What happened on January 20 News and Events on This Day in History
Major News Stories on 20th January include Prohibition Goes into Effect, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Second Inauguration, John F. Kennedy Takes Oath of Office, Yassar Arafat Elected Palestinian President, China Introduces Great Firewall, Barack Obama Becomes the First African American US President
U.S. 1961 U.S.A. John F. Kennedy
20th January, 1961 : John F. Kennedy, the nation’s youngest president (at this time), took the oath of office today. He was sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren. Vice-President Lyndon Johnson (who became president after JFK was assassinated), was sworn in on the same day as JFK. As part of the inauguration celebration on this day, Robert Frost himself recited from memory one of his own poem entitled “The Gift Outright”. He was originally going to read a poem that he wrote especially for this day called “Dedication”, but he could not read the ink from the page he was viewing.
U.S. 2002 U.S.A. Human Rights Violations
20th January, 2002 : Human rights activists including Amnesty International believe human rights of prisoners kept at camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are being abused with prisoners being shackled and kept in temporary eight-by-eight feet cells made of wire mesh and corrugated metal roofs and include them being handcuffed, wearing goggles, ear muffs, surgical masks and heavy gloves. The majority are held without charge and the International Committee of the Red Cross have started evaluating conditions at the US military camp and interviewing detainees to see if the captives are being treated humanely in accordance with the Geneva Conventions on prisoners of war.
U.S. 1920 U.S.A. Prohibition
Tuesday, Jan. 20th, 1920 : Prohibition takes effect stopping the sale and consumption of alcohol when the 18th Amendment went into effect it ended in 1933 Available as a downloadable image on our Public Domain Images US Constitution Page
U.S. 1937 U.S.A. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Jan. 20th, 1937 : The inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term was held
U.S. 1929 U.S.A. How Custer Died
Jan. 20th, 1929 : The account of Alex Wagstaff, a man who claimed to be very closely acquainted with a man named “Curley” was printed on this day. Wagstaff had told his story of how Custer had died at Little Big Horn during one of the most gruesome battles in American history.
The account told by Wagstaff was according to how he had remembered it being told by Curley. As reported by Wagstaff, Curley had hid in some brush towards the end of the Battle of Little Big Horn.
A short time later, Curley saw a squaw rush in and shoot General Custer. Shortly after that, Curley had taken the clothing of a dead Sioux and road with troops of Indians until he could get away.
U.S. 1941 U.S.A. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Jan. 20th, 1941 : The inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt's third term is held.
World 1958 South Pole Sir Edmund Hillary
Jan. 20th, 1958 : The New Zealand team led by Sir Edmund Hillary and British team led by Dr Vivian "Bunny" Fuchs who are members of a joint Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic expedition and set off from opposite ends of the South Pole last November met up at The South Pole.
U.S. 1958 U.S.A. Wage Increases
20th January, 1958 : As President of the United States, Eisenhower had spoke out against excessive wage and price increases on this day. For instance, he proposed that businesses should avoid unjustified price increases.
In other words, Eisenhower, opposed price hikes except in the case of increased business costs (i.e. cost of manufacturing or supplies). The president also opposed wage increases that surpass an employee’s actually productivity level, and explained that actions such as this could lead to excess inflation (cost of living increases).
In addition, Eisenhower declared that the government should abide by policies that would “foster growth”. For instance, he mentioned that the government should engage in “proper management of credit policy by the federal reserve board” .
U.S. 1972 U.S.A. Election Spending Bill
Jan. 20th, 1972 : A new campaign spending bill that was approved by President Nixon on this day would become the first in history if passed. Among other things, this bill advocated the disclosure of election financing of anyone running for federal political office.
UK 1972 UK Unemployment
Jan. 20th, 1972: UK unemployment has risen to one million for the first time since the depression years of the 1930's.
Columbia 1980 Columbia Bullfighting Accident
Jan. 20th, 1980 : Due to poor construction, bleachers at the site of a bullfighting ring had killed 222 people. Overcrowding was also partially to blame for the cause of this fatality.
