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January 17, 2014 / 16 Shevat 5774 / Shabbat Shalom
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- 350 – Generallus Magnentius deposes Roman Emperor Constans and proclaims himself Emperor.
- 1591 – King Naresuan of Siam kills Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in single combat, for which this date is now observed as Royal Thai Armed Forces day.
- 1670 – Henry Morgan captures Panama.
- 1701 – Frederick I crowns himself King of Prussia in Königsberg.
- 1778 – James Cook is the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he names the "Sandwich Islands".
- 1788 – The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from England to Australia arrive at Botany Bay.
- 1866 – Wesley College, Melbourne is established.
- 1871 – Wilhelm I of Germany is proclaimed the first German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles (France) towards the end of the Franco-Prussian War. The empire is known as the Second Reich to Germans.
- 1884 – Dr. William Price attempts to cremate the body of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom.
- 1886 – Modern hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England.
- 1896 – An X-ray generating machine is exhibited for the first time by H.L. Smith.
- 1903 – President Theodore Roosevelt sends a radio message to King Edward VII: the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States
- 1911 – Eugene B. Ely lands on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania stationed in San Francisco Bay, the first time an aircraft landed on a ship.
- 1916 – A 611 gram chondrite type meteorite strikes a house near the village of Baxter in Stone County, Missouri.
- 1919 – World War I: The Paris Peace Conference opens in Versailles, France.
- 1919 – Bentley Motors Limited is founded.
- 1941 – World War II: British troops launch a general counter-offensive against Italian East Africa.
- 1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
- 1944 – The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz concert for the first time. The performers are Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton,Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.
- 1977 – Australia's worst rail disaster occurs at Granville, Sydney killing 83.
- 1978 – The European Court of Human Rights finds the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.
- 1981 – Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield parachute off a Houston skyscraper, becoming the first two people to BASE jump from objects in all four categories: buildings, antennae, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs).
- 1990 – Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
- 1993 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is officially observed for the first time in all 50 states.
- 885 – Emperor Daigo of Japan (d. 930)
- 1689 – Montesquieu, French philosopher (d. 1755)
- 1743 – Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, French philosopher (d. 1803)
- 1779 – Peter Mark Roget, English physician, theologian, and lexicographer (d. 1869)
- 1849 – Edmund Barton, Australian politician and judge, 1st Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1920)
- 1854 – Thomas A. Watson, American assistant to Alexander Graham Bell (d. 1934)
- 1882 – A. A. Milne, English author (d. 1956)
- 1892 – Oliver Hardy, American comedian and actor (d. 1957)
- 1904 – Cary Grant, English-American actor (d. 1986)
- 1908 – Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, German-Swedish princess (d. 1972)
- 1913 – Danny Kaye, American actor (d. 1987)
- 1933 – Ray Dolby, American engineer and businessman, founded Dolby Laboratories (d. 2013)
- 1944 – Paul Keating, Australian politician, 24th Prime Minister of Australia
- 1947 – Takeshi Kitano, Japanese actor and director
- 1954 – Tom Bailey English singer-songwriter (Thompson Twins, International Observer, and Bailey-Salgado Project)
- 1955 – Kevin Costner, American actor, singer, director, and producer
- 1999 – Karan Brar, American actor
- 52 BC – Publius Clodius Pulcher, Roman politician (b. 93 BC)
- 1936 – Rudyard Kipling, English author and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)
- 1978 – Walter H. Thompson, English bodyguard (b. 1890)
- 2010 – Kate McGarrigle, Canadian singer-songwriter and accordion player (Mountain City Four and Kate and Anna McGarrigle) (b. 1946)