1985 – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launches Sakigake, Japan's first interplanetary spacecraft and the first deep space probe to be launched by any country other than the United States or the Soviet Union.
1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorizes legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.
1968 – Surveyor Program: Surveyor 7, the last spacecraft in the Surveyor series, lifts off from launch complex 36A, Cape Canaveral.
1959 – The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
1955 – Contralto Marian Anderson becomes the first person of color to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.
1954 – Georgetown-IBM experiment: The first public demonstration of a machine translation system, is held in New York at the head office of IBM.
1948 – Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell crashes while in pursuit of a supposed UFO.
1940 – Winter War: The Finnish 9th Division stop and completely destroy the numerically superior Soviet forces on the Raate-Suomussalmi road.
1931 – Guy Menzies flies the first solo non-stop trans-Tasman flight (from Australia to New Zealand) in 11 hours and 45 minutes, crash-landing on New Zealand's west coast.
1927 – The first transatlantic telephone service is established from New York City to London.
1920 – The New York State Assembly refuses to seat five duly elected Socialist assemblymen.
1919 – Montenegrin guerrilla fighters rebel against the planned annexation of Montenegro by Serbia, but fail.
1904 – The distress signal "CQD" is established only to be replaced two years later by "SOS".
1894 – William Kennedy Dickson receives a patent for motion picture film.
1785 – Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in a gas balloon.
1782 – The first American commercial bank, the Bank of North America, opens.
1610 – Galileo Galilei makes his first observation of the four Galilean moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa, although he is not able to distinguish the last two until the following day.
1990 – Michael Sam, American football player. Michael Alan Sam Jr. (born January 7, 1990) is an American former defensive end in American and Canadian football.
1987 – Lyndsy Fonseca, American actress. Thereafter, she had a series of other recurring roles, including Penny Mosby on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Donna on HBO's Big Love, and Dylan Mayfair on the fourth season of the ABC television series Desperate Housewives.
1984 – Jon Lester, American baseball player. Jonathan Tyler Lester (born January 7, 1984) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1983 – Natalie Gulbis, American golfer. Natalie Anne Gulbis (born January 7, 1983) is an American professional golfer, who plays on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour.
1981 – Marquis Daniels, American basketball player. He played his first three years for the Dallas Mavericks before being traded to the Indiana Pacers.
1980 – Ivan L. Moody, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor. Ivan Moody (born Ivan Lewis Greening) is the lead vocalist for American heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch.
1980 – Merritt Wever, American actress. For Nurse Jackie, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2013 and for Godless, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.
1978 – Kevin Mench, American baseball player. Kevin Ford Mench (born January 7, 1978) is an American former professional baseball outfielder who played eight years in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Texas Rangers (2002–2006), Milwaukee Brewers (2006–2007), Toronto Blue Jays (2008) and Washington Nationals (2010).
1977 – John Gidding, American architect and television host. John Gidding (born January 7, 1977) is a Turkish-American designer, television personality, and former fashion model.
1972 – Donald Brashear, American-Canadian ice hockey player and mixed martial artist. Donald Maynard Brashear (born January 7, 1972) is a Canadian-American former professional ice hockey player who played for five organizations in the National Hockey League (NHL), in which he played the role of enforcer.
1971 – Jeremy Renner, American actor. Renner earned supporting roles in bigger films, such as S.W.A.T. (2003) and 28 Weeks Later (2007).
1970 – Todd Day, American basketball player and coach. Todd Fitzgerald Day (born January 7, 1970) is a retired American professional basketball player and current head coach at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1967 – Guy Hebert, American ice hockey player. Guy Andre Hebert (French pronunciation: ; born January 7, 1967) is an American former professional ice hockey goaltender.
1967 – Tim Donaghy, American basketball player and referee. Tim Donaghy (/ˈdɒnəɡi/; born January 7, 1967) is a former professional basketball referee who worked in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 13 seasons from 1994 to 2007.
1965 – John Ondrasik, American singer-songwriter. Vladimir John Ondrasik III (born January 7, 1965), known by his stage name Five for Fighting, is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, record producer, and philanthropist.
1964 – Nicolas Cage, American actor. Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964), known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor and filmmaker.
1963 – Rand Paul, American ophthalmologist and politician. Randal Howard Paul (born January 7, 1963) is an American politician and physician serving as the junior United States Senator from Kentucky since 2011, alongside Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
1962 – Hallie Todd, American actress, producer, and screenwriter. Hallie Todd (born Hallie Jane Eckstein; January 7, 1962) is an American actress, producer and writer, who played Penny Waters on Brothers and Jo McGuire on Lizzie McGuire.
1961 – John Thune, American lawyer and politician, was first elected to in 2004. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the U.S.
1960 – Loretta Sanchez, American politician. Loretta Lorna Sanchez (born January 7, 1960) is an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1997 to 2017.
1959 – Kathy Valentine, American bass player and songwriter. She made music history as a member of the Go-Go's, the first all-female band to have a #1 album in the U.S.
1957 – Katie Couric, American television journalist, anchor, and author. Couric has been a television host on all Big Three television networks in the United States, and in her early career was an Assignment Editor for CNN.
1957 – Nicholson Baker, American novelist and essayist. His early novels such as The Mezzanine and Room Temperature were distinguished by their minute inspection of his characters' and narrators' stream of consciousness.
1956 – David Caruso, American actor. David Stephen Caruso (born January 7, 1956) is a retired American actor and producer, best known for his roles as Detective John Kelly on the ABC crime drama NYPD Blue, and Lieutenant Horatio Caine on the CBS series CSI: Miami (2002-2012).
1953 – Robert Longo, American painter and sculptor. Longo became a rising star in the 1980s for his "Men in the Cities" series, which depicted sharply dressed men and women writhing in contorted emotion.
1950 – Ross Grimsley, American baseball player and coach. Ross Albert Grimsley III (born January 7, 1950) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Cincinnati Reds (1971–73), Baltimore Orioles (1974–77 and 1982), Montreal Expos (1978–80) and Cleveland Indians (1980).
1948 – Kenny Loggins, American singer-songwriter. As a solo artist, Loggins experienced a string of soundtrack successes, including an Academy Award nomination for "Footloose" in 1984.
1946 – Jann Wenner, American publisher, co-founded Rolling Stone. Jann Simon Wenner (born January 7, 1946) is an American magazine magnate who is the co-founder and publisher of the popular culture magazine Rolling Stone, and former owner of Men's Journal magazine.
1946 – Michael Roizen, American anesthesiologist and author. Michael Fredric Roizen (born January 7, 1946) is an American anesthesiologist and internist, an award-winning author and the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic.
1945 – Tony Conigliaro, American baseball player and journalist (d. 1990), was a Major League Baseball outfielder and right-handed batter who played for the Boston Red Sox (1964–67, 1969–1970, 1975) and California Angels (1971). He was born in Revere, Massachusetts, was a 1962 graduate of St.
1942 – Danny Steinmann, American director and screenwriter (d. 2012), was an American film director. Danny made his debut as both writer and director with the funky hardcore porno picture High Rise (1973), on which he used the alias Danny Stone.
1942 – Jim Lefebvre, American baseball player and manager. An infielder, he was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1962.
1941 – Frederick D. Gregory, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut. Frederick Drew Gregory (born January 7, 1941), (Col, USAF, Ret.), is a former United States Air Force pilot, military engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut as well as former NASA Deputy Administrator.
1941 – Manfred Schellscheidt, German-American soccer player and coach. He spent three seasons in the North American Soccer League and one in the American Soccer League.
1938 – Fred Whitfield, American baseball player (d. 2013), was an American professional baseball player. A first baseman, he appeared in the Major Leagues from 1962 to 1970, primarily for the Cleveland Indians and also for with the St.
1938 – Lou Graham, American golfer and soldier. Louis Krebs Graham (born January 7, 1938) is an American professional golfer who won six PGA Tour tournaments including the 1975 U.S.
1938 – Roland Topor, French illustrator, painter, and actor (d. 1997), was a French illustrator, cartoonist, comics artist, painter, novelist, playwright, film and TV writer, filmmaker and actor, known for the surreal nature of his work. He was of Polish-Jewish origin.
1936 – G. Robert Blakey, American lawyer and academic. George Robert Blakey (born January 7, 1936, in Burlington, North Carolina) is an American attorney and law professor.
1935 – Ducky Schofield, American baseball player. John Richard Schofield (born January 7, 1935), nicknamed Ducky, is an American former professional baseball infielder.
1935 – Kenny Davern, American clarinet player and saxophonist (d. 2006), was an American jazz clarinetist.
1934 – Charles Jenkins Sr., American sprinter and coach. Charles Lamont "Charlie" Jenkins (born January 7, 1934) is a former American athlete, winner of two gold medals at the 1956 Summer Olympics.
1933 – Elliott Kastner, American-English film producer (d. 2010), was an American film producer, whose best known credits include Where Eagles Dare (1968), The Long Goodbye (1973), The Missouri Breaks (1976) and Angel Heart (1987).
1933 – Phil Mulkey, American decathlete and coach. Philip Roy "Phil" Mulkey (born January 7, 1933) is an American track and field athlete, primarily known for the multi-event decathlon.
