World Read Aloud Day (is a day devoted to the power of literacy and the transformational joy that comes from sharing stories aloud within a family, a classroom, and a community. Founded by the nonprofit LitWorld and sponsored by Scholastic)
In 2016 scientists in the United Kingdom are given the go-ahead by regulators to genetically modify human embryos by using CRISPR-Cas9 and related techniques. Although the CRISPR sequences were initially discovered in E. coli in 1987 (Yoshizumi Ishino), the concept that these clustered repeat sequences operated as a safeguard against bacteriophages did not come to light until 2007.
2009 – The first cabinet of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was formed in Iceland, making her the country's first female prime minister and the world's first openly gay head of government.
2002 – Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, kidnapped January 23, 2002, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors.
1998 – Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral.
1964 – The Beatles have their first number one hit in the United States with "I Want to Hold Your Hand".
1960 – Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1946 – Trygve Lie of Norway is picked to be the first United Nations Secretary-General.
1942 – Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States government, begins broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.
1942 – World War II: U.S. Navy conducts Marshalls–Gilberts raids, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater.
1893 – Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey.
1884 – The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1861 – American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States.
1411 – The First Peace of Thorn is signed in Thorn (Toruń), Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights (Prussia).
1991 – Kyle Palmieri, American hockey player. Kyle Charles Palmieri (born February 1, 1991) is an American professional ice hockey right winger, an alternate captain for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League (NHL).
1988 – Brett Anderson, American baseball player. Brett Lewis Anderson (29 September 1967) is an English singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of the band Suede.
1987 – Austin Jackson, American baseball player. Austin Jarriel Jackson (born February 1, 1987) is an American professional baseball center fielder who is a free agent.
1987 – Ronda Rousey, American mixed martial artist and actress. Her longstanding nickname, "Rowdy", was inherited from late professional wrestler Roddy Piper.
1986 – Lauren Conrad, American fashion designer and author. In September 2004, an 18-year-old Conrad came to prominence after being cast in the reality television series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, which documented her and her friends' lives in their hometown of Laguna Beach, California.
1983 – Andrew VanWyngarden, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the lead vocalist, guitar player and songwriter for the band MGMT, praised for (according to Interview Magazine) "an uncanny knack for producing pop music that sounds as if it were filtered through a kaleidoscope." One of his (and MGMT cofounder Benjamin Goldwasser's) songs "Kids" (from the Oracular Spectacular album) received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, while the duo was nominated in the Best New Artist category.
1979 – Jason Isbell, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Isbell has won four Grammy Awards.
1977 – Lari Ketner, American football player (d. 2014), was an American professional basketball player. A 6-foot-9-inch (2.06 m), 277-pound (126 kg) forward/center, Ketner played college basketball at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 49th overall pick (second round) of the 1999 NBA draft.
1977 – Robert Traylor, American basketball player (d. 2011), was an American professional basketball player.
1976 – Phil Ivey, American poker player. Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr. (born February 1, 1977) is an American professional poker player who has won ten World Series of Poker bracelets, one World Poker Tour title, and appeared at nine World Poker Tour final tables.
1975 – Big Boi, American rapper and producer. Antwan André Patton (born February 1, 1975), better known by his stage name Big Boi, is an American rapper, songwriter, actor and record producer, best known for being a member of American hip hop duo Outkast alongside André 3000.
1974 – Walter McCarty, American basketball player and coach. McCarty played for the NBA's New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and the Los Angeles Clippers.
1973 – Andrew DeClercq, American basketball player and coach. DeClercq played college basketball for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Orlando Magic of the NBA.
1971 – Michael C. Hall, American actor and producer. In 2010, Hall won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in Dexter.
1970 – Malik Sealy, American basketball player and actor (d. 2000), was an American professional basketball player, active from 1992 until his death in an automobile accident at the age of 30. Sealy played eight seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves.
1969 – Andrew Breitbart, American journalist, author, and publisher (d. 2012), was an American conservative publisher, writer and commentator.
1969 – Brian Krause, American actor and screenwriter. He is known for his role as Leo Wyatt on The WB television series Charmed (1998–2006) and for portraying the lead role of Charles Brady in the 1992 horror film Sleepwalkers.
1968 – Lisa Marie Presley, American singer-songwriter and actress. Presley has developed a career in the music business and has issued three albums.
1968 – Pauly Shore, American comedian, actor, director, and producer. Paul Montgomery Shore (born February 1, 1968) is an American actor, comedian and filmmaker best known for his roles in several comedy films in the 1990s.
1967 – Meg Cabot, American author and screenwriter. Meggin Patricia Cabot (born February 1, 1967) is an American author of romantic and paranormal fiction for teenagers and adults.
1966 – Michelle Akers, American soccer player. Michelle Anne Akers (born February 1, 1966) is an American former soccer player who starred in the 1991 and 1999 Women's World Cup and 1996 Olympics victories by the United States.
1965 – Brandon Lee, American actor and martial artist (d. 1993). He was the first child of martial artist and film star Bruce Lee.
1965 – Sherilyn Fenn, American actress. She is also known for her roles in Wild at Heart (1990), Of Mice and Men (1992), Boxing Helena (1993) and the television sitcom Rude Awakening (1998–2001).
