On This Day

Historical Events on January 20

  • 250 St Fabian ends his reign as Catholic Pope (236-50)
  • 1045 Giovanni di Sabina elected Pope Sylvester III
  • 1156 According to legend, freeholder Lalli slays English crusader Bishop Henry with an axe on the ice of Lake Köyliönjärvi in Finland
  • 1265 First English Parliament summoned other than by royal command (in this instance by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester) mets in Westminster Hall
  • 1320 Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek becomes King of Poland
  • 1356 Edward Balliol abdicates as King of Scots
  • 1502 The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored
  • 1503 Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) established by the Crown of Castile in the port of Seville to deal with American affairs

Historic Event

1513 Christian II succeeds Johan I as Danish and Norwegian king

  • 1523 Christian II is forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway
  • 1576 The Mexican city of León is founded by order of viceroy Don Martín Enríquez de Almansa
  • 1613 Peace of Knarod ends War of Kalmar between Denmark & Sweden
  • 1648 Cornerstone of Amsterdam townhall laid
  • 1667 Treaty of Andrussovo ends 13 year war between Poland & Russia
  • 1778 1st American military court martial trial begins in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 1781 1st edition of Pieter It Hoens "Post of Neder-Rhijn" published
  • 1785 Samuel Ellis advertises to sell Oyster Island (Ellis Island), no takers
  • 1788 Pioneer African Baptist church organizes in Savannah, Georgia

Historic Event

1807 Napoleon convenes great Sanhedrin, Paris

  • 1809 1st US geology book published by William Maclure
  • 1839 Battle of Yungay, Chile defeats a Peruvian and Bolivian alliance
  • 1840 Dumont D'Urville discovers Adélie Land, Antarctica
  • 1840 Dutch King Willem II crowned
  • 1841 China cedes Hong Kong to the British during the 1st Opium War

Historic Expedition

1850 HMS Investigator headed by Robert McClure leaves England, 1st expedition to make a Northwest passage (though some over ice)

  • 1860 Dutch troops conquer Watampone in Celebes
  • 1866 Prim's Insurrection in Spain ends
  • 1868 Florida constitutional convention meets in Tallahassee

Historic Event

1869 Elizabeth Cady Stanton becomes 1st woman to testify before US Congress

  • 1870 "City of Boston" vanishes at sea with all 177 aboard
  • 1872 California Stock Exchange Board organized
  • 1879 British troops under Lord Chelmsford make camp at Isandlwana
  • 1883 Billy Barnes takes a hat-trick, England v Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • 1887 US Senate approves naval base lease of Pearl Harbor

Historic Event

1905 US begins supervising the Dominican Republic's national and international debts, testing President Theodore Roosevelt's "Corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine

  • 1910 Stanley Cup, Dey's Arena, Ottawa, ON: Ottawa Senators outclass Edmonton HC, 13-7 for a 2-0 sweep of challenge series
  • 1914 The first group of Transvaal Indian women satyagrahis are released from Pietermaritzburg Prison in South Africa after three months imprisonment
  • 1919 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Double Bay, Sydney: Gerald Patterson beats Algernon Kingscote 6-4, 6-4, 8-6 to retain title for Australasia over the Great Britain, 3-1; ends 4-1
  • 1920 Dutch 2nd Chamber passes school laws
  • 1920 The American Civil Liberties Union is founded
  • 1921 British submarine HMS K5 (which was unusually equipped with steam turbines) sinks with 57 crew during exercises in the Bay of Biscay
  • 1921 Dagestan ASSR forms in RSFSR
  • 1921 Mountain Autonomous Republic established in RSFSR
  • 1921 Republic of Turkey declared out of remnants of Ottoman Empire

Music History

1922 Arthur Honegger's ballet "Skating Rink" premieres at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, France

  • 1925 The Soviet and Japan sign a convention resuming relations: Russia agrees to limit revolutionary activity of the Third Communist International, while Japan agrees to leave the Sakhalin
  • 1926 2nd German government of Luther begins
  • 1929 1st feature talking motion picture taken outdoors, "In Old Arizona"
  • 1930 1st radio broadcast of "Lone Ranger" (WXYZ-Detroit)
  • 1934 Japan sends Henry Pu Yi as regent to emperor of Manchuria

Historic Event

1936 Edward VIII succeeds British King George V

  • 1937 -45°F (-43°C), Boca, California (state record)
  • 1937 1st US Presidential Inauguration day held on Jan 20th, (previously March 4th)
  • 1939 Charles Ives' 1st Sonata "Concord" premieres
  • 1939 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Patty Berg wins 3rd straight title by 2 strokes ahead of Dorothy Kirby

Music History

1941 Bela Bartok's 6th string quartet, premieres in NYC

Historic Event

1941 Chinese Communist leaders re-organize the New Fourth Army in defiance of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek's order for it to be disbanded

  • 1942 Japanese invade Burma

Wannsee Conference

1942 Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee Conference in Berlin to organize the "final solution", the extermination of Europe's Jews

  • 1943 Lead, South Dakota, temperature is 52°F, while 1.5 miles away Deadwood records -16°F

Historic Event

1943 Operation Weiss: German, Italian, Bulgarian & Croatian troops attempt to retake land liberated by Tito's partisans

  • 1944 RAF drops 2,300 ton of bombs on Berlin

Historic Event

1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn-in for an unprecedented (and never to be repeated) 4th term as US President

  • 1945 The Hungarian Provisional Government concludes an armistice with the USSR, US, and Britain, agree to pay reparations and to join the war against Germany
  • 1946 F Gouin follows De Gaulle as temporary leader of French government
  • 1947 Brigadier General Edwin K Wright, USA, becomes deputy director of CIA

Historic Event

1949 US President Harry Truman announces his four point program

  • 1949 1st inaugural parade televised, for Harry Truman, watched by 10 million people
  • 1950 "Dance Me a Song" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 35 performances
  • 1950 Suriname becomes independent part in Realm of Netherlands
  • 1950 1950 NFL Draft: Leon Hart from University of Notre Dame first pick by Detroit Lions
  • 1952 British army occupies Ismailiya, Suez Canal Zone

Sports History

1952 The NBA's first superstar George Mikan scores a career high 61 points leading the Minneapolis Lakers to a 91-81 double-overtime victory over the Rochester Royals

  • 1953 1st US telecast transmitted to Canada from Buffalo, New York

Historic Event

1953 1st live US coast-to-coast inauguration address (Eisenhower)

Music History

1954 Herman Wouk's stage drama "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial", adpated from his novel "The Caine Mutiny", starring Henry Fonda, and directed by Charles Laughton, premieres at the Plymouth Theatre, NYC; runs for 415 performances

  • 1954 -70°F (-57°C), Rogers Pass, Montana (US 48 state record)

Music Concert

1954 Dmitri Shostakovich's "Concertino opus 94" premieres

  • 1954 The National Negro Network is established with 40 charter member radio stations.

Music Recording

1956 Buddy Holly records "Blue Days Black Night" in Nashville

  • 1957 Gomulka wins Poland's parliamentary election
  • 1957 Morton Gould's "Declaration" premieres in Washington, D.C.
  • 1958 KUED TV channel 7 in Salt Lake City, UT (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1958 A group attempting the 1st surface crossing of Antarctic join up at the South Pole
  • 1959 Dmitri Shostakovich's Moscow-Tsjerjomoesjki premieres in Moscow
  • 1960 Patrice Lumumba sentenced to 6 months in Belgian Congo

Historic Event

1961 Yugoslav ex-vice-president Milovan Djilas flees

President Inaugurated

1961 Democrat John F. Kennedy, the youngest elected President of the United States, is administered his oath of office at his inauguration by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. Robert Frost recites "Gift Outright".

  • 1962 "Kean" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 92 performances
  • 1964 Capitol Records releases "Meet The Beatles" album by the Beatles, in US
  • 1965 The Byrds record "Mr Tambourine Man"
  • 1965 The US Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposes modified Apollo flight to fly around Mars & return

Meeting of Interest

1965 Generalissimo Francisco Franco meets with Jewish representatives to discuss legitimizing Jewish communities in Spain

NBA Record

1967 Philadelphia 76ers center Wilt Chamberlain makes all 15 of his field goal attempts in a 119-108 win over LA Lakers; NBA record for consecutive shots made; beats mark twice before 1966-67 season ends

  • 1968 US female Figure Skating championship won by Peggy Fleming
  • 1968 US male Figure Skating championship won by Tim Wood
  • 1968 Houston Cougars defeat the UCLA Bruins 71-69 to win basketball's Game of the Century and end UCLA's 47 game winning streak

Film Premiere

1968 Arthur Penn's film "Bonnie and Clyde" premieres in Paris, France with stars Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway in attendance

  • 1969 Richard M Nixon inaugurated as US president
  • 1969 U of Az reports 1st optical id of pulsar (in Crab Nebula)

NBA All-Star Game

1970 20th NBA All-Star Game, Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pa: East beats West, 142-135; MVP: Willis Reed, NY Knicks, C; Tom and Dick Van Arsdale, first brothers to play in same NBA All-Star Game

NHL All-Star Game

1970 23rd NHL All-Star Game, St. Louis Arena: East beats West, 4-1; MVP: Bobby Hull, Chicago, LW

  • 1970 Super Fight, computer mock championship between Ali & Marciano; Marciano won.

