* German playwright, art theorist and literature critic of the epoch of Enlightenment Gotthold Ephraim LESSING (1729-1781) was born 275 years ago. Lessing is the founding father of classic German literature, the author of the tragedy "Emilia Galotti".
* American choreographer George BALANCHIN (Georgy Balanchivadze, 1904-1983) was born 100 years ago. Balanchin is the founder and head of the American Ballet School (1934) and the American Ballet company.
* Burmese statesman and diplomat, UN Secretary General in 1962-1971 U THANT (1909-1974) was born 95 years ago.
* The Charter of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was adopted 11 years ago, in 1993.
* The czar's troops shot a peaceful procession of workers in St. Petersburg on January 25, 1905 (January 9 in the old style calendar). This event is remembered as Bloody Sunday.
* Peter the Great issued a decree on the fight against spoilage at the Tula Armory 281 years ago, in 1723. This initiated military acceptance at defense enterprises.
* Film director, cinema theorist and innovator, teacher Sergei M. EISENSHTEIN (1898-1948) was born 106 years ago. His major film "Battleship Potemkin" is famous all over the world. He also shot the films "October", "Alexander Nevsky" and "Ivan the Terrible".
* Children's writer Arkady P. GAIDAR (Golikov, 1904-1941) was born 100 years ago. He fought in the Civil and Great Patriotic Wars and was killed in action.
* Writer Pyotr L. PROSKURIN (1928-2001), the author of novels on Great Patriotic War and modern life, was born 76 years ago.
* Orthodox priest, theologian Alexander V. MEN (1935-1990), the author of books on Christian beliefs, history of religion and Orthodox worship, was born 69 years ago. Men was killed by an unidentified person on his way to the church.
* The Orthodox Church commemorates Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia Philippe who fearlessly exposed sinful deeds of Tsar Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) and his Oprichnina (a system of punitive measures and mass repression to fight against alleged treason of feudal lords). St. Philippe was assassinated by Malyuta Skuratov (?-1573), the leader of the Oprichnina terror.