1964 – Jani Lane, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2011), was an American recording artist and the lead vocalist, frontman, lyricist and main songwriter for the glam metal band Warrant. From Hollywood, California, the band experienced success from 1989–1996 with five albums reaching international sales of over 10 million.
1961 – Daniel M. Tani, American engineer and astronaut. Although born in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, he considers Lombard, Illinois, to be his hometown.
1957 – Gilbert Hernandez, American author and illustrator. Gilberto Hernández (born February 1, 1957), usually credited as Gilbert Hernandez and also by the nickname Beto (Spanish: ), is an American cartoonist.
1956 – Exene Cervenka, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Her surname is pronounced as "czer-vehn-kuh".
1954 – Chuck Dukowski, American singer-songwriter and bass player. Gary Arthur McDaniel (born February 1, 1954), better known by his stage name Chuck Dukowski, is an American punk rock musician and a founding member, bass player, and songwriter for Black Flag.
1951 – Sonny Landreth, American guitarist and songwriter. Clyde Vernon "Sonny" Landreth (born February 1, 1951) is an American blues musician from southwest Louisiana who is especially known as a slide guitar player.
1950 – Mike Campbell, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer. Michael Campbell (born 1969) is a New Zealand golfer.
1950 – Rich Williams, American guitarist and songwriter. Richard John "Rich" Williams (born February 1, 1950) is the guitarist for the American rock band Kansas, and has been with them since their 1974 self-titled debut album.
1948 – Rick James, American singer-songwriter and producer (d. 2004), was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, James began his musical career in his teen years.
1947 – Jessica Savitch, American journalist (d. 1983), was an American television news presenter and correspondent, best known for being the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and daily presenter of NBC News updates during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Savitch was one of the first women to anchor an evening network news broadcast alone, following in the footsteps of Marlene Sanders of ABC News and Catherine Mackin of NBC News.
1944 – Mike Enzi, American soldier, accountant, and politician, was first elected to in 1996. He is a member of the Republican Party.
1944 – Petru Popescu, Romanian-American director, producer, and author. Petru Popescu (born February 1, 1944 in Bucharest, Romania) is a Romanian-American writer, director and film producer, author of best-selling novels Almost Adam and Amazon Beaming.
1942 – Bibi Besch, Austrian-American actress (d. 1996), was an Austrian-American film, television, and stage actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Dr.
1941 – Jerry Spinelli, American author. Jerry Spinelli (born February 1, 1941) is an American writer of children's novels that feature adolescence and early adulthood.
1939 – Joe Sample, American pianist and composer (d. 2014), was an American pianist, keyboard player, and composer. He was one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders, the band which became simply the Crusaders in 1971, and remained a part of the group until its final album in 1991 (not including the 2003 reunion album Rural Renewal).
1939 – Paul Gillmor, American lawyer and politician (d. 2007). Paul Eugene Gillmor (February 1, 1939 – c.
1938 – Jacky Cupit, American golfer. Jacky Douglas Cupit (born February 1, 1938) is an American professional golfer who has played on both the PGA Tour and the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the Champions Tour).
1938 – Jimmy Carl Black, American drummer and singer (d. 2008), was a drummer and vocalist for The Mothers of Invention.
1938 – Sherman Hemsley, American actor and singer (d. 2012), was an American actor, best known for his roles as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons, Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series Amen, and B.P. Richfield on the ABC series Dinosaurs.
1937 – Don Everly, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo, known for steel-string acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing.
1937 – Garrett Morris, American actor and comedian. Morris also had a role as Junior "Uncle Junior" King on the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show, which aired from 1996 to 2001.
1936 – Azie Taylor Morton, American educator and politician, 36th Treasurer of the United States (d. 2003). Azie Taylor Morton (February 1, 1936 – December 7, 2003) served as Treasurer of the United States during the Carter administration from September 12, 1977 to January 20, 1981.
1928 – Tom Lantos, Hungarian-American academic and politician (d. 2008), was an American politician who served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from California, serving from 1981 until his death as the representative from a district that included the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and a portion of southwestern San Francisco. Lantos had announced in early January 2008 that he would not run for re-election because of cancer of the esophagus.
1927 – Galway Kinnell, American poet and academic (d. 2014). He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1982 collection, Selected Poems and split the National Book Award for Poetry with Charles Wright.
1924 – Richard Hooker, American novelist (d. 1997), was an English priest in the Church of England and an influential theologian. He was one of the most important English theologians of the sixteenth century.
1923 – Ben Weider, Canadian businessman, co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (d. 2008), was the co-founder of the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) along with brother Joe Weider. He was a Canadian businessman from Montreal, well known in two areas: Bodybuilding and Napoleonic history.
1920 – Mike Scarry, American football player and coach (d. 2012). He grew up in Pennsylvania and was a star on his high school basketball team.
1909 – George Beverly Shea, Canadian-American singer-songwriter (d. 2013), was a Canadian-born American gospel singer and hymn composer. Shea was often described as "America's beloved gospel singer" and was considered "the first international singing 'star' of the gospel world," as a consequence of his solos at Billy Graham Crusades and his exposure on radio, records and television.
