On This Day in History December 13

December 13 – Events:

  • 1294 – Saint Celestine V abdicates the papacy after only five months; Celestine hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit.
  • 1545 – Council of Trent begins.
  • 1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.
  • 1636 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard.
  • 1642 – Abel Janszoon Tasman reaches New Zealand.
  • 1643 – English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire.
  • 1769 – Dartmouth College is founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal Governor John Wentworth.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside.
  • 1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing – Nanjing, defended by the National Revolutionary Army under the command of General Tang Shengzhi, falls to the Japanese.
  • 1937 – Nanjing Massacre. Japanese troops begin carrying out several weeks of raping and killing of civilians and suspected Chinese resistance after the fall of Nanjing.
  • 1938 – The Holocaust: 100 deportees from Sachsenhausen build the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.
  • 1939 – World War II: Battle of the River Plate – Captain Hans Langsdorff of the German Deutschland class cruiser (pocket battleship) Admiral Graf Spee engages with Royal Navy cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles.
  • 1941 – World War II: Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States.
  • 1943 – World War II: 710 Bombers of U.S. 8th Air Force attack Kiel, Germany.
  • 1949 – The Knesset votes to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem.
  • 1959 – Archbishop Makarios becomes the first President of Cyprus.
  • 1951 – Margaret Thatcher (Roberts) marries Denis Thatcher at City Methodist in London.
  • 1962 – NASA “Relay 1″ launch, first active repeater communications satellite in orbit.
  • 1967 – Constantine II of Greece attempts an unsuccessful counter-coup against the Regime of the Colonels
  • 1967 – San Diego, CA records snow at a zero elevation after temperatures plunge 19 degrees (F) in eight hours.
  • 1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. This was the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th century.
  • 1974 – Malta becomes a republic.
  • 1977 – A DC-3 aircraft chartered from the Indianapolis-based National Jet crashes near Evansville Regional Airport, killing 29, including the University of Evansville basketball team, support staff and boosters of the team.
  • 1979 – The Canadian Government of Prime Minister Joe Clark is defeated in the House of Commons, prompting the 1980 Canadian election.
  • 1981 – General Wojciech Jaruzelski declares martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.
  • 1989 – The last issue of Gnistan (The Spark), the organ of the Solidaritetspartiet, is published in Sweden.
  • 1996 – Kofi Annan is elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 2000 – The “Texas 7″ escape from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas and go on a robbery spree, during which police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot and killed.
  • 2000 – American Vice President Al Gore delivers his concession speech effectively ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States.
  • 2001 – the Indian Parliament Sansad is attacked by terrorists. 15 people are killed, including all the terrorists.
  • 2002 – Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
  • 2003 – Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit.
  • 2004 – Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet is put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest is lifted the same day on appeal.
  • 2006 – The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, announced as extinct.
  • 2007 – The Mitchell Report is publicly released listing the names 89 Major League Baseball players that have presumably used anabolic steroids and human growth hormones.

December 13 – Birthdays:

  • 1521 – Pope Sixtus V (d. 1590)
  • 1533 – King Eric XIV of Sweden (d. 1577)
  • 1553 – King Henry IV of France (d. 1610)
  • 1585 – William Drummond of Hawthornden, Scottish poet (d. 1649)
  • 1640 – Robert Plot, English naturalist (d. 1696)
  • 1662 – Francesco Bianchini, Italian philosopher and scientist (d. 1729)
  • 1678 – Yongzheng Emperor of China (d. 1735)
  • 1720 – Carlo Gozzi, Italian dramatist (d. 1804)
  • 1724 – Franz Aepinus, German scientist (d. 1802)
  • 1784 – Archduke Louis of Austria (d. 1864)
  • 1797 – Heinrich Heine, German poet (d. 1856)
  • 1804 – Joseph Howe, Canadian politician (d. 1873)
  • 1816 – Ernst Werner von Siemens, German engineer, inventor, and industrialist (d. 1892)
  • 1818 – Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States (d. 1882)
  • 1836 – Franz von Lenbach, German painter (d. 1904)
  • 1856 – Svetozar Boroevic, Austro-Hungarian field marshal (d. 1920)
  • 1860 – Lucien Guitry, French actor (d. 1925)
  • 1864 – Emil Seidel, Mayor of Milwaukee (d. 1947)
  • 1867 – Kristian Birkeland, Norwegian explorer and scientist (d. 1917)
  • 1870 – Edward LeSaint, American actor and director (d. 1940)
  • 1871 – Emily Carr, Canadian artist (d. 1945)
  • 1874 – Josef Lhévinne, Russian-born pianist (d. 1944)
  • 1883 – Belle da Costa Greene, American librarian, bibliographer and archivist (d. 1950)
  • 1887 – George Polya, Hungarian-born mathematician (d. 1985)
  • 1887 – Alvin York, American soldier & Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1964)
  • 1897 – Drew Pearson, American journalist (d. 1969)
  • 1903 – Carlos Montoya, Spanish guitarist (d. 1993)
  • 1906 – Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (d. 1968)
  • 1906 – Sir Laurens van der Post, South African author (d. 1996)
  • 1910 – Van Heflin, American actor (d. 1971)
  • 1911 – Trygve Haavelmo, Norwegian economist and Bank of Sweden Prize winner (d. 1999)
  • 1911 – Kenneth Patchen, American poet and painter (d. 1972)
  • 1913 – Arnold Brown, the 11th General of The Salvation Army (d. 2002)
  • 1913 – Archie Moore, American boxer (d. 1998)
  • 1915 – Curd Jürgens, German-born Austrian actor (d. 1982)
  • 1915 – Ross Macdonald, American-born author (d. 1983)
  • 1915 – B. J. Vorster, Prime Minister of South Africa 1966-1978 (d. 1983)
  • 1917 – John Hart, American actor
  • 1919 – Hans-Joachim Marseille, German flying ace of World War II (d. 1942)
  • 1920 – George Shultz, United States Secretary of State 1982-1989
  • 1923 – Philip Warren Anderson, American physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1923 – Larry Doby, American baseball player (d. 2003)
  • 1925 – Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian
  • 1926 – George Rhoden, Jamaican athlete
  • 1929 – Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor
  • 1930 – Robert Prosky, American actor
  • 1934 – Richard D. Zanuck, American film producer
  • 1935 – Joe Christopher, American baseball player
  • 1935 – Ken Hall, American football player
  • 1935 – Lindy McDaniel, American baseball player
  • 1936 – His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan (Aga Khan IV), Imam (leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims
  • 1936 – J. C. Martin, American baseball player
  • 1937 – Ron Taylor, Canadian baseball player
  • 1938 – Alvin Curran, American composer
  • 1939 – Eric Flynn, British actor and singer (d. 2002)
  • 1941 – John Davidson, American actor and game show host
  • 1942 – Anna Eshoo, American politician
  • 1943 – Ferguson Jenkins, Canadian baseball player
