January 17th

Chess master Bobby Fischer died at age 64.
Bobby Fischer
Faced with an electricity crisis, California used rolling blackouts to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people.
California electricity crisis
President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to testify as a defendant in a criminal or civil suit when he answered questions from lawyers for Paula Jones, who had accused Clinton of sexual harassment.
Clinton v. Jones
A court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country's history.
Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland
The Great Hanshin earthquake hits Kobe, Japan. 6,434 people lost their lives during the quake, according to estimates.
Great Hanshin earthquake
A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 61 people and causing $20 billion worth of damage.
History of the United States (1991–2008)
The Gulf War in Iraq begins. “Operation Desert Storm”, launched in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, resulted in about 100,000 civilian deaths.
Gulf War
Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.
Gary Gilmore
Patrice Lumumba is murdered with support from western governments. An independent commission concluded that Lumumba, the first democratically elected leader of the Congo, died at the hands of his domestic adversaries with the assistance of the Belgian government and the CIA.
Patrice Lumumba
The UN Security Council holds its first session. The UNSC is the most powerful organ of the United Nations and it is charged with upholding international peace and security.
United Nations Security Council
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, was taken into Soviet custody in Budapest, Hungary. (His fate has never been determined.).
Raoul Wallenberg
Kuomintang forces under orders from Chiang Kai-shek open fire at communist forces, resuming the Chinese Civil War after World War II.
Second Sino-Japanese War
Captain Robert Scott's expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.
Robert Falcon Scott
Gangster Al Capone was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Al Capone
Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70.
Rutherford B. Hayes
A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War.
Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha, gave birth to James Madison Randolph, the first child born in the White House.
Martha Jefferson Randolph
Captain James Cook becomes 1st to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33' S).
History of Antarctica
Statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston.
Benjamin Franklin
French Protestants were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.
Edict of Saint-Germain