[The first players voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame were (clockwise from top left) Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson; they weren't formally inducted, however, until the museum - located in Cooperstown, New York - was dedicated in June 1939.]
904 CE - Sergius III came out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher; he'd first been elected following the death of Pope Leo V the previous September.
1119 - Pope Gelasius II died, just five days after the first anniversary of his enthronement; he was succeeded by Callixtus II just days later, on February 1st.
1676 - Feodor III became Tsar of Russia following the death of his father, Alexis I.
1814 - Forces of the French Empire commanded by Napoleon himself defeated those of Russia and Prussia under Generalfeldmarschall Prince von Blücher at the Battle of Brienne.
1820 - Britain's King George III died at Windsor Castle; he was succeeded by his son, George IV, who'd been acting as Regent since 1811.
1856 - Britain's Queen Victoria created the Victoria Cross to recognize 'valour in the face of the enemy' during the Crimean War, backdating eligibility for the honour to 1854. The first medals were handed out in June 1857 by the Queen herself at a ceremony in Hyde Park, at which the first recipient was Charles Davis Lucas, whose medal is currently on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
1861 - Kansas became the 34th US state.
1863 - At the Bear River Massacre in Washington Territory (in present-day Franklin County, Idaho, near Preston) a US Army platoon commanded by Colonel Patrick Edward Connor slaughtered between 200-400 of the area's Shoshone people - including their chief, Bear Hunter - as part of the ongoing Bear River Expedition.
1891 - Liliuokalani was proclaimed Queen of Hawai'i; she would be the last sovereign to rule that country before it was forcibly annexed by the United States.
1916 - Paris was bombarded by German zeppelins for the second and last time during World War I; 54 people were killed.
1936 - The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York, were named: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.
1940 - Three trains on Osaka's Sakurajima Line crashed and exploded while approaching Ajikawaguchi station, killing 181 people.
1944 - Bologna's Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio was destroyed during an air-raid.
1959 - Walt Disney released Sleeping Beauty, the 16th and final film he would release before his death, and the last fairytale his studio would make until 1989's The Little Mermaid. It was also the last animated film the company made using hand-inked cels; beginning with One Hundred and One Dalmatians the studio incorporated xerography into its animation process.
1963 - The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio, were named; the so-called 'charter inductees' are Sammy Baugh, Bert Bell, Earl 'Dutch' Clark, Harold 'Red' Grange, George Halas, Mel Hein, Wilbur 'Pete' Henry, Robert 'Cal' Hubbard, Don Hutson, Earl 'Curly' Lambeau, Tim Mara, George Preston Marshall, John 'Blood' McNally, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, and Jim Thorpe.
1979 - Brenda Spencer killed two people and wounded eight at the Grover Cleveland Elementary School shootings.
1996 - Teatro la Fenice, an historic opera house in Venice, was destroyed by fire - again; La Fenice means 'the Phoenix' in Italian, referring to previous fires in 1774 and 1836. The event and its aftermath are thrillingly recounted in John Berendt's 2005 book The City of Falling Angels. After five years of legal wrangling, it took just 650 days and €90 million for the third Fenice to rise from the ashes; the theater reopened in December 2003.
1998 - A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, killing part-time security guard Robert Sanderson and severely wounding nurse Emily Lyons in the process; serial bomber Eric Robert Rudolph - who most famously committed the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at Atlanta's 1996 Summer Olympics in July 1996 - later confessed to the crime.
2002 - In his State of the Union Address, US President George W. Bush described 'regimes that sponsor terror' as an Axis of Evil, in which he included Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
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