Today in History

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Posted: Jan 20, 2017 12:01 AM

Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2017. 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 1649, King Charles I of England went on trial, accused of high treason (he was found guilty and executed by month's end).

In 1887, the U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.

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 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into office for an unprecedented fourth term.

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon were sworn in for their second terms of office in a private Sunday ceremony (a public ceremony was held the next day).

In 1969, Richard M. Nixon was inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States.

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 1992, an Air Inter Airbus A-320 crashed near Strasbourg, France, killing 87 of the 96 people on board.

In 2001, George Walker Bush became America's 43rd president after one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history.

Ten years ago: Twenty-five U.S. troops were killed in Iraq, including 12 in a helicopter crash in Baghdad and five in a sophisticated sneak attack in Karbala. 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." Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas began a long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination (he withdrew in Oct. 2007).

Five 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.

One year 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, Michigan. 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.

(Stations: "?uestlove" is correct)

Today's Birthdays: Comedian Arte Johnson is 88. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 87. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 77. Singer Eric Stewart is 72. Movie director David Lynch is 71. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 70. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 69. Actor Daniel Benzali is 67. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 65. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 65. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 61. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 59. Actor James Denton is 54. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 52. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 52. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 52. Actor Rainn Wilson is 51. Actress Stacey Dash is 50. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 49. Singer Xavier is 49. Actor Reno Wilson is 48. Singer Edwin McCain is 47. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 47. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 46. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is 45. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 38. Singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee is 33. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 32. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 31. Actor Evan Peters is 30.

Thought for Today: "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." — Alexis de Tocqueville, French author (1805-1859).