On This Day

Historical Events on December 13

  • 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 (19th ecumenical council) opened by Pope Paul III
  • 1570 Sweden and Denmark signs Peace of Stettin
  • 1572 Spanish army beats Geuzen fleet (confederacy of Calvinist Dutch nobles) under admiral Lumey

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1577 Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England on a circumnavigation of the world

Admiral and Navigator Francis Drake
Admiral and Navigator
Francis Drake
  • 1621 Emperor Ferdinand II delegates 1st anti-Reformation decree
  • 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.

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

1642 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island of present day New Zealand; initially he calls it Staten Landt and changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland

Explorer and Seafarer Abel Tasman
Explorer and Seafarer
Abel Tasman
  • 1643 English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire.
  • 1668 Jean Racine's "Britannicus" premieres in Paris
  • 1734 Britain and Russia sign trade agreement
  • 1742 Willem KH Friso tests his mothers potatoes
  • 1759 First music store in America opens (Philadelphia)
  • 1769 Dartmouth College in New Hampshire receives its charter
  • 1816 Patent for a dry dock issued to John Adamson, Boston
  • 1823 Gioacchino Rossini arrives in London

  • 1861 Battle of Alleghany Summit, West Virginia
  • 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia (Marye's Heights)
  • 1864 Battle of Fort McAllister, Georgia

BattleDeclaration of War

1864 War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguay officially declares war on Brazil, invades the next day

President of Paraguay Francisco Solano López
President of Paraguay
Francisco Solano López
  • 1879 First federal fish hatching steamer launched (Wilmington, Delaware)
  • 1889 Belgium rules on women and child labor law
  • 1895 First complete execution of Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony
  • 1900 Battle of Nooitgedacht: Boer generals De La Reyand Smuts defeat a British brigade under the command of Major General R. Clements
  • 1901 Test debut of English cricketer Sydney Barnes vs Australia at the SCG, took 5-65 in 1st innings

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1902 British and German ships bombard Venezuelan forts after President Castro refuses to comply with ultimatum demanding damages caused during his takeover of the government in 1899; Castro asks US President Theodore Roosevelt to arbitrate

26th US President Theodore Roosevelt
26th US President
Theodore Roosevelt
  • 1903 Italo Marcioni patents ice cream cone mound (New Jersey)
  • 1906 German chancellor Bernhard von Bulow disbands the Parliament
  • 1907 George Gunn scores 119 on Test debut v Australia SCG

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1907 German Emperor Wilhelm II visits Amsterdam

German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II
German Emperor and King of Prussia
Wilhelm II
  • 1913 British foreign minister Sir Edward Grey proposes that southern Albania be divided between Greece and Albania with compensation to Greece in the Aegean islands
  • 1916 Avalanche kills 10,000 Austrian and Italian troops in 24 hrs in Tyrol
  • 1916 Esme Stuart Lennox Robinsons premieres in Dublin
  • 1916 French chief of staff Joffre replaced by Nivelle
  • 1918 US army of occupation crosses Rhine, enters Germany
  • 1919 Ross & Smith land in Australia from a flight from London

  • 1920 Francis G. Pease's interferometer at Mount Wilson Observatory is the first to measure the diameter of a star - the Betelgeuse
  • 1920 League of nations establishes the International Court of Justice in The Hague
  • 1920 Netherland breaks contact with Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slavia
  • 1922 Charles Ebbets proposes putting numbers on players' sleeves or caps
  • 1924 KOA-AM in Denver CO begins radio transmissions
  • 1928 Clip-on tie designed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1928 George Gershwin's "An American In Paris" premieres (NYC)

Composer and Pianist George Gershwin
Composer and Pianist
George Gershwin
  • 1930 French government of André Tardieu falls for the second time
  • 1930 George Sisler's career ends when Boston Braves release him
  • 1930 Theodore Steeg forms French government
  • 1931 National Football League Championship: Green Bay Packers (12-2-0) win 3rd straight first past the post title
  • 1934 Mark Hellinger Theater (Warner Bros) opens at 237 W 51st St NYC
  • 1936 Final Boston Redskin NFL game, lose to Packers 21-6, move to Washington, D.C.

Sport awardNFL Championship

1936 National Football League Championship, Polo Grounds, NYC: Green Bay Packers beat Boston Redskins, 21-6; Packers 4th title

NFL Head Coach Curly Lambeau
NFL Head Coach
Curly Lambeau
  • 1937 Japanese troops conquer and plunder Nanjing (Nanjing Massacre)
  • 1938 Los Angeles freezes at 28°F
  • 1939 Battle of the River Plate - 3 British cruisers vs German pocket battleship Graf Spee
  • 1941 German occupiers forbid National Front and Netherland Union
  • 1941 Lawine battlers destroy Haaraz, Peru; about 3,000 die
  • 1941 U-81 torpedoes British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal
  • 1942 Seyss-Inquart allows Dutch Nazi Anton Mussert to call himself Leader
  • 1942 National Football League Championship, Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.: Washington Redskins upset Chicago Bears, 14-6
  • 1943 150 US Marauders bomb Schiphol
  • 1944 Japanese kamikaze crashes into US cruiser Nashville, kills 138
  • 1944 Norman Krasna's "Dear Ruth" premieres in NYC
  • 1946 Léon Blum elected French premier
  • 1947 "Caribbean Carnival" closes at International NYC after 11 performances
  • 1947 Maine Turnpike opens to traffic
  • 1949 AL votes down proposal to revive spitball
  • 1949 Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capital to Jerusalem
  • 1950 "Let's Make an Opera" opens at John Golden Theater NYC for 5 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950 James Dean begins his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial

Actor James Dean
James Dean
  • 1953 KOAM TV channel 7 in Pittsburg-Joplin, KS (CBS) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1954 Elsa Schiaparelli's House of Schiaparelli at Place Vendôme in Paris closes

Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
Fashion Designer
Elsa Schiaparelli

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1956 Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield & $35,000. Robinson will retire rather than be traded.

Baseball Player Jackie Robinson
Baseball Player
Jackie Robinson

Film release premierFilm Release

1956 "Anastasia" comeback film for Ingrid Bergman is released in the US, role wins Bergman Academy Award for Best Actress.

Film release premierFilm Release

1957 "Peyton Palace" film based on the novel by Grace Metalious, directed by Mark Robson and starring Lana Turner and Hope Lange is released

Actress Lana Turner
Lana Turner
  • 1959 Archbishop Makarios elected 1st president of Cyprus
  • 1960 Italy beats US in Davis cup (1st time in 24 years US not in finals)
  • 1960 Laos General Fumi Nosavang occupies Vientiane
  • 1960 Ballon d'Or: Barcelona midfielder Luis Suárez is named best football player in Europe ahead of Real Madrid's Hungarian forward Ferenc Puskás and Hamburg striker Uwe Seeler
  • 1961 The Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein

Execution'The Banality of Evil'

1961 Gideon Hausner in Jerusalem demands death penalty for Adolf Eichmann
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Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in the dock at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem
Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in the dock at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem
  • 1961 Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John album is country music 1st million $ seller

Film release premierFilm Premier

1961 "The Young Ones" directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Cliff Richard, Robert Morley and Carole Gray premieres in London

  • 1962 Relay 1 communication satellite launched
  • 1963 Capital records signs right of first refusal agreement with The Beatles

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964 In El Paso, Texas, LBJ & Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion diverting Rio Grande, to reshape US-Mexico border

36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson
36th US President
Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 1965 Algerian president Boumedienne visits Moscow
  • 1966 1st battle for Bijlmer flats, Amsterdam
  • 1966 Test debut of Clive Lloyd, v India Bombay, 82 & 78
  • 1966 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1967 United Soccer Association & National Pro Soccer League merge into NASL
  • 1967 Unsuccessful coup against Greek King Constantine II
  • 1967 San Diego, CA records snow at a zero elevation after temperatures plunge 19 degrees (F) in eight hours.

