On this day, Jan. 20 …
2017: Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, pledging emphatically to empower America’s "forgotten men and women."
Also on this day:
- 1649: King Charles I of England goes on trial, accused of high treason. (He would be found guilty and executed by month’s end.)
- 1887: The U.S. Senate approves an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.
- 1937: President Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first chief executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 instead of March 4.
- 1942: Nazi officials hold the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrive at their "final solution" that calls for exterminating Europe’s Jews.
- 1964: Capitol Records release the album "Meet the Beatles!"
- 1981: Iran releases 52 Americans it held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency passes from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
- 1986: The United States observes the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
- 1994: Shannon Faulkner becomes the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. (Faulkner would join the cadet corps in August 1995 under court order but soon would drop out, citing isolation and stress from the legal battle.)
- 2001: George Walker Bush becomes America’s 43rd president after one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history.
- 2009: Barack Obama is sworn in as the nation’s 44th, as well as first African-American, president.
- 2009: Russian natural gas begins flowing into Ukraine after a nearly two-week cutoff that had left large parts of Europe cold and dark.
- 2014: Iran unplugs banks of centrifuges involved in its most sensitive nuclear enrichment program, prompting the U.S. and the European Union to partially lift economic sanctions as a landmark deal aimed at easing concerns over Iran’s nuclear program go into effect.
- 2014: American missionary Kenneth Bae, jailed in North Korea for more than a year, appears before reporters in Pyongyang and appeals to the U.S. government to do its best to secure his release. (Bae and fellow American Matthew Miller would be freed in November 2014.)
- 2018: A dispute in Congress over spending and immigration forces scores of federal government agencies and outposts to close their doors; tourists are turned away from sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. (Congress would vote two days later to temporarily pay for resumed operations.)