National Disc Jockey Day in USA (DJ Day is celebrated in remembrance of the death of Albert James Freed. Freed, also known as Moondog, was an influential disc jockey in the 1950s. He is credited with introducing the term “rock ‘n’ roll” to the world)
2017 – Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America.
2009 – Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America, becoming the first African-American President of the United States.
2007 – Four-man Team N2i, using only skis and kites, completes a 1,093-mile (1,759 km) trek to reach the Antarctic pole of inaccessibility for the first time since 1965 and for the first time ever without mechanical assistance.
1986 – In the United States, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time.
1981 – Twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, Iran releases 52 American hostages.
1954 – In the United States, the National Negro Network is established with 40 charter member radio stations.
1953 – Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated as the 34th President of the United States of America, becoming the first President to begin his presidency on January 20 following the ratification of the 20th Amendment.
1949 – Point Four Program a program for economic aid to poor countries announced by United States President Harry S. Truman in his inaugural address for a full term as President.
1937 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Nance Garner are sworn in for their second terms as U.S. President and U.S. Vice President, the first occasion a Presidential Inauguration to take place on January 20 following the ratification of the 20th Amendment
1929 – In Old Arizona, the first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, is released.
1921 – The first Constitution of Turkey is adopted, making fundamental changes in the source and exercise of sovereignty by consecrating the principle of national sovereignty.
1920 – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is founded.
1887 – The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
1788 – The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Botany Bay is unsuitable for the location of a penal colony, and decides to move to Port Jackson.
1783 – The Kingdom of Great Britain signs a peace treaty with France and Spain, officially ending hostilities in the American Revolutionary War.
1576 – The Mexican city of León is founded by order of the viceroy Don Martín Enríquez de Almanza.
1265 – The first English parliament to include not only Lords but also representatives of the major towns holds its first meeting in the Palace of Westminster, now commonly known as the "Houses of Parliament".
1991 – Ciara Hanna, American actress and model. She is known for playing the roles of Gia Moran in Power Rangers Megaforce and Nicole Parker in Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys.
1989 – Nick Foles, American football player. Nicholas Edward Foles (born January 20, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL).
1987 – Evan Peters, American actor. Evan Peters (born January 20, 1987) is an American actor, best known for his multiple roles on the FX anthology series American Horror Story, Stan Bowes in the first season of the FX drama Pose, and his role as the mutant Quicksilver in the superhero films X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and Dark Phoenix (2019).
1983 – Geovany Soto, Puerto Rican-American baseball player. He has appeared in the MLB All-Star Game and was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2008.
1981 – Jason Richardson, American basketball player. Jason Anthoney Richardson (born January 20, 1981) is an American former professional basketball player who played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1980 – Karl Anderson, American wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he competes on the Raw brand under the ring name Karl Anderson as part of the The O.C.
1980 – Philippe Cousteau, Jr., American-French oceanographer and journalist, was the second son of Jacques Cousteau and Simone Cousteau, a diver, sailor, pilot, photographer, author, director and cinematographer specializing in environmental issues, with a background in oceanography.
1972 – Nikki Haley, American accountant and politician, 116th Governor of South Carolina. Nimrata Haley (née Randhawa, January 20, 1972), known as Nikki Haley, is an American diplomat, businesswoman, author, and politician.
1971 – Derrick Green, American singer. Derrick Leon Green (born January 20, 1971) is an American musician, best known as the singer of Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura.
1971 – Questlove, American drummer, DJ, and producer. Ahmir Khalib Thompson (born January 20, 1971), known professionally as Questlove (stylized as ?uestlove), is an American musician and music journalist.
1970 – Edwin McCain, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. In all, McCain has released eleven albums, with his first two being released independently.
1970 – Skeet Ulrich, American actor. Since 2017, he has starred as FP Jones on The CW's Riverdale.
1969 – Patrick K. Kroupa, American computer hacker and activist, co-founded MindVox. He was a heroin addict from age 14 to 30 and got clean through the use of the hallucinogenic drug ibogaine.
1968 – Nick Anderson, American basketball player and sportscaster. Nelison “Nick” Anderson (born January 20, 1968) is an American former professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for thirteen years.
1967 – Kellyanne Conway, American political strategist and pundit. Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway (née Fitzpatrick; born January 20, 1967) is an American pollster, political consultant, and pundit who serves as counselor to the president in the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump.
1967 – Stacey Dash, American actress and television journalist. She has also appeared in the films Moving, Mo' Money, Renaissance Man, and View from the Top.
1966 – Rainn Wilson, American actor. Rainn Dietrich Wilson (born January 20, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, businessman, and producer.
1965 – John Michael Montgomery, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He has had more than 30 singles on the Billboard country charts, of which seven have reached number one: "I Love the Way You Love Me", "I Swear", "Be My Baby Tonight", "If You've Got Love", "I Can Love You Like That", "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)", and "The Little Girl". 13 more have reached the top 10. "I Swear" and "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)" were named by Billboard as the top country songs of 1994 and 1995, respectively.
1964 – Fareed Zakaria, Indian-American journalist and author. He has been a columnist for Newsweek, editor of Newsweek International, and an editor at large of Time.
1964 – Ozzie Guillén, Venezuelan-American baseball player and manager. Oswaldo José Guillén Barrios (Spanish pronunciation: ; born January 20, 1964) is a Venezuelan former professional baseball player and manager.
1964 – Ron Harper, American basketball player and coach. Ronald Harper (born January 20, 1964) is an American retired professional basketball player and five-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion.
1963 – James Denton, American actor. Sam Radford on Hallmark Channel's comedy-drama series Good Witch (2015–present).
1963 – Mark Ryden, American painter and illustrator. Mark Ryden (born January 20, 1963) is an American painter who is considered to be part of the Lowbrow (or Pop Surrealist) art movement.
1960 – Apa Sherpa, Nepalese-American mountaineer. Apa (born Lhakpa Tenzing Sherpa; 20 January 1960), nicknamed "Super Sherpa", is a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer who, jointly with Phurba Tashionce held the record for reaching the summit of Mount Everest more times than any other person.
1960 – Scott Thunes, American bass player. Scott Thunes (pronounced "too-nis") (born January 20, 1960) is a bass player, formerly with Frank Zappa, Wayne Kramer, Steve Vai, Andy Prieboy, Mike Keneally, Fear, The Waterboys, Big Bang Beat, and others.
1959 – R. A. Salvatore, American author. Robert Anthony Salvatore (born January 20, 1959) is an American author best known for The DemonWars Saga; his Forgotten Realms novels, for which he created the popular character Drizzt Do'Urden; and Vector Prime, the first novel in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series.
1959 – Tami Hoag, American author. Tami Hoag (born Tami Mikkelson on January 20, 1959) is an American novelist, best known for her work in the romance and thriller genres.
1958 – Lorenzo Lamas, American actor, director, and producer. He is best known for his role of Lance Cumson, the irresponsible grandson of Angela Channing — played by Jane Wyman — in the soap opera Falcon Crest (1981–1990), for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
1956 – Bill Maher, American comedian, political commentator, media critic, television host, and producer. He is known for the HBO political talk show Real Time with Bill Maher (2003–present) and the similar late-night show called Politically Incorrect (1993–2002), originally on Comedy Central and later on ABC.
1956 – John Naber, American swimmer. John Phillips Naber (born January 20, 1956) is an American former competition swimmer, five-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in multiple events.
1953 – Jeffrey Epstein, American financier and philanthropist, was an American financier and convicted sex offender. He began his professional life as a teacher but then switched to the banking and finance sector in various roles, working at Bear Stearns before forming his own firm.
1952 – Paul Stanley, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Paul Stanley (born Stanley Bert Eisen; January 20, 1952) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and painter, best known for being the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Kiss.
1950 – Daniel Benzali, Brazilian-American actor. Daniel Benzali (born January 20, 1950) is a Brazilian-American stage, television and film actor.
1948 – Nancy Kress, American author and academic. Nancy Anne Kress (born January 20, 1948) is an American science fiction writer.
1946 – David Lynch, American director, producer, and screenwriter. David Keith Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American filmmaker, painter, musician, actor, and photographer.
1942 – Linda Moulton Howe, American journalist and producer. Linda Moulton Howe (born January 20, 1942) is an American investigative journalist and Regional Emmy award-winning documentary film maker best known for her work as a ufologist and advocate of a variety of conspiracy theories, including her investigation of cattle mutilations and conclusion that they are performed by extraterrestrials.