  • 1943 – Gösta Winbergh, Swedish tenor (d. 2002)
  • 1944 – Hwang Jang Lee, Korean martial artist and film actor
  • 1945 – Kathy Garver, American actress
  • 1945 – Brian McGuire, Australian racing driver (d. 1977)
  • 1947 – Darlene Cates, American actress
  • 1947 – Dave Hamilton, American baseball player
  • 1948 – Jeff Baxter, American guitarist (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers)
  • 1948 – Ted Nugent, American guitarist
  • 1948 – Brian Wilson, Scottish politician
  • 1949 – Tom Verlaine, American singer/guitarist of Television
  • 1949 – Randy Owen, lead vocals, rhythm guitar for Alabama
  • 1949 – Paula Wilcox, English actress
  • 1950 – Wendie Malick, American actress
  • 1950 – Tom Vilsack, Governor of Iowa
  • 1952 – Sylvester Ritter (Junkyard Dog), American professional wrestler (d. 1998)
  • 1953 – Ben Bernanke, American economist and United States Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • 1953 – Bill Castro, Dominican baseball player
  • 1953 – Bob Gainey, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1954 – John Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter
  • 1954 – Tamora Pierce, American author
  • 1956 – Dale Berra, American baseball player
  • 1957 – Steve Buscemi, American actor
  • 1957 – Morris Day, American singer (The Time)
  • 1957 – Jean-Marie Messier, French businessman
  • 1958 – Lynn-Holly Johnson, American figure skater and actress
  • 1959 – Jim Barrell, American professional wrestler
  • 1959 – Johnny Whitaker, American actor
  • 1960 – Daggubati Venkatesh, Indian actor
  • 1961 – Harry Gregson-Williams, English composer
  • 1961 – Irene Saez, Miss Universe 1981 and Venezuelan politician
  • 1961 – Gary Zimmerman, former NFL offensive lineman
  • 1962 – Roger Ilegems, Belgian track cyclist and road bicycle racer
  • 1962 – Kendra Slewenski, English netballer
  • 1964 – Hide, Japanese musician (X Japan) (d. 1998)
  • 1965 – Marko Mäetamm, Estonian artist
  • 1966 – Ross Burden, New Zealand celebrity chef
  • 1966 – Don Roff, American writer and filmmaker
  • 1967 – Jamie Foxx, American actor
  • 1967 – Bo Pelini, American football coach
  • 1968 – Tony Curran, Scottish actor
  • 1969 – Sergei Fedorov, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1969 – Murat Nasyrov, Russian singer (d. 2007)
  • 1973 – Christie Clark, American actress
  • 1974 – Sara Cox, English TV and radio presenter
  • 1974 – Nicholas McCarthy, English guitarist (Franz Ferdinand)
  • 1975 – Bates Battaglia, National Hockey League player
  • 1975 – Tom DeLonge, American guitarist (blink-182, Angels & Airwaves)
  • 1975 – Matthew LeCroy, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Josh Fogg, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Radoslaw Sobolewski, Polish footballer
  • 1976 – Søren Friis, Danish footballer
  • 1977 – Peter Stringer, Irish rugby union footballer
  • 1978 – Ryo Kawakita, Japanese guitarist (Maximum the Hormone)
  • 1981 – Amy Lee, American singer/songwriter (Evanescence)
  • 1982 – Anthony Callea, Australian singer/songwriter
  • 1982 – Ricky Nolasco, American baseball player
  • 1982 – Tuka Rocha, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1982 – Freddie Weinke, American football player
  • 1982 – Dominik Werling, German footballer
  • 1983 – Matt Deis, American bassist
  • 1983 – Otylia Jedrzejczak, Polish swimmer
  • 1988 – Darcy Blake, Welsh footballer
  • 1989 – Taylor Swift, American singer/songwriter
  • 1991 – Jay Greenberg, American composer
  • 2005 – Prince Aymeric of Belgium
  • 2005 – Prince Nicolas of Belgium

