On this day in history January 20,
- 1986 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time.
- 1987 – Church of England envoy Terry Waite is kidnapped in Lebanon.
- 1990 – On Black Saturday, the Red Army kills Azerbaijani civilians in Baku.
- 1991 – Sudan‘s government imposes Islamic law nationwide, worsening the civil war between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south.
- 1992 – Air Inter Flight 148, an Airbus A320-111, crashes into a mountain near Strasbourg, France killing 87 of the 96 people on board. A design flaw in the computer mode selection system resulted in the crew selecting the wrong rate of descent.
- 1999 – The China News Service announces new government restrictions on Internet use, aimed especially at Internet cafés.