January 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in the states rebelling against the Union.
January 1, 1892: Ellis Island in New York Harbor opened. Over 20 million new arrivals to America were processed there until its closing in 1954.
January 1, 1975: During the Watergate scandal, former top aides to President Nixon, including former Attorney General John Mitchell, Domestic Affairs Adviser John Ehrlichman, and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, were found guilty of obstruction of justice.
January 3, 1924: British Egyptologist Howard Carter found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor after several years of searching.