On Jan. 30, 1649, England’s King Charles I was executed for high treason.
In 1911, James White, an intellectually disabled Black young man who’d been convicted of rape for having sex with a 14-year-old white girl when he was 16, was publicly hanged in Bell County, Kentucky.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.
In 1945, during World War II, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the German ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea with the loss of more than 9,000 lives, most of them war refugees; roughly 1,000 people survived.
In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse (neh-too-RAHM’ gahd-SAY’), a Hindu extremist. (Godse and a co-conspirator were later executed.)
In 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese towns and cities; although the Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major setback for the U.S. and its allies.
In 1969, The Beatles staged an impromptu concert atop Apple headquarters in London; it was the group’s last public performance.
In 1972, 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
In 1981, an estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker tape parade honoring the American hostages freed from Iran.
In 1993, Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city’s first modern subway.
In 2005, Iraqis voted in their country’s first free election in a half-century; President George W. Bush called the balloting a resounding success.
In 2006, Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, at age 78.
In 2020, health officials reported the first known case in which the new coronavirus was spread from one person to another in the United States. The World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak, which had reached more than a dozen countries, to be a global emergency. Russia ordered the closure of its 2,600-mile-long land border with China in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. President Donald Trump described the handful of U.S. cases of the virus as a “very little problem” and said those people were “recuperating successfully.” The State Department advised U.S. citizens against traveling to China.