- Helen Folasade Adu, aka Sade Adu, singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer was born in Ibadan.
· Ivan IV of Russia (popularly known as "Ivan the Terrible") was crowned Czar.
· the U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.
· Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)
· fugitive gangster Fred Barker and his mother, Kate "Ma" Barker, were killed in a shootout with the FBI at Lake Weir, Fla.
· actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother Elizabeth and 20 other people were killed when their plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nev., while en route to California from a war-bond promotion tour.
· three B-52's took off from Castle Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, which lasted 45 hours and 19 minutes.
· the musical "Hello, Dolly!" opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.
· two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.
· NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America's first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America's first black astronaut in space.
· three days of rioting began in Miami when a police officer fatally shot Clement Lloyd, a black motorcyclist, causing a crash that also claimed the life of Lloyd's passenger, Allan Blanchard. (The officer, William Lozano, was convicted of manslaughter, but then was acquitted in a retrial.)
· the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
· the space shuttle Columbia blasted off for what turned out to be its last flight; on board was Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN' rah-MOHN'). (The mission ended in tragedy on Feb. 1, when the shuttle broke up during its return descent, killing all seven crew members.)
· Pop star Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges during a court appearance in Santa Maria, Calif.; the judge scolded Jackson for being 21 minutes late. (Jackson was eventually acquitted.) NASA announced that the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope would be allowed to degrade and eventually become useless. Freddy Adu, the 14-year-old phenom, was selected by D.C. United as the first pick in the Major League Soccer draft.
· President-elect Barack Obama made a pitch for his massive economic stimulus plan at a factory in Bedford Heights, Ohio, saying his proposal would make smart investments in the country's future and create solid jobs in up-and-coming industries. Painter Andrew Wyeth died in Chadds Ford, Pa., at age 91. John Mortimer, the British lawyer-writer who'd created the curmudgeonly criminal lawyer Rumpole of the Bailey, died in the Chiltern Hills, England, at age 85.