Famous Events on this Day in History, January 21:1077 - German King Heinrich IV petitions Pope Gregory VII for forgiveness
1189 - Philip II, Henry II & Richard Lion hearted initiate 3rd Crusade
1276 - Pierre de Tarantaise elected Pope Innocence V
1287 - The treaty of San Agayz is signed. Minorca is conquered by King Alfons III of Aragon.
1324 - Zen Buddhist religious debate between Tendai & Shingon
1522 - Head inquisitor Adrian Florisz Boeyens elected pope
1525 - The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz's mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.
1542 - Parliament passes bill of attainder against Queen Katherine Howard
1604 - Tsar Ivan IV defeats False Dmitri, who claims to be the true tsar
1664 - Count Miklos of Zrinyi sets out to battle Turkish invasion army
1677 - 1st medical publication in America (pamphlet on smallpox), Boston
1732 - Russia & Persia sign Treaty of Riascha
1749 - The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1754.
1789 - 1st American novel, WH Brown's "Power of Sympathy," is published
1793 - Prussia & Russia sign partition treaty (Poland divided)
1799 - Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccination is introduced
1813 - Pineapple introduced to Hawaii (or 01/111)
1818 - Keats writes his poem "On a Lock of Milton's Hair"
1821 - Paramaribo Suriname catches fire, 4 die
1824 - Ashantees defeat British at Accra, West Africa
1827 - Freedom Journal, 1st Black paper, begins publishing
1830 - Portsmouth (Ohio) blacks forcibly deported
1846 - 1st edition of Charles Dickens' "Daily News"
1853 - Envelope-folding machine patented by Russell Hawes, Worcester, Mass
1861 - Jefferson Davis of Mississippi & 4 other southern senators resign
1863 - City of Dublin leases part of Cattle Market for 100,000 years
1864 - The Tauranga Campaign starts during the Maori Wars.
1874 - Franz Grillparzer's "Libussa," premieres in Vienna
1879 - Henrik Ibsen's "Et Dukkehjem," premieres in Copenhagen
1880 - 1st US sewage disposal system separate from storm drains, Memphis
1887 - Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) forms
1887 - Brisbane receives a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.
1890 - 1st issue of Propria Cures, Amsterdam student-weekly newspaper
1893 - The Tati Concessions Land, formerly part of Matabeleland, was formally annexed to the Bechuanaland Protectorate which is now Botswana.
1894 - Oscar Fredriksen skates world record 500m in 47.8 sec
1899 - Opel manufactured its first automobile.
1901 - Clyde Fitch's "Climbers," premieres in NYC
1903 - "Wizard of Oz," premieres in NYC
1903 - Harry Houdini escapes police station Halvemaansteeg in Amsterdam
1903 - International Theater (Majestic, Park) opens at 5 Columbus Circle NYC
1904 - Leos Janacek's opera "Jenufa," premieres in Brno
1907 - Kenora Thistles sweep Mont Wanderers in 2 for Stanley Cup
1908 - August Strindberg's "Spoksonaten," premieres in Stockholm
1908 - NYC regulation makes it illegal for a woman to smoke in public
1910 - British-Russian military intervention in Persia
1913 - Aristide Briand forms French govt
1915 - Kiwanis International founded in Detroit
1919 - Sinn Fein proclaims parliament of Free Ireland
1921 - The Italian Communist Party was founded at Livorno.
