Highlight in History
On Jan. 13, 1864, American songwriter Stephen Foster, who’d written such classics as “Swanee River,” “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “My Old Kentucky Home” and “Beautiful Dreamer,” died in poverty in a New York hospital at age 37.
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 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 1945, during World War II, Soviet forces began a huge, successful offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.
In 1962, comedian Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles 10 days before his 43rd 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 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 H. Humphrey died in Waverly, Minn., at age 66.
In 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.
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 2012, the Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed.