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Important dates in U.S. politics, national and world events in 2021

President-elect Joe Biden talks to reporters at The

President-elect Joe Biden talks to reporters at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 22. Credit: AFP / Alex Edelman via Getty Images

2020 was a landmark year. What will 2021 bring?

The pandemic makes any crystal ballgazing even hazier than usual, but here are some dates to watch for in the year ahead.

JAN. 5: GEORGIA SENATE RUNOFFS

Two elections that will decide control of the Senate. If Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock win, Democrats will control both houses of Congress and the White House when the Biden administration begins. If either Republican incumbent prevails — Sen. David Perdue or Sen. Kelly Loeffler — then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will hold blocking power over the Biden agenda.

JAN. 6: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION'S FINAL STEP

Congress meets to count the Electoral College votes. House Republicans are planning to mount a last stand for President Donald Trump, Politico reported. And Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri announced Wednesday that he will object during the certification process, saying on Twitter, "Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf."

JAN. 20: INAUGURATION DAY

Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States, and Kamala Harris becomes the first female vice president, as well as the first Black and South Asian American to serve in the position. What executive orders will Biden sign on day 1?

APRIL 30: A TRADITIONAL MARKER

This date will mark 100 days since Biden took office — the traditional milestone to assess how much the country's new leader has accomplished at the start of their presidency.

JULY 23-AUG. 8: THE OLYMPICS RETURN

Get ready, sports trivia nerds, for the first modern Olympics to be held in an odd-numbered year. Assuming the pandemic is under control by then, Tokyo will host its Summer Games that were delayed from 2020.

SEPT. 11: A NOTABLE ANNIVERSARY

This day marks 20 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

NOV. 1-12: COP26

That's the acronym for the next big climate conference, set for these dates in Glasgow, Scotland. Here's one sentence from the conference's website that lays out the high, tough stakes: "To ensure success, we need all countries to commit to reaching net zero emissions as soon as possible, and to significant further cuts by 2030."

NOV. 20: BIDEN'S BIRTHDAY

Biden will be the oldest president ever when he takes the oath. On this day, he'll turn 79.

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