Today in History

Published 8:11 am Wednesday, January 20, 2021

By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2021. There are 345 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 20, 1986, the United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
On this date:
In 1265, England’s first representative Parliament met for the first time.
In 1801, Secretary of State John Marshall was nominated by President John Adams to be chief justice of the United States. (Marshall would be sworn in on Feb. 4, 1801.)
In 1887, the U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.
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 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States.
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 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 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.
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: In a luncheon speech to American business executives in Washington, Chinese President Hu Jintao denied his country was a military threat despite its arms buildup and pressed the U.S. for closer cooperation between the global powers. Federal authorities orchestrated one of the biggest Mafia takedowns in FBI history, charging 127 suspected mobsters and associates in the Northeast with murders, extortion and other crimes spanning decades.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama hailed the revival of the nation’s auto industry during a visit to Detroit while acknowledging the water crisis in nearby Flint, Mich. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced that 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record keeping. Kathryn Smith was promoted by the Buffalo Bills to take over as special teams quality control coach, making her the NFL’s first full-time female coach.
One year ago: Chinese government experts confirmed human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, saying two people caught the virus from family members and that some health workers had tested positive. Tens of thousands of gun-rights activists rallied at the Virginia Capitol to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation. (Lawmakers eventually approved seven of the eight measures in Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun-control package.) Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff moved into the second round at the Australian Open by beating Venus Williams in straight sets.
Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 91. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 81. Singer Eric Stewart is 76. Movie director David Lynch is 75. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 74. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 73. Actor Daniel Benzali is 71. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 69. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 69. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 65. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 63. Actor James Denton is 58. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 56. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 56. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 56. Actor Rainn Wilson is 55. Actor Stacey Dash is 54. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 53. Actor Reno Wilson is 52. Singer Edwin McCain is 51. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 51. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 50. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is 49. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 42. Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee is 37. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 36. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 35. Actor Evan Peters is 34.

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