TODAY IN HISTORY
Today's Highlight in History:
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 a total of 78 people; four passengers and a flight attendant survived.
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.)
A magnitude-7 earthquake centered in Avezzano, Italy, claimed some 30,000 lives.
1794: 1915: 1941:
A new law went into effect granting Puerto Ricans U.S. birthright citizenship. Novelist and poet James Joyce died in Zurich, Switzerland, less than a month before his 59th birthday.
Comedian Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles 10 days before his 43rd birthday.
Roman Catholic Bishop Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) was appointed Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, by Pope Paul VI.
Johnny Cash performed and recorded a pair of shows at Folsom State Prison in California; material from the concerts was released as an album by Columbia Records under the title “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.”
Former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey died in Waverly, Minnesota, at age 66.
L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the nation's first elected black governor.
1962: 1964: 1968: 1978: 1990:
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 so-called “comfort women.”
Seven black soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for World War II valor; the lone survivor of the group, former Lt. Vernon Baker, received his medal from President Bill Clinton at the White House.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates stepped aside as chief executive and promoted company president Steve Ballmer to the position.
The Italian luxury liner Costa
1997: 2000: 2012:
Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed.
President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, vowed during her Senate confirmation hearing to revitalize the mission of diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy. U.S. Marshals apprehended Marcus Schrenker, 38, in North Florida days after the businessman and amateur daredevil pilot apparently tried to fake his own death in a plane crash. (Schrenker was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud charges, on top of four years in federal prison on charges stemming from the plane crash.)
A shooting at a Wesley Chapel, Florida, movie theater left Chad Oulson, 43, dead; retired Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, is accused of killing Oulson during what authorities said was an argument over Oulson's texting just before a showing of the movie “Lone Survivor.” (He is still awaiting trial; a judge has rejected a “stand-your-ground” defense.) Two Fullerton, California, police officers who were videotaped in a violent struggle with a homeless man, Kelly Thomas, during an arrest were acquitted by a jury in Santa Ana of killing him.
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: Five years ago: One year ago:
A U.S. Park Police helicopter pulls two people from the wreckage of the remains of the Air Florida jetliner after it fell into the Potomac River when it hit a bridge while taking off from National Airport in Washington on Jan. 13, 1982.