Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1982 - An Air Florida Boeing 737 aircraft crashed into a crowded 14th Street bridge in downtown Washington and plunged into the icy waters of the Potomac River in a snowstorm, killing 78 people. Three motorists who were on the bridge were also killed as the plane came down seconds after take-off from Washington’s National Airport. One of the surviving passengers, Joe Stiley, a professional pilot, said he knew the aircraft was “not going to make it” as soon as it started down the runway. Stiley said there was no panic among the passengers who, he believed were not killed on impact, but may have died in the icy waters. He said the reason he felt that was because he felt the airplane flipped, and that the flip minimised the impact. Of his ordeal, Stiley said: “I feel just very fantastic to be here.” Stiley was rescued by a rope from a helicopter, and while hanging onto the rope he tried to help two women passengers.

January 13

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

1915 - Earthquake in central Italy kills 30,000 people.

1959 - Belgium grants reforms in Belgian Congo following disturbances.

1963 - West African Republic of Togo’s President Sylvanus Olympio is murdered.

1966 - Robert C. Weaver becomes the first black cabinet minister in the US.

1967 - Gnassingbe Eyadema seizes control in Togo in a bloodless coup.

1980 - Guerrilla leader Joshua Nkomo returns to Rhodesia.

1985 - A passenger train derails in Ethiopia, with four of its five carriages plunging into a ravine, killing more than 425 people.

1988 - Taiwanese President Chiang Chingkuo dies of a heart attack.

1991 - President Mario Soares of Portugal is re-elected.

1993 - Former East German leader Erich Honecker flies to Chile as a free man after his trial for manslaughter ends due to ill health.

1994 - Italian Premier Carlo Ciampi resigns.

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

1999 - Brazil throws global financial markets into turmoil with a surprise devaluation of its currency.

2000 - Microsoft chairman Bill Gates steps aside as chief executive.

2001 - Earthquake and landslides kill 850 in El Salvador.

2002 - Iranian MPs call for walkout in a dispute between reformists and conservatives over the imprisonment of MP Hussain Loghmanian.

2004 - A Uzbek jet crashes just short of the runway, killing all 37 people aboard, including the chief UN official in this Central Asian country.

2007 - China and Russia veto a US resolution in the UN Security Council calling on Myanmar’s military junta to stop persecution of minority and opposition groups.

2008 - US President George W. Bush makes historic visit to the UAE.

2009 - Lebanese musician and poet Mansour Al Rahbani dies at the age of 83 in Beirut.

2012 - The passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia sinks off the coast of Italy, kills 12 people.

2014 - Damen Shipyard Sharjah in Al Hamriyah Free Zone is inaugurated.