1595 King Henri IV of France declares war on Spain.
1706 Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father of the US is born in Boston, Massachussetts
1773 Captain James Cook becomes the first to cross the Antarctic Circle (66° 33' S)
1827 Duke of Wellington is appointed British supreme commander.
1873 A group of Native American Modoc warriors defeat the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the
Modoc War that lasted just under a year.
1882 Aletta Jacobs is the first Dutch female physician to open an office in the Netherlands.
1893 Queen Liliuokalani is deposed and the Kingdom of Hawaii becomes a republic.
1904 Anton Chekhov's "Cherry Orchard" opens at Moscow Art Theater.
1912 Captain Robert Scott's expedition arrives at the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen
1916 James Martin "Long Jim Barnes", a native of Cornwall, England, is the champion of
the first PGA Championship game, played in Bronxville NY
1920 The first day of Prohibition comes into effect in the US as a result of the 18th amendment
1922 Betty White, an American actress, is born in Oak Park, Illinois
1926 George Burns marries Gracie Allen and Moira Shearer, British ballerina, actress is born. A year later on the same day, Eartha
Kitt, actress and singer, is born in South Carolina.
1928 The first fully automatic photographic film developing machine is patented by A.M. Josepho.
1929 Popeye makes his first appearance in the comic strip "Thimble Theater".
1931 James Earl Jones, American actor well known as the voice of Darth Vader in "Star Wars" is born in Mississippi. Eleven years later,
same month and day, the American boxer, Muhammad Ali, is born in Louisville, Kentucky.
1946 The United Nations Security Council holds its first meeting.
1949 The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, airs for the first time. The program had been on radio since 1931.
The TV version lasted for four years.
1950 Eleven men rob $1.2 million in cash and $1.5 million in securities from the Brinks armored car depot in Boston, Massachusetts.
The event became known as The Great Brinks Robbery. All eleven of the thieves were caught.
1954 The first network telecast of French oceanographer, explorer and scientist, Jacques Cousteau, is aired on the CBS program,
1970 Sporting News names Willie Mays as Player of the Decade for the 1960s. On the same day, same year, The Doors play the first
of several shows at the Felt Forum in New York City. The shows were recorded for use on their "Absolutely Live" album.
1983 Alabama Governor George Wallace becomes governor for a record fourth time
1984 The US Supreme Court rules (5-4) that the private use of home VCRs to tape TV programs for later viewing does not violate
federal copyright laws
1985 Leonard Nimoy, American actor, director, photographer, songwriter best known as his role of Spock in "Star Trek" earns a star on
the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2002 It's announced that Microsoft has signed a joint venture agreement to produce software with two partners in China: Beijin
Centergate Technologies and the Stone Group.
I didn't find any particularly interesting bits of history news after 2002 for January 17th. Anything you'd like to add?