1940 – Carol Heiss, American figure skater and actress. Competing in ladies' singles, she became the 1960 Olympic champion, the 1956 Olympic silver medalist, and a five-time World champion (1956–1960).
1939 – Paul Coverdell, American captain and politician (d. 2000), was a United States Senator from Georgia, elected for the first time in 1992 and re-elected in 1998, and director of the Peace Corps from 1989 until 1991. Coverdell died from a cerebral hemorrhage in Atlanta, Georgia in 2000 while serving in the United States Senate.
1935 – Dorothy Provine, American actress, singer, and dancer (d. 2010), was an American singer, dancer and actress. Born in 1935 in Deadwood, South Dakota, she grew up in Seattle, Washington, and was hired in 1958 by Warner Bros., after which she first starred in The Bonnie Parker Story and played many roles in TV series.
1930 – Buzz Aldrin, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut. Buzz Aldrin (/ˈɔːldrɪn/; born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) is an American engineer and a former astronaut and fighter pilot.
1929 – Arte Johnson, American actor and comedian, was an American comic actor who was best known for his work as a regular on television's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.
1929 – Fireball Roberts, American race car driver (d. 1964), was an American stock car racer.
1926 – David Tudor, American pianist and composer (d. 1996), was an American pianist and composer of experimental music.
1926 – Patricia Neal, American actress (d. 2010), was an American actress of stage and screen. She was best known for her film roles as World War II widow Helen Benson in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), wealthy matron Emily Eustace Failenson in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), and the worn-out housekeeper Alma Brown in Hud (1963), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
1923 – Slim Whitman, American country and western singer-songwriter and musician (d. 2013), was an American country music, western music and folk music artist singer-songwriter and instrumentalist those known for his yodeling abilities and his smooth, high, three-octave-range falsetto in a style christened as "countrypolitan". He personally stated that he had sold in excess of 120 million records, although the recorded sales figures give 70 million, during a career that spanned over seven decades, and consisted of a prolific output of over 100 albums and around 500 recorded songs, that not only consisted of country music, but also of contemporary gospel, Broadway show tunes, love songs and standards.
1922 – Don Mankiewicz, American author and screenwriter (d. 2015), was an American screenwriter and novelist best known for his novel, Trial.
1922 – Ray Anthony, American trumpet player, composer, bandleader, and actor. Raymond Antonini (born January 20, 1922), known as Ray Anthony, is an American bandleader, trumpeter, songwriter, and actor.
1920 – DeForest Kelley, American actor (d. 1999), was an American actor, screenwriter, poet, and singer known for his roles in Westerns and as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy of the USS Enterprise in the television and film series Star Trek (1966–1991).
1918 – Nevin Scrimshaw, American scientist (d. 2013), was an American food scientist and Institute Professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scrimshaw was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1913 – W. Cleon Skousen, American author and academic (d. 2006), was an American conservative author and faith-based political theorist. A notable anti-communist and supporter of the John Birch Society, Skousen's works involved a wide range of subjects including the Six-Day War, Mormon eschatology, New World Order conspiracies, and parenting.
1908 – Fleur Cowles, American author and illustrator (d. 2009), was an American writer, editor and artist best known as the creative force behind the short-lived Flair magazine.
1902 – Leon Ames, American actor (d. 1993), was an American film and television actor. He is best remembered for playing father figures in such films as Meet Me in St.
1896 – George Burns, American actor, comedian, and producer (d. 1996), was an American comedian, actor, singer, and writer. He was one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, radio, film and television.
1894 – Harold Gray, American cartoonist, created Little Orphan Annie (d. 1968), was an American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the newspaper comic strip Little Orphan Annie.
1894 – Walter Piston, American composer, theorist, and academic (d. 1976), was an American composer of classical music, music theorist, and professor of music at Harvard University.
1891 – Mischa Elman, Ukrainian-American violinist (d. 1967), was a Ukrainian-born Jewish-American violinist, famed for his passionate style, beautiful tone, and impeccable artistry and musicality.
1889 – Allan Haines Loughead, American engineer and businessman, founded the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company (d. 1969), was an American aviation pioneer and engineer. He formed the Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company along with his brother, Malcolm Loughead, that became Lockheed Corporation.
1883 – Enoch L. Johnson, American mob boss (d. 1968), was an Atlantic City, New Jersey political boss, Sheriff of Atlantic County, New Jersey, businessman, and racketeer. He was the undisputed "boss" of the political machine that controlled Atlantic City and the Atlantic County government from the 1910s until his conviction and imprisonment in 1941.
1883 – Forrest Wilson, American journalist and author (d. 1942), was an American author and journalist. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1942 for his biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Crusader in Crinoline: The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1941).
1882 – Johnny Torrio, Italian-American mob boss (d. 1957), was an Italian American mobster who helped to build a criminal organization, the Chicago Outfit, in the 1920s; it was later inherited by his protégé, Al Capone. He also put forth the idea of the National Crime Syndicate in the 1930s and later became an unofficial adviser to Lucky Luciano and his Luciano crime family.
1880 – Walter W. Bacon, American accountant and politician, 60th Governor of Delaware (d. 1962), was an American politician and accountant from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Republican Party who served three terms as Mayor of Wilmington and two terms as Governor of Delaware.
1878 – Ruth St. Denis, American dancer and educator (d. 1968). Denis (January 20, 1879 – July 21, 1968) was an American modern dance pioneer, introducing eastern ideas into the art.
1876 – Josef Hofmann, Polish-American pianist and composer (d. 1967), was a Polish American pianist, composer, music teacher, and inventor.
1834 – George D. Robinson, American lawyer and politician, 34th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1896), was an American lawyer and Republican politician from Massachusetts. After serving in the United States Congress, he served three terms as Governor of Massachusetts, notably defeating Benjamin Franklin Butler in the 1884 election.
1798 – Anson Jones, American physician and politician, 5th President of the Republic of Texas (d. 1858), was a doctor, businessperson, member of Congress, and the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation".
1732 – Richard Henry Lee, American lawyer and politician, President of the Continental Congress (d. 1794), was an American statesman and Founding Father from Virginia best known for the June 1776 Lee Resolution, the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain leading to the United States Declaration of Independence, which he signed. He also served a one-year term as the President of the Continental Congress, was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation, and was a United States Senator from Virginia from 1789 to 1792, serving during part of that time as the second President pro tempore of the upper house.
2017 – Harry J. Middleton, American writer and library director (b. 1921)
2016 – David G. Hartwell, American anthologist, author, and critic (b. 1941)
2014 – Otis G. Pike, American judge and politician (b. 1921)
2012 – Alejandro Rodriguez, Venezuelan-American pediatrician and psychiatrist (b. 1918)
2012 – Etta James, American singer-songwriter (b. 1938)
2012 – John F. Baker, Jr., American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1945)
2007 – Dan Christensen, American painter (b. 1942)
2005 – Roland Frye, American theologian and critic (b. 1921)
2003 – Al Hirschfeld, American painter and illustrator (b. 1903)
2003 – Nedra Volz, American actress (b. 1908)
2002 – Carrie Hamilton, American actress and singer (b. 1963)
1996 – Gerry Mulligan, American saxophonist and composer (b. 1927)
1994 – Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, first Kenyan Vice-President (b. 1911)
1990 – Barbara Stanwyck, American actress (b. 1907)
1984 – Johnny Weissmuller, American swimmer and actor (b. 1904)
1971 – Broncho Billy Anderson, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1880)
1965 – Alan Freed, American radio host (b. 1922)
1962 – Robinson Jeffers, American poet and philosopher (b. 1887)
1955 – Robert P. T. Coffin, American author and poet (b. 1892)
1947 – Josh Gibson, American baseball player (b. 1911)
1944 – James McKeen Cattell, American psychologist and academic (b. 1860)
1940 – Omar Bundy, American general (b. 1861)
1921 – Mary Watson Whitney, American astronomer and academic (b. 1847)
1908 – John Ordronaux, American surgeon and academic (b. 1830)
1901 – Zénobe Gramme, Belgian engineer, invented the Gramme machine (b. 1826)
1873 – Basil Moreau, French priest, founded the Congregation of Holy Cross (b. 1799)
1837 – John Soane, English architect, designed the Bank of England (b. 1753)
1810 – Benjamin Chew, American lawyer and judge (b. 1721)