Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in January 2017 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.
For more details about how to do this, grab a free copy of our ebook: Ditch Your Day Job – the easiest way to make a living as a writer.
We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.
The listing below is a small sample of the entries for January from The Date-A-Base Book 2017. There are 340 anniversaries for January in the book (nearly seven times more than are listed here). The book covers the whole of 2017 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.
Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over – and the book also explains how to get your articles published.
150 years ago (17 Jan 1867)
Birth of Carl Laemmle, pioneering German-born American film producer and distributor. Co-founder of Universal Pictures.
125 years ago (1 Jan 1892)
Ellis Island immigrant inspection station was officially opened in Upper New York Bay, USA. (It remained in operation until November 1954, by which time it had processed 12 million immigrants. It is now a museum and a part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.)
125 years ago (3 Jan 1892)
Birth of J. R. R. Tolkien, British novelist, poet, scholar and educator. Best known for his fantasy novels The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.
125 years ago (18 Jan 1892)
Birth of Oliver Hardy, American comic actor (Laurel & Hardy).
100 years ago (5 Jan 1917)
Birth of Jane Wyman, Academy Award-winning American film and television actress, singer and dancer (Johnny Belinda [film], Falcon Crest [TV]). First wife of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
100 years ago (10 Jan 1917)
Birth of Jerry Wexler, American record producer and music journalist. Co-owner of Atlantic records. Vice-president of Warner Brothers Records. He coined the term ‘rhythm and blues’ and signed and/or produced many of the biggest acts from the 1950s to the 1980s.
100 years ago (10 Jan 1917)
Death of William F. Cody, (‘Buffalo Bill’), colourful American frontiersman and showman. Known for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, which made him a global star.
100 years ago (16 Jan 1917)
Death of George Dewey, American Admiral of the Navy (the highest ranked naval officer in U.S. history). Best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
100 years ago (19 Jan 1917)
Silvertown explosion, London Borough of Newham, UK. 50 tons of TNT exploded when a fire broke out at a munitions factory that was making explosives for WWI. 73 people were killed and over 400 injured. The blast was heard 100 miles away and substantial damage was caused to the local area, with up to 70,000 properties damaged and 900 destroyed.
100 years ago (24 Jan 1917)
Birth of Ernest Borgnine, Academy Award-winning American stage, film and television actor (From Here to Eternity, Bad Day at Black Rock, Marty, The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra, The Wild Bunch, The Poseidon Adventure, Airwolf [TV series]).
80 years ago (1 Jan 1937)
Speedometers, and safety glass in windscreens became compulsory in all vehicles in Britain.
75 years ago (1 Jan 1942)
World War II: 26 countries signed the Declaration of the United Nations in Washington, D.C., USA, pledging to employ their full resources against Hitler and the Axis powers.
75 years ago (2 Jan 1942)
World War II: Japanese forces captured Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
75 years ago (3 Jan 1942)
Birth of John Thaw, British actor (The Sweeney, Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC, and many others). (Died 2002.)
75 years ago (6 Jan 1942)
Pan American Airways’ Pacific Clipper flying boat completed the first round-the-world trip by a commercial plane.
75 years ago (11 Jan 1942)
World War II: Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies and captured Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
75 years ago (16 Jan 1942)
Death of Carole Lombard, American actress. Noted for her comedy roles in a string of successful 1930s Hollywood movies. (Killed in a plane crash while promoting war bonds).
75 years ago (16 Jan 1942)
World War II: Japan began its invasion of Burma (now Myanmar).
75 years ago (20 Jan 1942)
Holocaust: the infamous Wannsee Conference was held in Germany. Nazi officials met to plan the ‘final solution to the Jewish question’.
75 years ago (21 Jan 1942)
Birth of Edwin Starr, American soul singer. Best known for the song War. (Died 2003.)
75 years ago (26 Jan 1942)
World War II: the first U.S. troops arrived in Europe. 4,508 soldiers from the 34th Infantry Regiment docked in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
75 years ago (29 Jan 1942)
The first episode of Desert Island Discs was broadcast on BBC radio in the UK. It is Britain’s longest-running radio show.
75 years ago (31 Jan 1942)
Birth of Derek Jarman, British avant-garde filmmaker (Jubilee, The Tempest, Caravaggio, War Requiem, Edward II and more). (Died 1994.)
60 years ago (1 Jan 1957)
Border Campaign (also known as Operation Harvest) – the IRA carried out a well-known raid on Brookeborough RUC barracks in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Two IRA volunteers, Seán South and Fergal O’Hanlon, were shot dead. (Their lives are now commemorated in Irish Republican songs.)
60 years ago (16 – 18 Jan 1957)
Operation Power Flite: the first non-stop around-the-world flight by a jet aircraft. Three Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses completed the flight in 45 hours and 19 minutes. (They required mid-air refuelling during the journey.)
60 years ago (16 Jan 1957)
The Cavern Club opened in Liverpool, UK. Initially a jazz venue, it became an important rock venue when the Beatles played there during their early years.
50 years ago (3 Jan 1967)
Death of Jack Ruby, American nightclub owner who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald two days after the latter was arrested for the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
50 years ago (4 Jan 1967)
Death of Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat driver who broke 8 world speed records on land and water, emulating his father, Sir Malcolm Campbell. (Killed on Coniston Water while attempting to break the world water speed record.)
50 years ago (12 Jan 1967)
American psychology professor James Bedford became the first person to have his body cryonically preserved (frozen) following his death, with the intention of future resuscitation.
50 years ago (14 Jan 1967)
The Human Be-In took place in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA. The gathering of 20,000 (or 30,000) counter-culture tribes, gurus and rock musicians was a prelude to the Summer of Love.
50 years ago (15 Jan 1967)
The first Super Bowl was played. The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California.
50 years ago (16 Jan 1967)
Death of Robert J. Van de Graaff, prize-winning American physicist and educator. Best known for inventing the Van de Graaff generator, which generates a high-voltage electrostatic charge.
50 years ago (18 Jan 1967)
The ‘Boston Strangler’ (Albert DeSalvo) was sentenced to life in prison for murdering 13 women in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
50 years ago (27 Jan 1967)
Apollo 1 tragedy: three U.S. astronauts (Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee) were killed when their command module caught fire during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Cause: electric arcs from exposed/worn wiring, combined with a pure oxygen atmosphere.)
50 years ago (27 Jan 1967)
The Outer Space Treaty was signed by the USA, UK and the Soviet Union. Countries which sign the treaty are barred from using space for anything other than peaceful purposes. The placement or testing of nuclear weapons in space is also banned. (The treaty came into effect on 10th October 1967 and has now been signed by more than 100 countries.)
50 years ago (29 Jan 1967)
The Mantra-Rock Dance, San Francisco, California, USA. Known as the ‘ultimate high’ and the ‘major spiritual event of the San Francisco hippie era’. Organised by followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the counterculture rock concert promoted and raised funds for the first Hare Krishna centre on the U.S. West Coast.
40 years ago (3 Jan 1977)
Apple Computer, Inc. was incorporated. (It was renamed Apple Inc. in 2007.)
40 years ago (6 Jan 1977)
British punk rock band the Sex Pistols were fired by their record company, EMI, after just 3 months because of their notorious behaviour. (They signed with A&M Records in March but were quickly fired again, and finally signed with Virgin Records in May.)
40 years ago (15 Jan 1977)
Kälvesta air disaster, Stockholm, Sweden. Linjeflyg Flight 618 crashed on its approach to Stockholm Bromma Airport, killing all 22 people on board. (Cause: ice build-up on the tailplane.) It was the worst air crash in Swedish history.
40 years ago (18 Jan 1977)
Granville rail disaster, Sydney, Australia. A crowded commuter train derailed and crashed into a bridge which collapsed onto two of the train’s carriages. 83 people were killed and 210 injured. It was the worst rail disaster in Australia’s history.
40 years ago (18 Jan 1977)
The previously unknown Legionella bacterium (which causes Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever) was identified for the first time. It was found in the air conditioning system of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, where the first recorded outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease killed 34 people in July 1976.
40 years ago (20 Jan 1977)
Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States.
30 years ago (20 Jan 1987)
Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy in the Middle East, was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon while on a peace mission to negotiate the release of hostages. (Released November 1991.)
25 years ago (8 Jan 1992)
U.S. President George H. W. Bush vomited and collapsed at a state dinner at the Japanese Prime Minister’s residence in Tokyo. (Gastric ‘flu).
25 years ago (9 Jan 1992)
The discovery of the first two confirmed exoplanets was announced by astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail. The planets orbit the pulsar PSR B1257+12. (A third planet was confirmed there in 1994. Nearly 2,000 exoplanets have been discovered, orbiting over 1,200 stars.)
25 years ago (16 Jan 1992)
The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed in Mexico, ending the 12-year civil war in El Salvador.
20 years ago (15 Jan 1997)
Princess Diana walked through a minefield in Angola, visited victims, and called for an international ban on landmines.
20 years ago (23 Jan 1997)
Madeleine Albright became the first female U.S. Secretary of State.
10 years ago (4 Jan 2007)
Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
10 years ago (11 Jan 2007)
China destroyed its Fengyun FY-1C weather satellite in a ballistic missile test. It created more than 2,800 items of high-velocity space debris, and was widely condemned.
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