Today in History
Today is Friday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2023. There are 345 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 instead of March 4.
On this date:
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 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 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.
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: The San Francisco 49ers rebounded from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in the NFC championship game. The Baltimore Ravens earned their first Super Bowl appearance in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots for the AFC championship.
Five years ago: A dispute in Congress over spending and immigration forced scores of federal government agencies and outposts to close their doors; tourists were turned away from sites including the Statue of Liberty and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. (Congress voted two days later to temporarily pay for resumed operations.)
One year ago: Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that there would be a “swift, severe” response from the United States and its allies if Russia were to send military forces into Ukraine. As President Joe Biden ended the first year of his presidency, a poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found a clear majority of Americans for the first time disapproving of his handling of the job amid an unrelenting pandemic and roaring inflation. Meat Loaf, the rock superstar known for his “Bat Out of Hell” album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” died at age 74.
Today’s birthdays: Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 93. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 83. Singer Eric Stewart is 78. Movie director David Lynch is 77. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 76. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 75. Actor Daniel Benzali is 73. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 71. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 71. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 67. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 65. Actor James Denton is 60. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 58. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 58. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 58. Actor Rainn Wilson is 57. Actor Stacey Dash is 56. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 55. Actor Reno Wilson is 54. Singer Edwin McCain is 53. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 53. Rap musician Questlove (The Roots) is 52. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is 51. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 44. Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee is 39. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 38. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 37. Actor Evan Peters is 36.