January 4 - over the years
Today is Tuesday, January 4, the fourth day of 2005
There are 361 days left in the year.
A quick recap of what has gone on this date in history
1493 - Christopher Columbus leaves the New World, ending his first journey.
1642 - English Civil War: King Charles I of England attacks Parliament.
1698 - Most of the Palace of Whitehall in London, the main residence of the English monarchs, was destroyed by fire.
1717 - The Netherlands, England and France sign the Triple Alliance.
1762 - England declares war on Spain and Naples.
1847 - Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the US government.
1854 - The McDonald Islands were discovered by Captain William McDonald.
1884 - The Fabian Society is founded in London
1885 - The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr William Grant.
1896 - Utah is admitted as the 45th US state.
1908 - Mulai Hafid was proclaimed Sultan of Morocco at Fez.
1923 - Vladimir Lenin dictated a postscript to a letter that has become known as his political "testament" in which he suggested Stalin was too rude to be general secretary of the Communist party and should be replaced.
1948 - The British governor of Burma formerly handed over power, Union of Burma was proclaimed an independent republic with U Thakin Nu as its first PM. 1958 - Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite launched in October 1957 by the Soviet Union, disintegrated and fell to earth.
1960 - Albert Camus, Algerian-born French existentialist writer, died in a car accident.
1964 - Pope Paul VI began a visit to the Holy Land, which included the first visit by a pope to Jerusalem.
1965 - TS Eliot, American-born English poet, playwright and Nobel Prize winner, died. He wrote The Waste Land, Murder in the Cathedral, and Four Quartets.
1967 - Donald Campbell, British car and speedboat racer, was killed on Coniston Water in England during an attempt to break the world water speed record.
1978 - Said Hammami, the Palestine Liberation Organisation's representative in Britain, was assassinated in London.
1995 - Newt Gingrich was formally elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the first Republican in the post in 40 years.
2000 - Former Ivory Coast President Henri Konan Bedie arrived in Paris to take up residence after being overthrown in a Christmas Eve coup.
2002 - The world's oldest man, 112-year-old Antonio Todde who swore the secret of his longevity was a daily glass of red wine, died on the Italian island of Sardinia. In a bizarre twist of fate, Italy's oldest woman, 110-year-old Maria Grazia Broccolo, died only hours later in a small town south of Rome.
2003 - The Raelians, a UFO cult that believes aliens landed on Earth 25,000 years ago and started the human race through cloning, said a cloned baby was born to a Dutch woman. Cloning experts however swiftly dismissed the claim as a baseless stunt.
2004 - Millions of children given polio drops across India. Rival Afghan factions attending the Loya Jirga agreed on a national constitution, paving the way for the first free elections after nearly a quarter-century of war.
Isaac Newton, English scientist and philosopher (1643-1727)
Jakob Grimm, one half of the Brothers Grimm (1785-1863)
Louis Braille, French teacher, inventor of a writing system for blind (1809-1852)
Jane Wyman actress (1914- -)
Nirupa Roy, actress (1931- 2004)
Carlos Saura, director (1932- - )
Floyd Patterson, boxer (1935- - )
Michael Stipe, lead singer of REM (1960- - )