1776 – Members of the Continental Congress began adding their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.
1791 – Samuel Briggs and his son Samuel Briggs, Jr. received a joint patent for their nail-making machine. They were the first father-son pair to receive a patent.
1824 – In New York City, Fifth Avenue was opened.
1858 – In Boston and New York City the first mailboxes were installed along streets.
1861 – The United States Congress passed the first income tax. The revenues were intended for the war effort against the South. The tax was never enacted.
1887 – Rowell Hodge patented barbed wire.
1892 – Charles A. Wheeler patented the first escalator.
1921 – Eight White Sox players were acquitted of throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. (Image: movies-cine-film.com)
1938 – Bright yellow baseballs were used in a major league baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. It was hoped that the balls would be easier to see.
1943 – In the Solomon Islands, the U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat PT-109 sank after being hit by a Japanese destroyer. The boat was under the command of Lt. John F. Kennedy. Eleven of the thirteen crew survived.
1961 – The Beatles began their engagement as regular headliners at Liverpool’s Cavern Club. They performed about 300 shows over the next two years.
1962 – Robert Zimmerman legally changed his name to Bob Dylan.
1983 – U.S. House of Representatives approved a law that designated the third Monday of January would be a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The law was signed by President Reagan on November 2nd.
1987 – “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was re-released. The film was 50 years old at the time of its re-release.
1995 – Peggy Lee gave her final major public performance. George Shearing and Mel Torme also performed at the show at the Hollywood Bowl.