor Tim Kaine in 2008.
1957 – Lorrie Moore, American short story writer. Birds of America (1998) A Gate at the Stairs (2009)
1957 – Mark O'Meara, American golfer. He spent nearly 200 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking from their debut in 1986 to 2000.
1955 – Jay McInerney, American novelist and critic. He edited The Penguin Book of New American Voices, wrote the screenplay for the 1988 film adaptation of Bright Lights, Big City, and co-wrote the screenplay for the television film Gia, which starred Angelina Jolie.
1954 – Trevor Rabin, South African-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. In 1972, he joined the rock band Rabbitt who enjoyed considerable success in South Africa, and released his first solo album, Beginnings.
1953 – Silvana Gallardo, American actress and producer (d. 2012), was an American film and television actress.
1950 – Bob Forsch, American baseball player (d. 2011), was an American right-handed starting pitcher who spent most of his sixteen years in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the St. Louis Cardinals (1974–1988) before finishing his playing career with the Houston Astros (1988–1989).
1949 – Brandon Tartikoff, American screenwriter and producer (d. 1997), was an American television executive who was the president of NBC from 1980 to 1991. He was credited with turning around NBC's low prime time reputation with such hit series as Hill Street Blues, L.A.
1943 – Richard Moll, American actor. Charles Richard Moll (born January 13, 1943) is an American actor and voice artist, best known for playing Aristotle Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon, the bailiff on the NBC sitcom Night Court from 1984 to 1992.
1940 – Edmund White, American novelist, memoirist, and essayist. His books include The Joy of Gay Sex (1977) (written with Charles Silverstein), his trio of autobiographic novels, A Boy's Own Story (1982), The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988) and The Farewell Symphony (1997), and his biography of Jean Genet.
1933 – Tom Gola, American basketball player, coach, and politician (d. 2014). He is widely considered one of the greatest NCAA basketball players of all-time.
1931 – Charles Nelson Reilly, American actor, comedian, director, game show panelist, and television personality (d. 2007), was an American actor, comedian, director, and drama teacher known for his comedic roles on stage and in films, television shows, and cartoons.
1930 – Frances Sternhagen, American actress. Sternhagen has appeared On- and Off-Broadway, in movies, and on TV since the 1950s.
1929 – Joe Pass, American guitarist and composer (d. 1994), was an American jazz guitarist of Sicilian descent. He is considered one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century.
1927 – Brock Adams, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 5th United States Secretary of Transportation (d. 2004), was an American politician and member of Congress. Adams was a Democrat from Washington and served as a U.S.
1927 – Liz Anderson, American singer-songwriter (d. 2011), was an American country music singer-songwriter who was one in a wave of new-generation female vocalists in the genre during the 1960s to write and record her own songs on a regular basis. Writing in The New York Times Bill Friskics-Warren noted, "Like her contemporary Loretta Lynn, Ms.
1926 – Carolyn Gold Heilbrun, American author and academic (d. 2003), was an American academic at Columbia University, the first woman to receive tenure in the English department, and a prolific feminist author of academic studies. In addition, beginning in the 1960s, she published numerous popular mystery novels with a woman protagonist, under the pen name of Amanda Cross.
1926 – Melba Liston, American trombonist and composer (d. 1999), was an American jazz trombonist, arranger, and composer. She was the first woman trombonist to play in big bands during the 1940s and 1960s, but as her career progressed she became better known as an arranger particularly in partnership with pianist Randy Weston.
1925 – Gwen Verdon, American actress and dancer (d. 2000). She won four Tony Awards for her musical comedy performances, and served as an uncredited choreographer's assistant and specialty dance coach for theater and film.
1925 – Rosemary Murphy, American actress (d. 2014), was an American actress of stage, film, and television. She was nominated for three Tony Awards for her stage work, as well as two Emmy Awards for television work, winning once, for her performance in Eleanor and Franklin (1976).
1925 – Vanita Smythe, American singer and actress (d. 1994), was an American blues and jazz singer and actress. She was professionally active between 1945 and 1950, making eight soundies, two motion pictures and releasing a couple of singles.
1921 – Dachine Rainer, American-English author and poet (d. 2000), was an American born English writer.
1919 – Robert Stack, American actor (d. 2003), was an American actor, sportsman, and television host. Known for his deep, commanding voice and presence, he appeared in over 40 feature films.
1914 – Osa Massen, Danish-American actress (d. 2006), was a Danish actress who went on to become a successful movie actress in Hollywood. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1941.
1905 – Kay Francis, American actress (d. 1968), was an American stage and film actress. After a brief period on Broadway in the late 1920s, she moved to film and achieved her greatest success between 1930 and 1936, when she was the number one female star at the Warner Brothers studio and the highest-paid American film actress.
