In 2017 after 60 wins and 0 losses over 7 days, Google reveals that a mysterious player of Go, named "Master", is actually an improved version of its AlphaGo AI.
In 2019 researchers at Michigan State University demonstrate a chemical compound and potential new drug able to stop the spread of melanoma by 90%.
2007 – The 110th United States Congress convenes, electing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history.
2004 – Spirit, a NASA Mars rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.
1998 – A massive ice storm hits eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, continuing through January 10 and causing widespread destruction.
1974 – United States President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
1972 – Rose Heilbron becomes the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London, England.
1959 – Gypsy opened and closed on Broadway after 120 performances and four previews
1959 – Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.
1958 – Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit.
1948 – Burma gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
1944 – World War II: Operation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, begins.
1912 – The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Empire by royal charter.
1896 – Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state.
1884 – The Fabian Society is founded in London, England, United Kingdom.
1865 – The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters near Wall Street in New York City.
1854 – The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.
1853 – After having been kidnapped and sold into slavery in the American South, Solomon Northup regains his freedom; his memoir Twelve Years a Slave later becomes a national bestseller.
1847 – Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.
1762 – Great Britain enters the Seven Years' War against Spain and Naples.
1992 – Kris Bryant, American baseball player. Kristopher Lee Bryant (born January 4, 1992) is an American professional baseball third baseman and outfielder for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1989 – Graham Rahal, American race car driver. He currently participates in the IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, a team partially owned by his father Bobby Rahal, the winner of the 1986 Indianapolis 500.
1985 – Al Jefferson, American basketball player. He has previously played for the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
1981 – Alicia Garza, American activist. Alicia Garza (born January 4, 1981) is an American civil rights activist and editorial writer from Oakland, California.
1976 – Ted Lilly, American baseball player. Theodore Roosevelt Lilly III (born January 4, 1976) is an American former professional baseball pitcher in Major League Baseball.
1975 – Shane Carwin, American mixed martial artist and wrestler. Shane Bannister Carwin (born January 4, 1975) is an American former mixed martial artist who competed in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
1973 – Harmony Korine, American director, producer, and screenwriter. His film Trash Humpers (2009) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the main prize, the DOX Award, at the CPH:DOX.
1971 – Junichi Kakizaki, Japanese botanist and sculptor. Junichi Kakizaki (柿崎 順一, Kakizaki Jun'ichi, born January 4, 1971) is a Japanese artist, sculptor, floral artist, land and environmental artist.
1967 – David Toms, American golfer and philanthropist. David Wayne Toms (born January 4, 1967) is an American professional golfer, who currently plays on the PGA Champions Tour.
1966 – Deana Carter, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was certified 5× Multi-Platinum in the United States for sales of over 5 million. It was followed by 1998's Everything's Gonna Be Alright, 2003's I'm Just a Girl, 2005's The Story of My Life, and 2007's The Chain.
1964 – Dot Jones, American shot putter and actress. Dorothy-Marie Jones (born January 4, 1964) is an American actress and retired athlete who has had multiple roles in television.
1962 – Peter Steele, American singer-songwriter and bass player (d. 2010), was the lead singer, bassist and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Before forming Type O Negative, he had created the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore.
1960 – Art Paul Schlosser, American singer-songwriter. He plays humorous novelty, gospel, and political songs and draws cartoons currently for the Madison Street Pulse newspaper, where he also submits poems and interviews people.
1960 – Michael Stipe, American singer-songwriter and producer. John Michael Stipe (born January 4, 1960) is an American singer-songwriter best known as the lead singer of alternative rock band R.E.M. throughout its history.
1959 – Vanity, Canadian-American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress (d. 2016). Vanity is the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others.
1958 – Matt Frewer, American-Canadian actor. He portrayed the 1980s icon Max Headroom and Doctor Leekie in the Canadian science fiction drama Orphan Black (2013–2017).
1957 – Patty Loveless, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Patricia Lee Ramey (born January 4, 1957), known professionally as Patty Loveless, is an American country music singer.
1956 – Ann Magnuson, American actress and performance artist. She was described by The New York Times in 1990 as "An endearing theatrical chameleon who has as many characters at her fingertips as Lily Tomlin does".
1954 – Tina Knowles, American fashion designer, founded House of Deréon. She is the mother of singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, and was previously married, until 2011, to Mathew Knowles, the manager of Destiny's Child as well as Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams.
1951 – Barbara Cochran, American skier. Barbara Ann Cochran (born January 4, 1951) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist from the United States.
1951 – Bob Black, American author and activist. He is the author of the books The Abolition of Work and Other Essays, Beneath the Underground, Friendly Fire, Anarchy After Leftism, and Defacing the Currency, and numerous political essays.
1947 – Chris Cutler, American-English drummer and songwriter. He has collaborated with many musicians and groups, including Fred Frith, Lindsay Cooper, Zeena Parkins, Peter Blegvad, Telectu and The Residents, and has appeared on over 100 recordings.
