1624: Riots flare in Mexico when it is announced that all churches are to be closed.
1811: In a secret session, Congress plans to annex Spanish East Florida.
1865: Union troops capture Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
1913: The first telephone line between Berlin and New York is inaugurated.
1919: Peasants in central Russia rise against the Bolsheviks.
1920: The Dry Law goes into effect in the United States. Selling liquor and beer becomes illegal.
1920: The United States approves a $150 million loan to Poland, Austria and Armenia to aid in their war with the Russian communists.
1927: The Dumbarton Bridge opens in San Francisco carrying the first auto traffic across the bay.
1929: The U.S. Senate ratifies the Kellogg-Briand anti-war pact.
1930: Amelia Earhart sets an aviation record for women at 171 mph in a Lockheed Vega.
1936: In London, Japan quits all naval disarmament talks after being denied equality.
1944: The U.S. Fifth Army successfully breaks the German Winter Line in Italy with the capture of Mount Trocchio.
1949: Chinese Communists occupy Tientsin after a 27-hour battle with Nationalist forces.
1965: Sir Winston Churchill suffers a severe stroke.
1967: Some 462 Yale faculty members call for an end to the bombing in North Vietnam.
1973: Four of six remaining Watergate defendants plead guilty.
1973: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action by U.S. troops in Vietnam.
1975: The Alvor Agreement is signed, ending the Angolan war of independence and granting the country independence from Portugal.
1976: Sara Jane Moore sentenced to life in prison for her failed attempt to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford.
1991: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II approves Australia instituting its own Victoria Cross honors system, the first county in the British Commonwealth permitted to do so.
1991: A U.N. deadline for Iraq to withdraw its forces from occupied Kuwait passes, setting the stage for Operation Desert Storm.
1992: Slovenia and Croatia’s independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is recognized by the international community.
2001: Wikipedia goes online.
Born on January 15
1622: Moliere [Jean Baptiste Poquelin], French comic dramatist best remembered for his play “La Tartuffe.”
1716: Philip Livingston, signatory to the Declaration of Independence.
1823: Mathew Brady, Civil War photographer.
1906: Aristotle Onassis, Greek tycoon.
1908: Edward Teller, Hungarian-born U.S. physicist known as the “Father of the H-bomb.”
1929: Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1945: Princess Michael of Kent (Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz), married to Prince Michael of Kent, grandson of Britain’s King George V.
1948: Ronnie Van Zant, singer, songwriter; founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd band.
1982: Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia.