Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2022. There are 345 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 20, 1942, Nazi officials held the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their “final solution” that called for exterminating Europe’s Jews.

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.

In 1841, the island of Hong Kong was ceded by China to Great Britain. (It returned to Chinese control in July 1997.)

In 1936, Britain’s King George V died after his physician injected the mortally ill monarch with morphine and cocaine to hasten his death; the king was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne 11 months later to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 instead of March 4.

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 1986, the United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation’s 44th, as well as first African American, president.

In 2011, 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.

In 2020, 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.

Ten years ago: France threatened to withdraw early from Afghanistan after an Afghan soldier killed four French troops and wounded 15 in a setback for the U.S.-led coalition’s efforts to build a national army and allow foreign troops to go home. Singer Etta James, 73, died in Riverside, California.

Five years ago: 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.

One year ago: Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, declaring that “democracy has prevailed.” Kamala Harris – the first female vice president, and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to hold the position – was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. With Washington on edge, troops in riot gear lined the streets, and armored vehicles and concrete barriers blocked the empty streets around the Capitol building. Three new senators were sworn into office after Biden’s inauguration, securing a Senate majority for Democrats. Donald Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida by the time Biden was sworn in; he was the first president in modern history to boycott his successor’s inauguration. Leaving the White House, Trump hinted at a comeback, saying, “We’ll see each other again.”

Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 92. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 82. Singer Eric Stewart is 77. Movie director David Lynch is 76. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 75. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 74. Actor Daniel Benzali is 72. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 70. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 70. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 66. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 64. Actor James Denton is 59. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 57. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 57. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 57. Actor Rainn Wilson is 56. Actor Stacey Dash is 55. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 54. Actor Reno Wilson is 53. Singer Edwin McCain is 52. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 52. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 51. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is 50. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 43. Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee is 38. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 37. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 36. Actor Evan Peters is 35.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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