Posted: Jan 11, 2017 11:06 PM PST
Updated: Jan 11, 2017 11:06 PM PST
2010: A catastrophic earthquake strikes near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, destroying the majority of the island nation's capital. The quake killed anywhere between 100,000 and 316,000 people, depending on the estimate, and the Haitian government estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.
2004: The RMS Queen Mary 2, at the time the world's largest ocean liner, sets sail on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
2003: Singer-songwriter Maurice Gibb, one of three brothers who made up the disco group the Bee Gees, dies at age 53 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, while waiting to undergo surgery for a twisted intestine. Gibb was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with his brothers, Barry and twin Robin, in 1997.
2001: Triple Crown-winning racehorse Affirmed dies at age 25. Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to become the 11th Triple Crown winner in 1978. He was the last to do so until American Pharoah did so in 2015.
1991: The U.S. Congress authorizes the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, setting in motion the Gulf War, which began with an extensive aerial bombing campaign five days later.
1976: English author Agatha Christie dies of natural causes at age 85 in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England. Christie is best known for her detective novels and short story collections, most of which revolve around the investigations of such characters as Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Some her best known works include "And Then There Were None," "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd," "Murder on the Orient Express" and "Death on the Nile."
1974: Mel C, one of five members of the British pop group Spice Girls, is born Melanie Jayne Chisholm in Whiston, Merseyside, England. Known as "Sporty Spice" while in the band, she has also launched a successful solo career.
1971: The sitcom "All in the Family," starring Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, premieres. The show, known for its depiction of issues previously considered too controversial for network television comedies, lasted nine seasons until ending in April 1979 and was immediately followed by a new show, "Archie Bunker's Place," which lasted another four seasons.
1970: Singer-songwriter Zack de la Rocha, best known as the frontman for the band Rage Against the Machine, is born in Long Beach, California.
1969: The New York Jets of the American Football League defeat the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League 16-7 to win Super Bowl III in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who brashly predicted a victory for his underdog team three days before the game, was named Super Bowl MVP, despite not throwing a touchdown pass in the victory.
1969: Led Zeppelin releases its debut self-titled album.
1966: The live-action TV series "Batman," starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, debuts on ABC. The series, known for its campy humor, would run for three seasons before ending on March 14, 1968.
1965: Singer-songwriter and film director Rob Zombie is born Robert Bartleh Cummings in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He first rose to prominence as a member of the heavy metal band White Zombie before launching a solo career in the late 1990s. He's directed the movies "House of 1000 Corpses," "The Devil's Rejects," "The Lords of Salem" and the 2007 remake of "Halloween" and its sequel.
1960: Basketball Hall of Fame forward Dominique Wilkins is born in Paris, France. Wilkins (seen here in 2009) played 15 seasons in the NBA, mostly with the Atlanta Hawks, and is known as one of the best dunkers in NBA history. The nine-time All-Star led the NBA in scoring in 1986 and won the NBA Slam Dunk competition in 1985 and 1990.
1960: Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals becomes the first NBA player to score more than 15,000 points in his career.
1959: In Detroit, Berry Gordy Jr. founds what would become Motown Records as Tamla Records. Pictured here is the Hitsville U.S.A. Motown building in Detroit, which served as Motown's headquarters from 1959 until 1968, and then became the Motown Historical Museum in 1985.
1957: Filmmaker John Lasseter, best known for directing the Pixar films "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2" and "Cars," is born in Hollywood, California.
1954: Radio host, actor and author Howard Stern is born in Queens, New York.
1952: Author Walter Mosley, best known for his series of criminal fiction novels featuring hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, is born in Los Angeles, California. One of the Easy Rawlins novels, "Devil in a Blue Dress," was made into the 1995 movie starring Denzel Washington.
1951: Conservative talk show host and author Rush Limbaugh is born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
1951: Actress Kirstie Alley, best known for the sitcoms "Cheers" and "Veronica's Closet" and the movie series "Look Who's Talking," is born in Wichita, Kansas.
1944: Boxer Joe Frazier, an Olympic gold medalist and undisputed world heavyweight champion, is born in Beaufort, South Carolina. Frazier was the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali as a professional, winning a 15-round unanimous decision in 1971 to retain his WBC and WBA world heavyweight titles in what was known as the "Fight of the Century." Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He retired in 1976 following a second loss to Foreman, but returned for one last fight in 1981. He died of liver cancer at the age of 67 on Nov. 7, 2011.
1932: Hattie Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate, winning a special election to fill out the remaining months of her late husband's vacant seat. She was first appointed to temporarily fill the seat in December 1931 and went on to win two full terms in her own right, representing Arkansas through Jan. 3, 1945.
1926: Country music singer-songwriter and guitarist Ray Price, best known for songs such as "Release Me," "Crazy Arms," "Heartaches by the Number," "For the Good Times" and "Night Life," is born in Perryville, Texas. He died of pancreatic cancer at age 87 on Dec. 16, 2013.
1923: World War II hero Ira Hayes is born in Sacaton, Arizona. A Pima Native American and a U.S. Marine who was one of the six men immortalized in the iconic photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during the war, Hayes died of exposure and alcohol poisoning at the age of 32 on Jan. 24, 1955.
1910: Film actress Luise Rainer, who won back-to-back Oscars in the 1930s for "The Great Ziegfeld" and "The Good Earth" only to quit Hollywood at the height of her fame, is born in Düsseldorf, Germany. She was the first actor to win multiple Academy Awards and the first person to win them consecutively. At the time of her death at age 104 on Dec. 30, 2014, she was the longest-lived individual ever to have received an Oscar.
1905: Country music singer and actor Tex Ritter, who starred in more than 50 Westerns, most of the "singing cowboy" variety, is born Woodward Maurice Ritter in Murvaul, Texas. Ritter also recorded several No. 1 country hits, including "I'm Wastin' My Tears on You," "You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often" and "You Will Have To Pay." Ritter, who died of a heart attack on Jan. 2, 1974, at the age of 68, was also the father of "Three's Company" actor John Ritter.
1893: Hermann Goering, the military leader and politician who became a leading member of the Nazi Party, is born in Rosenheim, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire. He became the second-most powerful man in Germany after helping Adolf Hitler take power in 1933, founding the Gestapo and serving as commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe. Following World War II, he was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and was sentenced to death by hanging. However, he committed suicide the night before his scheduled execution.
1876: Author Jack London, best known for the novels "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang," is born John Griffith Chaney in San Francisco, California.