1287 - St. Lucia's flood: The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses, killing over 50,000 people.
1542 - Princess Mary Stuart becomes Queen Mary I of Scotland.
1702 (according to the old calendar; January 30, 1703 by the new calendar) - The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master.
1751 - The Theresian Military Academy is founded as the first Military Academy in the world.
1782 - The Montgolfier brothers first balloon lifts on its first test flight.
1819 - Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. state.
1825 - Advocates of Liberalism in Russia rise up against Tsar Nicholas I and are put down in the Decembrist Revolt in St. Petersburg.
1836 - The Toledo War unofficially ends.
1896 - The Glasgow Underground Railway is opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company.
1900 - Quantum Mechanics: Max Planck presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.
1902 - The Commercial Pacific Cable Company lays the first Pacific telegraph cable, from Ocean Beach, San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii.
1903 - The Wright Brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1907 - The schooner Thomas W. Lawson runs aground and founders near the Hellweather's Reef within the Scilly Isles in a gale. The pilot and 15 seamen die.
1911 - Roald Amundsen's team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first to reach the South Pole.
1914 - Lisandro de la Torre and others found the Democratic Progressist Party (Partido Demócrata Progresista, PDP) at the Hotel Savoy, Buenos Aires.
1918 - Friedrich Karl von Hessen, a German prince elected by the Parliament of Finland to become King Väinö I, renounces the Finnish throne.
1939 - Winter War: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for illegally invading Finland.
1941 - World War II: Japan signs treaty of alliance with Thailand.
1946 - The UN General Assembly votes to establish its headquarters in New York City.
1947 - The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is founded in Daytona Beach, Florida.
1955 - Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Portugal, Romania and Spain join the United Nations.
1958 - The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition becomes the first expedition to reach The Pole of Relative Inaccessibility in the Antarctic.
1962 - NASA's Mariner 2 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.
1964 - American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States – The United States Supreme Court rules that the U.S. Congress can use its Commerce Clause power to fight discrimination.
1972 - Apollo program: Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of Apollo 17. This was the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th century.
1981 - Arab-Israeli conflict: Israel's Knesset passes The Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the area of the Golan Heights.
1995 - Yugoslav Wars: The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by leaders of various governments.
2003 - President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.
2003 - President George W. Bush announces the capture of Saddam Hussein.
2004 - The Millau viaduct, the highest bridge in the world, near Millau, France is officially opened.
2004 - Cuba and Venezuela founded the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.
2008 - President George W. Bush made his fourth and final (planned) trip to Iraq as president and almost got struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a farewell conference in Baghdad.