1998 – Lewinsky scandal: On American television, U.S. President Bill Clinton denies having had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
1992 – Boris Yeltsin announces that Russia will stop targeting United States cities with nuclear weapons.
1961 – John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be the first woman Physician to the President.
1950 – The Constitution of India comes into force, forming a republic. Rajendra Prasad is sworn in as its first President of India. Observed as Republic Day in India.
1949 – The Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory sees first light under the direction of Edwin Hubble, becoming the largest aperture optical telescope (until BTA-6 is built in 1976).
1942 – World War II: The first United States forces arrive in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.
1926 – The first demonstration of the television by John Logie Baird.
1911 – Glenn H. Curtiss flies the first successful American seaplane.
1863 – American Civil War: General Ambrose Burnside is relieved of command of the Army of the Potomac after the disastrous Fredericksburg campaign. He is replaced by Joseph Hooker.
1863 – American Civil War: Governor of Massachusetts John Albion Andrew receives permission from the Secretary of War to raise a militia organization for men of African descent.
1861 – American Civil War: The state of Louisiana secedes from the Union.
1856 – First Battle of Seattle. Marines from the USS Decatur drive off American Indian attackers after all day battle with settlers.
1838 – Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States
1837 – Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state.
1788 – The British First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, sails into Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to establish Sydney, the first permanent European settlement on the continent. Commemorated as Australia Day.
1699 – For the first time, the Ottoman Empire permanently cedes territory to the Christian powers.
1500 – Vicente Yáñez Pinzón becomes the first European to set foot on Brazil.
1997 – Gedion Zelalem, German-born American soccer player. Gedion Zelalem (born January 26, 1997) is a German-born American professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Major League Soccer club New York City FC.
1992 – Sasha Banks, American professional wrestler. She is signed to WWE, where she performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Sasha Banks.
1989 – Emily Hughes, American figure skater. She competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics, finishing 7th.
1989 – MarShon Brooks, American basketball player. MarShon Scitif Brooks (born January 26, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
1986 – Gerald Green, American basketball player. Gerald Green (born January 26, 1986) is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1983 – Eric Werner, American ice hockey player. He is a 3-time NCAA champion with Michigan, a 1-time EIHL champion with the Nottingham Panthers, and a 1-time SIHL champion with Jesenice.
1982 – Reggie Hodges, American football player. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
1978 – Corina Morariu, American tennis player and sportscaster. Corina Morariu (born January 26, 1978) is a retired Romanian American tennis player.
1977 – Justin Gimelstob, American tennis player and coach. Gimelstob has been a resident of Morristown, New Jersey, and as of 2009 lived in Santa Monica, California.
1977 – Vince Carter, American basketball player. Vincent Lamar Carter (born January 26, 1977) is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1970 – Kirk Franklin, American singer-songwriter and producer. Variety dubbed Franklin as a "Reigning King of Urban Gospel".
1967 – Col Needham, English businessman, co-founded Internet Movie Database. Colin Needham (born 26 January 1967) is an English entrepreneur who is best known as the founder and CEO of IMDb.
1961 – Tom Keifer, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Carl Thomas Keifer (born January 26, 1961, in Springfield, Pennsylvania) is an American vocalist and guitarist for the band Cinderella.
1958 – Anita Baker, American singer-songwriter. In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, which included the Grammy-winning single "Sweet Love".
1958 – Ellen DeGeneres, American comedian, actress, and talk show host. She starred in the sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted her syndicated TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.
1957 – Road Warrior Hawk, American wrestler (d. 2003), was an American professional wrestler. He was best known as Road Warrior Hawk, one half of the tag team known as The Road Warriors (The Legion of Doom in WWF), with Road Warrior Animal.
1955 – Eddie Van Halen, Dutch-American guitarist, songwriter, and producer. In 2012, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader's poll for "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
1953 – Lucinda Williams, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Lucinda Gayle Williams (born January 26, 1953) is an American rock, folk and country music singer, songwriter and musician.
1951 – Andy Hummel, American singer-songwriter and bass player (d. 2010), was an American bassist and singer-songwriter best known as the bass player of Big Star.
1949 – David Strathairn, American actor. David Russell Strathairn (/strəˈθɛərn/; born January 26, 1949) is an American actor.
1949 – Jonathan Carroll, American author. Jonathan Samuel Carroll (born January 26, 1949) is an American fiction writer primarily known for novels that may be labelled magic realism, slipstream or contemporary fantasy.
1946 – Gene Siskel, American journalist and film critic (d. 1999), was an American film critic and journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Along with colleague Roger Ebert, he hosted a series of popular movie review programs on television from 1975 to 1999.
1946 – Susan Friedlander, American mathematician. Her research concerns mathematical fluid dynamics, the Euler equations and the Navier-Stokes equations.
1944 – Angela Davis, American activist. Angela Yvonne Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, philosopher, academic, and author.