World Record

1971 Ard Schenk skates world record 1000m (1:18.8)

Music Single

1971 Tamla Records releases Marvin Gaye's single "What's Going On" about police brutality, from the album of the same name

  • 1972 Six oil exporting countries conclude meetings with Western oil companies; an agreement is reached to raise the price of crude
  • 1972 Number of people out of work and claiming unemployment benefit in UK rises to over 1 million
  • 1973 A car bomb explodes in Sackville Place, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, killing 1 person and injuring 17 (no organisation claimed responsibility)

President Inaugurated

1973 Richard Nixon's second inauguration as President of the United States takes place in Washington, D.C.

  • 1974 24th NFL Pro Bowl, Arrowhead Stadium, KC, Missouri: AFC beats NFC, 15-13; MVP: Garo Yepremian, Miami Dolphins, PK
  • 1974 7th ABA All-Star Game: East 128 beats West 112 at Virginia
  • 1974 Essex Comm College beats Englewood Cliffs 210-67 in basketball
  • 1975 25th NFL Pro Bowl, Miami Orange Bowl: NFC beats AFC, 17-10; MVP: James Harris, LA Rams, QB
  • 1975 Terrence McNally's play "Ritz" premieres in NYC
  • 1976 29th NHL All-Star Game, Spectrum, Philadelphia: Wales Conference beats Campbell Conference, 7-5; MVP: Peter Mahovlich, Montreal, C
  • 1977 George H. W. Bush ends his term as 11th director of CIA replaced by E. Henry Knoche as acting director
  • 1978 Columbia Pictures pays $9.5 million for movie rights to "Annie"

Historic Event

1979 1 million Iranians march in Tehran in a show of support for the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, fundamentalist Muslim leader

Olympic Games

1980 President Jimmy Carter announces US boycott of Olympics in Moscow

  • 1980 US female Figure Skating championship won by Linda Fratianne
  • 1980 US male Figure Skating championship won by Charles Tickner
  • 1980 Super Bowl XIV, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA: Pittsburgh Steelers beat LA Rams, 31-19; MVP: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh, QB
  • 1981 Adm Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret), ends term as 12th director of CIA
  • 1981 Frank C. Carlucci, ends his term as deputy director of CIA
  • 1981 Islander Glenn Resch's 25th & last shut-out opponent-Flames 5-0

President Inaugurated

1981 Ronald Reagan inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States of America

Iran Hostage Crisis

1981 The US diplomats and citizens held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran are released and begin their journey home after 444 days

  • 1982 7 miners killed in an explosion in Craynor Ky
  • 1982 Honduras constitution goes into effect
  • 1982 Piet Dankert elected chairman of European Parliament

Sports History

1982 Future Hockey Hall of Fame center Darryl Sittler is traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Rich Costello, a 2nd round draft pick and future considerations

Music History

1982 Heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a bat on stage in Des Moines, Iowa

Murder of Interest

1983 American gangster Roy DeMeo is found murdered in his car trunk after disappearing a few days earlier

  • 1984 US female Figure Skating championship won by Rosalynn Sumners
  • 1985 Cold front strikes US, at least 40 die (-27°F (-33°C) in Chicago)

Super Bowl

1985 Super Bowl XIX, Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA: San Francisco 49ers beat Miami Dolphins, 38-16; MVP: Joe Montana, SF, QB

Historic Event

1986 1st federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr

  • 1986 Chunnel announced (railroad tunnel under Channel)
  • 1986 Military coup in Lesotho under major general Lekhanya & premier Leabua Jonathan
  • 1987 Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite taken hostage in Beirut, Lebanon by Islamic militia group
  • 1987 Rhino Records 1st #1, Billy Vera & Beaters' "At This Moment"

Historic Event

1987 8th ACE Cable Awards: Ted Turner wins the Golden CableACE

Historic Event

1987 Bank robber Robert A. Litchfield is arrested at Lake Tahoe

  • 1987 UK Police crackdown on soccer hooligans in biggest operation against violence around football stadiums
  • 1988 Andre Hoffman skates world record 1,500m (1:52.06)
  • 1988 Arizona committee opens hearing on impeachment of Gov Evan Mecham

Hall of Fame

1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: The Beach Boys; The Beatles; The Drifters; Bob Dylan; The Supremes; Woody Guthrie; Leadbelly; Les Paul; and Berry Gordy, Jr.

