1924 The 1924 Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix, France. These were the first winter Olympic Games, and a total of 16 nations participated, 14 from Europe along with the USA and Canada. The games were held at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix between January 25 and February 5, 1924, organized by the French Olympic Committee, and were in retrospect designated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the I Olympic Winter Games. They were held in association with the 1924 Summer Olympics.
1881 The Oriental Telephone Company was established by Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. The company was licensed to sell telephones in Greece, Turkey, South Africa, India, Japan, China, and other Asian countries.
1879 The Opéra de Monte-Carlo, an opera house located in the principality of Monaco, was inaugurated with a performance by Sarah Bernhardt dressed as a nymph. The first opera performed there was Robert Planquette’s Le Chevalier Gaston on February 8, 1879, followed by three additional operas in the first season.
1759 Scottish poet Robert Burns was born in Alloway. He is regarded as the national poet of Scotland.
1627 Irish philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor Robert Boyle was born in County Waterford. He is best known for the formulation of Boyle’s law, which describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system. He is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and one of the founders of modern chemistry. Among his works, The Sceptical Chymist is seen as a cornerstone book in the field of chemistry.
1554 Portuguese Jesuit missionaries Manuel da Nóbrega and José de Anchieta (pictured below) founded the village of São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga, Brazil. The village would grow into the modern city of Sao Paulo.