On Jan. 15, 1981, the police drama series “Hill Street Blues” premiered on NBC. (Baltimore Sun files)
Jan. 15, 1559: England's Queen Elizabeth I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.
Jan. 15, 1943: Work was completed on the Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of War (now Defense).
Jan. 16, 1920: Prohibition began in the United States as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, one year to the day after its ratification. (It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.)
Jan. 16, 1978: NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America's first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America's first black astronaut in space.
Jan. 17, 1706: Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston.
Jan. 18, 1778: English navigator Captain James Cook reached the present-day Hawaiian Islands, which he named the “Sandwich Islands.”
Jan. 18, 1919: The Paris Peace Conference, held to negotiate peace treaties ending the First World War, opened in Versailles, France.
Jan. 18, 1943: During World War II, Jewish insurgents in the Warsaw Ghetto launched their initial armed resistance against Nazi troops, who eventually succeeded in crushing the rebellion.
Jan. 18, 1943: A U.S. ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread — aimed at reducing bakeries' demand for metal replacement parts — went into effect.
Jan. 18, 1957: A trio of B-52's completed the first non-stop, round-the-world flight by jet planes, landing at March Air Force Base in California after more than 45 hours aloft.
Jan. 18, 1993: The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
Jan. 19, 1937: Millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.
Jan. 19, 1955: A presidential news conference was filmed for television and newsreels for the first time, with the permission of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Jan. 19, 1992: German government and Jewish officials dedicated a Holocaust memorial at the villa on the outskirts of Berlin where the notorious Wannsee Conference had taken place.
Jan. 20, 1265: England's first representative Parliament met for the first time; the gathering at Westminster was composed of bishops, abbots, peers, Knights of the Shire and town burgesses.
Jan. 20, 1945: President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into office for an unprecedented fourth term.
Jan. 20, 1986: The United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan. 21, 1908: New York City's Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance prohibiting women from smoking in public establishments (the measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr., but not before one woman, Katie Mulcahey, was jailed overnight for refusing to pay a fine).
Jan. 21, 1954: The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Connecticut (however, the Nautilus did not make its first nuclear-powered run until nearly a year later).
Jan. 21, 1976: British Airways and Air France inaugurated scheduled passenger service on the supersonic Concorde jet.
Compiled by Lori Sears and Paul McCardell.