- 1957 - According to Decca Records, Bill Haley & His Comets, 'Rock Around The Clock' had sold over a million copies in the UK, mostly on 10 inch 78's
- 2010 – Avatar becomes the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide.
- 1969 – The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.
- 1971 – Carole King's Tapestry album is released to become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide.
- 1972 - Instant Karma:, Paul McCartney wrote and, with Wings, recorded his protest song 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish' within 24 hours of Bloody Sunday. John & Yoko soon recorded the original song, "Sunday Bloody Sunday."
- 2010 - Neil Young was named the MusiCares person of the year
- 1845 – "The Raven" is published in the New York Evening Mirror, the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe
- 1967 – The "ultimate high" of the hippie era, the Mantra-Rock Dance, takes place in San Francisco and features Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, and Allen Ginsberg.
- 1992 - Died: American blues singer and guitarist Willie Dixon,of heart failure
- 1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first US television appearance on the Dorsey brother's "Stage Show."
- 1958 – The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
- 1958 – The last episode of the British radio comedy programme The Goon Show is broadcast.
- 1968 - The Doors' Jim Morrison was arrested and charged with public drunkenness after harassing a security guard at a Las Vegas adult movie theatre.
- 1985 - The recording took place for We Are The World at A&M Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles
- 1956 - RCA Records release Elvis Presley's single, 'Heartbreak Hotel.'
- 1961 - Frank Sinatra played a benefit show for Martin Luther King at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
- 1984 – Pop singer Michael Jackson suffers second degree burns to his scalp during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in the Shrine Auditorium.
- 1961 – John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician. This is the first time a woman holds the appointment of Physician to the President.
- 1968 - The first Pink Floyd first gig without Syd Barrett, at Southampton University. Support act: Tyrannosaurus Rex,(later to be renamed T Rex) featuring Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrine Took.
- 1970 - Instant record: John Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed his new single 'Instant Karma!,' all in one day, and released it in stores the following week.
- 1978 – The Great Blizzard of 1978, a rare severe blizzard with the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the US until October 2010, strikes the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h).
- 1980 - US TV debut of Prince, on the music program 'American Bandstand.'
- 1858 – The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn is played at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia, and becomes a popular wedding recessional.
- 1964 - The Beatles' first #1 in Cash Box Magazine: "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
- 1978 - Live debut at Pips in Manchester, England: Joy Division.
- 1958 - The Quarry Men's only performance under that name at the Cavern Club, in Liverpool.
- 1962 - Brian Epstein signed a management deal with The Beatles.
- 1969 - If US record dealers were caught selling John & Yoko's experimental LP 'Two Virgins,'New Jersey state prosecutors issue a warning stated the stores would be charged with distributing pornography.
- 1978 - Because of the title on the B-side of the the Buzzcocks' 45, 'Oh Sh*t,' workers at EMI's record pressing plant refused to press copies of the upcoming single, 'What Do I Get'
- 1956 - In Cleveland, Rock 'n' Roll fans under the age of 18 were banned from dancing in public (unless accompanied by an adult).
- 1971 - Bruce Springsteen's band, Steel Mill, played their final show.
- 1973 – President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
- 1977 - Patti Smith broke her vertebra when she fell off the stage at a gig in Tampa, Florida, opening for Bob Seger.
- 1978 - Chicago guitarist Terry Kath accidentally shot himself dead while cleaning (with what he believed) was an unloaded gun
- 1986 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
- 1988, Nirvana recorded a 10-song demo, produced by Seattle's Jack Endino.
- 1946 – Creation of the Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.
- 1947 – KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood, California.
- 1959 - The last recordings of Buddy Holly, recorded alone with an acoustic guitar and tape recorder in his New York City apartment.
- 1967 - The first ever live performance of the Monkees, at The Cow Palace, San Francisco to a sell-out crowd.
- 1966 - George Harrison married Patti Boyd at Leatherhead Register Office in Surrey<Best man? Paul McCartney.
- 1968, Jimi Hendrix recorded his version of Bob Dylan's 'All Along the Watchtower' at Olympic Studios in London, with Brian Jones and Dave Mason.
- 1986 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time.
- 1988 - Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The Beatles.
- 1967 - At EMI studios in London, the Beatles began recording 'A Day In The Life.'
- 1978 - Fired from the Sex Pistols: Johnny Rotten (Lydon)
- 1944 – The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz concert for the first time. The performers are Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.
