Today in History – Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

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Today is Wednesday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2016. There are 346 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1265 – England’s Parliament meets for first time.

1503 – Casa Contratacion Board of Trade is formed in Spain to deal with affairs in America.

1839 – Chile wins Battle of Yungay against Peru-Bolivian Federation, resulting in dissolution of that union.

1841 – The island of Hong Kong is ceded to Great Britain.

1887 – New Zealand annexes Kermadec Islands in Pacific; U.S. Senate approves leasing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as naval base.

1921 – The new Parliament in Ankara declares that the country will be called Turkey, and vests executive power in a council led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

1936 – Britain’s King George V dies and is succeeded by Edward VIII.

1942 – Nazi officials hold the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrive at their “final solution” that calls for exterminating Europe’s Jews.

1957 – South Africa denies port facilities to Indian vessels in retaliation for Indian sanctions against South Africa.

1958 – Soviet Union threatens Greece with economic sanctions if it agrees to the installation of NATO missile bases on Greek territory.

1964 – British forces quell mutinies of Tanganyika Rifles and troops in Uganda and Kenya.

1968 – President Abdel-Rahman Aref’s regime in Iraq is deposed, and new government is formed under Gen. Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.

1987 – Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite disappears in Beirut, Lebanon, while attempting to negotiate the release of Western hostages. He is freed in November 1991.

1989 – George H.W. Bush is sworn in as the 41st president of the United States.

1990 – Soviet troops storm Azerbaijani capital of Baku, leaving dozens dead and wounded, as President Mikhail Gorbachev defends action on national television.

1991 – In Moscow, hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens protest bloody crackdown on Lithuania and demand resignation of President Mikhail Gorbachev.

1992 – Two former East German border guards are convicted in last killing at Berlin Wall.

1993 – Bill Clinton is inaugurated as president of the United States, taking over from George H.W. Bush.

1995 – The Bosnian government and rebel Serbs exchange nearly 100 prisoners in a move instilling hope in a fragile truce.

1999 – Riots between Christians and Muslims enter a third day on the Indonesian island of Ambon — 22 people die, 100 are badly injured and more than 30 houses are burned.

2001 – Protesting Filipinos force President Joseph Estrada to step down and Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is sworn in as the Philippines’ new president.

2002 – The government and Colombia’s largest guerrilla group reach an agreement on a timetable for cease-fire talks aimed at ending the country’s long-running civil war.

2006 – Japan halts all imports of U.S. beef because of mad cow disease fears threatening millions of dollars in American exports and sending officials scrambling to repair delicate trade relations.

2008 – A Turkish court again blocks access to the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube because of clips allegedly insulting the country’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It is illegal in Turkey to insult the revered figure.

2009 – Barack Hussein Obama becomes the 44th president — and first black chief executive — of the United States.

2012 — France’s threat to withdraw early from Afghanistan after an Afghan soldier killed four French troops and wounded 15 is a setback for the U.S.-led coalition’s efforts to build a national army and allow foreign troops to go home.

2013 — Barack Obama begins his second term as U.S. president.

2014 — Two car bombs hit a rebel-held post on the Syrian border with Turkey, killing at least 16 people amid continuing fighting between Turkey-supported rebels and Saudi-supported rebels.

2015 — Shanghai fires four top officials and disciplines several others over a New Year’s stampede that killed 36 people. .

Today’s Birthdays:

Paul Cambon, French statesman (1834-1924); George Burns, U.S. comedian (1896-1996); Federico Fellini, Italian film director (1920-1993); Patricia Neal, U.S. actress (1926–2010); David Lynch, U.S. director (1946–); Bill Maher, U.S. television talk show host (1956–); Skeet Ulrich, U.S. actor (1969–); Rainn Wilson, U.S. actor (1966–).

Thought For Today:

America is a land of wonders, in which everything is in constant motion and every change seems an improvement — Alexis de Tocqueville, French author (1805-1859).

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