President Inaugurated

1989 George H. W. Bush inaugurated as 41st US President, Dan Quayle becomes 44th Vice President

  • 1989 Wayne Holdsworth takes a wicket 1st ball in 1st-class cricket
  • 1989 Reagan becomes 1st US President elected in a "0" year, since 1840, to leave office alive

Sports History

1989 Pittsburgh center Mario Lemieux becomes just the 2nd player in NHL history to score 50 goals in less than 50 games; #50 in 44th game as the Penguins lose 7-3 to the Jets in Winnipeg

Golden Globes

1990 47th Golden Globes: "Born on the Fourth of July", Tom Cruise and Michelle Pfeiffer win

  • 1990 US 64th manned space mission STS 32 (Columbia 10) returns from space
  • 1990 Black January - crackdown of Azerbaijani pro-independence demonstrations by Soviet army in Baku
  • 1991 "Black & Blue" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 829 performances
  • 1991 "Les Miserables" opens at Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, California
  • 1991 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Cathy Rigby, closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater, NYC, after 45 performances
  • 1991 "Shogun - The Musical" closes at Marquis Theater NYC after 72 performances
  • 1991 13th UCP Telethon
  • 1991 US Patriot missiles begins shooting down Iraqi missiles
  • 1991 Sudan's government imposes Islamic law nationwide, worsening the civil war between the country's Muslim north and Christian south.
  • 1991 AFC Championship, Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY: Buffalo Bills beat Los Angeles Raiders, 51-3
  • 1991 NFC Championship, Candlestick Park, SF: New York Giants beat San Francisco 49ers, 15-13

Sports History

1992 Australia beat India 2-0 to win cricket's World Series Cup; Australian opener David Boon scores the most runs in the series (432)

  • 1992 Score begins selling international soccer cards
  • 1993 Adm Studeman, serves as acting director of CIA

President Inaugurated

1993 Bill Clinton (D) inaugurated as 42nd US President

President Inaugurated

1993 Maya Angelou is 1st African American and woman to recite a poem at inauguration of a US President - "On the Pulse of Morning" for Bill Clinton

Film Premiere

1994 British comedy "Four Weddings and a Funeral" written by Richard Curtis, starring Hugh Grant premieres at the Sundance Film Festival

  • 1995 "Love! Valor! Compassion!" opens at Walter Kerr, NYC; runs for 276 performances
  • 1995 1994-95 NHL Season begin after a lengthy strike
  • 1995 Russian ruble drops to 3,947 per dollar (record)

NHL All-Star Game

1996 46th NHL All-Star Game, FleetCenter, Boston, MA: East beats West, 5-4; MVP: Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins, D

  • 1996 Australia defeat Sri Lanka 2-0 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • 1996 US Ladies Figure Skating championship won by Michelle Kwan
  • 1996 WPAT FM NYC radio station switches to English-Spanish format
  • 1997 Comet Hale-Bopp crosses Mars' orbit
  • 1997 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in New Orleans LA on KKND 106.7 FM
  • 1997 Pakistan defeat West Indies 2-0 to win Aust one-day Series
  • 1997 2nd Critics' Choice Movie Awards: Fargo wins Best Film
  • 1997 French electronic dance duo Daft Punk release their album "Homework"
  • 1998 Warner Brothers TV Network begins Tueday night programming
  • 1998 3rd Critics' Choice Movie Awards: L.A. Confidential wins Best Film

Film Premiere

1998 "Dawson's Creek" created by Kevin Williamson, starring James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson premieres on WB in the US

  • 1999 The China News Service announces new government restrictions on Internet use aimed especially at Internet cafés.

Historic Event

2001 President of the Philippines Joseph Estrada is ousted in the EDSA II Revolution and succeeded by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

President Inaugurated

2001 George W. Bush inaugurated as 43rd US President, Dick Cheney becomes 46th Vice President

  • 2002 Photographs showing al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects shackled and masked are published by the United States military
  • 2002 18th Sundance Film Festival: "Personal Velocity: Three Portraits", directed by Rebecca Miller, wins Grand Jury Prize Dramatic

Film Release

2006 "High School Musical" debuts, starring Zac Efron and Vanessa Hugdens; becomes Disney Channel's most successful TV movie

Film Awards

2007 12th Critics' Choice Movie Awards: "The Departed" wins Best Film

  • 2007 Utah coach Jerry Sloan passes Larry Brown for 4th on the NBA's all-time win list (1,010) after the Jazz beat the Chicago Bulls, 95-85 at the United Center
  • 2008 AFC Championship, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough: New England Patriots beat San Diego Chargers, 21-12
  • 2008 NFC Championship, Lambeau Field, Green Bay: New York Giants beat Green Bay Packers, 23-20 (OT)

Film & TV History

2008 "Breaking Bad", created by Vince Gilligan and starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul premieres on AMC