• On Jan. 24, 1848, a millwright named James Marshall discovers gold along the banks of Sutter’s Creek in California, forever changing the course of history in the American West. Within months, the world’s largest gold rush had begun.
• On Jan. 23, 1922, at Toronto General Hospital, 14-year-old Leonard Thompson becomes the first person to receive an insulin injection as treatment for diabetes. He improved dramatically, and the University of Toronto gave pharmaceutical companies license to produce insulin, free of royalties.
• On Jan. 21, 1957, singer Patsy Cline, one of the greatest figures in country music, first gains national attention with her winning appearance on CBS’ “Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts.” The program featured amateur entertainers making their national television debuts.
• On Jan. 26, 1961, President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet Travell, 59, as his personal physician, making her the first woman ever to hold the post. Travell, an orthopedist, had worked closely with Kennedy for five years, treating his persistent back pain.
• On Jan. 27, 1975, a bipartisan Senate investigation of activities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency is launched by a special congressional committee. The committee reported that the FBI and the CIA had conducted illegal surveillance of several hundred thousand U.S. citizens and had illegally plotted to assassinate foreign leaders.
• On Jan. 22, 1981, Rolling Stone magazine’s John Lennon tribute issue hit newsstands, featuring a cover photograph of Lennon and Yoko Ono. The photo had been taken on the morning of Dec. 8, 1980, just 12 hours before Lennon’s death.
• On Jan. 25, 1995, Russia’s early-warning defense radar detects an unexpected missile launch near Norway that was thought to be part of a surprise nuclear strike by Western nuclear submarines. Later, it was revealed that the missile actually was carrying instruments for scientific measurements.
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