- 1965 - At the RCA studio in Hollywood, California, the Rolling Stones recorded 'The Last Time' and 'Play With Fire' Phil Spector played acoustic guitar on the latter.
- 1993 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is officially observed for the first time in all 50 states.
- 1904 – Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.
- 1929 – Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.
- 1949 – The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, airs for the first time.
- 1950 – The Great Brinks Robbery – 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car company's offices in Boston, Massachusetts.
- 1964 - Released: The Rolling Stonesf irst EP, which included, ‘You Better Move On’, ‘Poison Ivy’, ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ and ‘Money.’
- 1967 - Story reported in the Daily Mail: A local council survey finding 4,000 holes in the road in Lancashire.
- 1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
- 1957 - The Cavern Club opened in Liverpool.
- 1964 – Hello, Dolly! (musical) starring Carol Channing opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.
- 1970 - Raided by Scotland Yard: Two days after it opened, the Bag One Gallery in London.The police remove eight John Lennon lithographs under the Obscene Publications Act.
- 1973 - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played to an audience of 25 people appeared at Villanova University, Philadelphia, due to a lack of advertising because of a strike at the time by the school's newspaper.
- 1980 - Jailed in Tokyo: Paul McCartney, for nine days, for marijuana possession.
- 1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the Democratic Party with a donkey ("A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" by Thomas Nast for Harper's Weekly).
- 1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia.
- 1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: A large molasses tank in Boston, Massachusetts, bursts and a wave of molasses rushes through the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.
- 1965 - The Who released their first single 'I Can't Explain' under that name.
- 1967 - When appearing on the U.S variety TV program, "The Ed Sullivan Show," the Rolling Stones were forced to change the lyrics of 'Let’s Spend The Night Together' to Let’s Spend Some Time Together."
- 2001 – Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.
- 1963 - Debut with the Rolling Stones: Charlie Watts, at The Flamingo Jazz Club, Soho, London.
- 1966 - Name change: David Jones to David Bowie, to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from the Monkees,
- 1967 - The Human Be-In-A Gathering Of The Tribes at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park
- 1973 – Elvis Presley's concert Aloha from Hawaii is broadcast live via satellite, and sets the record as the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history.
- 1978 - The Sex Pistols final show of the 1978 tour,at Winterland, San Francisco,
- 1898 – Émile Zola's J'accuse exposes the Dreyfus affair.
- 1962 - Chubby Checker's "The Twist" went to No. 1 on the US singles chart for the second time. The first was in 1960.
- 1967 - In attendance at the Jimi Hendrix Experience show at Bag O'Nails Club, London: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
- 1968 – Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom State Prison.
- 1973 - Eric Clapton's comeback. arranged by Pete Townshend, at the Rainbow Theatre, London.
- 1906 – Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's cabinet (which included amongst its members H. H. Asquith, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill) embarks on sweeping social reforms after a Liberal landslide in the British general election.
- 1908 – A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
- 1969 – The New York Jets of the American Football League defeat the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League to win Super Bowl III in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
- 1969 - UK release for Led Zeppelin's debut album.
- 1971 – "All in the Family," the famous situation comedy, premieres on CBS.
- 1993 - No show: Van Morrison at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction dinner.
- 1958 - Delayed one week: The release date for the Elvis Presley single 'Jailhouse Rock.' The Decca Records pressing plant in the UK was unable to meet the advance orders of 250,000 copies.
- 1964 - First Country album to go to No.1 in the US album chart: 'Ring Of Fire' by Johnny Cash.
- 1964 - Number one single on the Cash Box charts: 'Louie Louie' by The Kingsmen.
- 1927 – Fritz Lang's futuristic film Metropolis is released in Germany.
- 1929 – The Adventures of Tintin, one of the most popular European comic books, is first published in Belgium.
- 1956 - "Heartbreak Hotel" recorded by Elvis Presley at his first recordings for RCA Records at The Methodist television, radio & TV Studios in Nashville.
- 1964 - "Not Fade Away" recorded by the Rolling Stones was recorded at Regent Sound Studios in London, England.
- 1964 - "Introducing The Beatles," the Fabs first U.S. album. was released on Vee-Jay records.
- 1976 - Died: Chester Burnett, a.k.a. Howlin Wolf, of cancer, 66.
- 1990 – Time Warner is formed by the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications.
- 2005 - Drummer Spencer Dryden, nephew of Charlie Chaplin, died from colon cancer at his home in California aged 66. Drydan was the drummer for Jefferson Airplane, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Dinosaurs.
