On This Day

What Happened in January 2020

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 Scotland's Peter Wright beats Dutch defending champion Michael Van Gerwen, 7-3 with 102.79 average, 34 x 140s, 11 maximums and 53% on doubles to seal his first PDC World Darts Championship in London
  • Jan 1 Pro-Iranian protesters end siege of US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq
  • Jan 1 106th Rose Bowl: #6 Oregon beats #8 Wisconsin, 28-27; MVPs: Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon) & Brady Breeze (S, Oregon)
  • Jan 1 86th Sugar Bowl: #5 Georgia beats #7 Baylor, 26-14
  • Jan 3 US drone strike kills top Iranian security and intelligence commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani outside Baghdad airport in Iraq

Historic Event

Jan 4 Australian bushfires death toll reaches 23 as PM Scott Morrison announces national defense force will be employed to help fight the more than 200 fires, amid criticism of his leadership

  • Jan 4 Floods and landslides caused by torrential rain in Jakarta, Indonesia, kill at least 53
  • Jan 5 Iran pulls out of the 2015 nuclear deal, will not limit its uranium enrichment

Golden Globes

Jan 5 77th Golden Globes: "1917" Best Drama, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" Best Comedy/Musical, acting awards Renée Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix, Awkwafina, Taron Edgerton

  • Jan 5 Chinese professor Zhang Yongzhen publishes the first SARS-CoV-2 genome map online, allowing health professionals worldwide to identify COVID-19
  • Jan 6 Crawford Steel executives Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern via holding company S & S Sportsco purchase the Montreal Alouettes from the Canadian Football League
  • Jan 7 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Puerto Rico, island's largest in a century, followed by many aftershocks kill 1 person and destroy 800 homes
  • Jan 8 Iran launches missile strike on Irbil and Al Asad bases in Iraqi housing some American troops in retaliation to assassination of General Qasem Soleimani

Music History

Jan 8 Singer Justin Bieber reveals he has Lyme disease, an infectious disease spread by ticks

  • Jan 8 Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 crashes just after take-off from Tehran, Iran, killing all 176 people on board
  • Jan 8 Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce they are stepping back as "senior" royals, will work towards becoming financially independent

Election of Interest

Jan 11 Taiwan re-elects Tsai Ing-wen for a second term as president in a landslide result

  • Jan 11 Diego the giant 100 year old tortoise retires to the Galapagos islands after his high libido is credited with saving his species

Sports History

Jan 12 1st ATP Cup Men's Tennis, Sydney: Novak Đoković & Viktor Troicki beat Spanish pair Pablo Carreño Busta & Feliciano López 6-3, 6-4 to clinch inaugural title for Serbia, 2-1; Đoković beats Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6

  • Jan 12 Taal volcano, 70km (45 miles) south of Manila in the Philippines begins erupting prompting evacuations
  • Jan 12 Argentine striker Sergio Agüero becomes top-scoring overseas player in English Premier League football history with a hat-trick in Manchester City's 6-1 rout of Aston Villa; total 177 takes him past Thierry Henry
  • Jan 13 Oldest material existing on earth at 7.5 billion years old revealed by scientists studying the Murchison meteorite that fell to earth in Australia in 1960s
  • Jan 13 College Football, National Championship, Superdome, New Orleans: #1 LSU beats #3 Clemson, 42-15

Film & TV History

Jan 13 Queen Elizabeth II issues a statement saying she reluctantly supports Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wish to live a more independent life

  • Jan 13 Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow are fired by team owner Jim Crane for their roles in the sign-stealing scandal after MLB suspends both for one year

Historic Event

Jan 14 US game show Jeopardy "greatest of all time" tournament won by Ken Jennings

  • Jan 14 Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora is fired amid Major League Baseball's investigation into sign-stealing by the Houston Astros; Cora was previously the Astros' bench coach before moving to Boston

Historic Event

Jan 16 Impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump begins in the Senate

