Today is Friday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2012. There are 346 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 20, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 instead of March 4.
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 1992, an Air Inter Airbus A-320 crashed near Strasbourg, France, killing 87 of the 96 people on board.
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: Two Marines were killed, five injured when a U.S. military helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. "A Beautiful Mind" was named best drama and its star, Russell Crowe, the top dramatic actor at the Golden Globe Awards; Sissy Spacek was named best dramatic actress for "In the Bedroom" while "Moulin Rouge" was awarded the Globe for best musical or comedy.
Five years ago: Twenty-five U.S. troops were killed in Iraq, including 12 in a helicopter crash in Baghdad and five in a sophisticated sneak attack in Karbala. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., launched a trailblazing campaign for the White House, saying in a videotaped messsage on her Web site: "I'm in, and I'm in to win." Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas began a long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination (he withdrew in October 2007).
One year ago: In a luncheon speech to American business executives in Washington, Chinese President Hu Jintao denied his country was a military threat despite its arms buildup and pressed the U.S. for closer cooperation between the global powers. Federal authorities orchestrated one of the biggest Mafia takedowns in FBI history, charging 127 suspected mobsters and associates in the Northeast with murders, extortion and other crimes spanning decades.
Today's Birthdays: Country singer Slim Whitman is 88. Comedian Arte Johnson is 83. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 82. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 72. Singer Eric Stewart is 67. Movie director David Lynch is 66. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 65. Actor Daniel Benzali is 62. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 60. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 60. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 56. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 54. Actor James Denton is 49. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 47. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 47. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 47. Actor Rainn Wilson (TV: "The Office) is 46. Actress Stacey Dash is 45. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 44. Singer Xavier is 44. Actor Reno Wilson is 43. Singer Edwin McCain is 42. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 42. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 41. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 33. Actor Evan Peters is 25.
Thought for Today: "Whatever people in general do not understand, they are always prepared to dislike; the incomprehensible is always the obnoxious." -- Letitia Landon, English poet (1802-1838).