World News & the American Experience:
1937 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on the date of January 20th, per the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
1943 – A ban stops U.S. bakers from selling sliced bread. Until the end of World War II, only whole loaves were sold. This was to reduce demand for metal parts.
1968 – The Apollo 5 launches to the Moon; it is the first unmanned flight of the Apollo Lunar Module, which would later carry astronauts there.
1973 – The Supreme Court makes its decision in Roe v Wade.
Movies & TV:
1948 – The Original Amateur Hour debuts on the DuMont network, hosted by Ted Mack.
1953 – 68% of all TV sets in the U.S. are tuned to CBS-TV as Lucy Ricardo, of I Love Lucy, gives birth to a baby boy.
1959 – Dick Clark’s American Bandstand is the #1 daytime TV show in the U.S.
1968 – Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In debuts on NBC-TV. It would become the highest-rated comedy show in history.
1970 – The Johnny Cash Show is broadcast for the first time in prime time on ABC-TV.
1972 – Emergency, with Robert Fuller, premieres on NBC TV.
1974 – The Six Million Dollar Man, starring Lee Majors, premieres on ABC TV.
1975 – The Jeffersons premieres on CBS-TV.
1983 – The A-Team is first broadcast on NBC.
Music & Radio:
1930 – The Lone Ranger is broadcast for the first time on WXYZ-Detroit.
1944 – The first jazz concert is held at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, starring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.
1946 – The Fat Man debuts on ABC radio, starring J. Scott Smart.
1954 – The National Negro Network is formed.
1964 – The Beatles first appear on the Billboard Chart with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
1964 – The first album by The Beatles is released, entitled Meet the Beatles.
1980 – Pink Floyd’s The Wall hits #1.
1986 – The AIDS charity record, “That’s What Friends are For,” reaches #1.
Arts & Entertainment:
1955 – The board game Scrabble debuts.
1958 – Elvis Presley receives a letter from the draft board in Memphis, TN ordering him to report for duty. It allows a 60-day deferment for him to finish the film, King Creole.
1969 – Judy Garland dies at 48 of an overdose.
1967 – The US female Figure Skating championship is won by Peggy Fleming.
1973 – George Foreman knocks out Joe Frazier in the 2nd round for the heavyweight boxing title.
1983 – Hulk Hogan pins Iron Sheik for the World Wrestling Federation title.
1984 – The US male Figure Skating championship is won by Scott Hamilton.
1989 – Wayne Gretzky passes Marcel Dionne to become NHL’s 2nd all time scorer.
Technology & Inventions:
1955 – The first atomic-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, launches at Groton, Connecticut.
1984 – Apple Computer, Inc unveils its Macintosh personal computer.
1954 – The gas turbine automobile is introduced in New York City.
1928 – Martin Landau, actor
1930 – Buzz (Edwin) Aldrin Jr, astronaut
1931 – Tippi (Natalie) Hedren, actress
1931 – Sam Cooke, singer
1934 – Bill (Wilfred Bailey) Bixby
1939 – Wolfman Jack, disc jockey
1939 – Phil Everly, singer
1940 – Jack Nicklaus, professional golfer
1941 – Neil Diamond, singer
1941 – Aaron Neville, singer
1941 – Ron Townson, singer
1943 – Janis Joplin
1946 – Dolly Parton
1949 – Robert Palmer, singer
1950 – Billy Ocean, singer
1953 – Desi Arnaz Jr.
1959 – Linda Blair, actress
1965 – John Michael Montgomery, country singer
1968 – Mary Lou Retton