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, including four motorists on the bridge; four passengers and a flight attendant survived.
On this date:
In 1733, James Oglethorpe and some 120 English colonists arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, 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 1898, Emile Zola’s famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, “J’accuse,” was published in Paris.
In 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.
In 1964, Roman Catholic Bishop Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) was appointed Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, by Pope Paul VI.
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 so-called “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, Pennsylvania, 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. A funeral was held in Tucson, Arizona, for 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of a mass shooting that also claimed five other lives and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
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. Defense Secretary Ash Carter laid out broad plans to defeat Islamic State militants and retake the group’s key power centers in Iraq and Syria. The Al Jazeera America cable news network said it was shutting down two and a half years after its launch. Three winning tickets split a world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.
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. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker dropped out of the Democratic presidential race after failing to qualify for a December debate. At a royal family summit in eastern England, 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. The Houston Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the pair had been suspended by Major League Baseball for a sign-stealing scheme. “Joker” led the way with 11 Oscar nominations. Joe Burrow threw five touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading top-ranked LSU to a 42-25 win over No. 3 Clemson to capture the national championship.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Frances Sternhagen is 91. TV personality Nick Clooney is 87. Comedian Charlie Brill is 83. Actor Billy Gray is 83. Actor Richard Moll is 78. Rock musician Trevor Rabin is 67. Rhythm-and-blues musician Fred White is 66. Rock musician James Lomenzo (Megadeth) is 62. Actor Kevin Anderson is 61. Actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 60. Rock singer Graham “Suggs” McPherson (Madness) is 60. Country singer Trace Adkins is 59. Actor Penelope Ann Miller is 57. Actor Patrick Dempsey is 55. Actor Suzanne Cryer is 54. Actor Traci Bingham is 53. Actor Keith Coogan is 51. TV producer-writer Shonda Rhimes is 51. Actor Nicole Eggert is 49. Actor Ross McCall is 45. Actor Michael Pena is 45. Actor Orlando Bloom is 44. Meteorologist Ginger Zee (TV: “Good Morning America”) is 40. Actor Ruth Wilson is 39. Actor Julian Morris is 38. Actor Beau Mirchoff is 32. Actor Liam Hemsworth is 31. NHL center Connor McDavid is 24.