Nothing Day (This day was first practiced way back in 1973 by newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin. The goal of the day is "to provide Americans with one national day where they can just sit without celebrating, observing, or honoring anything.")
In 2017 Researchers publish evidence that humans first entered North America in around 24,000 BP (Before Present), during the height of the last ice age. This is 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.
2006 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia's new president. She becomes Africa's first female elected head of state.
2001 – US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish–American War.
1970 – Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.
1969 – Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.
1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, France.
1920 – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was founded on the campus of Howard University.
1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
1900 – The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
1883 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
1780 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, Spain.
1492 – The first grammar of the Spanish language is presented to Queen Isabella I.
1986 – Mark Trumbo, American baseball player. Mark Trumbo (born January 16, 1986) is an American professional baseball first baseman and outfielder who is a free agent.
1985 – Joe Flacco, American football player. Joseph Vincent "Joe" Flacco (born January 16, 1985) is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL).
1980 – Albert Pujols, Dominican-American baseball player. José Alberto Pujols Alcántara (born January 16, 1980) is a Dominican-American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1980 – Lin-Manuel Miranda, American actor, playwright, and composer. Lin-Manuel Miranda (/lɪn mænˈwɛl məˈrændə/; born January 16, 1980) is an American composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer, and playwright, widely known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.
1979 – Aaliyah, American singer and actress (d. 2001), was an American singer, actress, and model. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Detroit, Michigan, she first gained recognition at the age of 10, when she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight.
1974 – Marlon Anderson, American baseball player and sportscaster. Marlon Ordell Anderson (born January 6, 1974) is a former Major League Baseball utility player.
1972 – Joe Horn, American football player and coach. Joseph Horn (born January 16, 1972) is a former American football wide receiver and current assistant coach at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
1971 – Jonathan Mangum, American actor. He was a cast member of the variety show The Wayne Brady Show and is the announcer for the game show Let's Make a Deal.
1971 – Josh Evans, American film producer, screenwriter and actor. Joshua Evans is the name of:
1970 – Ron Villone, American baseball player and coach. Ronald Thomas Villone, Jr. (born January 16, 1970) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed relief pitcher.
1969 – Roy Jones Jr., American boxer. Roy Levesta Jones Jr. (born January 16, 1969) is an American former professional boxer, boxing commentator, boxing trainer, rapper, and actor who holds dual American and Russian citizenship.
1968 – Rebecca Stead, American author. Rebecca Stead (born January 16, 1968) is an American writer of fiction for children and teens.
1966 – Jack McDowell, American baseball player. Nicknamed "Black Jack", he was a three time All-Star and won the American League Cy Young Award in 1993.
1962 – Maxine Jones, American R&B singer–songwriter and actress. She sang lead vocals on the group's signature singles "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" and "Don't Let Go (Love)", both of which garnered international success and sold over a million copies.
1955 – Jerry M. Linenger, American captain, physician, and astronaut. Jerry Michael Linenger (born January 16, 1955) is a retired Captain in the United States Navy Medical Corps, and a former NASA astronaut who flew on the Space Shuttle and Space Station Mir.
1953 – Robert Jay Mathews, American militant, founded The Order (d. 1984), was an American neo-Nazi terrorist and the leader of The Order, an American white supremacist militant group. He was killed during a shootout with approximately seventy-five federal law enforcement agents who surrounded his house on Whidbey Island, near Freeland, Washington.
1952 – Julie Anne Peters, American engineer and author. In addition to the United States, Peters's books have been published in numerous countries, including South Korea, China, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil.
1952 – L. Blaine Hammond, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut. Lloyd Blaine Hammond Jr. (born January 16, 1952) is a Gulfstream test pilot, a former United States Air Force officer, and a former NASA astronaut.
1950 – Debbie Allen, American actress, dancer, and choreographer. Deborah Kaye Allen (born January 16, 1950) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a former member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
1950 – Robert Schimmel, American comedian, actor, and producer (d. 2010), was an American stand-up comedian who was known for his blue comedy. While the extremely profane nature of his act limited his commercial appeal, he had a reputation as a "comic's comic" due to his relentless touring, comedy albums and frequent appearances on HBO and The Howard Stern Show.
1949 – Anne F. Beiler, American businesswoman, founded Auntie Anne's. Beiler is an American businesswoman and founder of Auntie Anne's pretzels.
1948 – John Carpenter, American director, producer, screenwriter, and composer. Although Carpenter has worked with various movie genres, he is associated most commonly with horror, action, and science fiction films of the 1970s and 1980s.
1948 – Ruth Reichl, American journalist and critic. Ruth Reichl (born January 16, 1948) (pronounced RYE-shil), is an American chef, food writer, co-producer of PBS's Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie, culinary editor for the Modern Library, host of PBS's Gourmet's Adventures With Ruth, and the last editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine.
1947 – Laura Schlessinger, American physiologist, talk show host, and author. Her website says that her show "preaches, teaches, and nags about morals, values, and ethics." She is an inductee to the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago.
1944 – Jill Tarter, American astronomer and biologist. Jill Cornell Tarter (born January 16, 1944) is an American astronomer best known for her work on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).
1944 – Jim Stafford, American singer-songwriter and actor. Stafford is self-taught on guitar, fiddle, piano, banjo, organ and harmonica.
1944 – Judy Baar Topinka, American journalist and politician (d. 2014), was an American politician and member of the Republican Party from the U.S. State of Illinois.
1943 – Ronnie Milsap, American singer and pianist. He became one of the most successful and versatile country "crossover" singers of his time, appealing to both country and pop music markets with hit songs that incorporated pop, R&B, and rock and roll elements.
1942 – Barbara Lynn, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Barbara Lynn (born Barbara Lynn Ozen, later Barbara Lynn Cumby, January 16, 1942) is an American rhythm and blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.
1939 – Ralph Gibson, American photographer. His images often incorporate fragments with erotic and mysterious undertones, building narrative meaning through contextualization and surreal juxtaposition.
1938 – Marina Vaizey, American journalist and critic. Marina Alandra Vaizey, Lady Vaizey CBE (born 16 January 1938) is an art critic and author based in the United Kingdom.
1937 – Francis George, American cardinal (d. 2015), was an American cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago. He was the eighth Archbishop of Chicago (1997–2014) and previously served as Bishop of Yakima (1990–1996) and Archbishop of Portland, Oregon (1996–1997).
1935 – A. J. Foyt, American race car driver. Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr. (born January 16, 1935) is an American retired auto racing driver who has raced in numerous genres of motorsports.
1934 – Bob Bogle, American rock guitarist and bass player (d. 2009), was a founding member of the instrumental combo The Ventures. He and Don Wilson founded the group in 1958.
1934 – Marilyn Horne, American soprano and actress. She is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts (1992) and the Kennedy Center Honors (1995).
1933 – Susan Sontag, American novelist, essayist, and critic (d. 2004), was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist. She mostly wrote essays, but also published novels; she published her first major work, the essay "Notes on 'Camp'", in 1964.
1932 – Dian Fossey, American zoologist and anthropologist (d. 1985), was an American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups from 1966 until her 1985 murder. She studied them daily in the mountain forests of Rwanda, initially encouraged to work there by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey.
1931 – Robert L. Park, American physicist and academic. Robert Lee Park (born January 16, 1931) is an American emeritus professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a former director of public information at the Washington office of the American Physical Society.
1930 – Mary Ann McMorrow, American lawyer and judge (d. 2013), was an Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice.
1930 – Norman Podhoretz, American journalist and author. Norman Podhoretz (/pɒdˈhɔːrɪts/; born January 16, 1930) is an American neoconservative pundit, who identifies his views as "paleo-neoconservative".
1925 – James Robinson Risner, American general and pilot (d. 2013), was a Brigadier General and a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force.
1923 – Anthony Hecht, American poet (d. 2004). His work combined a deep interest in form with a passionate desire to confront the horrors of 20th century history, with the Second World War, in which he fought, and the Holocaust being recurrent themes in his work.
1923 – Gene Feist, American director and playwright, co-founded the Roundabout Theatre Company (d. 2014), was an American playwright, theater director and co-founder of the Roundabout Theater Company. He authored 15 plays or adaptations, of which two were published by Samuel French Inc. — James Joyce's Dublin and The Lady from Maxim's.
1921 – Francesco Scavullo, American photographer (d. 2004), was an American fashion photographer best known for his work on the covers of Cosmopolitan and his celebrity portraits.
1920 – Elliott Reid, American actor and screenwriter (d. 2013). Reid was born in Manhattan, the son of artist Christine Challenger Reid and banker Blair Reid.
1919 – Jerome Horwitz, American chemist and academic (d. 2012), was an American scientist; his affiliations included the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Michigan Cancer Foundation.
1918 – Stirling Silliphant, American screenwriter and producer (d. 1996). He is best remembered for his screenplay for In the Heat of the Night, for which he won an Academy Award in 1967, and for creating the television series Naked City and Route 66.
1917 – Carl Karcher, American businessman, founded Carl's Jr. (d. 2008), was an American businessman who founded the Carl's Jr. hamburger chain, now owned by parent company CKE Restaurants, Inc.
1915 – Leslie H. Martinson, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2016), was an American television and film director.
1914 – Roger Wagner, French-American conductor and educator (d. 1992), was an American choral musician, administrator and educator.
1910 – Dizzy Dean, American baseball player and sportscaster (d. 1974), was an American professional baseball pitcher. During Dean's Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he played for the St.
1909 – Clement Greenberg, American art critic (d. 1994). He is best remembered for his association with the art movement Abstract Expressionism and the painter Jackson Pollock.
1908 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (d. 1984), was an American actress, artist, and singer. Known primarily for her distinctive, powerful voice and leading roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage".
1907 – Paul Nitze, American banker and politician, 10th United States Secretary of the Navy (d. 2004), was an American statesman who served as United States Deputy Secretary of Defense, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and Director of Policy Planning for the U.S.
1901 – Frank Zamboni, American businessman, founded the Zamboni Company (d. 1988), was an American inventor and engineer, whose most famous invention is the modern ice resurfacer, with his surname being registered as a trademark for these resurfacers.
1898 – Irving Rapper, American film director and producer (d. 1999), was an English-born American film director.
1898 – Margaret Booth, American producer and editor (d. 2002), was an American film editor.
1895 – Nat Schachner, American lawyer, chemist, and author (d. 1955), was an American author. He also wrote genre fiction under pseudonyms, including Chan Corbett and Walter Glamis.
1894 – Irving Mills, American publisher (d. 1985), was an American music publisher, musician, lyricist, and jazz artist promoter. He sometimes used the pseudonyms Goody Goodwin and Joe Primrose.
1892 – Homer Burton Adkins, American chemist (d. 1949), was an American chemist who studied the hydrogenation of organic compounds. Adkins was regarded as top in his field and a world authority on the hydrogenation of organic compounds.
1882 – Margaret Wilson, American author (d. 1973). Margaret Anne Wilson DCNZM (born 20 May 1947) is a New Zealand academic and former politician.
1853 – André Michelin, French businessman, co-founded the Michelin Tyre Company (d. 1931), was a French industrialist who, with his brother Édouard (1859–1940), founded the Michelin Tyre Company (Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin) in 1888 in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand.
1834 – Robert R. Hitt, American lawyer and politician, 13th United States Assistant Secretary of State (d. 1906), was an Assistant Secretary of State and later a member of the United States House of Representatives.
1821 – John C. Breckinridge, American general and politician, 14th Vice President of the United States (d. 1875), was an American lawyer, politician, and soldier. He represented Kentucky in both houses of Congress and became the 14th and youngest-ever vice president of the United States, serving from 1857 to 1861.
1815 – Henry Halleck, American lawyer, general, and scholar (d. 1872), was a United States Army officer, scholar, and lawyer. A noted expert in military studies, he was known by a nickname that became derogatory: "Old Brains".
1807 – Charles Henry Davis, American admiral (d. 1877), was a rear admiral in the United States Navy. Working for the Coast Survey, Davis researched tides and currents, and located an uncharted shoal that had caused wrecks off the New York coast.
2017 – Eugene Cernan, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1934)
2016 – Ted Marchibroda, American football player and coach (b. 1931)
2014 – Dave Madden, Canadian-American actor (b. 1931)
2014 – Gary Arlington, American author and illustrator (b. 1938)
2014 – Ruth Duccini, American actress (b. 1918)
2013 – Glen P. Robinson, American businessman, founded Scientific Atlanta (b. 1923)
2013 – Gussie Moran, American tennis player and sportscaster (b. 1923)
2013 – Pauline Phillips, American journalist and radio host, created Dear Abby (b. 1918)
2013 – Wayne D. Anderson, American baseball player and coach (b. 1930)
2012 – Jimmy Castor, American singer-songwriter and saxophonist (b. 1940)
2012 – Lorna Kesterson, American journalist and politician (b. 1925)
2010 – Glen Bell, American businessman, founded Taco Bell (b. 1923)
2009 – Andrew Wyeth, American painter (b. 1917)
2009 – Joe Erskine, American boxer and runner (b. 1930)
2007 – Benny Parsons, American race car driver and sportscaster (b. 1941)
2006 – Stanley Biber, American soldier and physician (b. 1923)
2005 – Marjorie Williams, American journalist and author (b. 1958)
2000 – Robert R. Wilson, American physicist and academic (b. 1914)
1996 – Marcia Davenport, American author and critic (b. 1903)
1986 – Herbert W. Armstrong, American evangelist, author, and publisher (b. 1892)
1975 – Israel Abramofsky, Russian-American painter (b. 1888)
1973 – Edgar Sampson, American musician and composer (b. 1907)
1972 – Teller Ammons, American soldier and politician, 28th Governor of Colorado (b. 1895)
1969 – Vernon Duke, Russian-American composer and songwriter (b. 1903)
1968 – Bob Jones Sr., American evangelist, founded Bob Jones University (b. 1883)
1967 – Robert J. Van de Graaff, American physicist and academic (b. 1901)
1962 – Ivan Meštrović, Croatian sculptor and architect, designed the Monument to the Unknown Hero (b. 1883)
1942 – Carole Lombard, American actress and comedian (b. 1908)
1917 – George Dewey, American admiral (b. 1837)
1906 – Marshall Field, American businessman and philanthropist, founded Marshall Field's (b. 1834)
1901 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, American soldier, minister, and politician (b. 1822)
1856 – Thaddeus William Harris, American entomologist and botanist (b. 1795)