  • Jan 16 Former Sacramento State softball player Alyssa Nakken becomes first woman to hold a coaching position on a MLB staff when named an assistant by the San Francisco Giants
  • Jan 16 Newly appointed manager Carlos Beltran and New York Mets mutually agree to part ways because of his role in Houston Astros sign stealing scandal; third manager forced out of a job as a result of the allegations
  • Jan 18 Premiership Rugby announces reigning European and English champions Saracens to be relegated for exceeding salary cap the previous 3 seasons; club fined £5.3m and docked 35 Premiership points
  • Jan 19 NFC Championship, Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California: San Francisco 49ers beat Green Bay Packers, 37-20
  • Jan 19 AFC Championship, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri: Kansas City Chiefs beat Tennessee Titans, 35-24
  • Jan 21 World's oldest asteroid impact at 2.2 billion years old found in Yarrabubba, Western Australia, may have ended an ice age, reported in "Nature Communications"

COVID-19

Jan 23 China locks down the city of Wuhan and its 9 million people, in a belated but ultimately successful effort to control the city's COVID-19 epidemic

Film & TV History

Jan 23 Actress Annabella Sciorra testifies in court that Harvey Weinstein raped her 25 years ago at his trial in New York

  • Jan 23 Voice of a 3,000 year old Egyptian priest recreated by scientists 3D printing his vocal tract published in "Scientific Reports"
  • Jan 23 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp marked by an international forum in Jerusalem, Israel
  • Jan 25 65th NHL All Star Games, Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MI: Pacific All Stars win four-team, 3-on-3 tournament; MVP: David Pastrnak LW Boston Bruins
  • Jan 25 Severe rainstorms cause landslides and floods in Brazil's Minas Gerais state, killing at least 30

Sports History

Jan 26 LA Lakers basketball legend Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash in foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, southern California; considered one of the greatest players in the game's history

  • Jan 26 NFL Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida: AFC beats NFC, 38-33; MVP's: Lamar Jackson, QB (Baltimore Ravens), Calais Campbell, DE (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Grammy Awards

Jan 26 62nd Grammy Awards: Billie Eilish wins 5 Grammys, including album, record and song of the year

  • Jan 27 Former king of Belgium, Albert II admits fathering a child after DNA tests confirm paternity

Historic Event

Jan 28 US President Donald Trump releases his Middle East peace plan alongside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House

  • Jan 29 Number of COVID-19 cases passes those of SARS with over 7,700 cases in China confirmed, with 170 deaths
  • Jan 30 The World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at a meeting in Geneva
  • Jan 31 United Kingdom formally withdraws from the European Union (Brexit)

Famous Weddings

  • Jan 20 American former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow (32) weds South African Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (24) in Cape Town, South Africa

Famous Divorces

Divorce of Interest

Jan 20 Australian actor Liam Hemsworth and American singer Miley Cyrus divorce after 1 year of marriage

