2009: On this first day of the NFL calendar year, Detroit newspaper reporter Mike O’Hara observes that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams is on the cover of the Detroit Lions’ 2009 official calendar. The Lions traded Williams to Dallas four months earlier, and the underachieving wideout had been on the trading block for close to two years.
2009: Beijing’s new 44-story Mandarin Oriental hotel, still under construction, is engulfed in flames and destroyed after being showered with sparks from fireworks set off in celebration of the lantern festival that follows the Lunar New Year.
1982: A Japan Air Lines DC-8 crashes into Tokyo Bay upon approach to Haneda Airport, killing 24 of the 174 people on board. The crash is blamed on the captain, who had a history of mental illness and apparently put the engines into reverse thrust in an attempt to destroy the plane.
1825: The U.S. House of Representatives votes to elect John Quincy Adams president of the United States, following an election in which none of the four candidates—Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay—receives a majority of the electoral votes. After Clay is disqualified by virtue of the 12th amendment, which states that only the top-three candidates be considered by the House, Clay throws his support to Adams in exchange for a subsequent appointment as Secretary of State. Ultimately, Adams gets the nod despite the fact that he won fewer popular votes than Jackson.