January 20

1265 - The first English parliament met in Westminster Hall. 

1801 - John Marshall was appointed chief justice of the United States. 

1839 - Chile defeated a confederation of Peru and Bolivia in the Battle of Yungay. 

1841 - The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain. It returned to Chinese control in July 1997. 

1885 - The roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson. 

1886 - The Mersey Railway Tunnel was officially opened by the Prince of Wales. 

1887 - The U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base. 

1891 - James Hogg took office as the first native-born governor of Texas. 

1892 - The first official basketball game was played by students at the Springfield, MA, YMCA Training School. 

1929 - The movie "In Old Arizona" was released. The film was the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors. 

1937 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on January 20th. The 20th Amendment of theU.S. Constitution officially set the date for the swearing in of the President and Vice President. 

1942 - Nazi officials held the Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their "final solution" that called for exterminating Europe's Jews. 

1944 - The British RAF dropped 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin. 

1952 - In Juarez, Mexico, Patricia McCormick debuted as the first professional woman bullfighter from the United States. 

1953 - "Studio One" became the first television show to be transmitted from the United States to Canada. 

1954 - The National Negro Network was formed on this date. Forty radio stations were charter members of the network. 

1961 - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were divorced. They were married on June 29, 1956. 

1972 - The number of unemployed in Britain exceeded 1 million. 

1981 - Iran released 52 Americans that had been held hostage for 444 days. The hostages were flown to Algeria and then to a U.S. base in Wiesbaden, West Germany. The release occurred minutes after the U.S. presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. 

1985 - The most-watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 38-16. Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars a minute. 

1986 - The U.S. observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. 

1986 - Britain and France announced their plans to build the Channel Tunnel. 

1986 - New footage of the 1931 "Frankenstein" was found. The footage was originally deleted because it was considered to be too shocking. 

1987 - Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon. He was there attempting to negotiate the release of Western hostages. He was not freed until November 1991. 

1994 - Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. Faulkner joined the cadet corps in August 1995 under court order but soon dropped out. 

1996 - Yasser Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority and his supporters won two thirds of the 80 seats in the Legislative Council. 

1997 - Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term as president of the United States. 

1998 - American researchers announced that they had cloned calves that may produce medicinal milk. 

1998 - In Chile, a judge agreed to hear a lawsuit that accused Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet with genocide. 

1999 - The China News Service announced that the Chinese government was tightening restrictions on internet use. The rules were aimed at 'Internet Bars.' 

2000 - Greece and Turkey signed five accords aimed to build confidence between the two nations. 

2002 - Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards) played his first game in Chicago as a visiting player. The Wizards beat the Bulls 77-69.

January 21

1789 - W.H. Brown's "Power of Sympathy" was published. It was the first American novel to be published. The novel is also known as the "Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth". 

1793 - During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was executed on the guillotine. He had been condemned for treason. 

1812 - The Y-bridge in Zanesville, OH, was approved for construction. 

1846 - The first issue of the "Daily News," edited by Charles Dickens, was published. 

1853 - Dr. Russell L. Hawes patented the envelope folding machine. 

1861 - The future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, resigned from the U.S. Senate. Four other Southerners also resigned. 

1865 - An oil well was drilled by torpedoes for the first time. 

1900 - Canadian troops set sail to fight in South Africa. The Boers had attacked Ladysmith on January 8, 1900. 

1908 - The Sullivan Ordinance was passed in New York City making smoking by women illegal. The measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. 

1911 - The first Monte Carlo car rally was held. Seven days later it was won by Henri Rougier. 

1915 - The first Kiwanis club was formed in Detroit, MI. 

1924 - Soviet leader Vladimir Llyich Lenin died. Joseph Stalin began a purge of his rivals for the leadership of the Soviet Union. 

1927 - The first opera broadcast over a national radio network was presented in Chicago, IL. The opera was "Faust". 

1941 - The British communist newspaper, the "Daily Worker," was banned due to wartime restrictions. 

1946 - "The Fat Man" debuted on ABC radio. 

1954 - The Nautilus was launched in Groton, CT. It was the first atomic-powered submarine. U.S. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow. 

1954 - The gas turbine automobile was introduced in New York City. 

1970 - The Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American. 

1970 - ABC-TV presented "The Johnny Cash Show" in prime time. 

1976 - The French Concorde SST aircraft began regular commercial service for Air France and British Airways. 

1977 - U.S. President Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders. 

1980 - Gold was valued at $850 an ounce. 

1986 - Former major-league player, Randy Bass, became the highest-paid baseball player in Japanese history. Bass signed a three-year contract for $3.25 million. He played for the Hanshin Tigers. 

1994 - A jury in Manassas, VA, acquitted Lorena Bobbitt by reason of temporary insanity of maliciously wounding (severing his penis) her husband John. She accused him of sexually assaulting her. 

1997 - Newt Gingrich was fined as the U.S. House of Representatvies voted for first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct. 

1998 - A former White House intern said on tape that she had an affair with U.S. President Clinton. 

1999 - The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a ship headed for Houston, TX, that had over 9,500 pounds of cocaine aboard. It was one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history. 

2002 - In Goma, Congo, about fifty people were killed when lava flow ignited a gas station. The people killed were trying to steal fuel from elevated tanks. The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo began on January 17, 2002. 

2002 - In London, a 17th century book by Capt. John Smith, founder of the English settlement at Jamestown, was sold at auction for $48,800. "The General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles" was published in 1632. 

2003 - It was announced by the U.S. Census Bureau that estimates showed that the Hispanic population had passed the black population for the first time.

January 22

1666 - Shah Jahan, a descendant of Genghis Khan and Timur, died at the age of 74. He was the Mongul emperor of India that built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz-i-Mahal. 

1771 - The Falkland Islands were ceded to Britain by Spain. 

1824 - The Asante army crushed British troops in the Gold Coast. 

1879 - James Shields began a term as a U.S. Senator from Missouri. He had previously served Illinois and Minnesota. He was the first Senator to serve three states. 

1879 - British troops were massacred by the Zulus at Isandhlwana. 

1889 - The Columbia Phonograph Company was formed in Washington, DC. 

1895 - The National Association of Manufacturers was organized in Cincinnati, OH. 

1900 - Off of South Africa, the British released the German steamer Herzog, which had been seized on January 6. 

1901 - Queen Victoria of England died after reigning for nearly 64 years. Edward VII, her son, succeeded her. 

1905 - Insurgent workers were fired on in St Petersburg, Russia, resulting in "Bloody Sunday." 500 people were killed. 

1917 - U.S. President Wilson pleaded for an end to war in Europe, calling for "peace without victory." America entered the war the following April. 

1924 - Ramsay MacDonald became Britain's first Labour Prime Minister. 

1936 - In Paris, Premier Pierre Laval resigned over diplomatic failure in the Ethiopian crisis. 

1938 - "Our Town," by Thornton Wilder, was performed publicly for the first time, in Princeton, NJ. 

1941 - Britain captured Tobruk from German forces. 

1944 - Allied forces began landing at Anzio, Italy, during World War II. 

1947 - KTLA, Channel 5, in Hollywood, CA, began operation as the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River. 

1950 - Alger Hiss, a former adviser to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, was convicted of perjury for denying contacts with a Soviet agent. He was sentenced to five years in prison. 

1951 - Fidel Castro was ejected from a Winter League baseball game after hitting a batter. He later gave up baseball for politics. 

1953 - The Arthur Miller drama "The Crucible" opened on Broadway. 

1956 - Raymond Burr starred as Captain Lee Quince in the "Fort Laramie" debut on CBS radio. 

1957 - Suspected "Mad Bomber" was arrested in Waterbury, CT. George P. Metesky was accused of planting more than 30 explosive devices in the New York City area. 

1957 - The Israeli army withdrew from the Sinai. They had invaded Egypt on October 29, 1956. 

1959 - British world racing champion Mike Hawthorn was killed while driving on the Guildford bypass. 

1961 - Wilma Rudolph, set a world indoor record in the women’s 60-yard dash. She ran the race in 6.9 seconds. 

1962 - Cuba's membership in the Organization of American States (OAS) was suspended. 

1964 - Kenneth Kaunda was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia. 

1968 - "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In", debuted on NBC TV. 

1970 - The first regularly scheduled commercial flight of the Boeing 747 began in New York City and ended in London about 6 1/2 hours later. 

1972 - The United Kingdom, the Irish Republic, and Denmark joined the EEC. 

1973 - Joe Frazier lost the first fight of his professional career to George Foreman. He been the undefeated heavyweight world champion since February 16, 1970 when he knocked out Jimmy Ellis. 

1973 - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws that had been restricting abortions during the first six months of pregnancy. The case (Roe vs. Wade) legalized abortion. 

1983 - Bjorn Borg retired from tennis. He had set a record by winning 5 consecutive Wimbledon championships. 

1984 - Apple introduced the Macintosh during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. 

1987 - Phil Donahue became the first talk show host to tape a show from inside the Soviet Union. The shows were shown later in the year. 

1992 - Rebel soldiers seized the national radio station in Kinshasa, Zaire's capital, and broadcast a demand for the government's resignation. 

1995 - Two Palestinian suicide bombers from the Gaza Strip detonated powerful explosives at a military transit point in central Israel, killing 19 Israelis. 

1997 - The U.S. Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the first female secretary of state. 

1998 - Theodore Kaczynski pled guilty to federal charges for his role as the Unabomber. He agreed to life in prison without parole. 

2000 - Elian Gonzalez's grandmothers met privately with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno as they appealed for help in removing the boy from his Florida relatives and reuniting him with his father in Cuba. 

2001 - Former National Football League (NFL) player Rae Carruth was sentenced to a minimum 18 years and 11 months in prison for his role in the 1999 shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams. Adams died a month later from her wounds. The baby survived and lives with the victim's mother. 

2001 - Acting on a tip, authorities captured four of the "Texas 7" in Woodland Park, CO, at a convenience store. A fifth convict killed himself inside a motor home. 

2002 - In Calcutta, India, Heavily armed gunmen attacked the U.S. government cultural center. Five police officers were killed and twenty others, including one pedestrian and one private security guard, were wounded. 

2002 - Lawyers suing Enron Corp. asked a court to prevent further shredding of documents due to the pending federal investigation. 

2002 - Amazon.com announced that it had posted its first net profit in the fourth quarter (quarter ending December 31, 2001). 

2002 - AOL Time Warner filed suit against Microsoft in federal court seeking damages for harm done to AOL's Netscape Internet Browser when Microsoft began giving away its competing browser. 

2002 - Marc Chagall's work "Study for 'Over Vitebsk" was found at a postal installation in Topeka, KS. The 8x10 oil painting is valued at about $1 million. The work was stolen a year before form the Jewish Museum in New York City. 

2002 - Kmart Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy making it the largest retailer in history to seek legal protection from its creditors. 

2003 - In New York, the "Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsmen" exhibit opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

2003 - It was reported that scientists in China had found fossilized remains of a dinosaur with four feathered wings. 

January 23

1556 - An earthquake in Shanxi Province, China, was thought to have killed about 830,000 people. 

1571 - The Royal Exchange in London, founded by financier Thomas Gresham, was opened by Queen Elizabeth I. 

1789 - Georgetown College was established as the first Catholic college in the U.S. The school is in Washington, DC. 

1845 - The U.S. Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. 

1849 - English-born Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in America to receive medical degree. It was from the Medical Institution of Geneva, NY. 

1907 - Charles Curtis, of Kansas, began serving in the United States Senate. He was the first American Indian to become a U.S.Senator. He resigned in March of 1929 to become U.S. President Herbert Hoover’s Vice President. 

1920 - The Dutch government refused the demands from the Allies to hand over the ex-kaiser of Germany. 

1924 - The first Labour government was formed, under Ramsay MacDonald. 

1937 - In Moscow, seventeen people went on trial during Josef Stalin's "Great Purge." 

1941 - The play, "Lady in the Dark" premiered. 

1943 - Duke Ellington and the band played for a black-tie crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time. 

1943 - The British captured Tripoli from the Germans. 

1950 - The Israeli Knesset approved a resolution proclaiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

1960 - The U.S. Navy bathyscaphe Trieste descended to a record depth of 35,820 feet (10,750 meters) in the Pacific Ocean. 

1964 - Ratification of the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was completed. This amendment eliminated the poll tax in federal elections. 

1968 - North Korea seized the U.S. Navy ship Pueblo, charging it had intruded into the nation's territorial waters on a spying mission. The crew was released 11 months later. 

1971 - In Prospect Creek Camp, AK, the lowest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. was reported as minus 80 degrees. 