1922 - 1st slalom ski race run, Murren, Switzerland
1925 - Albanian parliament announces itself a republic; Ahmed Zogoe pres
1926 - Belgian parliament accepts Locarno treaties
1927 - 1st national opera broadcast from a US opera house (Faust, Chicago)
1929 - Robert Sherriff's "Journey's End," premieres in London
1932 - USSR & Finland stop non-attack treaty
1935 - 12.0" (30.5 cm) of rain falls, Quinault RS, Wash (state record)
1935 - WFI-AM in Philadelphia Penn merges with WLIT as WFIL (now WEAZ)
1935 - Wilderness Society forms
1938 - Dutch govt starts obligatory unemployment insurance
1939 - George Kaufman & Moss Hart's "American Way," premieres in NYC
1939 - US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
1939 - US male Figure Skating championship won by Robin Lee
1940 - Foreign correspondents in Netherlands under censorship
1941 - 1st anti-Jewish measures in Bulgaria
1941 - 1st commercial extraction of magnesium from seawater, Freeport, TX
1941 - Australia & Britain attack Tobruk Libya
1941 - British communist newspaper "Daily Worker" banned
1942 - Bronx magistrate rules all pinball machines illegal
1942 - Count Basie records "One O'Clock Jump"
1942 - Japanese air raid on Rabaul New Britain
1942 - Tito's partisans occupy Foca
1943 - Soviet forces reconquer Worosjilowsk
1943 - Soviet forces reconquer Gumrak airport near Stalingrad
1943 - Vice-admiral Cunningham appointed Brit adm of fleet
1944 - 447 German bombers attack London
1944 - 649 British bombers attack Magdeburg
1945 - British troops land on Ramree, near coast of Burma
1946 - "Nellie Bly" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 16 performances
1947 - "Sweethearts" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 288 performances
1947 - Arthur Honegger's 4th Symphony premieres in Basel
1948 - W Indies v England, Test debut Walcott, Weekes & Jim Laker
1949 - 1st inaugural parade televised (Harry Truman)
1950 - "Lend an Ear" closes at National Theater NYC after 460 performances
1950 - NY jury finds former State Dept official Alger Hiss guilty of perjury
1950 - T S Eliot's "Cocktail Party," premieres in NYC
1951 - Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins LPGA Tampa Women's Golf Open
1952 - Nehru's Congress party wins general election in India
1953 - John Foster Dulles appointed as Secretary of State
1954 - 1st gas turbine automobile exhibited (NYC)
1956 - "Comedy in Music (Victor Borge)" closes at Golden NYC after 849 perfs
1956 - William Shawn succeeds Harold Ross as editor of New Yorker
1957 - KSAT TV channel 12 in San Antonio, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
1958 - KMOT TV channel 10 in Minot, ND (NBC) begins broadcasting
1958 - Phillies agree to televise 78 games into NYC (doesn't happen)
1960 - Little Joe 4 suborbital Mercury test reaches 16 km
1960 - Rock falls traps 437 at Coalbrook S Afr, 417 die of methane poisoning
1961 - "Conquering Hero" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 8 performances
1961 - KIFI TV channel 8 in Idaho Falls, ID (NBC) begins broadcasting
1961 - Portuguese rebels seize cruise ship Santa Maria
1962 - JFK arrives in Uruguay
1962 - Mickey Wright wins LPGA Sea Island Women's Golf Invitational
1962 - Snow falls in SF
1964 - Carl T Rowan named director of US Information Agency
1965 - Persians premier Ali Mansoer injured
1966 - Beatle George Harrison marries model Patti Boyd
1967 - AFL Pro Bowl: East beats West 30-23
1967 - US female Figure Skating championship won by Peggy Fleming
1967 - US male Figure Skating championship won by Gary Visconti
1968 - AFL Pro Bowl: East beats West 25-24
1968 - NFL Pro Bowl: West beats East 38-20
1968 - US B-52 bombers with nuclear bomb crashes in Greenland
1968 - Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh - One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war begins.
1969 - 22nd NHL All-Star Game: West beat East 3-3 at Montreal
1970 - Panama Boeing 747 1st flight NY-London
1971 - "Alias Smith & Jones" premieres on ABC TV
1972 - Assam's North East Frontier Agency becomes Arunachal Pradesh terr
1972 - Belgium govt of Eyskens-Cools forms
1972 - Manipur, Meghalaya & Tripura become separate states of Indian union
1972 - Mizoram, formerly part of Assam, creates an Indian union territory
1972 - Tripura becomes a full-fledged state in India.
