TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2021. There are 352 days left in the year.
On Jan. 13, 1982, an Air Florida 737 crashed into Washington, D.C.’s 14th Street Bridge and fell into the Potomac River while trying to take off during a snowstorm, killing 78 people, including four motorists on the bridge; four passengers and a flight attendant survived.
In 1733, James Oglethorpe and some 120 English colonists arrived at Charleston, S.C., while en route to settle in presentday Georgia.
In 1794, President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. (The number of stripes was later reduced to the original 13.)
In 1898, Emile Zola’s famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, “J’accuse,” was published in Paris.
In 1941, a law went into effect granting Puerto Ricans U.S. birthright citizenship. Novelist and poet James Joyce died in Zurich less than a month before his 59th birthday.
In 1967, the Rolling Stones’ double-A sided single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and
“Ruby Tuesday” was released in the United Kingdom by Decca Records. (It was released the following day in the United States on the London label.)
In 1992, Japan apologized for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for its soldiers during World War II, citing newly uncovered documents that showed the Japanese army had had a role in abducting the socalled comfort women.
In 2001, an earthquake estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey at magnitude 7.7 struck El Salvador; more than 840 people were killed.
In 2005, Major League Baseball adopted a tougher steroid-testing program that would suspend first-time offenders for 10 days and randomly test players year-round.
In 2010, Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital a day after a powerful earthquake, while in Washington, President Barack Obama pledged an all-out rescue and relief effort. R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass died in Bryn Mawr, Pa., at age 59.
In 2012, the Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed.
In 2018, a false alarm that warned of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii sent the islands into a panic, with people abandoning cars on a highway and preparing to flee their homes; officials apologized and said the alert was sent when someone hit the wrong button during a shift change.
Ten years ago: Vice President Joe Biden became the first top U.S. official to visit Iraq since the country approved a new Cabinet; Biden emphasized to Iraqi leaders that the U.S. wanted nothing more than for Iraq to be free and democratic.
Five years ago: Less than a day after 10 U.S. Navy sailors were detained in Iran when their boats drifted into Iranian waters, they and their vessels were back safely with the American fleet. The Al Jazeera America cable news network said it was shutting down 21/ years after its
One year ago: Anger swelled in Iran over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian jetliner and the government’s effort to conceal its role; videos appeared to show security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protests. Queen Elizabeth II brokered a deal to secure the future of the monarchy; it would allow Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, to live part time in Canada.
Today’s Birthdays: TV personality Nick Clooney is 87. Comedian Charlie Brill is 83. Actor Richard Moll is 78. Rock musician Trevor Rabin is 67. Actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 60. Country singer Trace Adkins is 59. Actor Patrick Dempsey is 55. TV producer-writer Shonda Rhimes is 51. Actor Nicole Eggert is 49. Actor Michael Pena is 45. Actor Orlando Bloom is 44. Meteorologist Ginger Zee is 40. Actor Liam Hemsworth is 31.