On January 22:
1440 - Ivan III “the Great” of Russia*, who tripled the territory of his state, renovated the Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the modern Russian state (d. 1505)
1561 – Sir Francis Bacon, English philosopher, Attorney General, and Lord Chancellor of England, the father of empiricism (d. 1626).
1645 - William Kidd, Scottish sailor and pirate hunter (d. 1701).
1788 - Lord Byron, English poet and playwright (d. 1824) (“She Walks in Beauty“).
1875 - D. W. Griffith, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1948) (Birth of a Nation).
1892 - Marcel Dassault*, French aircraft industrialist, founded Dassault Aviation, who refused to collaborate with the Nazis and was imprisoned at Buchenwald (d. 1986).
1909 - U Thant*, Burmese educator and diplomat, 3rd United Nations Secretary-General (d. 1974).
1934 - Bill Bixby, American actor and director (d. 1993) (My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, The Incredible Hulk).
1959 - Linda Blair*, American actress and producer (The Exorcist).
1965 - Diane Lane, American actress (Unfaithful).
1552 - Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, English general and politician, Lord Protector of England during the minority of his nephew, King Edward VI (b. 1500).
1901 - Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (b. 1819).
1917 - Emma Miller, Australian trade union organizer, suffragist, Women’s rights activist, labor activist and key figure in organizations which led to the founding of the Australian Labor Party (b. 1839).
1922 – Pope Benedict XV (b. 1854), Pope 1914-22 during WW1.
1973 - Lyndon B. Johnson, American Senator, 36th US President (b. 1908).
1994 - Telly Savalas*, American actor (b. 1924) (Birdman of Alcatraz, Kojak).
1995 - Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, American philanthropist and Vatican Countess. Mother of nine including President John Kennedy, Senator Bobby Kennedy, and Senator Ted Kennedy (b. 1890).
2008 - Heath Ledger, Australian actor and director, from a drug overdose (b. 1979) (Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight).
1506 – The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrives at the Vatican.
1905 - Bloody Sunday in Saint Petersburg, Russia: unarmed demonstrators are fired upon by the Imperial Guard as they marched to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Beginning of the 1905 revolution.
1944 – World War II: The Allies commence an assault on Anzio, Italy.
1946 – Creation of the US Central Intelligence Agency.
1973 – The US Supreme Court delivers its decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states.
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