Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 13, 1864, American songwriter Stephen Foster, who'd written such classics as "Swanee River," "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races," ''My Old Kentucky Home" and "Beautiful Dreamer," died in poverty in a New York hospital at age 37.
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 1898, Emile Zola's famous defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, "J'accuse," 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 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 1964, Roman Catholic Bishop Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) was appointed Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, by Pope Paul VI.
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 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.
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 2012, the Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 people were killed.
Ten years ago: Hostile fire brought down a U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter in Iraq, but the two crew members escaped injury. A domestic airliner crashed in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, killing all 37 people aboard. Harold Shipman, the British doctor blamed for killing more than 200 mostly elderly patients, was found hanged in his prison cell, an apparent suicide, a day before his 58th birthday.
Five years ago: President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, vowed during her Senate confirmation hearing to revitalize the mission of diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy. Obama's choice to run the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, disclosed that he had failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004. U.S. Marshals apprehended Marcus Schrenker, 38, in North Florida days after the businessman and amateur daredevil pilot apparently tried to fake his own death in a plane crash. (Schrenker was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud charges, on top of four years in federal prison on charges stemming from the plane crash.) Actor-director Patrick McGoohan died in Los Angeles at age 80. Author Hortense Calisher died in New York at age 97.
One year ago: 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.) "Argo" won best motion picture drama at the Golden Globes; "Les Miserables" won best picture musical or comedy.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Frances Sternhagen is 84. TV personality Nick Clooney is 80. Comedian Rip Taylor is 80. Actor Billy Gray is 76. Actor Richard Moll is 71. Rock musician Trevor Rabin is 60. Rhythm-and-blues musician Fred White is 59. Rock musician James Lomenzo (Megadeth) is 55. Actor Kevin Anderson is 54. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 53. Rock singer Graham "Suggs" McPherson (Madness) is 53. Country singer Trace Adkins is 52. Actress Penelope Ann Miller is 50. Actor Patrick Dempsey is 48. Actress Traci Bingham is 46. Actor Keith Coogan is 44. Actress Nicole Eggert is 42. Actor Orlando Bloom is 37. Actor Julian Morris is 31. Actor Liam Hemsworth (Film: "The Hunger Games" movies) is 24.
Thought for Today: "The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well." — Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, English author (1717-1797).