1944 – Jerry Sandusky, American football player, coach, and criminal, was convicted of rape and child sexual abuse. Sandusky served as an assistant coach for his entire career, mostly at Pennsylvania State University under Joe Paterno, from 1969 to 1999.
1941 – Henry Jaglom, English-American director and screenwriter. Henry David Jaglom (born January 26, 1938) is an English-born American actor, film director and playwright.
1941 – Scott Glenn, American actor. His roles have included Wes Hightower in Urban Cowboy (1980), astronaut Alan Shepard in The Right Stuff (1983), Emmett in Silverado (1985), Commander Bart Mancuso in The Hunt for Red October (1990), Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), John Adcox in Backdraft (1991), Roger in Training Day (2001), Ezra Kramer in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Kevin Garvey, Sr., in The Leftovers (2014–2017), and as Stick in both Daredevil (2015–2016) and The Defenders (2017).
1936 – Sal Buscema, American illustrator. Sal Buscema (/bjuːˈsɛmə/; Italian: ; born Silvio Buscema, January 26, 1936) is an American comics artist, primarily for Marvel Comics, where he enjoyed a ten-year run as artist of The Incredible Hulk.
1935 – Bob Uecker, American baseball player, sportscaster and actor. Robert George Uecker (/ˈjuːkər/ YOO-kər; born January 26, 1934) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) player and current sportscaster, comedian, and actor.
1935 – Henry Jordan, American football player (d. 1977), was an American football defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers during his thirteen-year National Football League (NFL) career. He played in the NFL from 1957 to 1969 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1934 – Charles Marowitz, American director, playwright, and critic (d. 2014), was an American critic, theatre director, and playwright, regular columnist on Swans Commentary. He was perhaps best known for being a "close collaborator" with Peter Brook at the Royal Shakespeare Company and for founding and directing The Open Space Theatre, both in London.
1934 – Huey "Piano" Smith, American pianist and songwriter, was influential in the development of rock and roll.
1929 – Jules Feiffer, American cartoonist, playwright, screenwriter, and educator, was considered the most widely read satirist in the country. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 as America's leading editorial cartoonist, and in 2004 he was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame.
1927 – Bob Nieman, American baseball player and scout (d. 1985), was an American professional baseball player and scout. An outfielder, he spent all or parts of a dozen Major League Baseball seasons with the St.
1926 – Joseph Bacon Fraser, Jr., American architect and businessman, co-founded the Sea Pines Company (d. 2014). General Joseph Bacon Fraser commanded the 48th Armored Division of Georgia and Florida Army National Guard.
1925 – Ben Pucci, American football player and sportscaster (d. 2013), was a professional American football tackle who played three seasons for the Buffalo Bisons, Chicago Rockets and Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) between 1946 and 1948.
1925 – Joan Leslie, American actress (d. 2015), was an American actress, dancer, and vaudevillian who, during the Hollywood Golden Age, appeared in such films as High Sierra, Sergeant York, and Yankee Doodle Dandy.
1925 – Paul Newman, American actor, activist, director, race car driver, and businessman, co-founded Newman's Own (d. 2008), was an American actor, film director, producer, race car driver, IndyCar owner, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He won and was nominated for numerous awards, winning an Oscar for his performance in the 1986 film The Color of Money, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy Award, and many others.
1924 – Annette Strauss, American philanthropist and politician, Mayor of Dallas (d. 1998), was an American philanthropist and politician who served as the 55th mayor of Dallas. The Annette Strauss Artist Square in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas is named in honor of her.
1923 – Anne Jeffreys, American actress and singer (d. 2017). Born Annie Jeffreys Carmichael on January 26, 1923 in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Jeffreys entered the entertainment field at a young age, having her initial training in voice (she was an accomplished soprano).
1923 – Patrick J. Hannifin, American admiral (d. 2014). Hannifin (January 26, 1923 – January 9, 2014) was an American Navy vice admiral.
1921 – Akio Morita, Japanese businessman, co-founded Sony (d. 1999), was a Japanese businessman and co-founder of Sony along with Masaru Ibuka.
1921 – Eddie Barclay, French record producer, founded Barclay Records (d. 2005), was a French music producer whose singers included Jacques Brel, Dalida and Charles Aznavour. He founded Barclay Records.
1920 – Hans Holzer, Austrian-American paranormal researcher and author (d. 2009), was an Austrian-American author and parapsychologist. He wrote more than 120 books on supernatural and occult subjects for the popular market as well as several plays, musicals, films, and documentaries, and hosted a television show, Ghost Hunter (not to be confused with Ghost Hunters).
1918 – Philip José Farmer, American author (d. 2009), was an American author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.
