In 1896, an Austrian newspaper, Wiener Presse, reported the discovery by the German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen of a type of radiation known as x-rays.
In 1914, auto manufacturer Henry Ford announced that he would pay workers $ 5 for an 8-hour day, compared to $ 2.34 for a 9-hour day. (Employees still worked six days a week; the five-day work week was instituted in 1926.)
In 1925, Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming took office as the first female governor of the United States, succeeding her late husband, William, following a special election.
In 1933, construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began. (The work was completed four years later.)
In 1943, educator and scientist George Washington Carver, born into slavery, died in Tuskegee, Alabama, around the age of 80.
In 1949, in his State of the Union Address, President Harry S. Truman called his administration a Fair Deal.
In 1953, Samuel Beckett’s two-act tragicomedy “Waiting for Godot”, considered a classic of the Théâtre de l’Absurde, was premiered in Paris.
In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower offered assistance to countries to help them resist Communist aggression in what became the Eisenhower Doctrine.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon announced that he had ordered the development of the Space Shuttle.
In 1994, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, died in Boston at the age of 81.
In 1998, Sonny Bono, the 1960s pop star turned politician, was killed when he hit a tree while skiing at Heavenly Ski Resort on the Nevada-California border. he was 62 years old.
In 2004, foreigners arriving at U.S. airports were photographed and their fingerprints scanned as part of a government effort to keep terrorists out of the country.
In 2011, John Boehner was elected president as Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives on the first day of the new Congress.
In 2012, speaking at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama launched an overhaul and downsizing of the military, promising to preserve the preeminence of the United States even as the military and Marine Corps shed the troops and that the administration is considering reducing its arsenal of nuclear weapons. A US Navy destroyer rescued an Iranian fishing boat that had been requisitioned by suspected pirates. Jessica Joy Rees, a Southern California girl who had become a nationally recognized face of childhood cancer with a blog that chronicled her battle with brain tumors, has died aged 12.
In 2017, President-elect Donald Trump, in a series of tweets, urged Republicans and Democrats to “unite” to design a replacement for President Barack Obama’s health care law. Friends and family gathered at neighboring homes of Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher in the Hollywood Hills for an intimate memorial to the late actors.
In 2021, Georgian voters ran for the second round of the Senate which would result in victories for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and give Democrats control of the Senate; they would hold 50 seats and the deciding vote of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. A Kenosha, Wisconsin prosecutor refused to press charges against a white police officer who shot a black man, Jacob Blake, in the back in August 2020, leaving Blake paralyzed; the prosecutor said he could not refute Constable Rusten Sheskey’s claim that he acted in self-defense because he feared Blake would stab him. Baseball Hall of Fame Hank Aaron, former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and other civil rights leaders have been vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, in hopes of ‘send a message to black Americans in particular that the shots were safe. Alabama’s DeVonta Smith became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy in 29 seasons.