1606 - The trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators began. They were executed on January 31.
1880 - Thomas Edison patented the electric incandescent lamp.
1888 - The National Geographic Society was founded.
1900 - In China, foreign diplomats in Peking, fearing a revolt, demanded that the imperial government discipline the Boxer rebels.
1926 - John Baird, a Scottish inventor, demonstrated a pictorial transmission machine called television.
1943 - During World War II, the first all American air raid against Germany took place when about 50 bombers attacked Wilhlemshaven.
1944 - The Soviet Union announced that the two year German siege of Leningrad had come to an end.
1945 - Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
1951 - In the U.S., atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1967 - At Cape Kennedy, Florida, astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo I spacecraft.
1967 - More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty which banned the orbiting of nuclear weapons and placing weapons on celestial bodies or space stations.
1973 - The Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
1977 - The Vatican reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's ban on female priests.
1997 - It was revealed that French national museums were holding nearly 2,000 works of art stolen from Jews by the Nazis during World War II.