1946 – Arthur Conley, American singer-songwriter (d. 2003), was a U.S. soul singer, best known for the 1967 hit "Sweet Soul Music".
1945 – Richard R. Schrock, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate. Richard Royce Schrock (born January 4, 1945) is an American chemist and Nobel laureate recognized for his contributions to the olefin metathesis reaction used in organic chemistry.
1943 – Doris Kearns Goodwin, American historian and author. Doris Helen Kearns Goodwin (born January 4, 1943) is an American biographer, historian, and political commentator.
1943 – Priit Vesilind, Estonian-American author and photographer. Priit Juho Vesilind (born 4 January 1943) is an Estonian and American senior writer and photojournalist of National Geographic magazine and an author of nonfiction.
1940 – Helmut Jahn, German-American architect. Helmut Jahn (born January 4, 1940) is a Chicago-based German-American architect, known for designs such as the Sony Center on the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany; the Messeturm in Frankfurt, Germany; the One Liberty Place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (formerly the tallest building in Philadelphia); and the Suvarnabhumi Airport, an international airport in Bangkok, Thailand.
1937 – Dyan Cannon, American actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. She has been nominated for three Academy Awards.
1937 – Grace Bumbry, American operatic soprano. Grace Melzia Bumbry (born January 4, 1937), an American opera singer, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, as well as a major soprano for many years.
1935 – Floyd Patterson, American boxer (d. 2006), was an American professional boxer who competed from 1952 to 1972, and twice reigned as the world heavyweight champion between 1956 and 1962. At the age of 21, he became the youngest boxer in history to win the title, and was also the first heavyweight to regain the title after losing it.
1933 – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, American author. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (born January 4, 1933) is an American writer best known for children's and young adult fiction.
1930 – Don Shula, American football player and coach. He was previously the head coach of the Baltimore Colts, with whom he won the 1968 NFL Championship.
1930 – Sorrell Booke, American actor and director (d. 1994), was an American actor who performed on stage, screen, and television. He is best known for his role as corrupt politician Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard.
1927 – Barbara Rush, American actress. Later in her career, Rush became a regular performer in the television series Peyton Place, and appeared in TV movies, miniseries, and a variety of other programs, including the soap opera All My Children and family drama 7th Heaven, as well as starring in films including The Young Philadelphians, The Young Lions, Robin and the 7 Hoods, and Hombre.
1923 – Tito Rodríguez, Puerto Rican-American singer-songwriter and television host (d. 1973), was a Puerto Rican singer and bandleader. He started his career singing under the tutelage of his brother, Johnny Rodríguez.
1922 – Frank Wess, American saxophonist and flute player (d. 2013), was an American jazz saxophonist and flautist. In addition to his extensive solo work, Wess is remembered for his time in Count Basie's band from the early 1950s into the 1960s.
1920 – William Colby, American intelligence officer, 10th Director of Central Intelligence (d. 1996), was an American intelligence officer who served as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from September 1973 to January 1976.
1916 – Lionel Newman, American pianist and composer (d. 1989), was an American conductor, pianist, and film and television composer. He won the Academy Award for Best Score of a Musical Picture for Hello Dolly! with Lennie Hayton in 1969.
1916 – Robert Parrish, American actor and director (d. 1995). Parrish (January 4, 1916 – December 4, 1995) was an American film director, editor, writer, and child actor.
1916 – Slim Gaillard, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1991), was an American jazz singer and songwriter who played piano, guitar, vibraphone, and tenor saxophone.
1914 – Herman Franks, American baseball player, coach, and manager (d. 2009). Herman Louis Franks (January 4, 1914 – March 30, 2009) was a catcher, coach, manager, general manager and scout in American Major League Baseball.
1912 – Noro Morales, Puerto Rican-American pianist and bandleader (d. 1964), was a Puerto Rican pianist and bandleader.
1909 – J.R. Simplot, American businessman (d. 2008), was an American entrepreneur and businessman best known as the founder of the J. R.
1905 – Sterling Holloway, American actor (d. 1992), was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films and 40 television shows. He was also a voice actor for The Walt Disney Company and served as the original voice of the title character in Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh.
1902 – John McCone, American businessman and politician, 6th Director of Central Intelligence (d. 1991), was an American businessman and politician who served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1961 to 1965, during the height of the Cold War.
1900 – James Bond, American ornithologist and zoologist (d. 1989). The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections.
1896 – André Masson, French painter and illustrator (d. 1987), was a French artist.
1896 – Everett Dirksen, American politician (d. 1969). A member of the Republican Party, he represented Illinois in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
1895 – Leroy Grumman, American engineer and businessman, co-founded Grumman Aeronautical Engineering Co. (d. 1982), was an American aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and industrialist. In 1929, he co-founded Grumman Aeronautical Engineering Co., later renamed Grumman Aerospace Corporation, and now part of Northrop Grumman.
1890 – Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, American publisher, founded DC Comics (d. 1965), was an American pulp magazine writer and entrepreneur who pioneered the American comic book, publishing the first such periodical consisting solely of original material rather than reprints of newspaper comic strips. Long after his departure from the comic book company he founded, Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications would evolve into DC Comics, one of the U.S.'s two largest comic book publishers along with rival Marvel Comics.
1884 – Guy Pène du Bois, American painter, critic, and educator (d. 1958), was a 20th-century American painter, art critic, and educator. Born in the U.S. to a French family, his work depicted the culture and society around him: cafes, theatres, and in the twenties, flappers.
1883 – Max Eastman, American author and poet (d. 1969), was an American writer on literature, philosophy and society, a poet and a prominent political activist. Moving to New York City for graduate school, Eastman became involved with radical circles in Greenwich Village.
1881 – Wilhelm Lehmbruck, German sculptor (d. 1919). Born in Duisburg, he was the fourth of eight children born to the miner Wilhelm Lehmbruck and his wife Margaretha.
1878 – Augustus John, Welsh painter and illustrator (d. 1961), was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom.
1877 – Marsden Hartley, American painter and poet (d. 1943), was an American Modernist painter, poet, and essayist. Hartley developed his painting abilities by observing Cubists in Paris and Berlin.
1869 – Tommy Corcoran, American baseball player and umpire (d. 1960), was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a shortstop from 1890 to 1907 for the Pittsburgh Burghers (1890), Philadelphia Athletics (1891), Brooklyn Grooms/Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1892–1896), Cincinnati Reds (1897–1906) and the New York Giants (1907).
1858 – Carter Glass, American publisher and politician, 47th United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 1946), was an American newspaper publisher and Democratic politician from Lynchburg, Virginia. He represented Virginia in both houses of Congress and served as the United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Woodrow Wilson.
1838 – General Tom Thumb, American circus performer (d. 1883), was a dwarf who achieved great fame as a performer under circus pioneer P. T.
1809 – Louis Braille, French educator, invented Braille (d. 1852), was a French educator, catholic priest and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as braille.
1643 – Isaac Newton, English mathematician and physicist (d. 1727), was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics.
2016 – Stephen W. Bosworth, American academic and diplomat, United States Ambassador to South Korea (b. 1939)
2012 – Eve Arnold, American photographer and journalist (b. 1912)
2012 – Rod Robbie, English-Canadian architect, designed the Canadian Pavilion and Rogers Centre (b. 1928)
2007 – Helen Hill, American director and producer (b. 1970)
2007 – Steve Krantz, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1923)
2006 – Milton Himmelfarb, American sociographer, author, and academic (b. 1918)
2005 – Frank Harary, American mathematician and academic (b. 1921)
2005 – Robert Heilbroner, American economist and historian (b. 1919)
2004 – John Toland, American historian and author (b. 1912)
2003 – Sabine Ulibarrí, American poet and critic (b. 1919)
2000 – Tom Fears, Mexican-American football player and coach (b. 1922)
1999 – Iron Eyes Cody, American actor and stuntman (b. 1904)
1998 – Mae Questel, American actress (b. 1908)
1997 – Harry Helmsley, American businessman (b. 1909)
1995 – Sol Tax, American anthropologist and academic (b. 1907)
1990 – Harold Eugene Edgerton, American engineer and academic (b. 1903)
1986 – Christopher Isherwood, English-American author and academic (b. 1904)
1969 – Paul Chambers, American bassist and composer (b. 1935)
1965 – T. S. Eliot, American-English poet, playwright, and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1888)
1960 – Albert Camus, French novelist, philosopher, and journalist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
1940 – Flora Finch, English-American actress and producer (b. 1867)
1931 – Art Acord, American actor and stuntman (b. 1890)
1912 – Clarence Dutton, American geologist and soldier (b. 1841)
1910 – Léon Delagrange, French pilot and sculptor (b. 1873)
1904 – Anna Winlock American astronomer and academic (b. 1857)
1901 – Nikolaos Gyzis, Greek painter and academic (b. 1842)
1882 – John William Draper, English-American physician, chemist, and photographer (b. 1811)
1880 – Anselm Feuerbach, German painter and educator (b. 1829)
1880 – Edward William Cooke, English painter and illustrator (b. 1811)
1877 – Cornelius Vanderbilt, American businessman and philanthropist (b. 1794)
1863 – Roger Hanson, American general (b. 1827)
1821 – Elizabeth Ann Seton, American nun and saint (b. 1774)
1782 – Ange-Jacques Gabriel, French architect, designed École Militaire (b. 1698)
1584 – Tobias Stimmer, Swiss painter and illustrator (b. 1539)