On this day, Jan. 26 …

2020: Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, and his daughter Gianna are among those killed in a helicopter crash in California.

Also on this day:

  • 1784: In a letter to his daughter Sarah, Benjamin Franklin expresses unhappiness over the choice of the bald eagle as the symbol of America and states his own preference: the turkey.
  • 1939: Principal photography begins for David O. Selznick’s movie version of "Gone with the Wind."
  • 1942: The first American Expeditionary Force to head to Europe during World War II arrives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  • 1961: Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.
  • 1962: The United States launches Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon, but the probe ends up missing its target by more than 22,000 miles.
  • 1986: Super Bowl XX: The Chicago Bears defeat the New England Patriots 46-10 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
  • 1988: The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Phantom of the Opera" opens at Broadway’s Majestic Theater.
  • 1992: Super Bowl XXVI: The Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills 37-24 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
  • 1992: Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, appearing with his wife, Hillary, on CBS’ "60 Minutes," acknowledges "causing pain in my marriage," but says past problems are not relevant to the campaign.
  • 1993: Vaclav Havel is elected president of the newly formed Czech Republic.
  • 1997: Super Bowl XXXI: The Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots 35-21 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
  • 1998: President Bill Clinton forcefully denies having an affair with a former White House intern, telling reporters, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
  • 2003: Secretary of State Colin Powell, citing Iraq’s lack of cooperation with U.N. inspectors, says he has lost faith in the inspectors’ ability to conduct a definitive search for banned weapons programs.
  • 2003: Super Bowl XXXVII: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rout the Oakland Raiders, 48-21 at Qualcomm Stadium (now SDCCU Stadium) in San Diego.
  • 2009: The impeachment trial of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich opens in Springfield, with Blagojevich refusing to take part, claiming the rules are biased against him.
  • 2009: Nadya Suleman gives birth to six boys and two girls, the world’s longest-surviving set of octuplets, at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in California. She is dubbed "Octomom."
  • 2018: A jury in suburban New Orleans finds Ronald Gasser guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of NFL running back Joe McKnight in a December 2016 road rage confrontation.