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Today in history: January 13

Find out which 'Seinfeld' alum is celebrating a birthday today.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2005. There are 352 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:
On Jan. 13, 1794, President 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.)

On this date:
In 1864, composer Stephen Foster died in New York.

In 1893, Britain’s Independent Labor Party (a precursor to the current Labor Party) held its first meeting.

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

In 1941, novelist James Joyce died in Zurich, Switzerland.

In 1962, comedian Ernie Kovacs died in a car crash in west Los Angeles.

In 1966, Robert C. Weaver became the first black Cabinet member as he was appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Johnson.

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 after takeoff and fell into the Potomac River, killing 78 people.

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 2002, the off-Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” was performed for the last time, ending a run of nearly 42 years and 17,162 shows.

Ten years ago: Italy named Treasury Minister Lamberto Dini its new prime minister. Authorities in the Philippines said they had unearthed a conspiracy by militant Muslims to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit.

Five years ago: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates stepped aside as chief executive and promoted company president Steve Ballmer to the position.

One year 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 at least 215 elderly patients, was found hanged in his prison cell, an apparent suicide.

Today’s birthdays: Country singer Liz Anderson is 75. Actress Frances Sternhagen is 75. Actor-director Charles Nelson Reilly is 74. Comedian Rip Taylor is 71. Actor Billy Gray is 67. Actor Richard Moll is 62. Rock musician Trevor Rabin is 51. R&B musician Fred White is 50. Actor Kevin Anderson is 45. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 44. Rock singer Graham “Suggs” McPherson (Madness) is 44. Country singer Trace Adkins is 43. Actress Penelope Ann Miller is 41. Actor Patrick Dempsey is 39. Actor Keith Coogan is 35. Actress Nicole Eggert is 33. Actor Orlando Bloom is 28.

Thought for today: “To want to be the cleverest of all is the biggest folly.” — Sholom Aleichem, Russian author-humorist (1859-1916).