Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, January 20, 2018

Today is Saturday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2018. There are 345 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 20, 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.

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

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

In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower took the oath of office as president of the United States; Richard M. Nixon was sworn in as vice president.

In 1968, in what was billed as “The Game of the Century,” No. 2 ranked Houston defeated top-ranked UCLA 71-69 at the Houston Astrodome in the first prime-time national telecast of a college basketball game.

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 1993, Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States. Actress Audrey Hepburn died in Switzerland at age 63.

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

Ten years ago: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili (sah-kahsh-VIH’-leh) was sworn in for a second term. The New England Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers in the AFC championship game, pulling out a 21-12 victory that sent them back to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in seven seasons. The New York Giants won a 23-20 overtime victory over Green Bay in the NFC championship. “Breaking Bad,” a cable TV crime drama starring Bryan Cranston as a schoolteacher-turned-meth dealer, debuted on American Movie Classics.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama was sworn in for four more years in a simple Sunday ceremony at the White House (a public ceremony took place the following day). 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.

One year ago: A bus carrying Hungarian students home from a school ski trip to France slammed into a highway barrier in northern Italy and burst into flames, killing 17 people. A shooting at West Liberty High School in Ohio left two students wounded, one critically; authorities credited the heroics of staff members who stopped the shooter and had him pinned down when police arrived.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Arte Johnson is 89. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 88. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 78. Singer Eric Stewart is 73. Movie director David Lynch is 72. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 71. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 70. Actor Daniel Benzali is 68. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 66. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 66. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 62. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 60. Actor James Denton is 55. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 53. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 53. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 53. Actor Rainn Wilson is 52. Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway is 51. Actress Stacey Dash is 51. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 50. Singer Xavier is 50. Actor Reno Wilson is 49. Singer Edwin McCain is 48. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 48. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 47. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is 46. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 39. Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee is 34. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 33. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 32. Actor Evan Peters is 31.