Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today in history . . .
1265 Britain's House of Commons, which became a model for parliamentary bodies, met for the first time.
1783 U.S. and British representatives signed a preliminary "Cessation of Hostilities," which ended the fighting in the Revolutionary War.
1892 The first officially recognized basketball game was played at the YMCA gym in Springfield, Mass.
1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only president to be elected to four terms in office, was inaugurated to his final term. He died three months later and was succeeded by Vice President Harry Truman.
1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy began his presidency with inauguration ceremonies on the newly renovated east front of the Capitol.
1981 Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president of the United States. That same day, 52 American hostages were released by Iran after 444 days in captivity.
1990 At least 62 civilians were killed and more than 200 wounded when the Soviet army stormed into Baku to end what Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called fratricidal killing between Muslim Azerbaijanis and Christian Armenians.
1993 Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd president of the United States.
1993 Oscar-winning actress Audrey Hepburn died of cancer at her home in Switzerland. She was 63.
1995 The United States announced it was easing the trade embargo in effect against North Korea since the Korean War.
1995 A strike-shortened National Hockey League season opened with teams playing a 48-game schedule instead of the usual 84.
1996 Yasser Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority with 88 percent of the vote.
1997 U.S. President Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term in office.
1997 Millionaire Steve Fossett landed in northern India after a record-setting bid to become the first person to circle the globe in a hot air balloon.
2001 George W. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd president of the United States.
2001 Just hours before leaving office, U.S. President Bill Clinton issued 176 pardons -- a number of them controversial.
2003 Britain said it was sending 26,000 troops to the Persian Gulf for possible deployment to Iraq but France said it wouldn't support a U.N. resolution for military action.
2005 George Bush was sworn in for his second term as U.S. president.
2006 Lawrence Franklin, a former U.S. State Department analyst and Iran expert, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for passing classified information to Israel and two pro-Israeli lobbyists.
2007 U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., became the first former first lady to seek the U.S. presidency when she entered the race for the 2008 Democratic nomination.
2007 Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro was "fighting for his life," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in a speech in Brazil.
2008 Israeli Cabinet ministers called for the death of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, who claimed to have the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in Lebanon.