1908 – George Pal, Hungarian-American animator and producer (d. 1980), was a Hungarian-American animator, film director and producer, principally associated with the fantasy and science-fiction genres. He became an American citizen after emigrating from Europe.
1905 – Emilio G. Segrè, Italian-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1989), was an Italian-American physicist and Nobel laureate, who discovered the elements technetium and astatine, and the antiproton, a subatomic antiparticle, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1959. From 1943 to 1946 he worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a group leader for the Manhattan Project.
1904 – S.J. Perelman, American humorist and screenwriter (d. 1979). He is best known for his humorous short pieces written over many years for The New Yorker.
1902 – Langston Hughes, American poet, social activist, novelist, and playwright (d. 1967), was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career.
1901 – Clark Gable, American actor (d. 1960), was an American film actor, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood". He had roles in more than 60 motion pictures in a wide variety of genres in a career that lasted 37 years, three decades of which was as a leading man.
1901 – Frank Buckles, American soldier (d. 2011), was a United States Army corporal and the last surviving American military veteran of World War I. He enlisted in the U.S.
1898 – Leila Denmark, American pediatrician and author (d. 2012), was an American pediatrician in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the world's oldest practicing pediatrician until her retirement in May 2001 at the age of 103, after 73 years.
1894 – James P. Johnson, American pianist and composer (d. 1955). A pioneer of the stride style of jazz piano, he was one of the most important pianists who bridged the ragtime and jazz eras, and, with Jelly Roll Morton, one of the two most important catalysts in the evolution of ragtime piano into jazz.
1894 – John Ford, American director and producer (d. 1973), was an American film director. He is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as the film The Grapes of Wrath (1940).
1887 – Charles Nordhoff, English-American lieutenant, pilot, and author (d. 1947), was an American novelist and traveler, born in England.
1884 – Bradbury Robinson, American football player and physician (d. 1949), was a pioneering American football player, physician, nutritionist, conservationist and local politician. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin in 1903 and at Saint Louis University from 1904 to 1907.
1878 – Alfréd Hajós, Hungarian swimmer and architect, designed the Grand Hotel Aranybika (d. 1955). He was the first modern Olympic swimming champion and the first Olympic champion of Hungary.
1872 – Jerome F. Donovan, American lawyer and politician (d. 1949), was a United States Representative from New York.
1859 – Victor Herbert, Irish-American cellist, composer, and conductor (d. 1924), was an American composer, cellist and conductor of Irish ancestry and German training. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I.
1851 – Durham Stevens, American lawyer and diplomat (d. 1908), was an American diplomat and later an employee of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working for the Japanese colonial office in Korea, the Resident-General. He was fatally shot by Korean American activists, Jang In-hwan and Jeon Myeong-un, one of the first acts of nationalist rebellion by pro-Korean activists in the United States.
1844 – G. Stanley Hall, American psychologist and academic (d. 1924), was a pioneering American psychologist and educator. His interests focused on childhood development and evolutionary theory.
1820 – George Hendric Houghton, American clergyman and theologian (d. 1897), was an American Protestant Episcopal clergyman.
1663 – Ignacia del Espíritu Santo, Filipino nun, founded the Religious of the Virgin Mary (d. 1748), was a Filipino Religious Sister of the Roman Catholic Church.
2015 – Monty Oum, American animator, director, and screenwriter (b. 1981)
2014 – Rene Ricard, American poet, painter, and critic (b. 1946)
2013 – Cecil Womack, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1947)
2013 – Ed Koch, American lawyer, judge, and politician, 105th Mayor of New York City (b. 1924)
2012 – Don Cornelius, American television host and producer (b. 1936)
2007 – Gian Carlo Menotti, Italian-American playwright and composer (b. 1911)
2005 – John Vernon, Canadian-American actor (b. 1932)
2003 – Mongo Santamaría, Cuban-American drummer and bandleader (b. 1922)
2003 – crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia - David M. Brown, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1956)
2003 – crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia - Kalpana Chawla, Indian-American engineer and astronaut (b. 1961)
2003 – crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia - Laurel Clark, American captain, surgeon, and astronaut (b. 1961)
2003 – crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia - Michael P. Anderson, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1959)
2003 – crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia - Rick Husband, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1957)
2003 – crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia - William C. McCool, American commander, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1961)
1999 – Paul Mellon, American art collector and philanthropist (b. 1907)
1997 – Herb Caen, American journalist and author (b. 1916)
1996 – Ray Crawford, American race car driver, pilot, and businessman (b. 1915)
1989 – Elaine de Kooning, American painter and academic (b. 1918)
1981 – Donald Wills Douglas, Sr., American engineer and businessman, founded the Douglas Aircraft Company (b. 1892)
1976 – George Whipple, American physician and pathologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1878)
1966 – Buster Keaton, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1895)
1966 – Hedda Hopper, American actress and journalist (b. 1885)
1959 – Madame Sul-Te-Wan, American actress (b. 1873)
1958 – Clinton Davisson, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1888)
1949 – Herbert Stothart, American conductor and composer (b. 1885)