1065 – Westminster Abbey in London consecrated.
1612 – First observation of Neptune - Galileo observes and records a “fixed star” without realising it is a planet.
1767 – King Taksin crowned King of Thailand and establishes Thonburi as his capital.
1836 – Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico.
1860 – Harriet Tubman arrives in Auburn, New York, on her last mission to free slaves, having evaded capture for 8 years on the Underground Railroad.
1908 – Earthquake strikes Messina, Italy, killing nearly 80,000.
1943 – All Kalmyk inhabitants of the Republic of Kalmukkie deported by the Soviet Union to Central Asia and Siberia. Many die en route.
1981 – The first American “test-tube baby,” a child born as a result of in-vitro fertilization, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
1984 – Ted Hughes is appointed British Poet Laureate by Queen Elizabeth II.
2002 – LinkedIn is founded by Reid Hoffman and others in Mountain View, California.
2012 – Vladimir Putin signs into law a ban on US adoption of Russian children.
2018 – British New Year’s honours list include Knights for author Philip Pullman and comedian Michael Palin, a Dame for Twiggy and a Order of the Companions of Honour for Margaret Atwood.
Film: 1895 – Filmmakers the Lumiere brothers, hold the first commercial film screening at Salon Indien du Grand Café, Paris.
Via Britannica / On This Day