On this day in 1994, the 6.7 magnitude Northridge Earthquake struck Los Angeles. It caused about $20 billion in damage and killed 61 people.
This is also the anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens in 1781. This small battle was the turning point of the American Revolution in the South. In it, the best battlefield tactician America produced, the backwoodsman Daniel Morgan, decisively and utterly defeated the most arrogant, bloody, and successful field grade officer in the British Army, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. The battle set in motion the chain of events that led directly to the decisive siege at Yorktown and the British decision to give up on the war.
On Jan. 17, 1920 the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, establishing Prohibition. By one account, 286 distilleries, 992 breweries, and more than 300,000 bars and saloons were closesd.