January 1 ( ):
- 1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect, creating a three-nation trade bloc in North America.
January 2 ():
- 1974 – President Richard Nixon signed the National Maximum Speed Law, forcing states to choose between highway funding and speed limits above 55 mph.
January 3 ():
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January 6 ():
- 1893 – James J. Hill's 1700-mile Great Northern Railway, the only privately funded transcontinental railway in the United States, was completed.
January 7 ():
- 1800 – James Madison's Report of 1800, affirming the principles of the Virginia Resolutions of 1798, was passed by the Virginia House of Delegates.
- 1995 – Murray N. Rothbard, scholar and famous student of Ludwig von Mises, died.
January 8 ():
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January 10 ():
- 1776 – Thomas Paine anonymously published Common Sense, which, selling over 100,000 copies, quickly became the best-selling work in 18th-century America.
- 1834 – John Dalberg-Acton, later Lord Acton and historian of liberty, was born.
January 11 ():
January 12 ():
- 1848 – Congressman Abraham Lincoln said, "Any people anywhere... have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better."
- 1912 – Gustave de Molinari, French libertarian radical economist, died.
January 13 ():
- 1957 – Wham-O Company produced the first Frisbee.
January 14 ():
- 1784 – The Confederation Congress voted to approve the Treaty of Paris, finalizing the American Revolutionary War.
January 15 ():
- 1777 – Vermont declared independence from New York and New Hampshire.
- 1809 – Pierre Joseph Proudhon, "libertarian socialist," was born.
- 1873 – Max Adler, Austrian sociologist and socialist, was born.
January 16 ():
- 1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratified the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
January 17 ():
- 1893 – The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown by American and European residents of the islands, with the support of the United States military.
January 18 ():
- 1788 – The first ships carrying convicts from England arrived at Botany Bay to establish the first European colony in Australia.
January 19 ():
- 1808 – Lysander Spooner, abolitionist and author of No Treason, was born.
- 1830 – Senator Robert Hayne entered a debate on public land, prompting a response from Daniel Webster and igniting the great Webster-Hayne debate.
January 20 ():
January 21 ():
- 1793 – Louis XVI of France was executed in the midst of the French Revolution.
- 1980 – The gold price reached its pre-2008 high, climbing to $850 in the London PM market.
January 22 ():
- 1980 – Andrei Sakharov, winner of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize, was arrested in Moscow following his public protests against the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
January 23 ():
January 24 ():
- 1848 – James W. Marshall discovered gold in California's American River, sparking the California Gold Rush.
- 1902 – Economist Oskar Morgenstern was born.
January 25 ():
- 1787 – Daniel Shays, as part of the Shays' Rebellion, led an attack on a federal arsenal.
- 1919 – The League of Nations was founded following approval by the Paris Peace Conference.
January 26 ():
- 1808 – Combatants in the Rum Rebellion overthrew the Australian government.
- 1838 – Tennessee enacted the first prohibition law in the United States.
- 1986 – The space shuttle Challenger, at 11:38 a.m. EST, lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida and subsequently exploded.
January 27 ():
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January 30 ():
- 1934 - The Gold Reserve Act was enacted, transferring all gold from the Federal Reserve to the US Department of the Treasury.
- 1983 - Economist Fritz Machlup, Mises's friend and colleague, died.
January 31 ():