1973 - 3rd NFL Pro Bowl: AFC beats NFC 33-28
1973 - Leslie Nielson appears on M*A*S*H in "Ringbanger"
1974 - Gold hits record $161.31/silver hits record $3.97 an ounce in London
1975 - 28th NHL All-Star Game: Wales beat Campbell 7-1 at Montreal
1976 - Supersonic Concorde, 1st commercial flights, by Britain & France
1977 - Italy legalizes abortion
1977 - Pres Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders
1978 - Bee Gees' "Saturday Night Fever" album goes #1 for 24 weeks
1979 - Neptune becomes outermost planet (Pluto moves closer)
1979 - Price of gold increases to record $875 troy oz
1979 - Superbowl XIII: Pitts Steelers beat Dallas Cowboys, 35-31 in Miami Superbowl MVP: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh, QB
1980 - Gold hits record $850 an ounce
1980 - Les Henson, Virginia Tech, makes 89' 3" basketball field goal
1981 - "Shakespeare's Cabaret" opens at Bijou Theater NYC for 54 performances
1981 - Bernhard Goetz is assault for 1st time on a NY subway train
1982 - "Little Me" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 36 performances
1982 - NY Islanders begin then NHL record 15 game winning streak
1983 - Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Anthony E Hecht
1983 - Reagan certifies El Salvador human-rights abuses have decreased making country eligible for US military aid
1984 - US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton
1985 - -19°F (-28°C), Caesar's Head, South Carolina (state record)
1985 - -34°F (-37°C), Mt Mitchell, North Carolina (state record)
1985 - Bomb attack on Borobudur temple in Java
1985 - Dennis Potvin ties Bobby Orr's career record of 270 NHL goals
1986 - 100 participate in Nude Olympics race in 38°F (3°C), Indiana
1986 - Allison J Brown, 17, of Oklahoma, crowned 4th Miss Teen USA
1986 - Bomb attack in East-Beirut, 27 killed
1987 - BB King donates his 7,000 record collection to U of Mississippi
1988 - US accept immigration of 30,000 US-Vietnamese children
1989 - A woman is assaulted & raped in room of an Okla football player
1989 - Wayne Gretzky passes Marcel Dionne to become NHL's 2nd all time scorer
1990 - 41st NHL All-Star Game: Wales beat Campbell 12-7 at Pittsburgh
1990 - Bob Goodenow succeeds Alan Eagleson as NHL players assn exec director
1990 - John McEnroe becomes 1st ever player to be expelled from the Australian Open
1990 - Patty Sheehan wins LPGA Jamaica Golf Classic
1991 - CBS News correspondant Bob Simon captured by Iraqis in Persian Gulf
1993 - Johan Koss skates world record 5 km in 6:38.77
1993 - Nigerian singer Fela Kuti arrested on suspicion of murder
1994 - Dow Jones passes 3900 (record 3,914.20)
1994 - Lorena Bobbitt found temporarily insane of chopping off spouse's penis
1995 - 52th Golden Globes: Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks, Jessica Lange
1996 - 53th Golden Globes: Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, John Travolta
1996 - Karrie Webb wins LPGA HealthSouth Inaugural Golf Tournament
1996 - US male Figure Skating championship won by Rudy Galindo
1998 - Pope John Paul II visits Cuba
1999 - War on Drugs: In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepts a ship with over 4,300 kg (9,500 lb) of cocaine on board.
2002 - The Canadian Dollar sets all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).
2004 - Canada: The residence of reporter Juliet O'Neill is searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigating leaks concerning the deportation of Maher Arar.
2004 - NASA's MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies with Flash Memory management and is fixed remotely from Earth on February 6.
2005 - In Belmopan, Belize, the unrest over the government's new taxes erupts into riots.
2007 - Awashima Marine Park in Japan catches a video tape of the rare frilled shark.
2008 - Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%.
2008 - The Eyak language in Alaska becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies.