Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 13, 2021, President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House over the violent Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol, becoming the only president to be twice impeached; ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump on a charge of “incitement of insurrection.” (Trump would again be acquitted by the Senate in a vote after his term was over.)
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,” (zhah-KOOZ’), 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 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.
In 1987, West German police arrested Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a suspect in the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and the killing of a U.S. Navy diver who was on board. (Although convicted and sentenced to life, Hamadi was paroled by Germany in December 2005 and returned home to Lebanon.)
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 2000, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates stepped aside as chief executive and promoted company president Steve Ballmer to the position.
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 2011, 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.
In 2020, 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.
Ten years ago: The Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed. (Capt. Francesco Schettino would be sentenced to 16 years in an Italian prison for abandoning ship and other crimes when he fled in a lifeboat and refused an order from the Italian Coast Guard to return to the listing ship.)
Five years ago: 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.
One year ago: Five-time Olympic swimming medalist Klete Keller was charged with participating in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the building. (Keller later pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding and agreed to cooperate with authorities.) The U.S. government carried out its first execution of a female inmate in nearly seven decades; a Kansas woman, Lisa Montgomery, who strangled an expectant mother in Missouri and cut the baby from her womb, received a lethal injection at a federal prison complex in Indiana. Siegfried Fischbacher, part of the entertainment duo Siegfried and Roy who performed in Las Vegas with their famed white tigers, died at 81.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Frances Sternhagen is 92. TV personality Nick Clooney is 88. Comedian Charlie Brill is 84. Actor Billy Gray is 84. Actor Richard Moll is 79. Rock musician Trevor Rabin is 68. R&B musician Fred White is 67. Rock musician James Lomenzo (Megadeth) is 63. Actor Kevin Anderson is 62. Actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 61. Rock singer Graham “Suggs” McPherson (Madness) is 61.
Country singer Trace Adkins is 60. Actor Penelope Ann Miller is 58. Actor Patrick Dempsey is 56. Actor Suzanne Cryer is 55. Actor Traci Bingham is 54. Actor Keith Coogan is 52. TV producer-writer Shonda Rhimes is 52. Actor Nicole Eggert is 50. Actor Ross McCall is 46. Actor Michael Pena is 46. Actor Orlando Bloom is 45. Meteorologist Ginger Zee (TV: “Good Morning America”) is 41. Actor Ruth Wilson is 40. Actor Julian Morris is 39. Actor Beau Mirchoff is 33. Actor Liam Hemsworth is 32. NHL center Connor McDavid is 25.