Today's History Trivia for January 20
1981 Iranian Hostage Crisis The 52 American hostages held in the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran are released minutes after the inauguration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. They had been held 444 days.
2003 Iraq War Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declares, "Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons… His regime is paying a high price to pursue weapons of mass destruction -- giving up billions of dollars in oil revenue. His regime has large, unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons -- including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas; anthrax, botulism, and possibly smallpox -- and he has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons."
2001 President Clinton Before leaving office, he pardons 140 people; including his half-brother Roger Clinton, Whitewater scandal figure Susan McDougal, Patty Hearst, and former CIA Director John Deutch.
2001 Donald Rumsfeld Rumsfeld becomes the oldest Secretary of Defense in American history. When he took office in 1975, he was the youngest Secretary of Defense in American history.
1989 Dan Quayle The newly elected Vice-President takes oath of office omitting a line. He was repeating the oath as recited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "'I, J. Danforth Quayle, swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.'" However, she skipped the line, "'against all enemies, foreign and domestic'" causing him to also omit it.
1982 Ozzy Osbourne The heavy-metal musician is bitten by a bat as he tries to bite its head off during a concert in Des Moines, Iowa. He was hospitalized and treated for rabies.
1980 Olympic Boycott U.S. President Carter announces that the U.S. will boycott the Moscow Summer Olympics in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
1961 You're In the Picture Jackie Gleason's TV game show makes its first and only broadcast. Celebrity contestants stuck their faces through the holes of a large picture and tried to guess what it was by asking Gleason questions. It was so bad, the following week Gleason spent a half hour apologizing for it.
1954 Lowest recorded temperature in the continental U.S., -69.7º in Rogers Pass, Montana.
1841 China cedes Hong Kong to Great Britain.
Today's Birthdays for January 20
1975 Shannon Faulkner American military student. The first woman cadet at the Citadel (1995). After four hours of the military indoctrination training, she spent the remainder of the first week in the infirmary before voluntarily resigning, citing emotional and psychological abuse and physical exhaustion.
1958 Lorenzo Lamas American actor. TV: Falcon Crest (1981-90, Lance Cumson).
1952 Paul Stanley (Stanley Harvey Eisen), American rock musician with Kiss. Music: Rock And Roll All Nite (1975).
1946 David Lynch American director. Film: Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1985), and Blue Velvet (1986). TV: Twin Peaks.
1944 Bill Griffith American cartoonist, creator of Zippy the Pinhead.
1930 Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin Jr American astronaut. He credits himself with being the first man to piss his pants on the moon.
1929 Arte Johnson (Arthur Stanton Eric Johnson), American Emmy-winning comedian. TV: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (the German soldier - "Verrrry interesting, but stupid" and the dirty old man).
1926 Patricia Neal d. 2010 American Oscar-winning actress. Film: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951, WWII widow Helen Benson), and Hud (1963, Oscar).
1922 Ray Anthony (Raymond Antonini), American bandleader of the '50s. He composed the hit The Bunny Hop.
1920 Federico Fellini d. 1993 Italian Oscar-winning director, La Dolce Vita (1959), The Loafers (1953), La Strada (1954, Oscar), 8½ (1963, Oscar), and Amarcord (1973, Oscar). The word "paparazzo" is from the name of a character in La Dolce Vita.
1920 DeForest Kelly d. 1999 American actor. TV: Star Trek (Bones). Film: Fear in the Night (1947) and Night of the Lepus (1972).
1914 Gerald Herbert Holtom d. 1985 British artist. He designed the familiar international peace symbol in 1958 for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It is composed of the flag alphabet letters N and D (standing for Nuclear Disarmament) inside of a circle.
1910 Joy Adamson d. 1980 Austrian environmentalist, author. Writings: Born Free (1960). Her work was featured in the 1966 movie of the same title.
1902 Leon Ames d. 1993 (Leon Waycoff), American actor. TV: Mr. Ed. (neighbor Gordon Kirkwood). He was one of the 19 founders of the Screen Actors Guild (1933) and served as its president (1957-58).
1896 George Burns d. 1996 (Nathan Birnbaum), American actor, comedian. He partnered with his wife Gracie Allen. Film: The Sunshine Boys (1975) and Oh, God! (1977).
1894 Harold Gray d. 1968 American cartoonist, creator of Little Orphan Annie (1924).
1888 Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter d. 1949 American blues and folk musician, "King of the 12-string guitar." Music: wrote Goodnight Irene, The Midnight Special, and The Rock Island Line.
1732 Richard Henry Lee d. 1794 12th president of the Continental Congress (1784-85) and signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
Deaths for January 20
1993 Audrey Hepburn b. 1929 (Audrey Hepburn Ruston), Belgium-born Oscar-Tony-Emmy-Grammy winning actress. Film: Roman Holiday (1953, Oscar), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), and Wait Until Dark (1967). She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1992) for her work with UNICEF.
1990 Barbara Stanwyck b. 1907 (Ruby Stevens), American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Big Valley (Emmy, Victoria Barkley) and The Colbys (Constance Colby). In 1944 the IRS reported her as the highest-paid American woman.
1971 G.M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson b. 1880 (Max Aronson), western actor and director. He became the first male movie star with The Great Train Robbery (1903). In 1957 he received a special Oscar "for his contributions to the development of motion pictures as entertainment."
1965 Alan Freed b. 1921 American Hall of Fame disc-jockey, coined the phrase "Rock 'n' Roll." His TV dance show "The Big Beat" was canceled after a black male performer danced with a white girl. In 1958, Freed was arrested and charged with "inciting to riot" after announcing on the radio, "The police don't want you to have fun." In 1962, he pleaded guilty to commercial bribery for his part in the payola scandal.
1938 Émile Cohl b. 1857 (Émile Eugène Jean Louis Courtet), French caricaturist, "The Father of the Animated Cartoon." He made what is considered the first fully-animated film (Fantasmagorie, 1908). He also made the first puppet animation film. Fantasmagorie.
1819 Charles IV b. 1748 King of Spain (1788-1808). His loss of Trinidad to England (1797) and destruction of the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) made him unpopular.
1800 Thomas Mifflin b. 1744 11th president of the Continental Congress (1783-84).
1767 Etienne de Silhouette b. 1709 French finance minister, his name became synonymous with reducing things to their simplest form.
1479 John II b. 1397 King of Aragon (1458-79) and Navarre (1425-79).
250 Saint Fabian b. ???? Italian religious leader, 20th Pope (236-250).