On January 3:
106 BC Cicero, Roman statesman and philosopher, was born.
1793 Lucretia Mott, American women’s rights activist (, was born.
1831 Savitribai Phule, Female social activist, first female teacher in India, and first female poet in Marathi language, was born.
1840 Surveyors arrived in Port Nicholson to lay out plans for the proposed New Zealand Company settlement of Britannia at Pito-one (Petone). When this original site proved unsuitable, the decision was made to relocate across the harbour in a settlement they called Wellington.
1870 Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began.
1887 Helen Parkhurst, American educator, was born.
1892 J. R. R. Tolkien, British writer (, was born.
1909 Victor Borge, Danish entertainer, was born.
1922 Bill Travers, British actor and director, was born.
1923 Charles Tingwell, Australian actor, was born.
1933 Minnie D. Craig became the first female elected as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, the first female to hold a Speaker position anywhere in the United States.
1942 John Thaw, British actor, was born.
1950 Victoria Principal, American actress, was born.
1956 A fire damaged the top part of the Eiffel Tower.
1956 Mel Gibson, Australian actor and director, was born.
1958 The West Indies Federation was formed.
1961 The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.
1977 Apple Computer was incorporated.
1988 Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British Prime Minister in the 20th Century.
1990 Former leader of Panama Manuel Noriega surrendered to American forces.
1999 The Mars Polar Lander was launched.