Today in History – Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016


Today is Wednesday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2016. There are 353 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1559 – Coronation of Elizabeth I of England.

1794 – U.S. President George Washington approves a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union.

1813 – British fleet blockades Chesapeake and Delaware bays in United States during the War of 1812.

1822 – Liberal Constitution is adopted in Greece.

1849 – Sikhs are defeated at Chillianwalla in India, but British suffer heavy casualties.

1893 – Britain’s Independent Labor Party, a precursor to the current Labor Party, meets for the first time.

1898 – Emile Zola publishes the manifesto ‘J’accuse,’ an attack on the anti-Semitism in France that sent Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus to prison.

1915 – South African troops occupy Swakopmund in German South-West Africa; Earthquake in central Italy kills 30,000 people.

1935 – Saar votes to return to Germany after being administered by France under League of Nations supervision.

1945 – Soviet forces begin offensive in Silesia, Germany, now mostly part of Poland, in World War II.

1959 – Belgium grants reforms in Belgian Congo following disturbances.

1967 – Gnassingbe Eyadema, now a lieutenant colonel, seizes power in Togo in a bloodless coup.

1982 – An Air Florida 737 crashes into a bridge after takeoff and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78 people.

1987 – An employee of the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with setting a New Year’s Eve fire that killed 96 people and injured more than 140 others.

1988 – Taiwanese President Chiang Ching-Kuo dies of heart attack at age 77.

1991 – Lithuanian television station in Kaunas is seized by Soviet paratroopers in brutal assault that leaves 14 people dead.

1993 – Former East German leader Erich Honecker flies to Chile as a free man after his trial for manslaughter ends because of his ill health. He dies a year later.

1995 – A fast moving passenger train rams into a stationary train in Bangladesh, killing 39 people.

1999 – The chief of Brazil’s Central Bank, Gustavo Franco, unexpectedly resigns and his successor devalues the currency by 8 percent, roiling world financial markets.

2000 – Microsoft chairman Bill Gates promotes company president Steve Ballmer to chief executive officer.

2001 – In a rare disclosure, China says it has punished 242 organizers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and sent an undisclosed number of followers to labor camps during an 18-month-old crackdown.

2007 – A military tribunal in Italy convicts 10 former members of the Nazi SS in the 1944 slaughter of more than 700 people near Bologna — the worst civilian massacre in Italy during World War II. The 10 receive life sentences for murder, while seven others are acquitted.

2008 – China’s government reports that the country has closed more than 11,000 small coal mines as part of a two-year-old safety crackdown aimed at stemming the industry’s high death toll.

2012 – Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s deals a setback to Europe’s ability to fight off a worsening debt crisis by downgrading the government debt of France, Italy, Spain and Austria. But it keeps Germany’s at the coveted AAA level.

2013 – A Cairo appeals court overturns Hosni Mubarak’s life sentence and orders 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.

2015 —Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue sells out before dawn around Paris in a city still shaken by the deaths of 17 people, many of them staffers at the satirical weekly newspaper, at the hands of Islamic extremists.

Antoinette Bourignon, Flemish mystic (1616-1680); Prosper Jolyot de Crebillion, French dramatist (1674-1762); Pietro Metastasio, Italian poet (1698-1782); Charles Nelson Reilly, U.S actor (1931-2007); Richard Moll, U.S. actor (1943–); Kevin Anderson, U.S. actor (1960–); Julia Louis-Dreyfus, U.S. actress (1961–); Orlando Bloom, British actor (1977–).

Thought for Today:

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind — John Stuart Mill, English philosopher (1806-1873).

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