1. On January 20, 1885, the Dakota Territory Legislature approved a bill to establish the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. This was a significant step in the development of higher education in the state and the university has since become a leading academic institution in the region.
2. January 20, 1937 saw the birth of Thomas S. Kleppe in Kintyre, North Dakota. Kleppe went on to serve as the Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and was known for his advocacy for conservation and environmental protection.
3. In 1951, January 20 marked the end of a 31-day record-breaking cold spell in North Dakota. During this period, temperatures had dipped as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit, causing serious hardships for residents and livestock alike.
4. On January 20, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for his first term in office. Although not a North Dakotan himself, Reagan had strong ties to the state and had made several visits during his political career.
5. January 20, 2001 saw the inauguration of George W. Bush for his first term as president. North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad acted as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which oversaw the planning and execution of the event.
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