December 13 – Deaths:

  • 1048 – Al-Biruni, Persian mathematician (b. 973)
  • 1124 – Pope Callixtus II
  • 1126 – Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria
  • 1204 – Maimonides, Spanish rabbi and philosopher (b. 1135)
  • 1250 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1194)
  • 1404 – Albert, Count of Holland (b. 1336)
  • 1466 – Donatello, Florentine artist and sculptor (b. 1386)
  • 1516 – Johannes Trithemius, German cryptographer (b. 1462)
  • 1521 – Manuel I of Portugal (b. 1469)
  • 1557 – Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia, Italian mathematician
  • 1565 – Conrad Gessner, Swiss naturalist (b. 1516)
  • 1603 – François Viète, French mathematician (b. 1540)
  • 1621 – Katarina Stenbock, Queen of Gustav I of Sweden (b. 1535)
  • 1716 – Charles de La Fosse, French painter (b. 1640)
  • 1721 – Alexander Selkirk, Scottish sailor and castaway (b. 1676)
  • 1729 – Anthony Collins, English philosopher (b. 1676)
  • 1754 – Mahmud I, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1696)
  • 1769 – Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet (b. 1715)
  • 1783 – Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin, Swedish astronomer (b. 1717)
  • 1784 – Samuel Johnson, English writer and lexicographer (b. 1709)
  • 1814 – Charles Joseph, Prince de Ligne, Belgian-born Austrian field marshal (b. 1735)
  • 1835 – John Storm, American Revolutionary soldier (b. 1760)
  • 1837 – Herman of Alaska, Russian Orthodox hermit (b. 1756)
  • 1863 – Christian Friedrich Hebbel, German writer (b. 1813)
  •  1868 – Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, German botanist (b. 1794)
  • 1881 – August Senoa, Croatian writer (b. 1838)
  • 1883 – Victor de Laprade, French poet and critic (b. 1812)
  • 1895 – Ányos Jedlik, Hungarian physicist (b. 1800)
  • 1919 – Woldemar Voigt, German physicist (b. 1850)
  • 1922 – Hannes Hafstein, Icelandic politician and poet (b. 1861)
  • 1924 – Samuel Gompers, American labor and political leader, founder of AFL (b. 1850)
  • 1930 – Fritz Pregl, Slovenian/Austrian chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1869)
  • 1931 – Gustave le Bon, French psychologist (b. 1840)
  • 1932 – Georgios Jakobides, Greek painter (b. 1853)
  • 1934 – Thomas A. Watson, American assistant to Alexander Graham Bell (b. 1854)
  • 1935 – Victor Grignard, French chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1871)
  • 1940 – Jacques-Arsène d’Arsonval, French physicist (b. 1851)
  • 1940 – George Regas, Greek actor (b. 1890)
  • 1942 – Wlodimir Ledochowski, Polish-Austrian director of the Society of Jesus (b. 1866)
  • 1944 – Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-born French artist (b. 1866)
  • 1944 – Lupe Vélez, Mexican actress (b. 1908)
  • 1945 – Irma Grese, Nazi war criminal (b. 1923)
  • 1945 – Josef Kramer, commandant of Bergen Belsen concentration camp (b. 1906)
  • 1945 – Elisabeth Volkenrath, supervisor at concentration camps (b. 1919)
  • 1947 – Nicholas Roerich, Russian-born painter (b. 1874)
  • 1950 – Abraham Wald, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1902)
  • 1954 – John Raymond Hubbell, American writer (b. 1879)
  • 1955 – Egas Moniz, Portuguese psychiatrist and neurosurgeon, Nobel laureate (b. 1874)
  • 1958 – Tim Moore, American actor (b. 1887)
  • 1961 – Grandma Moses, American painter (b. 1860)
  • 1962 – Harry Barris, American popular singer (b. 1905)
  • 1969 – Raymond A. Spruance, American admiral (b. 1886)
  • 1969 – Spencer Williams, Jr., American actor (b. 1893)
  • 1973 – Henry Green, English author (b. 1905)
  • 1979 – Jon Hall, American actor (b. 1915)
  • 1981 – Pigmeat Markham, American entertainer (b. 1904)
  • 1983 – Alexander Schmemann, Orthodox Christian priest and theologian (b. 1921)
  • 1983 – Nichita Stanescu, Romanian poet (b. 1933
  • 1992 – K.C. Irving, Canadian industrialist (b. 1899)
  • 1992 – Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman and heir (b. 1899)
  • 1993 – Vanessa Duriès, French novelist (b. 1972)
  • 1994 – Norman Beaton, Guyanese actor (b. 1934)
  • 2001 – Chuck Schuldiner, American musician (Death) (b. 1967)
  • 2002 – Zal Yanovsky, Canadian musician (The Lovin’ Spoonful) (b. 1945)
  • 2003 – William V. Roth, Jr., U.S. Senator (b. 1921)
  • 2004 – Andre Rodgers, Bahamian baseball player (b. 1934)
  • 2004 – David Wheeler, English computer scientist (b. 1927)
  • 2005 – Timothy Jordan II, American musician (The All American Rejects, Jonezetta) (b. 1981)
  • 2005 – Stanley Tookie Williams, co-founder of the Crips (b. 1953)
  • 2006 – Lamar Hunt, American sports executive (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Floyd Red Crow Westerman, American actor (b. 1936)
  • 2007 – Mark Partridge, Rhodesian politician

December 13 – Holidays:

  • Roman festivals – Tellus was worshipped in the district Carinae at the Esquiline Hill, and a lectisternium or table was spread for Ceres.
  • In the Julian calendar before the Gregorian reform, this was the shortest day and longest night, and widely celebrated as such.
  • Malta – Republic Day (since 1974)
  • Saint Lucy’s Day in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and some regions of Italy, mainly Sicily, Veneto and Trentino.

 

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