St. Lucia's Day
St. Lucia (also called Lucy) was a fourth-century Italian martyr. Her name is derived from the Latin lux, meaning "light," so she has become associated with festivals and celebrations of light. Before the Gregorian calendar reform in 1752, her feast day occurred on the shortest day of the year (hence the saying "Lucy light, Lucy light, shortest day and longest night"). St. Lucia Day is especially important in Italy and in Sweden, where the oldest (or sometimes youngest) daughter dons a crown of burning candles and wakes the family with coffee and St. Lucia buns (sweet rolls seasoned with saffron).
1642: New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman
1769: Reverend Eleazar Wheelock founded Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., with a royal charter. His intention was to provide "education and instruction of Youth and of the Indian Tribes in this Land . . . and also of English Youth and any others."
Died 1784: Samuel Johnson (writer)
Born 1818: Mary Todd Lincoln (U.S. First Lady)
Born 1894: Anthony B. Heinsbergen (muralist)
Born 1913: Archie Moore (boxer)
1915: The San Diego city council hired "moisture accelerator" Charles Hatfield to bring rain to the city's nearly empty reservoirs. He did his job so well that by the end of January, 28 inches of rain had fallen, causing major flooding. The council refused to pay him and he fled town with his secret formula.
1918: Woodrow Wilson became the first US President to visit European countries while in office, arriving France to attend the Versailles Conference.
Born 1925: Dick Van Dyke (actor)
Born 1929: Christopher Plummer (Canadian actor)
Born 1948: Ted Nugent (musician)
Born 1957: Steve Buscemi (actor)
Died 1961: Grandma Moses (artist)
Born 1967: Jamie Foxx (actor)
1978: The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar
Born 1981: Amy Lee (singer)
1983: Highest scoring game in NBA history. Detroit Pistons 186 - Denver Nuggets 184, triple OT.