Today is Friday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2012. There are 353 days left in the year.
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 after taking off during a snowstorm, killing a total of 78 people; four passengers and a flight attendant survived. (Half an 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 1898, Emile Zola's famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, "J'accuse," (zhah-KOOZ') was published in Paris.
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 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 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; he is on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.)
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 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.
Ten years ago: Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Commerce Secretary Don Evans said on the Sunday talk shows they had never considered intervening in Enron's spiral toward bankruptcy, nor did they inform President George W. Bush of requests for help from the fallen energy giant. President Bush fainted briefly after choking down a pretzel while watching a football game on TV in the White House residence. Christian Longo, wanted for killing his wife and three children and dumping their bodies into coastal waters off Oregon, was arrested in Mexico (he was later sentenced to death). The off-Broadway musical "The Fantasticks" finished its original run of nearly 42 years and 17,162 shows.
Five years ago: Nine people were killed in an apartment building fire in Huntington, W.Va. Two miners were killed when a roof collapsed inside the Brooks Run Mining Co.'s Cucumber coal mine in McDowell County, W.Va. The North Carolina state attorney general's office agreed to take over the sexual assault case against three Duke University lacrosse players at the request of embattled Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong (all three players were later exonerated).
One year 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, Ariz., for 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of a mass shooting that also claimed five other lives and critically wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Frances Sternhagen is 82. TV personality Nick Clooney is 78. Comedian Rip Taylor is 78. Actor Billy Gray is 74. Actor Richard Moll is 69. Rock musician Trevor Rabin is 58. Rhythm-and-blues musician Fred White is 57. Rock musician James Lomenzo (Megadeth) is 53. Actor Kevin Anderson is 52. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 51. Rock singer Graham "Suggs" McPherson (Madness) is 51. Country singer Trace Adkins is 50. Actress Penelope Ann Miller is 48. Actor Patrick Dempsey is 46. Actress Traci Bingham is 44. Actor Keith Coogan is 42. Actress Nicole Eggert is 40. Actor Orlando Bloom is 35. Actor Julian Morris is 29.
Thought for Today: "Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others." _ H. Jackson Brown Jr., American writer.
(Above Advance for Use Friday, Jan. 13)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.