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On January the 8th
Daniel Ortega became the 83rd President of Nicaragua. It was the second time he was elected as such, having been elected in 1985. Previously he had been one of the leaders of the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
The Russian spacecraft, Soyuz TM-18, was launched, heading for the Mir space station. It was carrying cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov who remained on the space station for a record 437 days (in space).
American athlete, Calvin Smith, was born. Considered as one of the great sprinters of the 20th century, he was the first athlete to run the 100 menters in under 10 seconds and the 200 meters in under 20 seconds.
English musician, David Bowie, was born in Brixton, London. He is one of the most influential musicians of modern time, who was been producing hits for over 4 decades.
English physicist, Stephen Hawking, was born was born in Oxford. He is one of the most famous scientists of the later part of the 20th century and early 21st century. At the age of 21 he was diagnosed with a type of motor neurone disease and was rendered quadriplegic.
Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi, was born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
American musician, Elvis Presley, was born in East Tupelo, Mississippi. He was crowned 'The King of Rock 'n' Roll' or simply 'The King', and was one of the most popular singers of all time, whose fame has been undiminished decades after his death.
The African National Congress was founded. It is the current ruling party of South Africa.
British author, Dennis Wheatley, was born in London. He was one of the world's best-selling authors in the 1950s and 1960s, best known for his occult novels.
Russian painter, Pavel Filonov, was born in Moscow. His work was banned during the Soviet Era, but re-emerged after the fall of the Soviet regime.
Spanish, Miguel Primo de Rivera, was born in dictator of (d. 1930)
Italian astronomer, Galileo Galilei, died at the age of 78. He is considered as one of the greatest scientists of all time was a key figure of the scientific revolution which took place between the 16th and 18th centuries.
The principality of Monaco gained its independence, when Francois Grimaldi captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco. His descendants still rule the principality.
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