On this Day in January, 31 of the Month’s Biggest Moments

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Photography has given us a rich visual archive of the most important events in history — everything from tragedies to the pinnacles of human achievement. Photos can bring us back to a tragic event that broke our collective hearts, a cultural moment that we rejoiced over, or a scientific breakthrough that made us see the world differently. Each month we’ll share photographs from the Shutterstock Editorial archive that show a significant historical or cultural event for each day of that month.

This month, we take a visual journey through January.


January 1

1959: Fidel Castro’s forces overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Fernando Lezcano/AP/Shutterstock

January 2

1981: The Yorkshire Ripper is apprehended after a five year manhunt.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by AP/Shutterstock

January 3

1987: Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman elected to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Mario Suriani/AP/Shutterstock

January 4

2010: The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai opens.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Mc Films/Shutterstock

January 5

1980: “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang becomes the first hip-hop song to chart in the Top 40.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

January 6

1994: Olympic Ice Skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked after a practice session in Detroit, launching one of the biggest scandals in Olympics history.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Lennox Mclendon/AP/Shutterstock

January 7

2015: Terrorists kill 12 people at the office of satirical French publication Charlie Hebdo.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Rob Arnold/Lnp/Shutterstock

January 8

2011: Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot and five people killed by a gunman in Casas Adobes, Arizona.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Matt York/AP/Shutterstock

January 9

2007: Apple CEO Steve Jobs announcing the first iPhone.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Paul Sakuma/AP/Shutterstock

January 10

1927: Director Fritz Lang’s groundbreaking sci-fi film Metropolis premieres in Berlin.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock

January 11

1903: President Theodore Roosevelt declares the Grand Canyon a national monument.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Glasshouse Images/Shutterstock

January 12

1971: All in the Family featuring the iconic Archie Bunker character debuts on CBS.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Snap/Shutterstock

January 13

1968: Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom State Prison, later re-created in the biopic Walk the Line.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Snap Stills/Shutterstock

January 14

1967: The Human Be-in takes place in San Francisco, launching the Summer of Love.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Robert W Klein/AP/Shutterstock

January 15

1967: The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock

January 16

1919: Prohibition takes effect in the United States, banning the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Universal History Archive/UIG/Shutterstock

January 17

1994: The Northridge earthquake kills 54 people in the greater Los Angeles area.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Eric Draper/AP/Shutterstock

January 18

1985: The Coen Brothers release their debut film, Blood Simple.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by River Road Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock

January 19

1966: Indira Gandhi becomes the first female Prime Minister of India.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Anonymous/AP/Shutterstock

January 20

2009: Barack Obama is sworn in, becoming the first African American President of the United States.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Shutterstock

January 21

2017: The first Women’s March takes place in Washington DC to protest the Trump administration.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Michael Reynolds/EPA/Shutterstock

January 22

1973: The Supreme Court delivers its decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in the United States.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by AP/Shutterstock

January 23

1983: The A-Team debuts on ABC.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Nbc-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

January 24

1940: The Grapes of Wrath by director John Ford premieres.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by 20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

January 25

1961: 101 Dalmatians from Walt Disney premieres.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock

January 26

1979: The Dukes of Hazzard premieres on CBS.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock

January 27

1973: The Paris Peace Accords officially end the war between the United States and Vietnam.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by AP/Shutterstock

January 28

1986: The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, killing all 7 astronauts on board, including teacher Christa McAuliffe.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by AP/Shutterstock

January 29

1964: Dr. Strangelove by director Stanley Kubrick premieres.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by Moviestore/Shutterstock

January 30

1948: Mohandas Gandhi assassinated in India.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by AP/Shutterstock

January 31

1961: Ham the Chimp becomes the first non-human hominid in outer space.

On this Day in JanuaryPhoto by AP/Shutterstock

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