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Today's quotation...
    Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter.
--Benjamin Franklin, Letter on the Stamp Act, [07-11-1765]

    Till the war drum throbbed no longer
    and the battle flags were furled
    In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the world.
    --Locksley Hall. [1842] Alfred, Lord Tennyson


On January 20, 1265, in the reign of King Henry III, the Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort, called the first English Parliament to meet at the hall at Westminster. Until this time, only councils of the lords or large land holders had been held. This was the first at which commoners were represented, there being two knights from each county and two commoners from each borough. This day marks a major breakthrough in our progress toward a true democracy.

 Happy Birthday ......
    In 1775, André-Marie Ampère, founder of science of electro magnetism.
    In 1873, Johannes V. Jensen, Danish novelist, poet, essayist (Nobel 1944).
    In 1896, Nathan Birnbaum (better known as George Burns), actor and comedian who rose to fame when he teamed with his beloved wife, Gracie Allen, on the Vaudeville stage. Burns grew up on New York’s Lower East Side with dreams of breaking into show business, and when he met Gracie, the two became stars of stage, screen and radio. While Gracie was first cast as the “straight-man” of the group, her brilliant comedic timing lead to she and George switching roles. Together, they made their big screen debut in The Big Broadcast (1932), and went on to enjoy a successful career on the small screen with their own, self-titled series. Their "dizzy lady, long-suffering man" routine delighted audiences until Gracie retired in 1958. At that time, George went solo, and he went on to enjoy a lucrative career on the silver screen in The Sunshine Band (1975), Oh, God! (1977), Just You and Me, Kid (1979), Oh, God! You Devil! (1984) and 18 Again! in 1988. George died at the age of 100 in 1996.
    In 1920, the late Federico Fellini, director (8½, Satyricon).
     The late DeForest Kelley, actor, "Star Trek's" Dr. McCoy.
    In 1926, Patricia Neal, actress.
    In 1930, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, astronaut, second man on the moon.
    In 1934, Arte Johnson, actor/comedian.
     Slim Whitman, country singer.
    In 1946, David Lynch, avant-garde filmmaker who garnered his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director for The Elephant Man (1980). Lynch was hired to direct the picture after Mel Brooks saw his independent flick, Eraserhead, and embraced him as a kindred madman. While Lynch was offered to direct the third installment of the Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi, he opted instead to work on Dune, which failed to find an audience at the box office. Bouncing back in 1985, Lynch released the sensual mystery thriller, Blue Velvet to rave reviews, and he garnered two more Oscar nods for Best Picture and Best Director. Choosing always to treat filmmaking as an art, Lynch sets the mood and tone of each individual scene with his unique use of color, framing and sound. Some of Lynch’s most memorable features include Wild at Heart (1990), Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me (1992), Lost Highway (1997), The Straight Story (1999) and Mulholland Drive.

 On this day...
    In 1783, U.S. and British representatives signed a preliminary Cessation of Hostilities, which ended the fighting in the Revolutionary War.
    In 1841, the first Sino-British Opium War ended with the signing of the convention of Chuanbi by which China acceded Hong Kong island to Britain.
    In 1863, [Civil War] Mud March begins
    Union General Ambrose Burnside’s Army of the Potomac begins an offensive against General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia that quickly bogs down as several days of heavy rain turn the roads of Virginia into a muddy quagmire. The campaign was abandoned three days later.
    The Union army was still reeling from the disastrous Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia,on December 13, 1862. Burnside’s force suffered more than 13,000 casualties as it assaulted Lee’s troops along hills above Fredericksburg. Lee suffered around 5,000 casualties, making Fredericksburg one of the most one-sided engagements in the Eastern theater of operations. Morale was low among the Yankees that winter. Now, Burnside sought to raise morale and seize the initiative from Lee. His plan was to swing around Lee’s left flank and draw the Confederates away from their defenses and into the open. Speed was essential to the operation. January had been a dry month to that point, but as soon as the Federals began to move, a drizzle turned into a downpour that lasted for four days. Logistical problems delayed the laying of a pontoon bridge across the Rappahannock River, and a huge traffic jam snarled the army’s progress. In one day, the 5th New York moved only a mile and a half. The roads became unnavigable, and conflicting orders caused two corps to march across each other’s paths. Horses, wagons, and cannons were stuck in mud, and the element of surprise was lost. Jeering Confederates taunted the Yankees with shouts and signs that read “Burnside’s Army Stuck in the Mud.
    Burnside tried to lift spirits by issuing liquor to the soldiers on January 22, but this only compounded the problems. Drunken troops began brawling, and entire regiments fought one another. The operation was a complete fiasco, and on January 23 Burnside gave up his attempt to, in his words, “strike a great and mortal blow to the rebellion.” The campaign was considered so disastrous that Burnside was removed as commander of the army on January 25.

