January 1 - Patron of the Renaissance Lorenzo de Medici was born in Florence in 1449.
- Boxer Rocky Graziano was born in 1922 in New York City. He became the middleweight champion of the world in 1947.
January 3 - Benito Mussolini assumes dictatorial powers in 1925.
January 7 - Scientist Galileo Galilei identifies the four moons of Jupiter in 1610.
January 8 - Marco Polo dies in Venice in 1324 after a life of travel and adventure. His tales of the Orient inspired all of Europe to search for shorter routes to East Asia. The discovery of America was one of the surprizing results.
January 11 - Italian-American author Bernard DeVoto was born in 1897. His book, Across the Wide Missouri became a movie starring Kirk Douglas.
January 12 - Mathemetician Giorgio Ricci-Curbasto was born in 1853. He developed Absolute Differential Calculus which was the basis for Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
January 13 - Roman general Caius Marius dies in 86 BC. His reforms converted the Roman legions from a citizen draft to a professional army.
January 18 - Italian admiral Francesco Caracciolo was born in Naples in 1752. As a soldier of fortune he fought on the British side during the American Revolution.
January 20 - Fr. Alessandro Volignano died at the Portuguese colony of Macau, near Hong Kong, in 1606. He was the first Christian missionary to Japan and is credited with some 300,000 conversions.
January 25 - Mathemetician Giuseppe Luigi La Grangia (aka LaGrange) was born in Torino in 1736. During the French Revolution he chaired the committee that developed the Metric System.
January 26 - Pierre-Paul Brazza was born in Rome in 1852. His explorations in Africa for the French were acknowledged when the capital of the French Congo was named Brazzaville (which it still is.)
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