1649 - England’s King Charles I was beheaded.
1790 - The first purpose-built lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne.
1844 - Richard Theodore Greener became the first African American to graduate from Harvard University.
1889 - Rudolph, crown prince of Austria, and his 17-year-old mistress, Baroness Marie Vetsera, were found shot in his hunting lodge near Vienna.
1911 - The first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer “Terry.” Pilot James McCurdy was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
1933 - “The Lone Ranger” was heard on radio for the first time. The program ran for 2,956 episodes and ended in 1955.
1933 - Adolf Hitler was named the German Chancellor.
1958 - Yves Saint Laurent, at age 22, held his first major fashion show in Paris.
1960 - The women’s singles U.S. figure skating championship was won by Carol Heiss.
1964 - The U.S. launched Ranger 6. The unmanned spacecraft carried television cameras and was intentionally crash-landed on the moon. The cameras did not return any pictures to Earth.
1972 - In Northern Ireland, British soldiers shot and killed thirteen Roman Catholic civil rights marchers. The day is known as “Bloody Sunday.”
1995 - Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced that clinical trials had demonstrated the effectiveness of the first preventative treatment for sickle cell anaemia.
1997 - A New Jersey judge ruled that the unborn child of a female prisoner must have legal representation. He denied the prisoner bail reduction to enable her to leave the jail and obtain an abortion.
1998 - Elton John recieved a knighthood in British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s first New Year’s Eve Honours List.
2002 - Japan’s last coal mine was closed. The closures were due to high production costs and cheap imports.
2002 - The musical “Taboo” opened at London’s Leicester Square. The musical follows the life of Boy George.