1606 – The trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators began. They were executed on January 31.
1870 – Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women’s sorority, was founded at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in Greencastle, IN.
1880 – Thomas Edison patented the electric incandescent lamp.
1888 – The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, DC.
1900 – In China, foreign diplomats in Peking, fearing a revolt, demanded that the imperial government discipline the Boxer rebels.
1926 – John Baird, a Scottish inventor, demonstrated a pictorial transmission machine called television.
1927 – United Independent Broadcasters Inc. started a radio network with contracts with 16 stations. The company later became Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
1931 – NBC radio debuted “Clara, Lu ’n’ Em” on its Blue network (later, ABC radio).
1943 – During World War II, the first all American air raid against Germany took place when about 50 bombers attacked Wilhlemshaven.
1944 – The Soviet Union announced that the two year German siege of Leningrad had come to an end.
1945 – Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
1948 – Wire Recording Corporation of America announced the first magnetic tape recorder. The ‘Wireway’ machine with a built-in oscillator sold for $149.50.
1951 – In the U.S., atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1957 – The “CBS Radio Workshop” was heard for the first time.
1967 – At Cape Kennedy, FL, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo I spacecraft.
1967 – More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty which banned the orbiting of nuclear weapons and placing weapons on celestial bodies or space stations.
1973 – The Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
1977 – The Vatican reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on female priests.
1981 – U.S. President Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran at the White House.
1984 – Carl Lewis beat his own two-year-old record by 9-1/4 inches when he set a new indoor world record with a long-jump mark of 28 feet, 10-1/4 inches.
1984 – Wayne Gretzky set a National Hockey League (NHL) record for consecutive game scoring. He ended the streak at 51 games.
1992 – Former world boxing champion Mike Tyson went on trial for allegedly raping an 18-year-old contestant in the 1991 Miss Black America Contest.
1996 – Mahamane Ousmane, the first democratically elected president of Niger, was overthrown by a military coup. Colonel Ibrahim Bare Mainassara declared himself head of state.
1997 – It was revealed that French national museums were holding nearly 2,000 works of art stolen from Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
1998 – U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Today” show. She charged that the allegations against her husband were the work of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
1999 – The U.S. Senate blocked dismissal of the impeachment case against President Clinton and voted for new testimony from Monica Lewinsky and two other witnesses.
2002 – A series of explosions occurred at a military dump in Lagos, Nigeria. More than 1,000 people were killed in the blast and in the attempt to escape.
2003 – Altria Group, Inc. became the name of the parent company of Kraft Foods, Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International and Philip Morris Capital Corporation.
2010 – Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad.