Today is Thursday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2005. There are 345 days left in the year. On this date in 1981, Iran releases 52 Americans it has held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency passes from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
In 1801, John Marshall is appointed chief justice of the United States. In 1841, the island of Hong Kong is ceded to Great Britain. (It returns to Chinese control in July 1997.) In 1887, the U.S. Senate approves an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base. In 1942, Nazi officials hold the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrive at their "final solution" that calls for exterminating Jews. In 1945, President Roosevelt is sworn into office for an unprecedented fourth term. In 1954, "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial," a play by Herman Wouk based on part of his novel "The Caine Mutiny," opens on Broadway. In 1985, President Reagan and Vice President Bush are sworn in for second terms of office in a brief White House ceremony (it being a Sunday, the public swearing-in is held the following day). In 1986, the United States observes the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
January 20, 1980: The Mahoning River from McDonald to the Pennsylvania state line would eventually cleanse itself if several low-head dams in the river were blasted out, the Eastgate Development and Transportation Agency says. A study by Havens & amp; Emerson estimates that, "within five to 10 years, the impact of the sediments would be reduced to the point where no water quality violations would be expected due to sediments."
Mahoning County commissioners Thomas J. Barrett, George J. Bindas and John Palermo say county finances are going to be very tight and they are considering putting a half-percent permissive sales tax on the June ballot.
January 20, 1965: The Mahoning County Medical Society recommends formation of a new Inter-Hospital Relations Committee to study closer working relations between Youngstown area hospitals.
Steve Russo, proprietor of Russo's Tavern and sponsor of the Russo's Tavern softball team that reached the state tournament, is named Smoky Hollow's Man of the Year at the Hollow's 18th annual convention at Mt. Carmel Church auditorium.
January 20, 1955: Youngstown district law enforcement officials are hesitant to move against alleged professional cheating in church and fraternal bingo because Ohio courts have held that the state constitution makes bingo illegal, but there is no provision for a penalty for operating a bingo game.
Plans to establish Rotary Clubs in the Hubbard and Boardman-Canfield areas if enough qualified members are available are announced by Ralph White Jr., president of the Youngstown club.
January 20, 1930: Conrad Brenner, 69, prominent Youngstown jeweler for more than 50 years, dies of a stroke. He had been in perfect health, returning from a hunting trip in North Carolina and shoveling snow from the walks of a sick neighbor only days before being stricken.
An article in the New York Herald Tribune says that Republic Steel Co. will establish the main offices for the new steel c company in Youngstown, but officers of the company deny that a decision has been reached.