41: Claudius succeeds his nephew Caligula as Emperor of Rome.
1644: Parliamentary army wins battle of Nantwich in the English Civil War.
1679: Charles II disbands parliament.
1839: Charles Darwin is elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
1874: Mussorgsky’s opera “Boris Godunov” premieres in St Petersburg.
1908: Robert Baden-Powell publishes “Scouting for Boys” as a manual for self-instruction in outdoor skills and self-improvement.
1927: Alfred Hitchcock releases his first film as director – The Pleasure Garden.
1935: The first canned beer, “Krueger’s Cream Ale”, is sold in the US.
1936: Albert Sarraut becomes Prime Minister of France.
1941: British troops march into Abyssinia.
1943: Adolf Hitler orders German troops at Stalingrad to fight to the death. On the same day, Jewish patients, nurses and doctors are incinerated at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
1960: Algerian uprising against French president De Gaulle.
1962: Brian Epstein signs a management contract with The Beatles.
1965: Death of Winston Churchill aged 90.
1969: Deputy Prime Minister Brian Faulkner resigns from the Northern Ireland cabinet in protest at the lack of ‘strong government’ on the part of PM Terence O’Neill.
1986: Voyager 2 makes its first fly-by of Uranus. Discovers new moons. On the same day, Leon Brittan, Trade and Industry Secretary under Margaret Thatcher is the second cabinet minister to resign after ‘Westland affair’.
1989: Serial killer Ted Bundy is executed by electric chair.
2001: Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson resigns.
2003: The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operations.
2005: Country singer Lynn Anderson was arrested for shoplifting after being caught stealing a Harry Potter DVD from a New Mexico supermarket and punching a police officer during her arrest.
2006: Death of actor Chris Penn aged 40.
2018: Former US Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar is found guilty of molesting over 150 girls, sentenced up to 175 years in prison. On the same day, Mark E Smith of the band The Fall dies aged 60.
2019: The search for missing Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala is called off after rescuers fail to find aircraft that disappeared from radar over the English Channel 3 days earlier. It is eventually found on February 3.
BIRTHDAYS: Bamber Gascoigne, academic/TV presenter, 85; Neil Diamond, singer/songwriter, 79; Aaron Neville, singer, 79; Adrian Edmondson, actor/comedian 63; Jools Holland, musician/TV presenter, 62; Vic Reeves (Jim Moir), actor/comedian 61; Nastassia Kinski, actress, 59; Mary Lou Retton, former Olympic gymnast, 52; Matthew Lillard, actor, 50; Beth Hart, singer/songwriter, 48; Ed Helms, actor, 46; Mischa Barton, actress, 34; Luis Suarez, footballer, 33.