This Day in History: January 4
1850 - The first American ice-skating club was organized in Philadelphia, PA.
1884 - The socialist Fabian Society was founded in London.
1885 - Dr. William Grant performed the first successful appendectomy. The patient was Mary Gartside.
1896 - Utah became the 45th U.S. state.
1928 - NBC Radio debuted "The Dodge Victory Hour" which starred Will Rogers, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra and singer Al Jolson.
1935 - Bob Hope was heard for the first time on network radio as part of "The Intimate Revue."
1936 - The first pop music chart based on national sales was published by "Billboard" magazine.
1944 - The attack on Monte Cassino was launched by the British Fifth Army in Italy.
1948 - Britain granted independence to Burma.
1951 - During the Korean conflict, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.
1953 - Tufted plastic carpeting was introduced by Barwick Mills.
1957 - "Collier’s" magazine was published for the last time. The periodical was published for 69 years.
1958 - The Soviet satellite Sputknik I fell to the earth from its orbit. The craft had been launched on October 4, 1957.
1960 - French author Albert Camus died in an automobile accident at age 46.
1962 - New York City introduced a train that operated without conductors and motormen.
1965 - The Fender Guitar Company was sold to CBS for $13 million.
1965 - Poet T.S. Eliot died at age 76.
1965 - In his State of the Union address, U.S. President Johnson proclaimed the building of the "Great Society."
1972 - Rose Heilbron became the first woman judge in Britain at the Old Bailey, London.
1974 - U.S. President Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
1974 - NBC-TV presented hockey in prime time. The Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers were the teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) game.
1981 - The Broadway show "Frankenstein" lost an estimated $2 million, when it opened and closed on the same night.
1982 - Bryant Gumbel moved from NBC Sports to the anchor desk where he joined Jane Pauley as co-host of the "Today" show on NBC.
1984 - Wayne ‘The Great One’ Gretzky scored eight points (four goals and four assists) for the second time in his National Hockey League (NHL) career. Edmonton’s Oilers defeated the Minnesota North Stars, 12-8. The game was the highest-scoring NHL game to date.
1987 - An Amtrak train bound from Washington to Boston collided with Conrail engines approaching from a side track, 16 people were killed.
1990 - Charles Stuart jumped to his death from a Boston Harbor bridge. He had become a suspect in the murder of his wife. He had claimed that a gunman had shot him and his wife.
1990 - Deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega was arraigned in U.S. federal district court in Miami on drug-trafficking charges.
1991 - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn Israel's treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
1997 - The Greek Cypriot government signed an agreement to buy S-300 surface-to-air missiles from Russia.
1999 - A drifting Nicaraguan fishing boat was found by the Norwegian oil tanker Joelm. The fisherman had been lost at sea for 35 days after the engine of their vessel quit working.
1999 - 16 people were killed and 25 injured when gunmen opened fire on Shiite Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan.
1999 - Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as Minnesota's 37th governor.
2001 - FBI agents in the Dallas area charged the "Texas 7" of unlawful flight to avoid federal prosecution for capital murder, broadening the manhunt nationwide.
2006 - Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first woman to hold the position.
2010 - In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower) opened as the world's tallest tower at 2,625 feet.