Today in History….January 13

On this day in . . .

1830, the Great fire of New Orleans, Louisiana begins

1832, President Andrew Jackson writes to Vice President Martin Van Buren expressing his opposition to South Carolina’s defiance of federal authority in the Nullification Crisis

1842, Dr. William Brydon, a surgeon in the British Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, becomes famous for being the sole survivor of an army of 16,500 when he reaches the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad

1847, the Treaty of Cahuenga ends the Mexican-American War in California

1893, U.S. Marines land in Honolulu from the U.S.S. Boston to prevent the queen from abrogating the Bayonet Constitution

1898, Emile Zola’s famous defense of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, “J’accuse,” was published in Paris

1910, radio pioneer and electron tube inventor Lee Deforest arranged the world’s first public radio broadcast, a performance by the New York Metropolitan Opera

1915, an earthquake in Avezzano, Italy kills 29,800

1942, Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which is 30% lighter than a regular car

1945, during World War II, Soviet forces began a huge, successful offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe

1968, Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom Prison

1972, Prime Minister Kofi Busia and President Edward Akufo-Addo of Ghana are ousted in a bloodless military coup by Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheamphong

1982, shortly after takeoff, Air Florida Flight 90 737 jet crashes into Washington, DC’s 14th Street Bridge and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78 including four motorists. Coincidentally, a Washington DC Metro Rail train is derailed, killing 3 people

1987, seven top New York Mafia bosses were sentenced to 100 years in prison each, including the heads of the Genovese, Colombo and Lucchese crime families

1993, U.S. and allied fighter planes bombed targets in southern Iraq to punish Saddam Hussein for his repeated violations of U.N. resolutions that ended the Persian Gulf War

1999, President Bill Clinton’s legal team dispatched a formal trial brief to the Senate, arguing that neither “fact or law” warranted his removal from office; House officials sent the Senate all public evidence in the case. ALSO:   Michael Jordan, regarded by many as the greatest basketball player ever, announced his retirement. He had led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships

2002, the off-Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” finished its original run of nearly 42 years and 17,162 shows

2005, Major League Baseball adopted a tougher steroid-testing program that suspended first-time offenders for 10 days and randomly tested players year-round

2008, President George W. Bush, visiting the United Arab Emirates, gently urged authoritarian Arab allies to satisfy frustrated desires for democracy in the Mideast and saved his harshest criticism for Iran, branding it “the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror.”

2011, 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

2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia slammed into a rocky shoal near the Italian coast and capsized, killing 32 people

2013, a Cairo appeals court overturned Hosni Mubarak’s life sentence and ordered 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. (Mubarak was later ordered released.)

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