250 – Emperor Decius began a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabian was martyred.
1265 In Westminster, the first English parliament conducted its first meeting held by Simon de Montfort in the Palace of Westminster.
1356 Edward Balliol abdicated as King of Scotland.
1523 Christian II was forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway.
1649 Charles I of England went on trial for treason and other “high crimes”.
1788 The third and main part of First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decided that Botany Bay was unsuitable for location of a penal colony, and decided to move to Port Jackson.
1840 Dumont D’Urville discovered Adélie Land, Antarctica.
1840 – Willem II became King of the Netherlands.
1841 Hong Kong Island was occupied by the British.
1885 L.A. Thompson patented the roller coaster.
1887 The United States Senate allowed the Navy to lease Pearl Harboras a naval base.
1892 At the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first official basketball game was played.
1896 George Burns, American actor, comedian, was born (d. 1996).
1899 Clarice Cliff, English ceramicist, was born (d. 1972).
1910 Joy Adamson, Austrian naturalist and writer, was born (d. 1980).
1921 The first Constitution of Turkey was adopted, making fundamental changes in the source and exercise of sovereignty by consecrating the principle of national sovereignty.
1926 Patricia Neal, American actress, was born (d. 2010).
1929 In Old Arizona, the first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, was released.
1930 Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut, was born.
1934 Tom Baker, British actor, was born.
1936 Edward VIII became King of the United Kingdom.
1937 Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States. This was the first inauguration scheduled on January 20, following adoption of the 20th Amendment. Previous inaugurations were scheduled on March 4.
1950 Liza Goddard, British actress, was born.
1952 Paul Stanley, American musician (Kiss), was born.
1957 Scott Base opened in Antarctica.
1959 The first flight of the Vickers Vanguard.
1960 Hendrik Verwoerd announced a plebiscite on whether South Africa should become a Republic.
1961 John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the youngest man, and first-ever Roman Catholic, to become elected President of the United States.
1965 Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, was born.
1981 Iran released 52 American hostages twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as U.S. President, the oldest man to be inaugurated at 69.
1987 Church of England envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Lebanon.
1990 Black January – crackdown of Azerbaijani pro-independence demonstrations by Soviet army in Baku.
Soviet tanks in Baku during Black January.
1991 Sudan‘s government imposed Islamic law nationwide, worsening the civil war between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south.
2001 Philippine president Joseph Estrada was ousted in a nonviolent 4-day revolution, and was succeeded by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
2009 Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America – the United States’ first African-American president.
2009 – A protest movement in Iceland culminated as the 2009 Icelandic financial crisis protests started.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.