Today in History
Today is Monday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2020. There are 346 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 20, 2001, George Walker Bush became America’s 43rd president after one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history.
On this date:
In 1649, King Charles I of England went on trial, accused of high treason (he was found guilty and executed by month’s end).
In 1801, Secretary of State John Marshall was nominated by President John Adams to be chief justice of the United States (he was sworn in on Feb. 4, 1801).
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 instead of March 4.
In 1942, Nazi officials held the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their “final solution” that called for exterminating Europe’s Jews.
In 1964, Capitol Records released the album “Meet the Beatles!”
In 1981, Iran released 52 Americans it had held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
In 1986, the United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. (Faulkner joined the cadet corps in Aug. 1995 under court order but soon dropped out, citing isolation and stress from the legal battle.)
In 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell, faced with stiff resistance and calls to go slow, bluntly told the Security Council that the U.N. “must not shrink” from its responsibility to disarm Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
In 2007, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., launched her first campaign for the White House, saying in a videotaped message on her website: “I’m in, and I’m in to win.”
In 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation’s 44th, as well as first African-American, president. Russian natural gas began flowing into Ukraine after a nearly two-week cutoff that had left large parts of Europe cold and dark.
In 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, pledging emphatically to empower America’s “forgotten men and women.” Protesters registered their rage against the new president in a chaotic confrontation with police just blocks from the inaugural parade.
Ten years ago: National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair conceded missteps in the government’s handling of the Christmas Day 2009 airline bombing attempt in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, undaunted by the new Republican majority in Congress, issued a sweeping challenge in his State of the Union address to do more for the poor and middle class and to end the nasty partisan political fight that had characterized his six years in office. The Islamic State group threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless its ransom demands were met. (Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa were both slain by their captors.)
One year ago: The Los Angeles Rams advanced to the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots after a 26-23 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship game; the outcome might not have been possible without what the NFL acknowledged was a mistake by officials who failed to call a penalty when a Rams player leveled a Saints receiver with a helmet-to-helmet hit in the final minutes of regulation. The Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 for the AFC championship. The year’s only total lunar eclipse was visible throughout North and South America; it took place during the year’s first supermoon, when a full moon appears a little bigger and brighter thanks to its slightly closer position.
Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 90. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 80. Singer Eric Stewart is 75. Movie director David Lynch is 74. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 73. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 72. Actor Daniel Benzali is 70. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 68. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 68. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 64. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 62. Actor James Denton is 57. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 55. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 55. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 55. Actor Rainn Wilson is 54. Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway is 53. Actress Stacey Dash is 53. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 52. Singer Xavier is 52. Actor Reno Wilson is 51. Singer Edwin McCain is 50. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 50. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 49. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is 48. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 41. Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee is 36. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 35. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 34. Actor Evan Peters is 33.
Thought for Today: “Whatever people in general do not understand, they are always prepared to dislike; the incomprehensible is always the obnoxious.” — Letitia Landon, English poet (1802-1838).
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