1930 – Eddie LeBaron, American football player, manager, and sportscaster (d. 2015), was an American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the College of the Pacific.
1929 – Robert Juniper, Australian painter and sculptor (d. 2012), was an Australian artist, art teacher, illustrator, painter, printmaker and sculptor.
1928 – William Peter Blatty, American author and screenwriter (d. 2017), was an American writer and filmmaker best known for his 1971 novel The Exorcist and for the Academy Award-winning screenplay of its film adaptation. He also wrote and directed the sequel The Exorcist III.
1925 – Gerald Durrell, Indian-English zookeeper, conservationist and author, founded Durrell Wildlife Park (d. 1995), was a British naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author, and television presenter. He founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoo on the Channel Island of Jersey in 1959.
1924 – Gene L. Coon, American screenwriter and producer (d. 1973), was an American screenwriter, television producer and novelist. He is best remembered for his work on the original Star Trek series, especially as its showrunner where he was responsible for both its idealistic tone and various key elements of the franchise.
1922 – Alvin Dark, American baseball player and manager (d. 2014). Alvin Ralph Dark (January 7, 1922 – November 13, 2014), nicknamed "Blackie" and "The Swamp Fox", was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop and manager.
1921 – Chester Kallman, American poet and translator (d. 1975), was an American poet, librettist, and translator, best known for collaborating with W. H.
1920 – Vincent Gardenia, Italian-American actor (d. 1992), was an Italian-American stage, film, and television actor. He was nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, first for Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) and again for Moonstruck (1987).
1919 – Steve Belichick, American football player, coach and scout (d. 2005). He played college football at Western Reserve University, now known as Case Western Reserve University, from 1938 to 1940 and then in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions in 1941.
1917 – Milton Resnick, Russian-American painter and educator (d. 2004), was an American artist noted for abstract paintings that coupled scale with density of incident. It was not uncommon for some of the largest paintings to weigh in excess three hundred pounds, almost all of it pigment.
1917 – Ulysses Kay, American composer and educator (d. 1995), was an African-American composer. His music is mostly neoclassical in style.
1914 – Bobby McDermott, American basketball player (d. 1963). His grandson is businessman Bill McDermott.
1913 – Johnny Mize, American baseball player, coach, and sportscaster (d. 1993), was an American professional baseball player, coach and scout. He played as a first baseman in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 15 seasons between 1936 and 1953, losing three seasons to military service during World War II.
1912 – Charles Addams, American cartoonist, created The Addams Family (d. 1988), was an American cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters. He signed his cartoons Chas Addams.
1911 – Butterfly McQueen, American actress and dancer (d. 1995). Originally a dancer, McQueen first appeared in film in 1939 as Prissy, Scarlett O'Hara's maid, in the film Gone with the Wind.
1910 – Orval Faubus, American soldier and politician, 36th Governor of Arkansas (d. 1994), was an American politician who served as the 36th Governor of Arkansas from 1955 to 1967, as a member of the Democratic Party. In 1957, he refused to comply with a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court in the 1954 case Brown v.
1906 – Bobbi Trout, American pilot (d. 2003), was an early American aviator, notable for her pioneering flying activities. Trout began her aviation career at the age of 16; however, her first solo flight and solo certificate was only given on April 30, 1928.
1906 – Red Allen, American trumpet player (d. 1967), was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist whose style has been claimed to be the first to fully incorporate the innovations of Louis Armstrong.
1898 – Robert LeGendre, American pentathlete and dentist (d. 1931), was an American track and field athlete. He competed in the pentathlon at the 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics and finished in fourth and third place, respectively.
1895 – Hudson Fysh, Australian pilot and businessman, co-founded Qantas Airways Limited (d. 1974), was an Australian aviator and businessman. A founder of the Australian airline company Qantas, Fysh was born in Launceston, Tasmania.
1891 – Zora Neale Hurston, American novelist, short story writer, and folklorist (d. 1960), was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-20th-century American South and published research on Hoodoo.
1888 – Vera de Bosset, Russian-American ballerina (d. 1982), was a Russian-born American dancer and artist. She is better known as the mistress and, ultimately, second wife of the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, who married her in 1940.
1885 – Edwin Swatek, American swimmer and water polo player (d. 1966), was an American backstroke swimmer and water polo player who competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics.
1877 – William Clarence Matthews, American baseball player, coach, and lawyer (d. 1928), was an early 20th-century African-American pioneer in athletics, politics and law. Born in Selma, Alabama, Matthews was enrolled at the Tuskegee Institute and, with the help of Booker T.