1904 – Nathan Milstein, Ukrainian-American violinist and composer (d. 1992), was a Ukrainian-born American virtuoso violinist.
1902 – Karl Menger, Austrian-American mathematician from the Vienna Circle (d. 1985). He was the son of the economist Carl Menger.
1901 – A. B. Guthrie, Jr., American novelist, screenwriter, historian (d. 1991), was an American novelist, screenwriter, historian, and literary historian known for writing western stories. His novel The Way West won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and his screenplay for Shane (1953) was nominated for an Academy Award.
1893 – Chaim Soutine, Belarusian-French painter (d. 1943), was a Russian-French painter of Jewish origin. Soutine made a major contribution to the expressionist movement while living in Paris.
1893 – Clark Ashton Smith, American poet, sculptor, painter, and author (d. 1961), was an American writer and artist. He achieved early local recognition, largely through the enthusiasm of George Sterling, for traditional verse in the vein of Swinburne.
1887 – Sophie Tucker, Russian-born American singer and actress (d. 1966), was a Ukrainian-born American singer, comedian, actress, and radio personality. Known for her powerful delivery of comical and risqué songs, she was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century.
1886 – Art Ross, Canadian-American ice hockey player and coach (d. 1964), was a Canadian professional ice hockey player and executive from 1905 until 1954. Regarded as one of the best defenders of his era by his peers, he was one of the first to skate with the puck up the ice rather than pass it to a forward.
1885 – Alfred Fuller, Canadian-American businessman, founded the Fuller Brush Company (d. 1973), was a Canada-born American businessman. He was the original "Fuller Brush Man."
1883 – Nathaniel Cartmell, American runner and coach (d. 1967), was an American athlete who won medals at two editions of the Olympic Games. He is also known for being the first head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team.
1870 – Ross Granville Harrison, American biologist and anatomist (d. 1959), was an American biologist and anatomist credited as the first to successfully grow artificial tissue culture. His work also contributed to the understanding of embryonic development.
1832 – Horatio Alger, Jr., American novelist and journalist (d. 1899), was an American writer of young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty. His writings were characterized by the "rags-to-riches" narrative, which had a formative effect on the United States during the Gilded Age.
1808 – Salmon P. Chase, American jurist and politician, 6th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1873), was a U.S. politician and jurist who served as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States. He also served as the 23rd Governor of Ohio, represented Ohio in the United States Senate, and served as the 25th United States Secretary of the Treasury.
1805 – Thomas Dyer, American lawyer and politician, 18th Mayor of Chicago (d. 1862). Thomas Dyer (January 13, 1805 – June 6, 1862; buried in Connecticut) served as mayor of Chicago, Illinois (1856–1857) for the Democratic Party.
1804 – Paul Gavarni, French illustrator (d. 1866), was the nom de plume of Sulpice Guillaume Chevalier (13 January 1804, Paris – 24 November 1866), a French illustrator, born in Paris.
1596 – Jan van Goyen, Dutch painter and illustrator (d. 1656), was a Dutch landscape painter. Van Goyen was an extremely prolific artist; approximately twelve hundred paintings and more than one thousand drawings by him are known.
2017 – Dick Gautier, American actor (b. 1931)
2016 – Brian Bedford, English-American actor and director (b. 1935)
2016 – Giorgio Gomelsky, Georgian-American director, producer, songwriter, and manager (b. 1934)
2016 – Lawrence Phillips, American football player (b. 1975)
2015 – Robert White, American soldier and diplomat, United States Ambassador to Paraguay (b. 1926)
2014 – Randal Tye Thomas, American journalist and politician (b. 1978)
2013 – Chia-Chiao Lin, Chinese-American mathematician and academic (b. 1916)
2013 – Diogenes Allen, American philosopher and theologian (b. 1932)
2013 – Rodney Mims Cook, Sr., American lieutenant and politician (b. 1924)
2012 – Richard Threlkeld, American journalist and author (b. 1937)
2010 – Teddy Pendergrass, American singer-songwriter (b. 1950)
2009 – Patrick McGoohan, Irish-American actor, director, and producer (b. 1928)
2009 – W. D. Snodgrass, American poet (b. 1926)
2008 – Johnny Podres, American baseball player and coach (b. 1932)
2007 – Danny Oakes, American race car driver (b. 1911)
2007 – Michael Brecker, American saxophonist and composer (b. 1949)
2006 – Frank Fixaris, American journalist and sportscaster (b. 1934)
2006 – Marc Potvin, Canadian-American ice hockey player and coach (b. 1967)
2005 – Nell Rankin, American soprano and actress (b. 1924)
2003 – Norman Panama, American director and screenwriter (b. 1914)
1980 – Andre Kostelanetz, Russian-American conductor (b. 1901)
1979 – Donny Hathaway, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer (b. 1945)