1917 – Louis Zamperini, American runner and captain (d. 2014), was an American World War II veteran, a Christian evangelist and an Olympic distance runner. He took up running in high school and qualified for the US in the 5,000 m race for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
1915 – William Hopper, American actor (d. 1970), was an American stage, film, and television actor. The only child of actor DeWolf Hopper and actress and Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, he appeared in predominantly minor roles in more than 80 feature films in the 1930s and '40s.
1913 – Jimmy Van Heusen, American pianist and composer (d. 1990), was an American composer. He wrote songs for films, television and theater, and won an Emmy and four Academy Awards for Best Original Song.
1911 – Polykarp Kusch, German-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1993), was a German-born American physicist. In 1955, the Nobel Committee gave a divided Nobel Prize for Physics, with one half to going to Kusch for his accurate determination that the magnetic moment of the electron was greater than its theoretical value, thus leading to reconsideration of—and innovations in—quantum electrodynamics. (The other 1955 physics laureate was Willis Eugene Lamb, who won for his work on the spectrum of hydrogen.)
1905 – Maria von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (d. 1987), was the stepmother and matriarch of the Trapp Family Singers. She wrote The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, which was published in 1949 and was the inspiration for the 1956 West German film The Trapp Family, which in turn inspired the Broadway musical The Sound of Music (1959) and its 1965 film version.
1904 – Ancel Keys, American physiologist and nutritionist (d. 2004), was an American physiologist who studied the influence of diet on health. In particular, he hypothesized that dietary saturated fat causes cardiovascular heart disease and should be avoided.
1892 – Bessie Coleman, American pilot (d. 1926), was an early American civil aviator. She was the first woman of African-American descent, and the first of Native-American descent, to hold a pilot license.
1891 – Frank Costello, Italian-American mob boss (d. 1973), was an Italian-American Mafia gangster and crime boss. Costello rose to the top of American organized crime, controlled a vast gambling empire, and enjoyed political influence.
1891 – Wilder Penfield, American-Canadian neurosurgeon and academic (d. 1976). He expanded brain surgery's methods and techniques, including mapping the functions of various regions of the brain such as the cortical homunculus.
1887 – Marc Mitscher, American admiral and pilot (d. 1947), was a pioneer in naval aviation who became an admiral in the United States Navy, and served as commander of the Fast Carrier Task Force in the Pacific during the latter half of World War II.
1880 – Douglas MacArthur, American general, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1964), was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II.
2017 – Barbara Hale, American actress (b. 1922)
2017 – Mike Connors, American actor (b. 1925)
2016 – Abe Vigoda, American actor (b. 1921)
2015 – Cleven "Goodie" Goudeau, American art director and cartoonist (b. 1932)
2014 – Ralph T. Troy, American banker and politician (b. 1935)
2014 – Tom Gola, American basketball player, coach, and politician (b. 1933)
2013 – Christine M. Jones, American educator and politician (b. 1929)
2013 – Stefan Kudelski, Polish-Swiss engineer, invented the Nagra (b. 1929)
2011 – Charlie Louvin, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1927)
2010 – Louis Auchincloss, American novelist and essayist (b. 1917)
2008 – Viktor Schreckengost, American sculptor and designer (b. 1906)
2004 – Fred Haas, American golfer (b. 1916)
2001 – Al McGuire, American basketball player and coach (b. 1928)
2000 – A. E. van Vogt, Canadian-American author (b. 1912)
2000 – Don Budge, American tennis player and coach (b. 1915)
1997 – Jeane Dixon, American astrologer and psychic (b. 1904)
1996 – Frank Howard, American football player and coach (b. 1909)
1996 – Harold Brodkey, American author and academic (b. 1930)
1992 – José Ferrer, Puerto Rican-American actor (b. 1912)
1990 – Lewis Mumford, American sociologist and historian (b. 1895)
1983 – Bear Bryant, American football player and coach (b. 1913)
1979 – Nelson Rockefeller, American businessman and politician, 41st Vice President of the United States (b. 1908)
1977 – Filopimin Finos, Greek production manager and producer, founded Finos Film (b. 1908)
1975 – Donald Sheldon, American bush pilot (b. 1921)
1973 – Edward G. Robinson, Romanian-American actor (b. 1893)
1968 – Merrill C. Meigs, American publisher (b. 1883)
1962 – Lucky Luciano, Italian-American mob boss (b. 1897)
1957 – Helene Costello, American actress (b. 1906)
1948 – John Lomax, American musicologist and academic (b. 1867)
1947 – Grace Moore, American soprano and actress (b. 1898)
1946 – Adriaan van Maanen, Dutch-American astronomer and academic (b. 1884)
1943 – Harry H. Laughlin, American sociologist and eugenicist (b. 1880)
1926 – John Flannagan, American priest and academic (b. 1860)
1893 – Abner Doubleday, American general (b. 1819)
1891 – Nikolaus Otto, German engineer, invented the Internal combustion engine (b. 1833)
1886 – David Rice Atchison, American general and politician (b. 1807)