TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1606, Guy Fawkes was executed for his role in the Gunpowder Plot in Britain.
In 1958, Explorer 1 was launched, marking the first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit.
In 1968, the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive began in South Vietnam.
In 2010, James Cameron's "Avatar" became the first film to reach a worldwide gross of $2 billion.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Franz Schubert (1797-1828), composer; John O'Hara (1905-1970), author; Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), baseball player; Carol Channing (1921-2019), actress; Norman Mailer (1923-2007), author/journalist; Ernie Banks (1931-2015), baseball player; Jonathan Banks (1947- ), actor; Nolan Ryan (1947- ), baseball player; Minnie Driver (1970- ), actress; Portia de Rossi (1973- ), actress; Justin Timberlake (1981- ), singer-songwriter; Marcus Mumford (1987- ), singer-songwriter.
TODAY'S FACT: The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car of all time, with 43 million units sold since its debut in 1966.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1999, Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway won his second consecutive Super Bowl and the final game of his NFL playing career, leading the Denver Broncos to a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. Elway was also selected as the game's MVP.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Ultimately a hero is a man who would argue with the gods, and so awakens devils to contest his vision. The more a man can achieve, the more he may be certain that the devil will inhabit a part of his creation." -- Norman Mailer, "The Presidential Papers"
TODAY'S NUMBER: $22.54 - amount of the first Social Security check, issued on this day in 1940 to Ida May Fuller, who lived on a Vermont farm. Having worked less than three years under Social Security, she paid only $24.75 into the system, but she had collected $22,888.92 by the time of her death in 1975.
TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (Jan. 24) and first quarter moon (Feb. 1).