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 counterassault 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. Acting on orders from General George Washington, General Heath and his men had begun their assault on Fort Independence 11 days earlier on Jan. 18, 1777. General Washington, who was under British attack in nearby New Jersey, believed that a successful assault on Fort Independence would force the British to divert troops from New Jersey to defend the outpost, located just outside British-controlled Manhattan between the Post Roads to Boston and Albany.
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, Ala.
Jan. 29 1860 – Russian novelist, playwright and physician Anton Chekhov was born in the seaside town of Taganrog.
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, 1861 – The US Revenue cutter, Robert McClelland, was seized by Louisiana State Troops near New Orleans.
Jan. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation began in the vicinity of Blue Springs, Mo. A skirmish was fought at Lee's House, close to the Occoquan Bridge, over the Occoquan River, in Virginia.
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. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes ocurred 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, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 26-day Federal operation began from Vicksburg, Miss. to Waterproof, La., laying waste to the countryside by raiding plantations and confiscating anything of value, not necessarily of military value--just of value. Skirmishes were also fought at Gloucester Court House and a second day of skirmishing occurred near Jonesville, Va. A four-day Federal operation began in Isla of Wright County, Va.
Jan. 29, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmish near Danville, Ky.; near Harrodsburg, Ky.; and at Robertsville, S.C. A 10-day Federal operation began between Bayou Goula and Grand River, La., with skirmishing at Richland Plantation.
Jan. 29, 1880 – Actor W.C. Fields was born William Dukenfield in Darby, Pa.
Jan. 29, 1900 – The American League of professional baseball was organized in Philadelphia with eight founding teams.
Jan. 29, 1915 – The home of Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Foxworth in Beatrice, Ala. was nearly destroyed by fire.
Jan. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James Scales of Jackson, Ala. “died from disease.”
Jan. 29, 1927 – Novelist and essayist Edward Abbey was born in Indiana, Pa.
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 (Ala.) 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 Pro Football 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, 1964 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Reed was born in Allentown, Pa. He would go on to play college ball at Kutztown and pro ball for the Buffalo Bills, the Denver Broncos and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
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, 1973 - The fighting continued in South Vietnam despite the cease-fire that was initiated on Jan. 28, 1973, under the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords. This latest fighting was part of the ongoing battles that followed the brief lull of the cease-fire. The Peace Accords had left an estimated 145,000 North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam when the cease-fire went into effect. Renewed fighting broke out after the cease-fire as both sides jockeyed for control of territory throughout South Vietnam. Each side held that military operations were justified by the other side’s violations of the cease-fire, resulting in an almost endless chain of retaliations.
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, 1989 - The television program “Home Fires Burning,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert Inman, was broadcast.
Jan. 29, 1993 – Journalist, novelist and poet Gustav Hasford, a native of Russellville, Ala., died at the age of 45 in Aegina, Greece. He suffered from untreated diabetes and died of heart failure. His semi-autobiographical novel “The Short-Timers” (1979) was the basis of the film “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). He was also a United States Marine Corps veteran, who served during the Vietnam War.
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.
Jan. 29, 2013 – A gunman killed a school bus driver and held a six-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker in Midland City, Alabama.