Today in 1885,a patent for the roller coaster was given to L.A. Thompson of Coney Island, New York.
Today in 1937,Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on January 20th. The 20thAmendment of the U.S. Constitution officially set the date for the swearing in of the President and Vice President. On the same date…in 1945, FDR was sworn-in for an unprecedented (and never to be repeated) 4thterm as President.
Today in 1954,the first live US coast-to-coast inauguration address took place as Dwight Eisenhower assumed his presidency.
Today in 1942,Nazi officials held the Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their "final solution" that called for exterminating Europe's Jews (the event was chronicled in the 2001 film, “Conspiracy.”)
Today in 1954,the National Negro Network went on the air with forty radio stations as charter members. Unfortunately, the explosion of the TV era caused it to fall apart within a year due to lack of funding.
Today in 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the country’s 35thPresident.
Today in 1977, Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the 39thPresident of the U.S., and then surprised everyone by walking back to the White House.
Today in 1980,President Jimmy Carter announced plans for the United States to boycott the Olympics in Moscow if they weren’t cancelled or moved to another country.
Today in 1981, Iran released 52 Americans that had been held hostage for 444 days. The hostages were flown to Algeria and then to a U.S. base in Wiesbaden, West Germany. The release occurred minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40thPresident of the United States.
Today in 1985,the most-watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9-million people. In the game, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 38-16. Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars per minute.
Today in 1986,the United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Today in 1989, George Bush was sworn in as the 41stPresidentof the United States.
Today in 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. Faulkner had joined the cadet corps in August of 1995 under court order, but soon dropped out.
Today in 1997, Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second term as President of the United States.
Today in 2009,the United States welcomed its first African-American president in Barack Obama.
Today in 2017,Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45thPresident of the United States of America, with Mike Pence as the 48thVice President.
Today in 2021, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46thPresident of the United States of America and Kamala Harris as the 49thVice President, the first female, black or south Asian Vice President. Amanda Gorman recited "The Hill We Climb.” On his first day in the office, he signed a number of executive orders including re-joining the WHO, the Paris Climate Agreement, revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline and mandating masks on federal properties.