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Calendar for January 20th, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday (observed)

Since 1986, the third Monday in January has been a federal holiday in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to nonviolence. This is a day to honor King's principles, perhaps best exemplified by his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'" For more about this leader, go to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site of the National Park Service.


  • 1809: First major U.S. geology book debuted

  • 1810s

  • Born 1811: Samuel Keefer (first Canadian Chief Engineer of Public Works)

  • 1890s

  • Born 1896: George Burns (comedian & actor)

  • 1900s

  • Died 1900: John Ruskin (art critic)

  • 1920s

  • Born 1926: Patricia Neal (actress)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1930: Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (astronaut)

  • 1950s

  • 1953: U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower was lassoed by a cowboy at the inauguration parade

  • Born 1956: John Naber (swimmer)

  • 1956: In Montreal, censors withdrew The Wild Ones from cinemas claiming it inspired violence among youth

  • 1960s

  • 1961: John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th U.S. president

  • Born 1963: James Denton (actor)

  • Died 1965: Alan Freed (disc jockey)

  • Born 1968: Rainn Wilson (actor)

  • 1980s

  • 1981: Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th U.S. president

  • 1985: Ronald Reagan was privately sworn in for his second term as U.S. president. The public ceremony was held the following day

  • 1986: Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time

  • 1989: George H. W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st U.S. president

  • 1990s

  • Died 1993: Audrey Hepburn (actress)

  • 1994: Solar activity knocked out Telesat Canada’s satellites Anik E-1 and E-2, affecting TV, radio, and phones

  • 1995: National Hockey League season began after 103-day lockout.

  • 2000s

  • 2001: George W. Bush was sworn in as the 43rd U.S. president

  • 2008: Bode Miller won his 28th World Cup victory, the most ever for an American alpine skier

  • 2009: Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office and became the first African American U.S. president

  • Died 2009: David "Fathead" Newman (jazz musician)

  • 2010s

  • 2010: A 6.1-magnitude aftershock struck Haiti, eight days after a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake

  • Died 2012: Etta James (singer)

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