On Jan. 9, 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew from Philadelphia to Woodbury, New Jersey.
In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, retreated because of artillery fire.
In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, California.
In 1914, the County of Los Angeles opened the country’s first public defender’s office.
In 1916, the World War I Battle of Gallipoli ended after eight months with an Ottoman Empire victory as Allied forces withdrew.
In 1945, during World War II, American forces began landing on the shores of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines as the Battle of Luzon got underway, resulting in an Allied victory over Imperial Japanese forces.
In 1951, the United Nations headquarters in New York officially opened.
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his State of the Union address to Congress, warned of the threat of Communist imperialism.
In 1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported autobiography of him, as told to writer Clifford Irving, was a fake.
In 1987, the White House released a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
In 2003, U.N. weapons inspectors said there was no “smoking gun” to prove Iraq had nuclear, chemical or biological weapons but they demanded that Baghdad provide private access to scientists and fresh evidence to back its claim that it had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.
In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas, the No. 2 man in the Palestinian hierarchy during Yasser Arafat’s rule, was elected president of the Palestinian Authority by a landslide.
In 2015, French security forces shot and killed two al-Qaida-linked brothers suspected of carrying out the rampage at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that had claimed 12 lives.
In 2020, Chinese state media said a preliminary investigation into recent cases of viral pneumonia had identified the probable cause as a new type of coronavirus.
In 2023, No. 1 George beat No. 3 TCU 65-7 to win the BCS national title. TV ratings for this championship game were the worst in television history.