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.
1976 – Winnie Mandela banished in South Africa
1984 – Ted Hughes is appointed British Poet Laureate by Queen Elizabeth II
1991 – Ted Turner is named Time Magazine Man of Year
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
2017 – Iranian woman Vida Mohaved arrested for protesting against policy of compulsory hijab, sparking other protests
2017 – Protests in Mashhad, Iran against price rises and corruption
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
2019 – Jihadist fundamentalist group al-Shabaab sets off a truck bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing at least 84 people and wounding over 150
Births & Deaths:
1923 – Gustave Eiffel, designer of the famous Eiffel Tower, died in Paris.
1934 – Spanish sculptor Pablo Gargallo, known for his figures sculpted from iron and other metals, died.
1954 – American actor Denzel Washington—noted for his engaging and powerful performances in such films as Glory (1989), Malcolm X (1992), and Training Day (2001)—was born.
2016 – American actress and singer Debbie Reynolds died, a day after the sudden and unexpected death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, who was a noted actress and writer.
Film & TV:
1895 – Filmmakers the Lumiere brothers, hold the first commercial film screening at Salon Indien du Grand Café, Paris
1944 – Leonard Bernstein’s musical “On the Town” premieres in NYC
1958 – “The Greatest Game Ever Played”: Baltimore Colts win the 26th NFL championship against the New York Giants 23-17 at Yankee Stadium, in the first ever sudden-death overtime game in NFL history. 17 future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were involved in the game.
Via Britannica / On This Day