- 1605 The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid.
- 1649 The English Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial for treason and other "high crimes"
- 1681 1st recorded boxing match (Duke of Albemarle's butler vs his butcher)
- 1912 Alfred Wegener, geophysicist and meteorologist, presents his controversial theory of continental drift in a lecture at a the Geological Association (Geologischen Vereinigung) at the Senckenberg-Museum, Frankfurt.
- 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt's "4 Freedoms" speech (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear) during US State of Union address
- 1942 Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world ("Pacific Clipper").
- 1987 Astronomers at University of California see 1st sight of birth of a galaxy
Daily newspaper comic strip "Superman" debuts
On January 6, 1939