This Day in History: Jan. 13

On this day, Jan. 13 …

1968: Johnny Cash performed and recorded a pair of shows at Folsom State Prison in California. (Material from the concerts was released as an album by Columbia Records under the title “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison,” which would prove to be a hit.)

Also on this day:

  • 1794: President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, after the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. (The number of stripes would be later reduced to the original 13.)
  • 1915: A magnitude-7 earthquake centered in Avezzano, Italy, claimed about 30,000 lives.
  • 1941: A new law went into effect granting Puerto Ricans U.S. birthright citizenship. 
  • 1941: Novelist and poet James Joyce died in Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 1962: Comedian Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles.
  • 1964: Roman Catholic Bishop Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) is appointed Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, by Pope Paul VI.

(AP Photo, File)

  • 1990: L. Douglas Wilder, of Virginia, became the nation’s first elected Black governor when he took the oath of office in Richmond.
  • 1992: Japan apologized for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for its soldiers during World War II. Officials citeds uncovered documents that showed the Japanese Army had had a role in abducting the “comfort women.”
  • 1997: Seven black soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for World War II valor. The lone survivor of the group, former Lt. Vernon Baker, received his medal from President Bill Clinton at the White House.
  • 2000: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates stepped aside as chief executive and promoted company president Steve Ballmer to the position.
  • 2009: 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. 
  • 2009: U.S. Marshals apprehended Marcus Schrenker, 38, in North Florida days after the businessman and amateur daredevil pilot apparently tried to fake his 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.

  • 2018: A false alarm warned of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii. The message sent the islands into a panic. People abandoned cars on a highway and prepared to flee their homes. Officials apologized and said the alert was sent when someone hit the wrong button during a shift change.   

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