This Day in History — January 13Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Today is the 13th day of 2020. There are 352 days left in the year.
1993: A 5.4 magnitude earthquake shakes Kingston, Jamaica, which caused significant damage to many buildings and infrastructure across the city.
1559: Coronation of Elizabeth I of England.
1794: US 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 Labour Party, a precursor to the current Labour 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 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.
1963: West African Republic of Togo's President Sylvanus Olympio is murdered by Sgt Gnassingbe Eyadema in a military coup.
1966: Robert C Weaver becomes the first black Cabinet member as he is appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by US President Lyndon Johnson.
1967: Gnassingbe Eyadema, now a lieutenant colonel, seizes power in Togo in a bloodless coup.
1972: A group of junior officers overthrows civilian Government of Ghana in West Africa.
1982: An Air Florida 737 crashes into a bridge after take-off and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78 people.
1987: An employee of 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.
1990: Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani announces the arrest of four officers and four soldiers in slayings of six Jesuit priests.
1992: Japan apologises for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. Serial killer Jeffrey L Dahmer pleads guilty, but insane, to 15 mutilation killings in Milwaukee, United States. He is killed by a fellow prisoner in 1994.
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.
1994: Italian Premier Carlo Ciampi resigns, opening the way for parliamentary elections that oust the scandal-scarred parties that have dominated Italy for five decades.
1997: Two letter bombs sent to the UN bureau of an Arab-language newspaper force the evacuation of part of UN headquarters, hours after a third letter bomb explodes at the newspaper's London offices.
1999: The chief of Brazil's Central Bank, Gustavo Franco, unexpectedly resigns and his successor devalues the currency by eight per cent, 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 organisers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and sent an undisclosed number of followers to labour camps during an 18-month-old crackdown.
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.
2009: After a two-year deployment in Somalia, Ethiopia hands over security duties to a Somali force.
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 2001 uprising that toppled his regime.
2014: Israeli officials and international dignitaries bid farewell to the late Ariel Sharon at a State ceremony.
Antoinette Bourignon, Flemish mystic (1616-1680); Prosper Jolyot de Crebillion, French dramatist (1674-1762); Pietro Metastasic, Italian poet (1698-1782); Charles Nelson Reilly, US actor (1931-2007); Richard Moll, US actor (1943- ); Kevin Anderson, US actor (1960- ); Julia Louis-Dreyfus, US actress (1961- ); Orlando Bloom, British actor (1977- )
— AP/Jamaica Observer
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