Iran 1981 Iran Hostages Released
Jan. 20th, 1981 : Iran released 52 weary American hostages, who were held for 444 days
U.S. 1981 U.S.A. Ronald Reagan
20th January, 1981: On this day, Ronald Reagan becomes President. Before he became president, he was a movie actor and host of the “Death Valley Days” series. About six years before he became president, his second term as governor of California had ended.
France 1982 France
Jan. 20th, 1982 : Reese Palley, a rich, famous art dealer travels to Paris, where his birthday was to be celebrated with 735 guests. At first, he had only intended on having 30 guests, but word spread. The cost of this party included $125, 000 dollars for the use of two jets.
Additionally, 370 hotel rooms at the International Hotel in Paris were reserved. Along with that, guests were taken to fine dining places such as Lasserre, La Tour D’Argent, and the Ritz.
Palestine 1982 Palestine Yassar Arafat Elected
Jan. 20th, 1982 : Yassar Arafat receives over 88 percent of the popular vote and as a result is officially elected the President of the Palestinian National Council. Over the years, Arafat has been noted as one who has changed his tune, so to speak.
He used to apply guerilla warfare which accompanied terrorist tactics during his process of fighting for Palestine to become an independent state. However, in the 1980's Arafat became willing to make peace with Israel, and acknowledged Israel’s right to exist along with Palestine. A peace treaty was signed between Palestine and Israel at this time.
Lebanon 1987 Lebanon Terry Waite
Jan. 20th, 1987 : Terry Waite a special envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury disappeared while attempting to win freedom for Western hostages held in Lebanon. He was kidnapped by Shiite Muslims and released 4 years later.
UK 1987 UK Soccer Hooligans
20th January, 1987 : Following the increasing violence by soccer hooligans at British Football matches the police have cracked down by carrying out carried out a series of dawn raids with 26 arrests in their biggest operation so far against soccer hooliganism in England. During the raids, police seized a number of items believed to be used by the gangs including knives, a machete and spiked ball and chain, as well as newspaper cuttings reporting on the activities of the two teams' hooligans.
France 1992 France Plane Crash
Jan. 20th, 1992 : Air Inter Flight 148 leaves Lyon Airport in France on route to Strasbourg, France crashes in the Mountains while preparing to land killing 82 passengers and 5 crew
U.S. 1993 U.S.A. Clinton
Jan. 20th, 1993 : William Jefferson ( Bill ) Clinton took the oath of office to become the 42nd president of the United States
China 1999 China Internet Usage
Jan. 20th, 1999 : The Chinese News Service announces restrictions including control of news and information on Internet often referred to the "Great Firewall of China" which blacklists thousands of web sites use in China ( Home to about 1/5th of the worlds population.
UK 2006 UK Thames Bottle Nosed Whale
Jan. 20th, 2006 : The 16-18ft northern bottle-nosed whale, is watched by large crowds of Londoners on the Thames and has been seen as far up the river as Chelsea. The whale is still quite young as they grow up to lengths of 30 feet. The story ended badly when during the rescue the next day the Whale died of convulsions
Australia 2007 Australia Severe Drought and Snake Invasion
20th January, 2007 : Many parts of Australia are suffering the worst drought in 100 years, in addition to crop falure, dairy farming issues and wildfires a new threat has emerged as tens of thousands of snakes seeking water move into urban areas, the number of serious cases of snake bites since September has increased including reports of fatalaties from Eastern Brown's, one of the world's deadliest snakes.
United States 2009 United States Barack Obama
Jan. 20th, 2009 : Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama becomes the first African American President and ends 8 years of Republican Leadership under George W Bush following a landslide victory in 2008, The Vice President is Joe Biden.
China 2010China Bans The Movie Avator
Jan. 20th, 2010 : Chinese authorities have banned the movie Avator from Chinese cinemas claiming the plot mirrors forced land evictions in China.
United States 2010 United States Republican Wins Massachusetts
Jan. 20th, 2010 : The Republican Scott Brown has won a shock victory in the race for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts left vacant by Ted Kennedy's death. Prior to his death in August Last Year Ted Kennedy ( Democrat ) had represented Massachusetts for 47 years.
Haiti 2010 Haiti Aftershock hits Haiti
20th January, 2010 : An aftershock has rocked Haiti, eight days after the original quake. The extent
of the damage is not yet known, and the
magnitude 6.1 tremor struck west of Port-au-Prince at 0603 local time. An estimated
200,000 people have died from the
previous Tuesday's quake, and another 1.5 million have been made homeless. Supplies
have been slow in reaching survivors.
The U.S. Geological Survey has said that today's tremor was centered 35 miles
north-west of the capital, and struck at a
depth of 6.2 miles.
Hong Kong 2011 Hong Kong Hong Kong Cocaine Bust
Jan. 20th, 2011 : Hong Kong customs officials discovered 639 pounds
of cocaine being transported from Bolivia to China and seized the drugs.
The shipment was reportedly worth over thirty-three million dollars and was
the second largest bust in the territory’s history.
Iran 2014 Iran Uranium Enrichment Reduced
20th January, 2014 : Iran has begun to place curbs on uranium enrichment as part of a deal between the country and the United States, China, Russia and other European countries. Iran agreed to lessen their efforts at uranium enrichment in exchange for the easing of some international sanctions.
United States Presidential Inaugurations on January 20th ( Post 1953 ) United States US Presidents
34th Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953 to 1961
35th John F. Kennedy 1961 to November 22nd 1963 ( Assassinated )
37th Richard Nixon 1969 to August 9th 1974 ( Resigned )
39th Jimmy Carter 1977 to 1981
40th Ronald Reagan 1981 to 1989
41st George H. W. Bush 1989 to 1993
42nd Bill Clinton 1993 to 2001
43rd George W. Bush 2001 to 2009
44th Barack Obama 2009 to Current
Notes The following were not Inaugurated On January 20th for differing reasons including natural death, assassinations etc of previous president causing change in date
36th Lyndon B. Johnson November 22nd 1963 to 1969
38th Gerald Ford August 9th 1974 to 1977
For Earlier Presidential Inaugurations prior to 1953 Check March 4th for earlier Presidential Inaugurations
United States 2012 United States Soul Singer Etta James Dies in California
Jan. 20th, 2012 : Celebrated soul singer Etta James died at the age of seventy three after being diagnosed with Leukemia. The talented singer gained recognition as a young artist in the 60s Music until her career was hindered by drug abuse. The singer eventually rebuilt her career and won her first Grammy award in 1994.
United States 2013 United States President Obama Sworn In
20th January, 2013 : US President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second-term in office. There was a small ceremony in the Blue room of the White House in which President Obama took the oath of office.
20th January Signs Of The Zodiac Capricorn
The End for Capricorn, The Sign of The Goat
Born This Day In History 20th January
Celebrating Birthday's TodaySophie, Countess of Wessex Born: Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones 20th January 1965 Oxford, England Known For : Married to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and the mother of their two children Louise and James. Prince Edward is the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Link Goes to the Royal Family official website Buzz Aldrin Born: Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. 20th January 1930 New Jersey, U.S.A. Known For : Buzz Aldrin was the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11. He was, along with Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, the first person to land on the Moon, and shortly afterwards became the second person to set foot on the Moon. In 1973 he wrote an autobiography "Return to Earth" that provides an account of his struggles with clinical depression and alcoholism in the years following his NASA career Will Wright Born: 20th January 1960 Atlanta, Georgia Known For : Will Wright is a computer games designer and the originator of the highly popular "The Sims" games series which, currently is the best-selling PC game in history, The Sims is the culmination of many years of work on earlier games SimEarth, SimCity and SimAnt played by many of parents of the generation that now makes the Sims do popular.