Today In History...
In 1801 John Marshall is appointed chief justice of the United States.
In 1839 Chile defeats a confederation of Peru and Bolivia in the Battle of Yungay.
In 1841 The island of Hong Kong is ceded to Great Britain.
In 1887 The U.S. Senate approves an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii for use as a naval base.
In 1892 The first basketball game is played.
In 1936 Britain's King George V dies and is succeeded by Edward VIII.
In 1929 Wayne Baxter wins the first Academy Award for Best Actor in "Old Arizona."
In 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first chief executive to be inaugurated on January 20, instead of March 4, due to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.
In 1942 Nazi officials hold the notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin, calling for the extermination of Europe's Jewish population.
In 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn into office for an unprecedented fourth term.
In 1953 First live coast-to-coast inauguration address takes place when Dwight D. Eisenhower is sworn in as U.S. president.
In 1961 John F. Kennedy is inaugurated President and speaks the famous words, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Rather what you can do for your country."
In 1977 Jimmy Carter is sworn in as the 39th U.S. president.
In 1981 Iran releases 52 American hostages who had been held for 444 days, just minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
In 1983 A commission studying reform of the Social Security system recommends gradually raising the retirement age from 65 to 66.
In 1984 Johnny Weissmuller, who won five Olympic gold medals as a swimmer and went on to movie stardom as "Tarzan," dies at age 79 in Acapulco, Mexico.
In 1985 The most severe cold wave in more than a century hits the East and for the first time, a president (Reagan) takes the oath of office indoors.
In 1986 The U.S. observes the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1987 A city's right to limit door-to-door soliciting during certain hours is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1987 Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite is kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon, while attempting to negotiate the release of Western hostages. (He was released in November 1991.)
In 1988 The Rockwell B-1 bomber is delivered to the U.S. Air Force.
In 1988 An Arizona House committee opens hearings on the possible impeachment of Governor Evan Mecham.
In 1989 George Bush is sworn in as the 41st U.S. president.
In 1990 The space shuttle Columbia returns from an 11-day mission.
In 1990 Actress, Barbara Stanwyck dies at age 82 in Santa Monica, CA.
In 1992 A French Airbus A-320 crashes near Strasbourg, killing 87 people.
In 1992 A German court convicts two former East German border guards of the last killing at the Berlin Wall.
In 1993 Actress, Audrey Hepburn ("Breakfast At Tiffanys") dies at age 63.
In 1993 Bill Clinton is sworn in as the 42nd U.S. president; Al Gore is sworn in as vice president.
In 1996 Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians turn out to vote in a festive first election, solidly endorsing Yasser Arafat and his peace policies.
In 1996 The space shuttle Endeavour lands after a 9-day mission that included the retrieval of a Japanese satellite.
In 1997 President Bill Clinton is sworn in for a second term.
In 1998 American researchers report they have cloned calves that may produce medicinal milk.
In 1998 An Chilean judge agrees to hear a lawsuit accusing former dictator Augusto Pinochet with genocide.
In 2001 George Walker Bush becomes America's 43rd president.
In 2001 Hundreds of thousands of protesting Filipinos force President Joseph Estrada to step down; Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was sworn in as the new president.
In 2001 Michelle Kwan wins her fourth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championship title while Timothy Goebel won his first men's title.
In 2002 Two Marines are killed, five injured when a U.S. military helicopter crashes in Afghanistan.
In 2003 Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld dies at age 99 and Pollster Burns W. "Bud" Roper dies at age 77.
In 2004 Martha Stewart's stock-trading trial formally begins in New York. (Stewart served 5-months in prison for lying about a stock sale.)
In 2009 Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the U.S., becoming the U.S.' first African-American president.