January 16, 2014 / 15 Shevat 5774 / Tu B'Shvat
NEW SECTION: "Open to Debate" - see below
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- 38 BC – Octavian divorces his wife Scribonia and marries Livia Drusilla, ending the fragile peace between the Second Triumvirate andSextus Pompey.
- 395 – Emperor Theodosius I dies in Milan, the Roman Empire is re-divided into an eastern and a western half. The Eastern Roman Empire is centered in Constantinople under Arcadius, son of Theodosius, and the Western Roman Empire in Mediolanum underHonorius, his brother (aged 10).
- 1562 – France recognizes the Huguenots by the Edict of Saint-Germain.
- 1648 – England's Long Parliament passes the "Vote of No Addresses", breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.
- 1773 – Captain James Cook and his crew become the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.
- 1811 – Mexican War of Independence: In the Battle of Calderón Bridge, a heavily outnumbered Spanish force of 6,000 troops defeats nearly 100,000 Mexican revolutionaries.
- 1852 – The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.
- 1885 – A British force defeats a large Dervish army at the Battle of Abu Klea in the Sudan.
- 1893 – The Citizen's Committee of Public Safety, led by Lorrin A. Thurston, overthrows the government of Queen Liliuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii
- 1904 – Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.
- 1912 – Captain Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.
- 1929 – Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.
- 1941 – Franco-Thai War: French forces inflict a decisive defeat over the Royal Thai Navy.
- 1944 – World War II: Allied forces launch the first of four assaults on Monte Cassino with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome, an effort that would ultimately take four months and cost 105,000 Allied casualties.
- 1945 – World War II: Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw.
- 1945 – The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in.
- 1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is taken into Soviet custody while in Hungary; he is never publicly seen again.
- 1966 – Palomares incident: A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea.
- 1969 – Black Panther Party members Bunchy Carter and John Huggins are killed during a meeting in Campbell Hall on the campus of UCLA.
- 1982 – "Cold Sunday": in numerous cities in the United States temperatures fall to their lowest levels in over 100 years.
- 1983 – The tallest department store in the world, Hudson's flagship store in downtown Detroit, closes due to high cost of operating.
- 1989 – Cleveland School massacre: Patrick Purdy opens fire with an assault rifle at the Cleveland Elementary School playground in Stockton, California, killing five children and wounding 29 others and one teacher before taking his own life.
- 1991 – Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation.
- 1992 – During a visit to South Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa apologizes for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during World War II.
- 1998 – Lewinsky scandal: Matt Drudge breaks the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report.
- 1463 – Frederick III, Elector of Saxony (d. 1525)
- 1574 – Robert Fludd, English physician, astrologer, and mathematician (d. 1637)
- 1666 – Antonio Maria Valsalva, Italian anatomist (d. 1723)
- 1706 – Benjamin Franklin, American politician, scientist, and publisher, 6th President of Pennsylvania (d. 1790)
- 1820 – Anne Brontë, English author and poet (d. 1849)
- 1863 – David Lloyd George, English lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1945)
- 1899 – Al Capone, American gangster (d. 1947)
- 1922 – Betty White, American actress and singer
- 1927 – Eartha Kitt, American actress and singer (d. 2008)
- 1928 – Vidal Sassoon, English-American hairdresser and entrepreneur (d. 2012)
- 1931 – James Earl Jones, American actor
- 1942 – Ita Buttrose, Australian journalist
- 1949 – Andy Kaufman, American comedian and actor (d. 1984)
- 1997 – Jack Vidgen, Australian singer-songwriter
- 395 – Theodosius I, Roman emperor (b. 347)
- 1654 – Paulus Potter, Dutch painter (b. 1625)
- 1996 – Amber Hagerman, American kidnapped victim, inspired the AMBER Alert system (b. 1986)