- -17°F (27.2°C) in Braemar Grampian (equals UK record)
- AFC Championship, Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati: Cincinnati Bengals beat San Diego Chargers, 27-7 in the "Freezer Bowl"
- NBC's premiere of TV film "Will: G. Gordon Liddy", based on the Watergate conspirator, participant and convict
NFC Championship, Candlestick Park, SF: San Francisco 49ers beat Dallas Cowboys, 28-27; "The Catch" - iconic moment in NFL history - Dwight Clark makes fingertip catch for a TD from Joe Montana with 58" remaining; SF goes on to win Super Bowl
- Petra Schneider swims world record 1500 m freestyle (15:43.31)
- Josh Ryan Evans, American actor, born in Hayward, California (d. 2002)
- Lazar Weiner, Russian-born American composer, dies at 84
- Paul Lynde, American comedian and actor (The Hollywood Squares, Uncle Arthur-Bewitched), dies after a heart attack at 55