Today in History

  • Thu Jan 12th, 2012 9:23pm
  • Life

Today is Friday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2012. There are 353 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Jan. 13, 1982, an Air Florida 737 crashed into Washington, D.C.’s 14th Street Bridge and fell into the Potomac River after taking off during a snowstorm, killing a total of 78 people; four passengers and a flight attendant survived. (A half-hour after the Air Florida crash, a Washington Metro train derailed during rush hour, killing three passengers.)

On this date:

In 1733, James Oglethorpe and some 120 English colonists arrived at Charleston, S.C., while en route to settle in present-day 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 1864, composer Stephen Foster died impoverished in a New York hospital at age 37. (In his pocket: a note which read, “Dear friends and gentle hearts.”)

In 1945, during World War II, Soviet forces began a huge, successful offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.

In 1966, Robert C. Weaver was named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson; Weaver became the first black Cabinet member.

In 1978, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey died in Waverly, Minn., at age 66.

In 1987, West German police arrested Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a suspect in the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner. (Although convicted and sentenced to life, Hamadi was paroled by Germany in Dec. 2005.)

Associated Press