1840 – The steamship Lexington burns and sinks four miles off the coast of Long Island with the loss of 139 lives.
1842 – Dr. William Brydon, an assistant surgeon in the British East India Company Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, becomes famous for being the sole survivor of an army of 4,500 men and 12,000 camp followers when he reaches the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
1908 – The Rhoads Opera House fire fire in Boyertown, Pennsylvania kills 171 people.
1915 – The 6.7 Mw Avezzano earthquake shakes the Province of L'Aquila in Italy with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), killing between 29,978 and 32,610.
1920 – The Reichstag Bloodbath of January 13, 1920, the bloodiest demonstration in German history.
1939 – The Black Friday bushfires burn 20,000 square kilometers of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.
1950 – British submarine HMS Truculent collides with an oil tanker in the Thames Estuary, killing 64 men.
1964 – Anti-Muslim riots break out in Calcutta, in response to anti-Hindu riots in East Pakistan. About one hundred people are killed.
1977 – Japan Air Lines Cargo Flight 1045, a Douglas DC-8 jet, crashes onto the runway during takeoff from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, killing five.
1982 – Shortly after takeoff, Air Florida Flight 90, a Boeing 737 jet, crashes into Washington, D.C.'s 14th Street Bridge and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78 including four motorists.
1985 – A passenger train plunges into a ravine in Ethiopia, killing 428 in the worst railroad disaster in Africa
1986 – A month-long violent struggle begins in Aden, South Yemen between supporters of Ali Nasir Muhammad and Abdul Fattah Ismail, resulting in thousands of casualties.
1991 – Soviet Union troops attack Lithuanian independence supporters in Vilnius, killing 14 people and wounding around 1000 others.
2001 – An earthquake hits El Salvador, killing more than 800.
2012 – The passenger cruise ship Costa Concordia sinks off the coast of Italy due to the captain Francesco Schettino's negligence and irresponsibility. There are 32 confirmed deaths.