    In 1872, California Stock Exchange Board organized.
    In 1885, the roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson of Coney Island, New York.
    In 1887, the U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.
    In 1892, the first officially recognized basketball game was played at the YMCA gym in Springfield, Mass.
    In 1914, the Navy's aviation unit from Annapolis, Maryland, arrives at Pensacola, Florida, to set up a flying school.
    In 1929, first talking motion picture taken outdoors "In Old Arizona".
    In 1936, King George V of Britain died. His son succeeded him as Edward VIII but he abdicated later that year.
    In 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on January 20th. The 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution officially set the date for the swearing in of the President and Vice President.
World At War
    World War II, which had begun in Europe on September 1, 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, ended six years later to the day, September 1, 1945. The final concluding ceremony came the following day, September 2, 1945, with the signing of surrender papers by representatives of Japan, Nazi Germany's Axis partner in the Far East.

Nine Notable Veterans of World War II

    In 1942,     Headline: The Wannsee Conference
    Nazi officials meet to discuss the details of the “Final Solution” of the “Jewish question.”
    In July 1941, Herman Goering, writing under instructions from Hitler, had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, to submit “as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative, material, and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”
    Heydrich met with Adolf Eichmann, chief of the Central Office of Jewish Emigration, and 15 other officials from various Nazi ministries and organizations at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin. The agenda was simple and focused: to devise a plan that would render a “final solution to the Jewish question” in Europe. Various gruesome proposals were discussed, including mass sterilization and deportation to the island of Madagascar. Heydrich proposed simply transporting Jews from every corner Europe to concentration camps in Poland and working them to death. Objections to this plan included the belief that this was simply too time-consuming. What about the strong ones who took longer to die? What about the millions of Jews who were already in Poland? Although the word “extermination” was never uttered during the meeting, the implication was clear: anyone who survived the egregious conditions of a work camp would be “treated accordingly.”
    Months later, the “gas vans” in Chelmno, Poland, which were killing 1,000 people a day, proved to be the “solution” they were looking for–the most efficient means of killing large groups of people at one time.
    The minutes of this conference were kept with meticulous care, which later provided key evidence during the Nuremberg war crimes trials.
    In 1943, Washington reports 2,600 planes shipped to U.S.S.R. to date under lend-lease.
    Germany and Japan sign trade accord to exchange military supplies.
    FDR made godfather to newly born daughter of Holland's Crown Princess Juliana.
    In 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated for a record fourth term as president of the United States. He will die three months later. The twenty-second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will limit future presidents to only two terms of office.
    Major General Curtis E. LeMay succeeds Brigadier General Haywood "Possum" Hansell as command of the XXI Bomber Command in the Mariana Islands.
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    In 1958. Doctor Vivian Fuchs and his 11-member Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic expedition team arrived at the South Pole, the half-way point of their journey.
    In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States. (He died in office.)
    In 1981, fifty-two U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran are released minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States. Their release marks the end of a 444-day crisis known as the Iran Hostage Crisis, which began the previous year when militant Iranian students, outraged at the U.S. government for allowing Iran's ousted shah to travel to New York City for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital.
    In 1984, Johnny Weissmuller, U.S. athlete and actor, died. An Olympic swimming champion, he later played Tarzan in 19 films. ("Me, Tarzan! You, Jane! [Maureen O'Sullivan])
    In 1985, President Ronald Reagan inaugurated for his second term of office.
         The most-watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The San Francisco 49ers downed the Miami Dolphins, 38-16. Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars a minute.
    In 1986, Britain and France announced plans to build rail tunnels underneath the English Channel.
         The United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
    In 1987, Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped while on a mission to Beirut negotiating the release of Westerners being held hostage in Lebanon. He would not be released until December 1991.
    In 1988, the 100th and final B-1B bomber rolls off the line at Rockwell's plant in Palmdale, California.
    In 1989, George Bush inauguration as the President of these United States.
    In 1990, Soviet troops stormed the capital of the republic of Azerbaijan, the scene of ethnic unrest, leaving dozens dead and wounded.
         The space shuttle Columbia returned from an 11-day mission.
     Actress Barbara Stanwyck died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 82.
    In 1991, seven men identified as allied airmen captured during the Persian Gulf War were put on Iraqi television in Baghdad.
    In 1993, William Jefferson Clinton inaugurated as the 42nd United States President.
         Oscar-winning actress Audrey Hepburn died of cancer at her home in Switzerland. She was 63.
    In 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel, South Carolina's all-male military school, in its 151-year history. Faulkner joined the cadet corps in August 1995 under court order but soon dropped out.
    In 1995, the Japanese government, criticized for being slow to respond to Kobe's devastating earthquake, admitted its initial reaction might have been "confused."
         The United States announced it was easing the trade embargo in effect against North Korea since the Korean War.
         A strike-shortened National Hockey League season opened, with teams playing a 48-game schedule instead of the usual 84.
