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  • 98 – Trajan becomes Roman Emperor after the death of Nerva.
  • 661 – The Rashidun Caliphate ends with death of Ali.
  • 1142 – Execution, believed wrongful, of noted Song Dynasty General Yue Fei.
  • 1186 – Henry VI, the son and heir of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, marries Constance of Sicily.
  • 1343 – Pope Clement VI issues the Bull Unigenitus.
  • 1593 – The Vatican opens seven year trial of scholar Giordano Bruno.
  • 1606 – Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31.
  • 1695 – Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul on the death of Ahmed II. Mustafa rules until his abdication in 1703.
  • 1785 – The University of Georgia is founded, the first public university in the United States.
  • 1825 – The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears”.
  • 1870 – The Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity is founded at DePauw University.
  • 1888 – The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C..
  • 1909 – The Young Left is founded in Norway.
  • 1918 – The first hostilities occur in the Finnish Civil War.
  • 1939 – First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.
  • 1943 – World War II: The VIII Bomber Command dispatched ninety-one B-17s and B-24s to attack the U-Boat construction yards at Wilhemshafen, Germany. The first American bombing attack on Germany.
  • 1944 – World War II: The 900-day Siege of Leningrad is lifted.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Red Army liberates the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.
  • 1951 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with a one-kiloton bomb dropped on Frenchman Flat.
  • 1967 – Apollo program: Apollo 1 – Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center.
  • 1967 – More than sixty nations sign the Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space.
  • 1973 – The Paris Peace Accords officially end the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde is killed in action becoming the conflict’s last recorded American combat casualty.
  • 1974 – The Brisbane River breaches its banks causing the largest flood to affect the city of Brisbane in the 20th Century
  • 1980 – Through cooperation between the U.S. and Canadian governments, six American diplomats secretly escape hostilities in Iran in the culmination of the Canadian caper.
  • 1983 – The pilot shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world’s longest sub-aqueous tunnel (53.85 km) between the Japanese islands of Honshū and Hokkaidō, breaks through.
  • 1984 – Pop singer Michael Jackson suffers second and third degree burns to his scalp during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in the Shrine Auditorium.
  • 1996 – In a military coup Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara deposes the first democratically elected president of Niger, Mahamane Ousmane.
  • 1996 – Germany first observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • 2003 – The first selections for the National Recording Registry are announced by the Library of Congress.
  • 2006 – Western Union discontinues its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services.

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