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Today in History: U.S. signs accord with Iran to release 52 Americans held hostage for 14 months

More than a million supporters of an Islamic republic assembled around Shayad (Shah Memorial) monument in Tehran in a powerful show of strength against the civilian government left behind by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Jan. 19, 1979. Similar demonstrations were held all over the country, most of them peaceful. (AP Photo/Aristotle Saris)

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2021. There are 346 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 19, 1981, the United States and Iran signed an accord paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.

On this date:

In 1809, author, poet and critic Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston.

In 1861, Georgia became the fifth state to secede from the Union.

In 1937, millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds.

In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces captured the British protectorate of North Borneo. A German submarine sank the Canadian liner RMS Lady Hawkins off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, killing 251 people; 71 survived.

In 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television and newsreels for the first time, with the permission of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 2005, the American Cancer Society reported that cancer had passed heart disease as the top killer of Americans age 85 and younger.

Ten years ago: Chinese President Hu Jintao, visiting the White House, declared “a lot still needs to be done” to improve his country’s record on human rights; the exchange with President Barack Obama over human rights was balanced by U.S. delight over newly announced Chinese business deals expected to generate about $45 billion in new export sales for the U.S.

Five years ago: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump received the endorsement of conservative firebrand Sarah Palin, giving the businessman a potential boost less than two weeks before Iowa’s kick-off caucuses. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, in his State of the State address, again pledged to fix the crisis over Flint’s lead-contaminated water.

One year ago: Health officials in central China reported that 17 more people had been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, which had killed two patients and placed other countries on alert. The South Korean film “Parasite” became the first foreign language film to take top honors from the Screen Actors Guild, en route to an Academy Award as best picture.

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