• On Jan. 13, 1128, Pope Honorius II sanctions the military order known as the Knights Templar, founded in 1118, declaring it to be an army of God. The Templars protected Christian pilgrims during the Crusades, military expeditions aimed at defeating Muslims in the Holy Land.
• On Jan. 8, 1946, Elvis Presley’s mother took him to the Tupelo Hardware Store and bought a birthday gift that would change history: a $6.95 guitar. Legend says Presley had really wanted a rifle or a bicycle.
• On Jan. 9, 1768, Englishman Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in London. The former cavalry sergeant major found that if he galloped in a tight circle, centrifugal force allowed him to perform seemingly impossible feats on a horse’s back.
• On Jan. 12, 1984, the use of modern construction techniques to restore the Great Pyramids in Egypt is abandoned in favor of methods used by the ancient Egyptians. Restorers stopped using mortar and adopted the system of interlocking blocks practiced by the original pyramid builders.
• On Jan. 7, 1999, the Senate begins the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton based on 11 grounds, including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, lying under oath and abuse of power.
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