- 1961 - No. 1 US LP: Bob Newhart, with 'The Button Down Mind Strikes Back!'
- 1963 - Drummer Charlie Watts officially joined The Rolling Stones after leaving Blues Incorporated.
- 2007 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the first iPhone.
- 1877 – Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle against the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain, Montana Territory.
- 1958 - The Everly Brothers 17 date North American tour begins at the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina: Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, The Rays, Royal Teens, Shepherd Sisters, Paul Anka, Margie Rayburn and Danny & The Juniors.
- 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a "War on Poverty" in the United States.
- 1969 - Barred from the Hotel Crillen in Lima, Peru: Mike Jagger and Keith Richards, from an exclusive hotel for wearing only "op art" pants.
- 1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.
- 1894 – William Kennedy Dickson receives a patent for motion picture film.
- 1904 – The distress signal "CQD" is established only to be replaced two years later by "SOS".
- 1927 – The first transatlantic telephone service is established – from New York, New York to London, United Kingdom.
- 1964 - Died: Harmonica player Cyril Davies, 32, died of leukaemia.
- 1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorizes legislation giving $1.5 billion in loans to bail out the Chrysler Corporation.
- 1912 – German geophysicist Alfred Wegener first presents his theory of continental drift.
- 1975 - Canceled: A Led Zeppelin concert at the Boston Garden, after over 2,000 fans rioted trying to buy tickets. Another concert was booked at the Nassau Coliseum to try and accommodate fans.
- 1977 - EMI Records dropped The Sex Pistols, pays out their contract.
- 1994 – Nancy Kerrigan is clubbed on the knee at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Michigan.
- 1914 – The Ford Motor Company announces an eight-hour workday and that it would pay a "living wage" of at least $5 for a day's labor.
- 1933 – Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge begins in San Francisco Bay.
- 1940 – FM radio is demonstrated to the Federal Communications Commission for the first tim
- 1968 - Jimi Hendrix, after destroying everything in his room at the Goteberg Hotel while drunk, was jailed for one day in Stockholm, Sweden
- 1973 - Released: Bruce Springsteen's debut album, 'Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.'
- 1976 - Mal Evans, former Beatles roadie and Apple producer, was shot dead by police at his Los Angeles apartment.
- 1978 - The Sex Pistols began their final tour with the Sid Vicious line-up, in Atlanta, Georgia.
- 1979 - Died: Charles Mingus, 56.
- 1998 - U.S. Congreeman Sonny Bono was killed in a skiing accident.
- 2004 - In New Orleans, During a robbery, Ray Davies of the Kinks was shot in the leg.
- 1936 - Billboard Magazine published the first ever-pop music chart that ranked records on national sales; No. 1 was big band violinist Joe Venuti.
- 1965 - CBS bought out the Fender guitar company for $13 million.
- 1967 - The Doors released their self-titled debut album.
- 1986 - Died: Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy
- 1967 - Beach Boy Carl Wilson, after receiving his US army draft notice, refused to be sworn in, saying he was a conscientious objector.
- 1969 - On the UK's "Kuku Show," the Jimi Hendrix Experience unexpectedly perform the Cream song 'Sunshine Of Your Love' as a tribute to the band who had split a few days earlier. This would inspire Elvis Costello's appearance on SNL in 1977.
- 1974 - Bob Dylan, with the Band, begins his first tour since 1966 in Chicago.
- 1977 – Apple Computers is incorporated.
- 1979 - U2 - then known as The Hype - appeared at McGonagils in Dublin, Ireland.
- 2000 – The last original weekday Peanuts comic strip is published.
- 1926 - The first issue of The Melody Maker went on sale, priced at 3d.
- 1968 - The entire shipment of John and Yoko's experimental album 'Two Virgins' was seized by authorities in New Jersey due to the full frontal nude photograph of the couple on the cover.
- 1969 - The Beatles begin filming "Let It Be" at Twickenham studios.
- 1953 - Country legend Hank Williams died of heart failure during a car ride on the way to a concert, brought on by a lethal mix of pills and alcohol, aged 29.
- 1962 - The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records in West Hampstead, London. A&R boss at Decca Dick Rowe turned them down, predicting "guitar groups are on the way out."
- 1964 - The debut of the BBC TV show "Top Of The Pops."
- 1968 - For the first time, albums had outsold singles in the US, according to Billboard.
- 1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.
- 1977 Opening night at punk's first real venue, The Roxy Club in London. The Clash were the headliners.