On Jan. 13:
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 1864, American songwriter Stephen Foster died in poverty in a New York hospital at age 37.
In 1898, Emile Zola's famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, "J'accuse," was published in Paris.
In 1915, a magnitude-7 earthquake centered in Avezzano, Italy, claimed some 30,000 lives.
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 1962, comedian Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles 10 days before his 43rd birthday.
In 1978, former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey died in Waverly, Minnesota, at age 66.
In 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.
In 1990, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the nation's first elected black governor as he took the oath of office in Richmond.
In 1997, 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.
In 2008, President George W. Bush, visiting the United Arab Emirates, gently urged authoritarian Arab allies to satisfy frustrated desires for democracy in the Mideast and saved his harshest criticism for Iran, branding it "the world's leading state-sponsor of terror." The winners of the Golden Globe Awards were announced in a dry, news conference-style ceremony lasting only 31 minutes, devoid of stars because of the Hollywood writers' strike; "Atonement" won best motion picture drama, while "Mad Men" was named best dramatic TV series.
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 2013, a Cairo appeals court overturned Hosni Mubarak's life sentence and ordered a retrial of the former Egyptian president for failing to prevent the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that toppled his regime. (Mubarak was later acquitted.) "Argo" won best motion picture drama at the Golden Globes; "Homeland" won best TV dramatic series.
In 2017, Republicans drove a budget through Congress giving them an early but critical victory in their crusade to scrap President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Federal prosecutors in Detroit announced that Takata Corp. had agreed to plead guilty to a single criminal charge and pay $1 billion in fines and restitution for concealing a deadly defect in its air bag inflators. Lord Snowdon, the society photographer and filmmaker who married Britain's Princess Margaret and continued to mix in royal circles even after their divorce, died in London at age 86. Dick Gautier, the Tony-nominated actor who found fame as Hymie the Robot on the 1960s sitcom "Get Smart," died in Arcadia, California, at age 85.
Thought for Today:
"A little too much is just enough for me."
— Jean Cocteau, French author and filmmaker (1889-1963).