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January 20, 2013

Today in History for Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013

- — Today is Sunday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2013. There are 345 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 20, 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower took the oath of office as president of the United States; Richard M. Nixon was sworn in as vice president.

On this date:

In 1265, England’s first representative Parliament, which included officials from districts, cities and boroughs, met for the first time.

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 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon were sworn in for their second terms of office in a private Sunday ceremony (a public ceremony was held the next day).

In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States.

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

In 1993, Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd president of the United States. Actress Audrey Hepburn died in Switzerland at age 63.

In 2001, George Walker Bush became America’s 43rd president after one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history.

In 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation’s 44th, as well as first African-American, president.

Ten years ago: Secretary of State Colin Powell, faced with stiff resistance and calls for caution, bluntly told the Security Council that the U.N. “must not shrink” from its responsibility to disarm Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld died in New York at age 99. Pollster Burns W. “Bud” Roper died on Cape Cod, Mass., at age 77.

Five years ago: The Los Angeles Times announced its top editor, James O’Shea, had been fired after he rejected a management order to cut $4 million from the newsroom budget, 14 months after his predecessor was also ousted in a budget dispute. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili (sah-kahsh-VIH’-leh) was sworn in for a second term. The New England Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers in the AFC championship game, pulling out a 21-12 victory that sent them back to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in seven seasons. The New York Giants won a 23-20 overtime victory over Green Bay in the NFC championship.

One year ago: Six U.S. Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. A rogue Afghan soldier killed four French troops. Singer Etta James, 73, died in Riverside, Calif.

Thought for Today: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” — Alexis de Tocqueville, French author (1805-1859).

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