2009 – Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is removed from office following his conviction of several corruption charges, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for then-U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.
2005 – The first direct commercial flights from mainland China (from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines flight lands in Beijing.
1991 – Gulf War: The Battle of Khafji, the first major ground engagement of the war, as well as its deadliest, begins.
1989 – Hungary establishes diplomatic relations with South Korea, making it the first Eastern Bloc nation to do so.
1963 – The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced.
1943 – The first day of the Battle of Rennell Island, U.S. cruiser Chicago is torpedoed and heavily damaged by Japanese bombers.
1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced.
1916 – World War I: Paris is first bombed by German zeppelins.
1907 – Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American U.S. Senator.
1900 – The American League is organized in Philadelphia with eight founding teams.
1886 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.
1845 – "The Raven" is published in The Evening Mirror in New York, the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe
1834 – US President Andrew Jackson orders first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labor dispute.
1790 – The first boat specializing as a lifeboat is tested on the River Tyne.
1258 – First Mongol invasion of Đại Việt: Đại Việt defeats the Mongols at the battle of Đông Bộ Đầu, forcing the Mongols to withdraw from the country.
1989 – Kevin Shattenkirk, American ice hockey player. Kevin Michael Shattenkirk (born January 29, 1989) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman who currently plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League (NHL).
1982 – Adam Lambert, American singer-songwriter and actor. Since 2009, he has sold over 3 million albums and 5 million singles worldwide.
1981 – Rachna Khatau, Indian-American actress and singer. She is notable for her role as Sondra in the Freeform sitcom Baby Daddy appearing in the series from 2013 through 2017.
1977 – Justin Hartley, American film and television actor. Hartley appeared in the recurring role of Patrick Osbourne in the third season of the television series Revenge.
1975 – Sara Gilbert, American actress, producer, and talk show host. Sara Gilbert (born Sara Rebecca Abeles; January 29, 1975) is an American actress, director, and producer best known for her role as Darlene Conner on the ABC sitcom Roseanne (1988–1997; 2018), for which she received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
1970 – Heather Graham, American actress. She then played supporting roles in films such as Shout (1991), Diggstown (1992), Six Degrees of Separation (1993), Swingers (1996) and on the television series Twin Peaks (1991) and its prequel film Fire Walk with Me (1992), before gaining critical praise for starring in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997) as porn starlet Brandy / Rollergirl.
1970 – Mohammed Yusuf, Nigerian Islamist leader, founded Boko Haram (d. 2009). Mohammad Yusuf, Muhammad Yousuf and other spellings, may refer to:
1970 – Paul Ryan, American economist and politician, 62nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was also the 2012 vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, running unsuccessfully alongside Mitt Romney.
1968 – Edward Burns, American actor, director, and producer. Edward Fitzgerald Burns (born January 29, 1968) is an American actor, producer, writer, and director best known for appearing in several films including Saving Private Ryan (1998), 15 Minutes (2001), Life or Something Like It (2002), Confidence (2003), A Sound of Thunder (2005), The Holiday (2006), The Groomsmen (2006), One Missed Call (2008), 27 Dresses (2008), Man on a Ledge (2012), Friends with Kids (2012), and Alex Cross (2012).
1967 – Stacey King, American basketball player, coach, and sportscaster. Ronald Stacey King (born January 29, 1967) is an American sports announcer and retired National Basketball Association (NBA) center who won three consecutive championships with the Chicago Bulls from 1991 to 1993.
1962 – Nicholas Turturro, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Nicholas Turturro (born January 29, 1962) is an American actor, known for his roles in New York City based films and on the television series Blue Bloods and NYPD Blue.
1960 – Greg Louganis, American diver and author. Gregory Efthimios Louganis (/luːˈɡeɪnɪs/;born January 29, 1960) is an American Olympic diver, LGBT activist, and author who won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, on both the springboard and platform.
1957 – Ron Franscell, American author and journalist. Ron Franscell (born January 29, 1957) is an American journalist, novelist and true crime writer best known for the true account The Darkest Night about the 1973 crimes against two childhood friends in the small community where Franscell grew up.
1954 – Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host, actress, and producer, founded Harpo Productions. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America's first black multi-billionaire, and she has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history.
1954 – Terry Kinney, American actor and director. Terry Kinney (born January 29, 1954) is an American actor and theatre director, and is a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, with Laurie Metcalf, Gary Sinise, and Jeff Perry.
1950 – Ann Jillian, American actress and singer. She is possibly best known for her role as the vampy Cassie Cranston on the 1980s sitcom It's a Living.
1949 – Tommy Ramone, Hungarian-American drummer and producer (d. 2014), was a Hungarian American record producer, musician, and songwriter. He was the drummer for the influential punk rock band the Ramones for the first four years of the band's existence and was the longest-surviving original member of the Ramones.
1947 – Linda B. Buck, American biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. She is currently on the faculty of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
1946 – Bettye LaVette, American singer-songwriter. Bettye LaVette (born Betty Jo Haskins, January 29, 1946) is an American soul singer-songwriter who made her first record at sixteen, but achieved only intermittent fame until 2005, with her album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise.
1945 – Tom Selleck, American actor and businessman. Thomas William Selleck (/ˈsɛlɪk/; born January 29, 1945) is an American actor, film producer, and California Army National Guard veteran.
