2003 On the 12th anniversary of the Gulf War, a defiant Saddam Hussein called on his people to rise up and defend the nation against a new U.S.-led attack.
1979 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi flees Iran. Iran completely in hands of the forces of the Islamic Republic.
1718 Avalanche destroys every building in Leukerbad, Switzerland; kills 53
1994, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 72 people.
1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe, Japan.
1998 President Bill Clinton gave a deposition in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against him; during the nearly six hours of sworn testimony, Clinton denied having had a sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
1998 President Clinton faces sexual harassment charges from Paula Jones.
1946 United Nations Security Council holds its 1st meeting.
1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate. Kingdom of Hawaii becomes a republic.
1997 NBA suspends Dennis Rodman indefinitely/$25,000 for kicking cameraman
1917, the United States paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.
1861 Flush toilet (with separate water tank and a pull chain) patented by Mr Thomas Crapper.
1905 Punchboards patented by Charles Brewer & C G Scannell, Chicago IL
1945 Auschwitz concentration camp begins evacuation
1945, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, arrested in Hungary and disappeared while in Soviet custody.
1929 Popeye makes 1st appearance, in comic strip “Thimble Theatre”.
1966 Martin Luther King Jr opens campaign in Chicago.
1969 Debut album of Led Zeppelin released in US.
1955 Submarine USS Nautilus begins 1st nuclear-powered test voyage
1961, in his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the rise of “the military-industrial complex.”
1775 9 old women burnt as witches for causing bad harvests, Kalisk, Poland
1966, a U.S. Air Force B-52 carrying four unarmed hydrogen bombs crashed on the Spanish coast. (Three of the bombs were quickly recovered, but the fourth wasn’t recovered until April.)
1977, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first U.S. execution in a decade.
1997, a court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country’s history.
1954 Jacques Cousteau’s 1st network telecast airs on “Omnibus” (CBS)
2003 Tom Ridge sailed through Senate confirmation hearings on his way to becoming the nation’s first Homeland Security Department chief.
Actress Betty White is 86. Singer-actress Eartha Kitt is 81. Actor James Earl Jones is 77. Talk show host Maury Povich is 69. Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer William Hart (The Delfonics) is 63. Rock musician Mick Taylor is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sheila Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 55. Singer Steve Earle is 53. Singer Paul Young is 52. Actor-comedian Steve Harvey is 51. Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) is 49. Actor-comedian Jim Carrey is 46. Actor Joshua Malina is 42. Singer Shabba Ranks is 42. Actor Naveen Andrews is 39. Rapper Kid Rock is 37. Actor Freddy Rodriguez is 33. Actress Zooey Deschanel is 28. Singer Ray J is 27. Country singer Amanda Wilkinson is 26.
1893 Rutherford B Hayes 19th US President (1877-81), dies in Fremont OH at 70.
1998 Emil Sitka actor (3 Stooges shorts), dies of stroke at 82.
2003 Actor Richard Crenna died in Los Angeles at age 76.
2003 Gertrude Janeway, the last known widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War, died in Blaine, Tenn., at age 93 (she had married John Janeway in 1927 when he was 81 and she was barely 18).
2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning satirist Art Buchwald died in Washington, D.C., at age 81.
January 17, the 17th day of 2008. There are 349 days left in the year.