Jan. 29, 1737 – American Revolutionary figure Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk, Great Britain. He would publish his most influential work, a pamphlet called “Common Sense,” in 1776.
Jan. 29, 1777 - Facing a surprise British counter-assault in the bitter cold and with a snowstorm approaching, American commander Major General William Heath and his army of 6,000 abandoned their siege on Fort Independence, in Bronx County, New York.
Jan. 29, 1777 - General George Washington put Major General Israel Putnam in command of all Patriot troops in New York. Putnam was charged with the defense of the city and its water routes.
Jan. 29, 1820 - Britain's King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.
Jan. 29, 1843 – The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, was born in Niles, Ohio.
Jan. 29, 1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, "The Raven" was published for the first time in the New York Evening Mirror and became a popular sensation. Though it made Poe a household name almost instantly, he was paid only $9 for its publication.
Jan. 29, 1858 – Jasper N. Dennard became postmaster at Burnt Corn.
Jan. 29, 1861 - Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state. It was the 34th state to enter the Union. The struggle between pro- and anti-slave forces in Kansas was a major factor in the eruption of the Civil War.
Jan. 29, 1863 - General Ulysses S. Grant was placed in command of the Army of the West and was given orders to capture Vicksburg, Miss.
Jan. 24, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes occurred near Cobb’s Mill and near the Tennessee River in North Alabama.
Jan. 29, 1864 – Joseph Ganes Sanders, the “Turncoat of Dale County,” resigned from the Confederate army.
Jan. 29, 1900 – The American League was organized in Philadelphia with eight founding teams.
Jan. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James Scales of Jackson, Ala. “died from disease.”
Jan. 29, 1936 - The first members of Major league baseball's Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY. The group included Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.
Jan. 29, 1948 – A British South American Tudor IV four-engine passenger plane called the “Star Tiger,” flying from the Azores to Bermuda, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with a crew of six and 25 passengers.
Jan. 29, 1959 – The Evergreen Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and election of officers at the Evergreen High School lunchroom. Guest speaker was Dr. George R. Stewart of Birmingham, a former Birmingham-Southern College president, who worked for Alabama Power.
Jan. 29, 1963 - The first members to the NFL's Hall of Fame were named in Canton, Ohio. The list included Sammy Baugh, Johnny Blood, Dutch Clark, Red Grange, Mel Hein, Pete Henry, Cal Hubbard, Don Hutson, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, Jim Thorpe, Bert Bell, Joe Carr, George Halas, Curly Lambeau, Tim Mara and George Preston Marshall.
Jan. 29, 1968 – NFL Hall of Fame cornerback and safety Aeneas Williams was born in New Orleans, La. He would go on to play for the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams.
Jan. 29, 1979 - San Diego teen Brenda Ann Spencer explained why she sprayed bullets on classmates on this day in 1979, saying “I don't like Mondays.”
Jan. 29, 1980 – The Cobb House in Grove Hill, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Jan. 29, 1980 – The Old Fort Dale Site, the Fort Dale Cemetery, the Old Log Barn and Oak Grove Methodist Church, all located in the Greenville, Ala. vicinity, were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Jan. 29, 1989 - Billy Joel sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXIII.
Jan. 29, 1995 - The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers, 49-26, in Super Bowl XXIX. San Francisco quarterback Steve Young threw six touchdown passes in the game.
Jan. 29, 1998 - A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Serial bomber Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta.
Jan. 29, 2002 – In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush described "regimes that sponsor terror" as an “Axis of evil,” in which he included Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
Jan. 29, 2004 - Major League Baseball owners approved the $430 million sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from News Corp. to Frank McCourt.