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This Day in History - October 13

October 13

54 – Nero succeeds his great-uncle, Claudius, who was killed by his wife, as the new emperor of Rome

1282 – Japanese monk, Nichiren, dies

1307 – Members of the Knights of Templar are arrested throughout France, imprisoned and tortured by the order of King Philip the Fair of France

1399 – Henry IV is crowned

1670 – Virginia protects black Christians arriving in the colonies by passing a law that they cannot be used as slaves

1775 – The Continental Congress authorizes construction of two warships, thus instituting the first American naval force

1776 – Benedict Arnold is defeated at Lake Champlain during the Revolutionary War

1784 – King of Spain, Ferdinand VII, is born

1792 – President George Washington lays the cornerstone for the White House

1812 – English army officer, Isaac Brock, dies

1812 – At the Battle of Queenston Heights, a Canadian and British army defeats the Americans who tried to invade Canada

1817 – Canadian writer, William Kirby, is born

1843 – B’nai B’rith, the oldest Jewish service organization in the world, is founded in New York City by Henry Jones and 11 others

1845 – Texans ratify a state constitution and approve annexation to make Texas the 28th American state

1849 – In Monterey, the California state constitution prohibiting slavery is signed

1853 – British actress, Lillie Langtry, is born

1863 – The voters of Ohio reject Clement Vallandigham, leader of the Copperheads, or anti-war Democrats who were critical of the Republican war policy, particularly the emancipation of slaves, in the fall gubernatorial election

1890 – Novelist and short story writer, Conrad Richter, is born

1904 – Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams is published

1907 – French film director, Yves Allegret, is born

1909 – Multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, Herblock, is born

1910 – Pilot and adventure novelist, Ernest Kellogg Gann, is born

1910 – American jazz pianist, Art Tatum, is born

1911 – Irish author, social worker, and teacher, Sister Nivedita, dies

1915 – During World War I at the Battle of Loos, Scottish poet Charles Hamilton Sorley is killed by a German sniper

1925 – The first female UK prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, is born

1926 – Jazz bass player, Ray Brown, is born

1930 – Screenwriter, producer, actor, Emmy-winning writer Bruce Geller is born

1939 – Actress, Melinda Dillon, is born

1941 – Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, musician and producer Paul Simon is born

1942 – In the first of four attacks, two Japanese battleships shell Henderson field on Guadalcanal, in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the American Cactus Air Force during World War II

1943 – Italy declares war on Germany during World War II

1943 – Poet Robert Lowell is sentenced to prison for a year for evading the draft

1944 – Troops of the Soviet Army occupy Riga, capital of Latvia

1946 – The Fourth Republic begins in France and will continue to 1958

1947 – Singer, songwriter, musician, Sammy Hagar, is born

1950 – Actor, James Stewart, stars in Harvey

1953 – The world’s first traveling art museum opens in Fredericksburg, Virginia

1958 – Paddington Bear, a beloved icon of children’s literature is published

1959 – Singer, songwriter, and actress, Marie Osmond, is born

1960 – White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, is born

1966 – Defense Secretary Robert McNamara declares at a news conference in Saigon that the military operations in the Vietnam War have “progressed very satisfactorily since 1965”

1967 – Actress, Kate Walsh, is born

1967 – First game of the fledgling American Basketball Association; Oakland Oaks beat Anaheim Amigos 134-129 in Oakland, California

1969 – Olympic bronze and silver medal-winning figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan, is born

1970 – In a report prepared for President Nixon, counterinsurgency expert Sir Robert Thompson explains that annihilating the Viet Cong is a prerequisite for solving the political troubles of South Vietnam

1971 – English comedian, actor, and screenwriter, Sacha Baron Cohen, is born

1972 – Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes Mountains near the Argentina-Chile border. Out of 45 people, 16 survive but are not rescued until December 23rd

1973 – American mixed martial artist, Matt Hughes, is born

1974 – Television show host, Ed Sullivan, dies

1975 – Singer Charlie Rich protests John Denver’s win at the CMA Awards that he was presenting for, by lighting the envelope containing Denver’s name on fire, live on stage with a cigarette lighter he pulled from his pocket

1976 – Dr. F.A. Murphy at Center for Disease Control obtains the first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle

1977 – Four Palestinians hijack a Lufthansa airliner and demand the release of 11 imprisoned members of Germany’s Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, also known as the Red Army Faction, who had terrorized Germany for decades. The Palestinian hijackers took the plane on a six-country journey, eventually landing at Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 17, after shooting one of the plane’s pilots. The next morning, a German special forces team stormed the aircraft, releasing 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers. Only one of the German commandos was wounded. The Red Army Faction’s imprisoned leaders responded to the news later that day by committing suicide in their jail cell, in Stammheim, Germany

1981 – Egypt’s vice president Hosni Mubarak is elected president, one week after Anwar Sadat’s assassination

1982 – Australian swimmer, Ian Thorpe, is born

1983 – The Space Shuttle Challenger arrives safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida

1987 – Indian actor and singer, Kishore Kumar, dies

1990 – The Lebanese Civil War ends when a Syrian attack removes General Michel Aoun from power

1999 – The Colorado grand jury investigating the case of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, who was murdered in December 1996, is dismissed and the Boulder County district attorney announces no indictments will be made due to insufficient evidence. Although her parents were the primary suspects during the investigation, to this date, the murder has not been officially solved

2010 – After being underground for a record 69 days, all 33 miners trapped in a Copiapo, Chile mine are rescued


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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