1941 – Robin Morgan, American actress, journalist, and author. Robin Morgan (born January 29, 1941) is an American poet, author, political theorist and activist, journalist, lecturer, and former child actor.
1940 – Katharine Ross, American actress and author. She won a Golden Globe for Voyage of the Damned (1976).
1929 – Joseph Kruskal, American mathematician and computer scientist (d. 2010), was an American mathematician, statistician, computer scientist and psychometrician.
1927 – Edward Abbey, American environmentalist and author (d. 1989), was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by environmental and eco-terrorist groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire.
1923 – Jack Burke Jr., American golfer, was most prominent in the 1950s. He first rose to fame with two victories in the 1951 Ryder Cup and was subsequently selected for the 1953, 1955, 1957, and 1959 teams, serving as playing captain in 1957.
1923 – Paddy Chayefsky, American author and screenwriter (d. 1981), was an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for writing both adapted and original screenplays.
1921 – Geraldine Pittman Woods, American science administrator and embryologist (d. 1999), was an African American science administrator. She is known for her lifelong dedication to community service and for establishing programs that promote minorities in STEM fields, scientific research, and basic research.
1918 – John Forsythe, American actor (d. 2010), was an American stage, film/television actor, producer, narrator, drama teacher and philanthropist whose career spanned six decades. He also appeared as a guest on several talk and variety shows and as a panelist on numerous game shows.
1917 – John Raitt, American actor and singer (d. 2005), was an American actor and singer best known for his performances in musical theatre.
1915 – Bill Peet, American author and illustrator (d. 2002), was an American children's book illustrator and a story writer and animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios.
1913 – Victor Mature, American actor (d. 1999), was an American stage, film, and television actor who starred most notably in several movies during the 1950s, and was known for his dark hair and smile. His best known film roles include One Million B.C. (1940), My Darling Clementine (1946), Kiss of Death (1947), Samson and Delilah (1949), and The Robe (1953).
1905 – Barnett Newman, American painter and etcher (d. 1970), was an American artist. He is seen as one of the major figures in abstract expressionism and one of the foremost of the color field painters.
1901 – Allen B. DuMont, American engineer and broadcaster, founded the DuMont Television Network (d. 1965), was an American electronics engineer, scientist and inventor best known for improvements to the cathode ray tube in 1931 for use in television receivers. Seven years later he manufactured and sold the first commercially practical television set to the public.
1891 – R. Norris Williams, Swiss-American tennis player and banker (d. 1968). Richard "Dick" Norris Williams II (January 29, 1891 – June 2, 1968), generally known as R.
1881 – Alice Catherine Evans, American microbiologist (d. 1975), was a pioneering American microbiologist. She became a researcher at the US Department of Agriculture.
1880 – W. C. Fields, American actor, comedian, and screenwriter (d. 1946). William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W.
1858 – Henry Ward Ranger, American painter and academic (d. 1916), was born in western New York State. He was a prominent landscape and marine painter, an important Tonalist, and the leader of the Old Lyme Art Colony.
1843 – William McKinley, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 25th President of the United States (d. 1901), was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term. During his presidency, McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry and kept the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy).
1761 – Albert Gallatin, Swiss-American ethnologist, linguist, and politician, 4th United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 1849), was a Genevan-American politician, diplomat, ethnologist and linguist. As leader of the Democratic-Republican Party he served in various federal elective and appointed positions across four decades.
1756 – Henry Lee III, American general and politician, 9th Governor of Virginia (d. 1818), was an early American Patriot and politician. He served as the ninth Governor of Virginia and as the Virginia Representative to the United States Congress.
1754 – Moses Cleaveland, American general, lawyer, and politician, founded Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1806), was a lawyer, politician, soldier and surveyor, from Connecticut who founded the U.S. city of Cleveland, Ohio, while surveying the Western Reserve in 1796.
2015 – Alexander Vraciu, American commander and pilot (b. 1918)
2015 – Rod McKuen, American singer-songwriter and poet (b. 1933)
2012 – Camilla Williams, American soprano and educator (b. 1919)
2011 – Milton Babbitt, American composer, educator, and theorist (b. 1916)
2008 – Margaret Truman, American singer and author (b. 1924)
2006 – Nam June Paik, South Korean-American artist, (b. 1932)
2002 – Harold Russell, Canadian-American soldier and actor (b. 1914)
1999 – Lili St. Cyr, American model and dancer (b. 1918)
1992 – Willie Dixon, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1915)
1980 – Jimmy Durante, American entertainer (b. 1893)
1977 – Freddie Prinze, American comedian and actor (b. 1954)
1969 – Allen Welsh Dulles, American banker, lawyer, and diplomat, 5th Director of Central Intelligence (b. 1893)
1964 – Alan Ladd, American actor (b. 1913)
1963 – Robert Frost, American poet and playwright (b. 1874)
1962 – Fritz Kreisler, Austrian-American violinist and composer (b. 1875)
1956 – H. L. Mencken, American journalist and critic (b. 1880)
1946 – Harry Hopkins, American businessman and politician, 8th United States Secretary of Commerce (b. 1890)
1944 – William Allen White, American journalist and author (b. 1868)