Jan. 15 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1870, a cartoon by Thomas Nast appeared in Harper's weekly with a donkey symbolizing the Democratic Party for the first time.
In 1892, Dr. James Naismith published the rules of basketball. He invented the game at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass.
In 1919, 21 people were killed and scores injured when a vat holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses exploded and sent torrents of the syrup into the streets of Boston. The event is known as the Boston Molasses Disaster.
In 1922, the Irish Free State was formed.
In 1943, the Pentagon, the world's largest building of its kind, was dedicated on the Virginia side of the Potomac River just outside of Washington.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon called a halt to U.S. military offensives in Vietnam.
In 2001, free online encyclopedia Wikipedia debuts, giving users the ability to create and edit articles. Within four years, Wikipedia was the largest and fastest-growing educational reference website.
In 2009, all 155 people aboard US Airways Flight 1549 escaped serious injury when pilot Chesley Sullenberger gently landed his disabled aircraft in the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey. The landing became known as the "Miracle on the Hudson."
In 2011, voters in southern Sudan overwhelmingly approved a referendum to secede from Sudan and become an independent African nation.