January 1 - Western Samoa becomes independent from New Zealand.
- The United States Navy SEALs are activated. SEAL Team One is commissioned in the Pacific Fleet and SEAL Team Two in the
Atlantic Fleet. - The Beatles audition for Decca Records. - NBC introduces the Laramie Peacock before a midnight showing of Laramie.
January 2 - NAACP Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins praises U.S. President John F. Kennedy's "personal role" in
advancing civil rights.
January 3 - Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
January 4 - New York City introduces a subway train that operates without a crew on board.
January 5 - The first album on which The Beatles play, My Bonnie, credited to "Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers"
(recorded last June in Hamburg), is released by Polydor in the U.K.
January 8 - Harmelen train disaster: 93 die in the worst Dutch rail disaster.
January 9 - Cuba and the Soviet Union sign a trade pact.
January 10 - An avalanche on Nevado Huascarán in Peru causes 4,000 deaths.
January 12 - The Indonesian Army confirms that it has begun operations in West Irian.
January 13 - Albania allies itself with the People's Republic of China.
January 15 - Portugal abandons the U.N. General Assembly due to the debate over Angola.
January 16 - A military coup occurs in the Dominican Republic.
January 19 - A counter-coup occurs in the Dominican Republic; the old government returns except for the new president
Rafael Filiberto Bonnelly.
January 22 - The Organization of American States suspends Cuba's membership. The suspension is lifted in 2009.
January 24 - The East German government readopts conscription.
- The Organisation armée secrète (OAS) bombs the French Foreign Ministry.
January 26 - Ranger 3 is launched to study the Moon; it later misses the Moon by 22,000 miles.
January 27 - The Soviet government changes all place names honoring Molotov, Kaganovich and Georgi Malenkov.
January 30 - Two of the high-wire "Flying Wallendas" are killed, when their famous 7-person pyramid collapses during a performance in Detroit, Michigan. (source: Wikipedia)