1981 – Ronald Reagan lifts remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls in the United States helping to end the 1979 energy crisis and begin the 1980s oil glut.
1977 – The first day of the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 which dumps 10 feet (3.0 m) of snow in one day in Upstate New York, with Buffalo, Syracuse, Watertown, and surrounding areas are most affected.
1964 – An unarmed United States Air Force T-39 Sabreliner on a training mission is shot down over Erfurt, East Germany, by a Soviet MiG-19.
1958 – The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first American television appearance.
1935 – Iceland becomes the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion.
1915 – An act of the U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard as a branch of the United States Armed Forces.
1909 – United States troops leave Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base after being there since the Spanish–American War.
1902 – The Carnegie Institution of Washington is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.
1896 – Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).
1878 – Yale Daily News becomes the first daily college newspaper in the United States.
1855 – A locomotive on the Panama Canal Railway runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
1851 – Northwestern University becomes the first chartered university in Illinois.
1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.
1813 – Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom.
1724 – The Russian Academy of Sciences is founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented by Senate decree. It is called the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.
1624 – Sir Thomas Warner founds the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.
814 – Charlemagne dies of pleurisy in Aachen as the first Holy Roman Emperor. He is succeeded by his son Louis the Pious as king of the Frankish Empire.
1998 – Ariel Winter, American actress. Peabody and Sherman.
1984 – Andre Iguodala, American Basketball player. Andre Tyler Iguodala (/ɪɡwəˈdɑːlə/ ig-wə-DAH-lə; born January 28, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1984 – Stephen Gostkowski, American Football player. Stephen Carroll Gostkowski (/ɡɒstˈkaʊski/ gost-KOW-skee; born January 28, 1984) is an American football placekicker for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL).
1981 – Elijah Wood, American actor and producer. He portrayed Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).
1977 – Daunte Culpepper, American football player. Daunte Rachard Culpepper (born January 28, 1977) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons, primarily with the Minnesota Vikings.
1977 – Joey Fatone, American singer, dancer, and television personality. In 2007, he came in second place on the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars.
1976 – Mark Madsen, American basketball player and coach. Mark Ellsworth Madsen (born January 28, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player and current head coach of Utah Valley University of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
1976 – Rick Ross, American rapper and producer. William Leonard Roberts II (born January 28, 1976), known professionally as Rick Ross, is an American rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and record executive.
1975 – Junior Spivey, American baseball player and coach. Ernest Lee "Junior" Spivey, Jr. (born January 28, 1975) is a former second baseman in Major League Baseball.
1974 – Jermaine Dye, American baseball player. Jermaine Trevell Dye (born January 28, 1974) is an American former professional baseball right fielder.
1974 – Tony Delk, American basketball player and coach. Tony Lorenzo Delk (born January 28, 1974) is an American former professional basketball player and former college assistant coach, most recently for the New Mexico State Aggies men's basketball team.
1969 – Linda Sánchez, American lawyer and politician. She is a member of the Democratic Party and was first elected to Congress in 2002.
1969 – Mo Rocca, American comedian and television journalist. He is the moderator of the National Geographic Society's National Geographic Bee.
1959 – Frank Darabont, American director and producer. Frank Árpád Darabont (born Ferenc Árpád Darabont, January 28, 1959) is a Hungarian-American film director, screenwriter and producer who has been nominated for three Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
1956 – Richard Danielpour, American composer and educator. Richard Danielpour (born January 28, 1956) is an American composer.
1955 – Vinod Khosla, Indian-American businessman, co-founded Sun Microsystems. In 2014, Forbes named him amongst the 400 richest people in the United States.
1954 – Rick Warren, American pastor and author. He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, which has spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism.
1952 – Richard Glatzer, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2015), was an American writer and director.
1951 – Billy Bass Nelson, American R&B/funk bass player, was the original bassist for Funkadelic. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
1951 – Brian Bilbray, American politician. He is a member of the Republican Party.
1950 – Barbi Benton, American actress, singer and model. Barbi Benton (born Barbara Lynn Klein; January 28, 1950) is an American model, actress, television personality and singer.
1950 – David C. Hilmers, American colonel, physician, and astronaut. He has two grown sons.
1949 – Gregg Popovich, American basketball player and coach. Taking over as coach of the Spurs in 1996, Popovich is the longest tenured active coach in both the NBA and all major sports leagues in the United States.
1948 – Bob Moses, American drummer, was an American city planner.
1947 – Jeanne Shaheen, American educator and politician, 78th Governor of New Hampshire. Senator in New Hampshire's history, was the first female Governor of New Hampshire, and the first woman elected as both Governor and a U.S.
1945 – Frank Doubleday, American actor. Frank Nelson Doubleday (January 8, 1862 – January 30, 1934), known to friends and family as “Effendi”, founded the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897, which later operated under other names.
1944 – Rosalía Mera, Spanish businesswoman, co-founded Inditex and Zara (d. 2013), was a Spanish businesswoman and entrepreneur. At the time of her death, she was the richest woman in Spain and the world's richest self-made woman.
1940 – Carlos Slim, Mexican businessman and philanthropist, founded Grupo Carso. Carlos Slim Helú (Spanish pronunciation: ; born 28 January 1940 in Mexico City) is a Mexican business tycoon, investor, philanthropist, and engineer.
1939 – John M. Fabian, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut. John McCreary Fabian (born January 28, 1939) is a former NASA astronaut, Air Force officer, and director who flew two Space Shuttle missions and on the development of the Shuttle's robotic arm.
1936 – Alan Alda, American actor, director, and writer. He has had recurring roles on television programs such as The West Wing, and 30 Rock, and has appeared in films such as Same Time, Next Year (1978), The Four Seasons (1981), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Flirting With Disaster (1996), Bridge of Spies (2015), and Marriage Story (2019).
1933 – Jack Hill, American director and screenwriter. Several of Hill's later films have been characterized as feminist works.
1929 – Claes Oldenburg, Swedish-American sculptor and illustrator. Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is an American sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring large replicas of everyday objects.
1929 – Edith M. Flanigen, American chemist. Edith Marie Flanigen (born January 28, 1929) is a noted American chemist, known for her work on synthesis of emeralds, and later zeolites for molecular sieves at Union Carbide.
1927 – Vera Williams, American author and illustrator (d. 2015), was an American children's writer and illustrator. Her best known work, A Chair for My Mother, has won multiple awards and was featured on the children's television show Reading Rainbow.
1926 – Jimmy Bryan, American race car driver (d. 1960), was an American racecar driver who won the 1958 Indianapolis 500. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Bryan died as a result of injuries sustained in a champ car race at Langhorne Speedway.
1922 – Anna Gordy Gaye, American songwriter and producer, co-founded Anna Records (d. 2014), was an American businesswoman, composer and songwriter. An elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, she became a record executive in the mid-to-late 1950s distributing records released on Checker and Gone Records before forming the Anna label with Billy Davis and sister Gwen.
1922 – Robert W. Holley, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1993). He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 (with Har Gobind Khorana and Marshall Warren Nirenberg) for describing the structure of alanine transfer RNA, linking DNA and protein synthesis.
1921 – Vytautas Norkus, Lithuanian–American basketball player (d. 2014), was a Lithuanian-born American basketball player. He won a gold medal with the Lithuania national basketball team during EuroBasket 1939.
1919 – Gabby Gabreski, American colonel and pilot (d. 2002), was a Polish-American career pilot in the United States Air Force who retired as a colonel after 26 years of military service. He was the top American and United States Army Air Forces fighter ace over Europe during World War II and a jet fighter ace with the Air Force in the Korean War.
1912 – Jackson Pollock, American painter (d. 1956), was an American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement.
1900 – Alice Neel, American painter (d. 1984), was an American visual artist, who was known for her portraits depicting friends, family, lovers, poets, artists, and strangers. Her paintings have an expressionistic use of line and color, psychological acumen, and emotional intensity.
1887 – Arthur Rubinstein, Polish-American pianist and educator (d. 1982), was a Polish American classical pianist. He received international acclaim for his performances of the music written by a variety of composers and many regard him as the greatest Chopin interpreter of his time.
1864 – Charles Williams Nash, American businessman, founded Nash Motors (d. 1948), was an American automobile entrepreneur who served as an executive in the automotive industry. He played a major role in building up General Motors.
1863 – Ernest William Christmas, Australian-American painter (d. 1918), was an Australian painter, known primarily for his landscapes. Much of his later, most familiar work was done outside of Australia; in Europe, South America and, finally, Hawaii.
1855 – William Seward Burroughs I, American businessman, founded the Burroughs Corporation (d. 1898), was an American inventor born in Rochester, New York.
1841 – Henry Morton Stanley, Welsh-American explorer and journalist (d. 1904), was a Welsh journalist and explorer who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley reportedly asked, "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" Stanley is also known for his search for the source of the Nile, his pioneering work that enabled the occupation of the Congo Basin region by King Leopold II of Belgium, and his command of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.
1818 – George S. Boutwell, American lawyer and politician, 28th United States Secretary of the Treasury (d. 1905), was an American politician, lawyer, and statesman from Massachusetts. He served as Secretary of the Treasury under U.S.
2016 – Buddy Cianci, American lawyer and politician, 32nd Mayor of Providence (b. 1941)
2016 – Franklin Gene Bissell, American football player and coach (b. 1926)
2016 – Paul Kantner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1941)
2016 – Signe Toly Anderson, American singer (b. 1941)
2014 – Dwight Gustafson, American composer and conductor (b. 1930)
2014 – Harry Gamble, American football player, coach, and manager (b. 1930)
2014 – John Cacavas, American composer and conductor (b. 1930)
2013 – Hattie N. Harrison, American educator and politician (b. 1928)
2009 – Billy Powell, American keyboard player and songwriter (b. 1952)
2007 – Robert Drinan, American priest, lawyer, and politician (b. 1920)
2004 – Lloyd M. Bucher, American captain (b. 1927)
1996 – Burne Hogarth, American cartoonist and author (b. 1911)
1996 – Jerry Siegel, American author and illustrator, co-created Superman (b. 1914)
1996 – Joseph Brodsky, Russian-American poet and essayist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1940)
1986 – crew of Space Shuttle Challenger - Christa McAuliffe, American educator and astronaut (b. 1948)
1986 – crew of Space Shuttle Challenger - Dick Scobee, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1939)
1986 – crew of Space Shuttle Challenger - Ellison Onizuka, American engineer and astronaut (b. 1946)
1986 – crew of Space Shuttle Challenger - Gregory Jarvis, American captain, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1944)
1986 – crew of Space Shuttle Challenger - Judith Resnik, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1949)
1986 – crew of Space Shuttle Challenger - Ronald McNair, American physicist and astronaut (b. 1950)
1978 – Ward Moore, American author (b. 1903)
1960 – Zora Neale Hurston, American novelist, short story writer, and folklorist (b. 1891)
1959 – Walter Beall, American baseball player (b. 1899)
1942 – Edward Siegler, American gymnast and triathlete (b. 1881)
1613 – Thomas Bodley, English diplomat and scholar, founded the Bodleian Library (b. 1545)