    In 1996, Palestinians voted for the first time in elections that consolidated PLO chief Yasser Arafat's rule of the West Bank and Gaza. He became the first democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people with 88.1 percent of the vote.
    In 1997, President Clinton and Vice President Gore inaugurated for second term. In his inaugural address, Clinton called for an end to "the politics of petty bickering and extreme partisanship."
          Millionaire Steve Fossett landed in northern India after a record-setting bid to become the first person to circle the globe in a hot-air balloon.
    In 1998, American researchers announced that they had cloned calves that may produce medicinal milk.     In 1999, President Clinton, standing before a Congress torn over his fate, proposed Tuesday to protect Social Security with the huge budget surpluses that Republicans are eyeing for tax cuts. He also announced the government will sue the tobacco industry for smokers' health costs. On a day of high drama that shifted from his daytime trial in the Senate to his prime-time State of the Union address, Clinton made no mention of the sex-and-lies case that led to his impeachment and imperiled his presidency. But with the economy booming, Clinton declared, "I stand before you tonight to report that the state of our union is strong." Several Republicans boycotted the speech; Chief Justice William Rehnquist also stayed away, apparently deciding it would be inappropriate to attend while presiding over Clinton's trial. Clinton opened his address by recalling the admonition of new House Speaker Dennis Hastert for Republicans and Democrats to work in a spirit of bipartisanship and civility.
    In 2000, Greece and Turkey signed five accords aimed to build confidence between the two nations.
     Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., warned the U.N. Security Council that the United States would withdraw from the world body if it failed to respect U.S. sovereignty.
    In 2001, the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, inaugurated. (Bush is the second son of a former President elected to this office. The first was John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams.)
     Just hours before leaving office, President Bill Clinton issued 176 pardons -- a number of them controversial.
    In 2002, Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards) played his first game in Chicago as a visiting player. The Wizards beat the Bulls 77-69.
     Two Marines were killed, five injured when a U.S. military helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.
    In 2003, Britain said it was sending 26,000 troops to the Gulf for possible deployment to Iraq but France said it would not support a U.N. resolution for military action.
    In 2004, President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, warned that the threat of more terrorist attacks was still very real.
    In 2005, George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term as president.
     A new audiotape by Osama bin Laden and a recent air strike targeting his deputy have dramatically swung the spotlight back on the impossibly remote region where they are thought to be hiding.
     President George W. Bush was sworn in at the 55th Inauguration ceremonies at the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Thus, begins his second term in office.
    In 2006, Michael Fortier, the government's star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing trials, was released from federal prison after serving more than 10 years for failing to warn authorities about the plot.
    In 2009, President Barrack H. Obama was sworn in at the Inauguration ceremonies at the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Thus, 44th president of the U.S. and its first of African descent.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) --
The following is the text of President Barack Obama's inaugural address delivered Tuesday on the National Mall in Washington:
OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
OBAMA: My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our healthcare is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.
Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.
The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.
We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.
We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise healthcare's quality and lower its costs.
We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.
All this we can do. All this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.
Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
And those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.
The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.
Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.
They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.
With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.
We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.
And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, "Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.
And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.
To those ... To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.
And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.
We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service: a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.
And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.
It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.
It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old.
These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.
What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.
In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by nine campfires on the shores of an icy river.
The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood.
At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."
America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Thank you. God bless you.
And God bless the United States of America.
© UPI, Headline News Powered by
11:03 1/21/2009

    In 2017,     Headline: Inauguration Day
Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, taking office on a day that has featured smaller crowds and more subdued ceremony than previous inauguration — but still ushers in a transformative shift in the country’s leadership.
    President Trump, 70, was administered the oath by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. His wife Melania Trump stood at his side. The oath was given using two Bibles — one from President Lincoln’s inauguration, and another that Trump’s mother gave him in 1955.
     Our motto - “Make America great again!” Please, God.

 Thought for the day...

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