1639 – Virginia is 1st colony to order surplus crops (tobacco) destroyed.
1838 – Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrate their telegraph machine in New Jersey.
1853 – Franklin Pierce, the President-elect of the United States at the time, and his family are involved in a train wreck in Massachusetts.
1893 – The Washington National Cathedral is chartered by Congress. The charter is signed by President Benjamin Harrison.
1912 – New Mexico becomes 47th state of the Union.
1914 – Stock brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch founded.
1930 – 1st diesel engine automobile trip (in a Packard sedan) completed.
1931 – Thomas Edison submits his last patent application.
1941 – US President Franklin Roosevelt makes his “Four Freedoms” speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during his US State of Union address.
1942 – Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world (“Pacific Clipper”)
1957 – Elvis Presley makes his 7th & final appearance on Ed Sullivan Show.
1963 – “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” with Marlin Perkins begins on NBC.
1963 – “Oliver!” opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 774 performances.
1974 – In response to the 1973 energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly four months early in the United States.
1975 – “Wheel of Fortune” debuts on NBC-TV.
1987 – 100th US Congress convenes.
1990 – NY Lotto pays $35 million to one winner.
1995 – Atlanta Hawks’ coach Lenny Wilkens passes the legendary Red Auerbach to become the NBA’s all-time winningest coach, with 939 career victories; Hawks beat Washington, 112-90 at the Omni.
2015 – Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
2916 – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” breaks North American box office records, passing the $760.5m taken by “Avatar”