1873 – Adolph Zukor, Hungarian-American film producer, co-founded Paramount Pictures (d. 1976), was an Austro-Hungarian-born American film producer best known as one of the three founders of Paramount Pictures.
1864 – Seo Jae-pil, South Korean-American journalist and activist (d. 1951), was a Korean-American political activist and physician who was a noted champion of the Korean independence movement, the first Korean naturalized citizen of the United States, and founded Tongnip Sinmun, the first Korean newspaper in Hangul.
1837 – Thomas Henry Ismay, English businessman, founded the White Star Line Shipping Company (d. 1899), was the founder of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, more commonly known as the White Star Line. His son was Joseph Bruce Ismay, who travelled on (and survived) the maiden voyage of his company's ocean liner, the RMS Titanic, in 1912.
1834 – Johann Philipp Reis, German physicist and academic, invented the Reis telephone (d. 1874), was a self-taught German scientist and inventor. In 1861, he constructed the first make-and-break telephone, today called the Reis telephone.
1831 – Heinrich von Stephan, German postman, founded the Universal Postal Union (d. 1897), was a general post director for the German Empire who reorganized the German postal service. He was integral in the founding of the Universal Postal Union in 1874, and in 1877 introduced the telephone to Germany.
1800 – Millard Fillmore, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 13th President of the United States (d. 1874), was the 13th president of the United States (1850–1853), and the last to be a member of the Whig Party while in the White House. A former U.S. representative from New York, Fillmore was elected the nation's 12th vice president in 1848, and succeeded to the presidency in July 1850 upon the death of President Zachary Taylor.
1786 – John Catron, American lawyer and jurist (d. 1865), was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1837 to 1865, during the Taney Court era.
1718 – Israel Putnam, American general (d. 1790), was an American army general officer who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). He also served notably as an officer with Rogers' Rangers during the French and Indian War (1754–1763), when he was captured by Mohawk warriors.
2016 – John Johnson, American basketball player (b. 1947)
2016 – Judith Kaye, American lawyer and jurist (b. 1938)
2016 – Kitty Kallen, American singer (b. 1921)
2015 – Arch A. Moore, Jr., American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 28th Governor of West Virginia (b. 1923)
2015 – Herb Simpson, American baseball player (b. 1920)
2015 – J. P. Parisé, Canadian-American ice hockey player, coach, and manager (b. 1941)
2015 – Rod Taylor, Australian-American actor and screenwriter (b. 1930)
2014 – Run Run Shaw, Chinese-Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist, founded Shaw Brothers Studio and TVB (b. 1907)
2013 – Ada Louise Huxtable, American curator and critic (b. 1921)
2013 – Richard Ben Cramer, American journalist and author (b. 1950)
2012 – George Livingston, American politician (b. 1933)
2012 – Herbert Wilf, American mathematician and academic (b. 1931)
2012 – Milburn E. Calhoun, American physician, philanthropist, and publisher (b. 1930)
2012 – Tony Blankley, British-born American child actor, journalist and pundit (b. 1948)
2007 – Bobby Hamilton, American race car driver and businessman (b. 1957)
2002 – Avery Schreiber, American comedian and actor (b. 1935)
2001 – James Carr, American singer (b. 1942)
2000 – Gary Albright, American wrestler (b. 1963)
1998 – Owen Bradley, American record producer (b. 1915)
1996 – Tarō Okamoto, Japanese painter and sculptor (b. 1911)
1995 – Murray Rothbard, American economist, historian, and theorist (b. 1926)
1992 – Richard Hunt, American puppeteer and voice actor (b. 1951)
1990 – Bronko Nagurski, Canadian-American football player and wrestler (b. 1908)
1986 – Juan Rulfo, Mexican author, screenwriter, and photographer (b. 1917)
1986 – P. D. Eastman, American author and illustrator (b. 1909)
1967 – David Goodis, American author and screenwriter (b. 1917)
1953 – Osa Johnson, American explorer, director, and producer (b. 1894)
1943 – Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American physicist and engineer (b. 1856)
1931 – Edward Channing, American historian and author (b. 1856)
1919 – Henry Ware Eliot American businessman and philanthropist, co-founded Washington University in St. Louis (b. 1843)
1913 – Jack Boyle, American baseball player and umpire (b. 1866)
1864 – Caleb Blood Smith, American journalist and politician, 6th U.S. Secretary of the Interior (b. 1808)
1830 – Thomas Lawrence, English painter and educator (b. 1769)
1812 – Joseph Dennie, American journalist and author (b. 1768)
1767 – Thomas Clap, American minister and academic (b. 1703)
1658 – Theophilus Eaton, American farmer and politician, 1st Governor of the New Haven Colony (b. 1590)