Jan. 11 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1785, the Continental Congress convened in New York City.
In 1861, Alabama seceded from the United States.
In 1935, aviator Amelia Earhart completed the first solo flight made between the Hawaiian Islands and the American mainland.
In 1949, Los Angeles noted a record-setting snowfall, a rare event for the city's semitropical climate. A three-day storm in early 1949 dumped more than a foot of snow through much of the San Fernando and outlying valleys.
In 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report saying smoking cigarettes is a definite "health hazard."
In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated a $10 million award to the family of Oklahoma nuclear worker Karen Silkwood, who died in 1974.
In 1990, martial law, imposed during the June 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement, was lifted in Beijing.
In 1996, the Japanese Diet elected Ryutaro Hashimoto, head of the Liberal Democratic Party, as prime minister.
In 2002, Ford announced it planned to lay off 35,000 employees, drop four car models and close four plants.
In 2011, heavy rain in Brazil triggered floods and mudslides that killed more than 900 people and left an estimated 25,000 homeless.
In 2014, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died at age 85. He had been in a coma for eight years following a massive stroke.
In 2018, President Donald Trump stirred controversy when he used a vulgar term to describe Haiti, El Salvador and African nations during a bipartisan meeting on an immigration deal. He questioned why people from the areas immigrate to the United States.
In 2020, China reported its first known death from what was then considered a mysterious outbreak of viral pneumonia. The disease would come to be identified as a novel coronavirus -- COVID-19 -- that, after one year, killed nearly 2 million people worldwide.