History of 20 January

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History of 20 January 

  • 1981 – Iran released 52 Americans that had been held hostage for 444 days. The hostages were flown to Algeria and then to a U.S. base in Wiesbaden, West Germany. The release occurred minutes after the U.S. presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
  • 1985 – The most-watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 38-16. Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars a minute.
  • 1986 – The U.S. observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 1986 – Britain and France announced their plans to build the Channel Tunnel.
  • 1986 – New footage of the 1931 “Frankenstein” was found. The footage was originally deleted because it was considered to be too shocking.
  • 1987 – Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon. He was there attempting to negotiate the release of Western hostages. He was not freed until November 1991.
  • 1994 – Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. Faulkner joined the cadet corps in August 1995 under court order but soon dropped out.
  • 1996 – Yasser Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority and his supporters won two thirds of the 80 seats in the Legislative Council.
  • 1997 – Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term as president of the United States.
  • 1998 – American researchers announced that they had cloned calves that may produce medicinal milk.
  • 1998 – In Chile, a judge agreed to hear a lawsuit that accused Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet with genocide.
  • 1999 – The China News Service announced that the Chinese government was tightening restrictions on internet use. The rules were aimed at ‘Internet Bars.’
  • 2000 – Greece and Turkey signed five accords aimed to build confidence between the two nations.
  • 2002 – Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards) played his first game in Chicago as a visiting player. The Wizards beat the Bulls 77-69.
  • 2004 – A gang of thieves steal £26.5 million worth of currency from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, one of the largest bank robberies in British history.
  • 2007 – Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, seven months and 29 days.
  • 2007 – The Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, and O Lavrador de Café by Brazilian modernist painter Cândido Portinari, are stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art.
  • 2019 – The United States Space Force becomes the first new branch of the United States Armed Forces since 1947.

Celebrating Birthday Today

  • 1981 – Royal Ivey, American basketball player
  • 1981 – Darya Pchelnik, Belarusian hammer thrower
  • 1981 – James Shields, American baseball player
  • 1982 – Mohammad Asif, Pakistani cricketer
  • 1982 – David Cook, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1982 – Kasper Klausen, Danish footballer
  • 1982 – David Wright, American baseball player
  • 1983 – Jonah Hill, American actor, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1983 – Darren Sammy, Saint Lucian cricketer
  • 1984 – Nikolaos Karabelas, Greek footballer
  • 1990 – JoJo, American singer and actress
  • 1991 – Jillian Rose Reed, American actress
  • 1991 – Fabian Schär, Swiss footballer
  • 1992 – Ksenia Makarova, Russian-American figure skater
  • 1993 – Robeisy Ramírez, Cuban boxer
  • 1997 – Suzuka Nakamoto, Japanese singer