January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 360 days remaining until the end of the year (361 in leap years).
- 1463 - Poet François Villon is banned from Paris.
- 1477 - Battle of Nancy , Charles the Bold killed, Burgundy becomes part of France.
- 1500 - Duke Ludovico Sforza conquers Milan.
- 1527 - Martyrdom of Felix Manz, a Swiss Anabaptist.
- 1554 - Great fire in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
- 1675 - Battle of Colmar , French army beats Brandenburg.
- 1757 - Louis XV of France survives the assassination attempt by Robert–François Damiens, the last person to be executed in France with the traditional and gruesome form of death penalty used for regicides.
- 1759 - George Washington marries Martha Dandridge Custis.
- 1781 - American Revolutionary War: Richmond, Virginia is burned by British naval forces led by Benedict Arnold.
- 1846 - The United States House of Representatives votes to stop sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom.
- 1854 - The San Francisco steamer sinks, 300 dead.
- 1895 - Dreyfus Affair: French officer Alfred Dreyfus is stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island.
- 1896 - An Austrian newspaper reports that Wilhelm Roentgen discovered a type of radiation later known as X-rays.
- 1900 - Irish leader John Edward Redmond calls for a revolt against British rule.
- 1909 - Colombia recognizes the independence of Panama.
- 1914 - Ford Motor Company announces an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5 for a day's labor.
- 1925 - Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first female governor in the United States.
- 1933 - Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge begins in San Francisco Bay.
- 1940 - FM radio is demonstrated to the FCC for the first time.
- 1944 - The Daily Mail becomes the first transoceanic newspaper.
- 1945 - The Soviet Union recognizes the new pro-Soviet government of Poland.
- 1948 - Warner Brothers shows the first color newsreel (Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl).
- 1956 - Elvis Presley records "Heartbreak Hotel."
- 1957 - Major league baseballer Jackie Robinson retires.
- 1961 - Television: Mr. Ed debuts.
- 1964 - Pope Paul VI meets the Greek patriarch Athenagoras I in Jerusalem, the first meeting of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity leaders since 1439.
- 1968 - Alexander Dubček comes to power, "Prague Spring" begins in Czechoslovakia.
- 1970 - Soap opera: All My Children premieres.
- 1972 - President of the United States Richard Nixon orders the development of a space shuttle program.
- 1973 - Netherlands recognizes East Germany.
- 1974 - An earthquake in Lima, Peru kills six, and damages 100s of houses.
- 1975 - The Tasman Bridge in Tasmania, Australia, is struck by the bulk ore carrier Lake Illawarra, killing twelve people.
- 1976 - Cambodia is renamed Democratic Campuchea.
- 1980 - Hewlett-Packard announces release of its first personal computer.
- 1984 - Richard Stallman starts developing GNU.
- 1987 - President of the United States Ronald Reagan undergoes prostate surgery causing worries about his health.
- 1993 - The oil tanker MV Braer runs aground on the coast of the Shetland Islands spilling 84,700 tonnes of oil.
- 1993 - Washington state executes Westley Allan Dodd by hanging (the first legal hanging in America since 1965).
- 1996 - Hamas operative Yahya Ayyash is killed by an Israeli-planted booby-trapped cell phone.
- 1997 - Withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya.
- 2000 - The 1st day of the 2000 Al Qaeda Summit.
- 2002 - Charles Bishop, a 15-year-old student pilot, crashes a light aircraft into a Tampa, Florida building, evoking fear of a copycat 9/11 terrorist attack.
