Today in History for Jan. 20:
In 1265, England's Parliament, representing English districts, cities and boroughs, met for the first time.
In 1783, Britain and the United States signed an armistice, and fighting in the Revolutionary War ceased on Feb. 4.
In 1841, the island of Hong Kong was ceded by China to Great Britain. It returned to Chinese control in July, 1997.
In 1850, Capt. Robert McClure sailed from Britain to search for survivors of the Franklin Expedition in the Canadian Arctic. He eventually discovered the Northwest Passage.
In 1887, the U. S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.
In 1892, the first game of basketball was played in Springfield, Mass. It was invented by Canadian-born teacher James Naismith.
In 1904, the federal government disallowed a British Columbia act that restricted immigration.
In 1918, following the Bolshevik Revolution, all church property in Russia was confiscated and all religious instruction in schools abolished.
In 1929, the first full-length talking picture shot outdoors, "In Old Arizona," was released by Fox.
In 1936, King George V died and was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.
In 1937, U. S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20th instead of March 4.
In 1942, Nazi officials held the notorious Wannsee Conference in the Berlin suburb of that name. The meeting discussed details of their planned extermination of European Jews.
In 1945, U. S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into office for an unprecedented fourth term.
In 1981, the American hostage crisis in Iran came to an end. The release came moments after the U. S. presidency passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. The 52 Americans had been held for 444 days. Radical Iranian students had seized the U. S. embassy on Nov. 4, 1979, demanding the U. S. extradite the deposed shah to stand trial in Iran.
In 1986, most American states observed the first holiday in honour of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1986, Britain and France announced plans to build a tunnel under the English Channel. (The "Chunnel" was opened on May 6, 1994. Regular passenger service began six months later.)
In 1987, Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite disappeared in Beirut while attempting to negotiate the release of western hostages. He was freed in November, 1991.
In 1989, Imperial Oil agreed to buy Texaco Canada for nearly (Canadian) $5 billion.
In 1989, Toronto-born comedienne and singer Beatrice Lillie died at her home in Henley-on-Thames, England. She was 94.
In 1994, newspapers, radio and television broadcasters had to scramble to jerry-rig systems to get their material out. The problems arose when Anik E-1, one of Canada's main communications satellites, spun out of control.
In 1995, the NHL season finally began after a lockout by the owners.
In 1995, Roger Warren was convicted of nine counts of second-degree murder in the 1992 bombing of the Giant gold mine in Yellowknife that killed nine men. The blast came during a violent strike.
In 1996, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, won the presidency in the first Palestinian election.
In 2001, George W. Bush was sworn in as U. S. president amidst some of the largest inaugural protests since Richard Nixon. Thousands of people hurled insults, bottles and tomatoes to protest his controversial victory, decided by the U. S. Supreme Court after voting irregularities in Florida left results in that state unclear.
In 2003, Ontario Premier Ernie Eves decided to scrap the partial sale of Hydro One Inc.
In 2003, Illinois-born Craig Kelly, a four-time overall world champion snowboarder, was killed in a massive avalanche near Revelstoke, B. C. Six others also died.
In 2004, Martha Stewart's stock-trading trial formally began in New York. She ended up serving a five-month prison sentence for lying about a stock sale.
In 2004, the Salvation Army announced a donation likely to exceed (Canadian) $1.5 billion from the estate of Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc.
In 2004, Vito Rizzuto, the alleged godfather of Montreal's Mafia, was arrested and charged in the 1981 deaths of three Mafia captains in the United States. (He was released from prison in October, 2012.)
In 2005, George W. Bush was officially sworn in to begin his second term as president of the United States. He promised to pursue "the expansion of freedom in all the world."
In 2009, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States -- the first African-American to become president in history of the U. S. More than a million people jammed onto Washington's National Mall to watch the ceremony. Obama, a Democrat, succeeded Republican George W. Bush. Joe Biden was sworn in as his vice-president.
In 2009, B. C. Agriculture Minister and Comox MLA Stan Hagen died in Victoria at age 69. Hagen served as minister of 10 different provincial ministries since 1986.
In 2010, about 1.5 million Graco strollers were recalled in the U. S. and Canada after reports that five children in the U. S. had their fingertips severed by the stroller's folding hinge mechanism since 2004.
In 2010, Amin Mohamed Durrani, a member of the so-called Toronto 18 group, pleaded guilty to charges of participating in a terrorist group and was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.
In 2011, six of eight claims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in southwestern Nova Scotia that occurred in the 1950s, '60s and '70s were settled and the Yarmouth diocese agreed to pay out about (Canadian) $1.5 million in total.
In 2012, an explosion and fire tore through a sawmill in Burns Lake, B. C., killing two workers and sending 19 others to hospital.
In 2012, South Korea resumed imports of Canadian beef after an eight-year ban because of Canada's first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease.