Updated:
Original:
Year
2005
Month Day
January 26

Bush appoints Rice as secretary of state

On this day in 2005, President George W. Bush appoints Condoleezza Rice to the post of secretary of state, making her the highest ranking African-American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Rice’s credentials included advanced degrees in political science and international relations from prestigious schools, followed by a post as Stanford University provost. At Stanford, she honed her reputation as an expert in Soviet affairs, catching the attention of the Reagan administration. In 1986, at Reagan’s behest, Dr. Rice served on the Council on Foreign Relations, and then secured an appointment as special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1991. The first President Bush elevated Dr. Rice to director of Soviet and East European affairs in the National Security Council. She also served as the senior President Bush’s special assistant for national security affairs. President George W. Bush renewed her advisory role in the White House when he appointed her national security advisor in his first term.

At Rice’s swearing-in ceremony as secretary of state in 2005, an effusive Bush said, over the past four years, America has benefited from the wise counsel of Dr. Condoleezza Rice and our family has been enriched by our friendship with this remarkable person. We love her–I don’t know if you’re supposed to say that about the secretary of state. At the ceremony, both President Bush and Dr. Rice praised the efforts of her predecessor Colin Powell, who had been the first African-American to serve as secretary of state.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Republic of India born

On January 26, 1950, the Indian constitution takes effect, making the Republic of India the most populous democracy in the world. Mohandas Gandhi struggled through decades of passive resistance before Britain finally accepted Indian independence. Self-rule had been promised ...read more

Pinzon discovers Brazil

Spanish explorer Vicente Yanez Pinzon, who had commanded the Nina during Christopher Columbus’ first expedition to the New World, reaches the northeastern coast of Brazil during a voyage under his command. Pinzon’s journey produced the first recorded account of a European ...read more

Franco captures Barcelona

During the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona, the Republican capital of Spain, falls to the Nationalist forces of General Francisco Franco. In 1931, King Alfonso XIII approved elections to decide the government of Spain, and voters overwhelmingly chose to abolish the monarchy in favor ...read more

Baird demonstrates TV

On January 26, 1926, John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gives the first public demonstration of a true television system in London, launching a revolution in communication and entertainment. Baird’s invention, a pictorial-transmission machine he called a “televisor,” used ...read more

Australia Day

On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with ...read more

POW spends 2,000th day in captivity

U.S. Navy Lt. Everett Alvarez Jr. spends his 2,000th day in captivity in Southeast Asia. First taken prisoner when his plane was shot down on August 5, 1964, he became the longest-held POW in U.S. history. Alvarez was downed over Hon Gai during the first bombing raids against ...read more

Bears beat Patriots in Super Bowl XX

On January 26, 1986, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Chicago Bears score a Super Bowl record number of points to defeat the New England Patriots, 46-10, and win their first championship since 1963. Led by Coach Mike Ditka, a tight end for the Bears during their last Super Bowl ...read more

So-called Mad Butcher terrorizes Cleveland

Thedismembered body of Florence Polillo is found in a basket and several burlap sacks in Cleveland. The 42-year-old woman was the third victim in 18 months to be found dismembered with precision. It sparked a panic in Cleveland,where the unknown murderer was dubbedthe “Mad ...read more

First Australian penal colony established

The first 736 convicts banished from England to Australia land in Botany Bay. Over the next 60 years, approximately 50,000 criminals were transported from Great Britain to the “land down under,” in one of the strangest episodes in criminal-justice history. The accepted wisdom of ...read more

Ukraine declares its independence

Soon after the Bolsheviks seized control in immense, troubled Russia in November 1917 and moved towards negotiating peace with the Central Powers, the former Russian state of Ukraine declares its total independence. One of pre-war Russia’s most prosperous areas, the vast, flat ...read more

Audie Murphy wounded

On this day, the most decorated man of the war, American Lt. Audie Murphy, is wounded in France. Born the son of Texas sharecroppers on June 20, 1924, Murphy served three years of active duty, beginning as a private, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, and finally winning a ...read more