- 1717 - William Wildman Shute Barrington, British statesman (d. 1793)
- 1779 - Stephen Decatur, American naval officer (d. 1820)
- 1779 - Zebulon Pike, American explorer (d. 1813)
- 1811 - Cyrus Hamlin , educator, inventor, architect, Christian missionary
- 1855 - King Camp Gillette, American inventor (d. 1932)
- 1865 - Julio Garavito Armero, Colombian astronomer (d. 1920)
- 1876 - Konrad Adenauer, German chancellor 1949-1963 (d. 1967)
- 1880 - Nikolay Medtner, Russian composer (d. 1951)
- 1893 - Paramahansa Yogananda, Indian guru (d. 1952)
- 1900 - Yves Tanguy, French surrealist painter (d. 1955)
- 1902 - Stella Gibbons, English novelist (d. 1989)
- 1904 - Jeane Dixon, American astrologer (d. 1997)
- 1909 - Stephen Kleene, American mathematician (d. 1994)
- 1910 - Jack Lovelock, New Zealand athlete (d. 1949)
- 1910 - Hugh Brannum (Mister Greenjeans), actor (d. 1987)
- 1913 - Jean-Pierre Aumont, French actor (d. 2001)
- 1914 - George Reeves, American actor (d. 1959)
- 1915 - Arthur H. Robinson, Canadian-born American cartographer (d. 2004)
- 1920 - Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Italian pianist (d. 1995)
- 1921 - Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Swiss writer (d. 1990)
- 1923 - Sam Phillips, American country music producer (d. 2003)
- 1926 - Reverend Hosea Williams, American religious leader, civil rights activist (d. 2000)
- 1928 - Walter Mondale, U.S. Senator, Democratic presidential nominee in 1984
- 1928 - Ali Bhutto, President and Prime Minister of Pakistan (d. 1979)
- 1931 - Alvin Ailey, American choreographer (d. 1989)
- 1931 - Alfred Brendel, Austrian pianist
- 1931 - Robert Duvall, American actor and director
- 1932 - Umberto Eco, Italian philologist and writer
- 1932 - Raisa Gorbachev, wife of Mikhail Gorbachev (d. 1999)
- 1932 - Chuck Noll, American football coach
- 1938 - King Juan Carlos of Spain
- 1938 - Jim Otto, American football player
- 1940 - Michael O'Donoghue, writer (d. 1994)
- 1941 - Miyazaki Hayao, Japanese animated film maker
- 1941 - Grady Thomas , singer (P-Funk)
- 1942 - Maurizio Pollini, Italian pianist
- 1942 - Charlie Rose, American talk show host
- 1946 - Diane Keaton, American actress
- 1948 - Ted Lange, American actor
- 1953 - George Tenet, former director of the CIA
- 1953 - Pamela Sue Martin, American actress
- 1954 - Alex English, basketball player
- 1961 - Suzy Amis , actress
- 1962 - Joe Monzo, American microtonal composer and tuning-theorist
- 1968 - Ricky Paull Goldin, soap opera actor
- 1969 - Marilyn Manson, American singer
- 1975 - Bradley Cooper, American actor
- 1982 - Janica Kostelic, Croatian alpine skier
- 1985 - Michael Cuccione, Canadian actor, singer (d. 2001)
- 842 - Al-Mu'tasim, Abbasid caliph (b. 794)
- 1066 - Edward the Confessor, King of England (or January 4).
- 1387 - Pedro IV of Aragon (b. 1320)
- 1465 - Charles, Duke of Orléans, French poet (b. 1394)
- 1477 - Charles, Duke of Burgundy, known as "the Bold" (b. 1433)
- 1589 - Catherine de Medici, Queen of France (b. 1519)
- 1655 - Pope Innocent X (b. 1574)
- 1740 - Antonio Lotti, Italian composer (b. 1667)
- 1858 - Johann Radetzky , Austrian field marshal (b. 1769)
- 1891 - Emma Abbott, American opera singer (b. 1849)
- 1922 - Ernest Shackleton, Irish explorer (b. 1874)
- 1929 - Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov, Grand Duke of Russia (b. 1856)
- 1933 - Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States (b. 1872)
- 1941 - Amy Johnson, English aviator (1903)
- 1943 - George Washington Carver, American educator, activist, botanist (b. 1860)
- 1956 - Mistinguett, French singer (b. 1875)
- 1963 - Rogers Hornsby, American Baseball Hall of Famer (b. 1896)
- 1970 - Max Born, German physicist and recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics 1954 (b. 1882)
- 1970 - Roberto Gerhard, composer (b. 1896)
- 1970 - Jock Yablonski , president of the United Mine Workers
- 1971 - Douglas Shearer, Canadian pioneer motion-picture sound engineer (b. 1899)
- 1979 - Charles Mingus, American musician (b. 1922)
- 1981 - Lanza del Vasto, Italian philosopher, poet, and non-violent activist (b. 1901)
- 1982 - Harvey Lembeck , American actor
- 1982 - Hans Conried, American actor
- 1988 - Pete Maravich, American Basketball Hall of Famer (b. 1947)
- 1990 - Arthur Kennedy, American actor
- 1991 - Vasko Popa, Yugoslav poet
- 1994 - Thomas P. 'Tip' O'Neill, Speaker of the House (b. 1912)
- 1996 - Yahya Ayyash, Palestinian terrorist (b. 1966)
- 1998 - Sonny Bono, American singer, actor, United States Representative (skiing accident) (b. 1935)
- 2001 - Nancy Parsons , American actress
- 2002 - Igor Cassini , gossip columnist ("Cholly Knickerbocker")
- 2003 - Roy Jenkins, British politician (b. 1920)
- 2003 - Jean Kerr, author
- 2004 - Tug McGraw, American baseball pitcher (b. 1944)
- 2005 - Danny Sugerman, manager for The Doors (b. 1954)
Holidays and observances
January 4 - January 6 - December 5 - February 5 -- listing of all days
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