On this day: January 8

Published: Jan 07 2013 06:18:42 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 08 2014 02:00:00 AM EST

George Washington delivers the first State of the Union, Elvis is born, 14-year-old Bobby Fischer wins his first U.S. Chess Championships, and a gunman shoots Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others in Arizona, all on this day.

OTD January 8 - Marco Polo
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Public domain

1324: Italian explorer Marco Polo, whose epic journey to China inspired Christopher Columbus and other explorers, dies at the age of 69 in Venice, Italy. Due to the Venetian law stating that the day ends at sunset, the exact date of Polo's death cannot be determined, but he died sometime between the sunsets of Jan. 8 and 9.

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