Among the numerous incidents that have taken place on 20 January, a few have marked their place in history. On this day in 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt took oath as the US President for an unprecedented fourth term. In 1971, on the same day, the British Postal System witnessed its first nationwide strike. As many as 52 American citizens were released by Iran on 20 January 1981, ending the infamous Iran Hostage Crisis. On that very day in 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th US President. Kamala Harris- the first female US Vice President- was sworn in on 20 January 2021.
20 January- Historic Events:
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office for the fourth time; 1945:
On 20 January 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his inaugural address from the balcony of the White House to the American people, after being elected the US President to an unprecedented fourth term. At the time of Roosevelt’s inauguration, the Allied forces had already freed nearly all of France, the majority of Belgium, and a portion of the southern Netherlands in World War II.
The liberation of Rome and the D-Day landings in Normandy had taken place the previous spring. President Roosevelt focused his war-weary country’s attention on the future and their responsibility in establishing an honourable, and durable peace as the German army was in retreat.
First national strike in British Postal System; 1971:
On 20 January 1971, the first full national strike in the history of the British Post Office began. The strike continued till 7 March. It happened against a backdrop of rising inflation and deteriorating labour relations over the past ten years, both at the Post Office and across the nation. The management of the Union of Post Office Workers rejected a salary offer from the Post Office Board on 15 January, which paved the way for the countrywide strike. Local mail delivery was still feasible in some locations, either because postmen chose not to strike or just because some slowly started working again. However, the majority of the nation’s postal systems were completely shut down.
The Iran Hostage Crisis ended; 1981:
The Iran Hostage Crisis concluded on 20 January 1981 with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini releasing 52 American citizens who had been held hostage for more than a year. The crisis began as militants in Iran seized 66 American citizens at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. It occurred during the tumultuous years after Iran’s Islamic Revolution, which overthrew the Pahlavi monarchy. It had a significant impact on American internal politics and ruined relations between the United States and Iran for many years.
Barack Obama became the first African-American US President; 2009:
Barack Obama was sworn in as the president of the United States on 20 January 2009, making him the first African American to hold office. After George W. Bush’s peaceful resignation, the former Illinois senator took office as the 44th president of the United States. Obama took the oath of office in a ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol using the same Bible that President Abraham Lincoln used for his first inauguration in 1861. Reportedly, more than a million people watched the inauguration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Kamala Harris became the first female US Vice President; 2021:
On 20 January 2021, Kamala Harris scripted history by becoming the first female, first black and first Asian-American vice-president of the United States. She was sworn in just before Joe Biden took the presidential oath of office to become the 46th US president. The Indian-Jamaican Harris initially sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. However, Biden triumphed as the democratic nominee and picked Harris to be his running mate, calling her “a fearless fighter for the little guy.”
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