Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2015. There are 345 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 20, 1265, England’s first representative Parliament met for the first time; the gathering at Westminster was composed of bishops, abbots, peers, Knights of the Shire and town burgesses.

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; he was succeeded by Edward VIII.

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

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

In 1954, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” a play by Herman Wouk based on part of his novel “The Caine Mutiny,” opened on Broadway.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated for a term of office in his own right. Rock-and-roll promoter Alan Freed, 43, died in Palm Springs, California. The Byrds recorded the Bob Dylan song “Mr. Tambourine Man” at Columbia Records in Hollywood.

In 1975, several former William Morris talent agents, including Michael Ovitz, founded Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

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 1985, President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush were sworn in for second terms of office in a brief White House ceremony (it being a Sunday, the public swearing-in was held the following day).

In 1986, the United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1990, actress Barbara Stanwyck died in Santa Monica, California, at age 82.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush was inaugurated for a second term as Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, ill with thyroid cancer, delivered the oath of office; anti-Bush demonstrators jeered the president’s motorcade during the inaugural parade.

Five years ago: National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair conceded missteps in the government’s handling of the Christmas Day 2009 airline bombing attempt in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

One year ago: Iran unplugged banks of centrifuges involved in its most sensitive nuclear enrichment program, prompting the U.S. and the European Union to partially lift economic sanctions as a landmark deal aimed at easing concerns over Iran’s nuclear program went into effect. American missionary Kenneth Bae, jailed in North Korea for more than a year, appeared before reporters in Pyongyang and appealed to the U.S. government to do its best to secure his release. (Bae and fellow American Matthew Miller were freed in Nov. 2014.) Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, 80, died in Bologna after a long illness.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Arte Johnson is 86. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 85. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 75. Singer Eric Stewart is 70. Movie director David Lynch is 69. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 68. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 67. Actor Daniel Benzali is 65. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 63. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 63. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 59. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 57. Actor James Denton is 52. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 50. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 50. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 50. Actor Rainn Wilson is 49. Actress Stacey Dash is 48. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 47. Singer Xavier is 47. Actor Reno Wilson is 46. Singer Edwin McCain is 45. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 45. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 44. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 36. Singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee is 31. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 30. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 29. Actor Evan Peters is 28.

Thought for Today: “To enjoy life one should give up the lure of life.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian religious leader (1869-1948).

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