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 1 David Stern, American basketball executive (NBA commissioner 1984-2014; longest-tenured commissioner in history of major North American sports leagues), dies from a brain haemorrhage at 77
  • Jan 1 Don Larsen, American MLB pitcher (only perfect game in World Series history, Game 5 1956; World Series MVP 1956; NY Yankees), dies from esophageal cancer at 90
  • Jan 1 Carlos De León, Puerto Rican boxer (WBC cruiserweight champion (1980–82, 83–85, 86–88, 89–90), dies of a heart attack at 60
  • Jan 1 Doug Hart, American NFL defensive back (NFL champion 1965, 66, 67; Super Bowl 1967, 68; Green Bay Packers), dies at 80
  • Jan 1 Les Josephson, American football running back (NFL Pro Bowl 1967; Los Angeles Rams), dies at 77
  • Jan 1 Jaap Schröder, Dutch violinist, conductor, musicologist, and pedagogue (Academy of Ancient Music), dies at 94
  • Jan 1 Tommy Hancock, American western swing fiddler and bandleader (Supernatural Family Band - "I Should Have Married Marie"; "Tacos for Two"), dies at 90
  • Jan 2 Sam Wyche, American NFL coach (Cincinnati Bengals 1984-91; Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1992-95; introduced no-huddle offence), dies from melanoma at 74
  • Jan 2 Grant Weatherstone, Scotland rugby union winger (16 caps; Edinburgh District), dies at 88
  • Jan 3 Qasem Soleimani, Iranian major general of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, killed at 62 in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport, Iraq
  • Jan 3 Pete Brewster, American football end & coach (NFL Pro Bowl 1955, 56; Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers), dies at 89
  • Jan 3 Bo Winberg, Swedish instrumental rock guitarist (The Spotnicks - "Hava Nagila"; "Amapola"; "Karelia"), dies at 80
  • Jan 4 Herbert Binkert, German soccer striker (12 caps Saarland; FC Saarbrücken), dies at 96
  • Jan 4 Walter Ormeño, Peruvian soccer goalkeeper (Peru 1949-57; Boca Juniors, Rosario Central), dies at 93
  • Jan 5 Hans Tilkowski, German soccer goalkeeper (39 caps, West Germany; Westfalia Herne, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt), dies at 84
  • Jan 7 George Perles, American football coach (Michigan State University 1983-94; Pittsburgh Steelers), dies from Parkinson's disease at 85
  • Jan 7 Elizabeth Wurtzel, American author (Prozac Nation), dies of metastatic breast cancer at 52
  • Jan 7 André Abadie, French rugby union front rower (7 caps; SC Rieumois, SC Graulhetois, SC Albi), dies at 85
  • Jan 7 Khamis Al-Dossari, Saudi Arabian soccer midfielder (105 caps; Al-Hilal, Al Ittihad), dies from cancer at 46
  • Jan 7 Neil Peart, Canadian rock drummer and lyricist (Rush - "Limelight"; "Peaceable Kingdom") dies from glioblastoma (brain cancer) at 67
  • Jan 8 Peter T. Kirstein, British computer scientist 'European father of the internet' (Internet Protocol), dies at 86
  • Jan 8 Edd Byrnes, American actor (77 Sunset Strip, Jack the Ripper), dies at 87
  • Jan 9 Pete Dye, American golf course designer (TPC at Sawgrass, Crooked Stick, Oakwood CC), dies of Alzheimer's disease at 94
  • Jan 9 Roscoe Nance, American sportswriter (USA Today; Mississippi’s first African American sportswriter at mainstream newspaper), dies at 71
  • Jan 10 Guido Messina, Italian road and track cyclist (World C'ship gold individual 4000m pursuit 1948, 53, 54, 55, 56; Olympic gold team 1952), dies at 89
  • Jan 10 Petko Petkov, Bulgarian soccer forward (33 caps; Beroe Stara Zagora, Austria Wien), dies at 73
  • Jan 12 Paulo Gonçalves, Portuguese rally racing motorcycle rider (FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship 2013), dies in motorcycle crash during Dakar Rally at 40
  • Jan 15 Rocky Johnson, Canadian pro wrestler (father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson; with Tony Atlas first black champions in WWE history), dies of a pulmonary embolism at 75
  • Jan 15 Bobby Brown, Scottish soccer goalkeeper (5 caps; Rangers, Falkirk) and manager (St Johnstone; Scottish national team 1967-71), dies at 96
  • Jan 15 Chris Darrow, American country-rock pioneer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, bassist, and banjo plucker (Kaleidoscope; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 1967-70), dies from complications following a stroke at 75
  • Jan 16 Christopher Tolkien, British author and son of J. R. R. Tolkien, dies at 95
  • Jan 16 Efraín Sánchez, Colombian soccer goalkeeper (9 caps; San Lorenzo) and manager (Columbia), dies at 93
  • Jan 16 Peter Hammersley, British Rear-Admiral who served on and designed submarines, dies at 91
  • Jan 17 Pietro Anastasi, Italian soccer striker (25 caps; Juventus, Ascoli, Inter), dies from motor neurone disease at 71
  • Jan 17 Bapu Nadkarni, Indian cricket all-rounder (41 Tests; top score 122; 88 wickets), dies at 86
  • Jan 17 Morimichi Takagi, Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman (NPB All-Star 1966–67, 73, 79; Chunichi Dragons), dies at 78
  • Jan 17 Derek Fowlds, British actor (Yes Minister, The Basil Brush Show), dies at 82
  • Jan 18 Mario Bergamaschi, Italian soccer midfielder (5 caps; Calcio Como, A.C. Milan, U.C. Sampdoria), dies at 91
  • Jan 18 Peter Mathebula, South African boxer (WBA flyweight title 1980-81), dies at 67
  • Jan 19 Jimmy Heath, American jazz saxophonist and composer, known as "Little Bird", dies at 93
  • Jan 19 Kazım Ayvaz, Turkish wrestler (Olympic gold lightweight, 1964; World C'ship gold welterweight, 1958; lightweight, 1962), dies at 81
  • Jan 19 Robert Parker, American saxophonist and soul singer ("Barefootin'"), dies at 89
  • Jan 21 Terry Jones, Welsh comedian (Monty Python), dies from complications of dementia at 77
  • Jan 21 Morgan Wootten, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (46 seasons DeMatha Catholic HS, Hyattsville, Maryland; National C'ships 1962, 65, 68, 78, 84), dies at 88
  • Jan 23 Frank Froehling, American tennis player (US C'ships 1963 runner-up; doubles, mixed doubles 1965 runner-up), dies at 77
  • Jan 23 Alfred Körner, Austrian soccer striker (47 caps; Rapid Wien), dies at 93
  • Jan 24 Duje Bonačić, Croatian rower (Olympic gold coxless four 1952), dies at 90
  • Jan 24 Juan José Pizzuti, Argentine soccer striker and manager (12 caps; Racing Club de Avellaneda), dies at 92
  • Jan 24 Rob Rensenbrink, Dutch soccer left winger or forward (46 caps; Anderlecht), dies of progressive muscular atrophy at 72
  • Jan 24 Pete Stark, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1973-2013), dies at 88
  • Jan 25 Gene Corrigan, American lacrosse player, coach and college athletics administrator (President of the NCAA 1995-97), dies at 91

Kobe Bryant

Jan 26 Kobe Bryant, American basketball guard (NBA champion 2000–02, 09-10; NBA MVP 2008; 18 x NBA All Star; LA Lakers; Olympic gold 2008, 12), dies in a helicopter crash at 41

  • Jan 26 Bob Shane, American folk vocalist (Kingston Trio - "Tom Dooley"), dies at 85
  • Jan 27 Alberto Naranjo, Venezuelan jazz drummer, composer and arranger, dies at 78
  • Jan 28 Chris Doleman, American Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end (8 × Pro Bowl; 3 × First-team All-Pro; Minnesota Vikings), dies of brain cancer at 58
  • Jan 28 Mohammad Munaf, Pakistan cricket fast bowler (4 Tests, 11 wickets), dies at 84
  • Jan 28 Nicholas Parsons, British presenter, comedian and actor "the ultimate quiz show host", dies at 96
  • Jan 28 Marj Dusay [Marjorie Mahoney], American actress (Guiding Light - "Alexandra"; Bret Maverick - "Kate"), dies at 83
  • Jan 29 Larry Eisenhauer, American football defensive end (AFL All-Star 1962, 63, 64, 66; Boston Patriots), dies at 79
  • Jan 29 Irina Laricheva, Russian trap shooter (World C'ships x 6 gold individual, team, double trap), dies at 55
  • Jan 29 Keith Nelson, New Zealand soccer striker (20 caps; Mount Wellington), dies at 72
  • Jan 30 John Andretti, American auto racer (NASCAR Cup Series: 2 wins, 37 top tens, 4 poles), dies from colon cancer at 56
  • Jan 31 Johnny Bumphus, American boxer (WBA super lightweight title 1984), dies at 59
  • Jan 31 César Zabala, Paraguayan soccer defender (49 caps; Cerro Porteño), dies of bladder cancer at 58