1973 - U.S. President Nixon announced that an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War. 

1974 - Mike Oldfield’s "Tubular Bells" opened the credits of the movie, "The Exorcist". 

1975 - "Barney Miller" made his debut on ABC-TV. 

1977 - The TV mini-series "Roots," began airing on ABC. The show was based on the Alex Haley novel. 

1978 - Sweden banned aerosol sprays because of damage to environment. They were the first country to do so. 

1983 - "The A-Team" debuted on TV. 

1985 - O.J. Simpson became the first Heisman Trophy winner to be elected to pro football’s Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. 

1985 - The proceedings of the House of Lords were televised for the first time. 

1989 - Surrealist artist Salvador Dali died in Spain at age 84. 

1997 - A judge in Fairfax, VA, sentenced Mir Aimal Kasi to death for an assault rifle attack outside the CIA headquarters in 1993 that killed two men and wounded three other people. 

1997 - A British woman received a record £186,000 damages for Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). 

2001 - A van used by the remaining two fugitives of the "Texas 7" was recovered in Colorado Springs, CO. A few hours later police surrounded a hotel where the convicts were hiding. Patrick Murphy Jr. and Donald Newbury were taken into custody the next morning without incident. 

2002 - John Walker Lindh returned to the U.S. under FBI custody. Lindh was charge with conspiring to kill U.S. citizens, providing support to terrorists and engaging in prohibited transactions with the Taliban while a member of the al-Quaida terrorist organization in Afghanistan. 

2003 - North Korea announced that it would consider sanctions an act of war for North Korea's reinstatement of its nuclear program.

January 24

1848 - James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California. The discovery led to the gold rush of '49. 

1899 - Humphrey O’Sullivan patented the rubber heel. 

1908 - In England, the first Boy Scout troop was organized by Robert Baden-Powell. 

1916 - Conscription was introduced in Britain. 

1922 - Christian K. Nelson patented the Eskimo Pie. 

1924 - The Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad. The name has since been changed back to St. Petersburg. 

1930 - Primo Carnera made his American boxing debut by knocking out Big Boy Patterson in one minute, ten seconds of the opening round. 

1935 - Krueger Brewing Company placed the first canned beer on sale in Richmond, VA. 

1942 - "Abie’s Irish Rose" was first heard on NBC radio. 

1943 - U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco. 

1952 - Vincent Massey was the first Canadian to be appointed governor-general of Canada. 

1955 - The rules committee of major league baseball announced a plan to strictly enforce the rule that required a pitcher to release the ball within 20 seconds after taking his position on the mound. 

1964 - CBS-TV acquired the rights to televise the National Football League’s 1964-1965 regular season. The move cost CBS $14.1 million a year. The NFL stayed on CBS for 30 years. 

1965 - Winston Churchill died at the age of 90. 

1972 - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year. 

1978 - A nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated. The radioactive debris was scattered over parts of Canada's Northwest Territory. 

1980 - The United States announced intentions to sell arms to China. 

1985 - Penny Harrington became the first woman police chief of a major city. She assumed the duties as head of the Portland,Oregon, force of 940 officers and staff. 

1986 - The Voyager 2 space probe flew past Uranus. The probe came within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet of the solar system. 

1987 - In Lebanon, gunmen kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. They were all later released. 

1989 - Ted Bundy, the confessed serial killer, was put to death in Florida's electric chair for the 1978 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach. 

1990 - Japan launched the first probe to be sent to the Moon since 1976. A small satellite was placed in lunar orbit. 

1995 - The prosecution gave its opening statement at the O.J. Simpson murder trial. 

1996 - Polish Premier Jozef Oleksy resigned due to allegations that he had spied for Moscow. 

2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Missouri law that limited the contributions that individuals could donate to a candidate during a single election. 

2001 - In Colorado Springs, CO, Patrick Murphy Jr. and Donald Newbury were taken into custody after a 5-minute phone interview was granted with a TV station. They were the remaining fugitives of the "Texas 7." 

2002 - The U.S. Congress began a hearing on the collapse of Enron Corp. 

2002 - John Walker Lindh appeared in court for the first time concerning the charges that he conspired to kill Americans abroad and aided terrorist groups. Lindh had been taken into custody by U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. 

2003 - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security began operations under Tom Ridge.

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