Today in History - Jan. 13

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Today in History - Jan. 13

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Today in History for Jan. 13:

On this date:

In 1691, Englishman George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, died.

In 1695, satirist Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels," was ordained an Anglican priest in Ireland.

In 1837, a fire destroyed almost half of the business district of Saint John, N.B.

In 1849, the Hudson's Bay Company signed a lease with the British government acquiring control of Vancouver Island -- for seven shillings a year.

In 1885, Alfred Carl Fuller, who founded the Fuller Brush Company, was born in Nova Scotia.

In 1893, Britain's Independent Labour Party, a precursor to the current Labour Party, held its first meeting.

In 1898, French novelist Emile Zola published his article "J'accuse." Zola made serious charges against the French government with respect to the Alfred Dreyfus affair.

In 1906, the first advertisement for a radio, a Telimco selling for $7.50, appeared in the magazine "Scientific American." Not until the 1920s, though, would commercial radio be widespread.

In 1915, a major earthquake in Avezzano, Italy, left about 30,000 people dead.

In 1918, a ferocious winter storm crippled southwestern Ontario around Sarnia and London for over a week. Snow 30 centimteres deep was whipped by brisk winds into four-metre-high drifts, crippling trains and rescue snowplows.

In 1920, the "New York Times" ridiculed aviation pioneer Robert Goddard for saying that rockets would work in outer space. The paper issued an apology and retraction after the 1969 "Apollo 11" Moon landing.

In 1941, Irish writer James Joyce died in Zurich, Switzerland, less than a month before his 59th birthday.

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

In 1947, Britain's Privy Council ruled that Ottawa was within its rights to pass legislation making the Supreme Court of Canada the country's final court of appeal. Until then, Canadians could take their cases to the Privy Council.

In 1949, Prince Edward Island banned the sale and manufacture of margarine.

In 1964, Canadian and American negotiators reached agreement on a hydro and flood control project on the Columbia River. It allowed B.C. to build dams and sell electrical power to the United States for 30 years.

In 1966, African-American Robert C. Weaver was named U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson -- making him the first-ever black Cabinet member.

In 1971, a force of 13,000 Cambodian and South Vietnamese troops launched a movement to rout enemy troops from a major Cambodian highway.

In 1982, an Air Florida 737 crashed into Washington, D.C.'s 14th Street Bridge after takeoff during a snowstorm and fell into the Potomac River, killing a total of 78 people, four of them on the bridge.

In 1983, a storm dumped a record 141 millimetres of rain in one day on St. Alban's, Nfld. A dam on the Exploits River burst, causing an estimated $60 million in damage to Grand Falls and Bishop's Falls.

In 1984, Toronto social worker Anne Cooles became the first black senator, when she was appointed to the Upper Chamber by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

In 1985, a crowded train hurtled off a curve and plunged into a ravine, 240 kilometres east of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing about 450 people.

In 1986, nearly 24 million cans of Star-Kist tuna were detained for re-examination by fisheries inspectors. A government report later criticized federal inspection procedures and noted serious quality problems with the Star-Kist plant's products.

In 1990, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the first elected black U.S. governor as he took the oath of office in Richmond.

In 1992, mass immunization programs against meningitis were announced by the Ontario and Quebec governments after an unusually severe outbreak of the disease in some regions. …