  • 1968 Brazilian President Da Costa e Silva issues Ato Institucional Número Cinco degree
  • 1969 Arlo Guthrie releases "Alice's Restaurant"
  • 1969 MLB manager Billy Martin fired by the Minnesota Twins
  • 1970 Greg Chappell scores 108 on Test debut v England at the WACA

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 Neil Simon's "Gingerbread Lady" premieres in NYC

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon
Playwright and screenwriter
Neil Simon
  • 1971 John Sinclair (sentence: 10 yrs, sold 2 marijuana joints) is freed
  • 1973 MPLA/FNLA accord about combat against Portuguese Libya
  • 1973 World Football League grants 1st franchise (Detroit)
  • 1974 Jim "Catfish" Hunter wins free agent claim against A's owner Finley
  • 1974 Malta becomes a republic

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1975 1st time "Saturday Night Live" uses a time delay, Richard Pryor hosts

Comedian and Actor Richard Pryor
Comedian and Actor
Richard Pryor
Television Producer Lorne Michaels
Television Producer
Lorne Michaels

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1975 Australian Federal Election - Liberals with coalition under Malcolm Fraser win largest ever parliamentary majority

Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser
Prime Minister of Australia
Malcolm Fraser
  • 1975 Roy Fredericks hits 169 v Aust at WACA, hundred in 71 balls
  • 1975 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1976 Golden Gate Bridge District starts ferry service to Larkspur
  • 1976 Longest non-stop passenger airflight (Sydney to San Francisco 13h 14m)
  • 1977 14 University of Evansville basketball players die in plane crash
  • 1978 CBS' premiere of "Lovey: A Circle of Children Part II", sequel to "A Circle of Children", which is also based on Mary Mac Cracken
  • 1979 "Oklahoma!" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 301 performances
  • 1979 Strikes against price increases in Gdańsk, Poland
  • 1979 Saudi Arabia raises marker crude price to $24 per barrel
  • 1980 "Perfectly Frank" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • 1981 70th Davis Cup: USA beats Argentina in Cincinnati (3-1)
  • 1981 Poland's authoritarian communist government declares martial law and arrests Solidarity activists in a failed attempt to crush the opposition
  • 1982 Earthquake hits Northern Yemen; 2,000 die
  • 1982 Australian Open Men's Tennis: South African Johan Kriek wins 2nd straight Australian title; repeats previous year's win over American Steve Denton 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
  • 1983 9,655 see highest-scoring NBA game: Detroit 186, Denver 184 (3 OT)
  • 1983 Islander's Butch Goring scorings 4 goals against Oilers
  • 1983 KYA-AM in San Francisco CA changes call letters to KOIT
  • 1983 Martha Layne Collins inaugurated as Kentucky's 1st female governor

  • 1984 Artificial heart recipient William Schroeder suffers 1st stroke
  • 1985 Australian cricketer David Boon's 1st Test century, 123 v India at Adelaide
  • 1985 Test debut of cricketers Merv Hughes, Geoff Marsh and Bruce Reid (v India)
  • 1987 Belgium Christian Democrats (CVP) loses parliamentary election
  • 1987 Browns set club record for most points scored in a quarter, 28
  • 1987 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1988 3 men end 29-hr all-466-station subway ride in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1988 Yasser Arafat addresses UN in Geneva

Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Leader
Yasser Arafat
  • 1989 Walter Davis (Denver) ends NBA free throw streak of 53 games
  • 1989 The last issue of Gnistan (The Spark), the organ of the Solidaritetspartiet, is published in Sweden

Film release premierFilm Release

1989 "Driving Miss Daisy" directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy is released (Best Picture 1990)

  • 1990 "Peter Pan" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 45 performances
  • 1990 Heavy earthquake strikes Sicily, 18 die

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1990 South African President F. W. de Klerk meets with Nelson Mandela to talk of end of apartheid

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
South African President F. W. de Klerk
South African President
F. W. de Klerk
  • 1990 US Secretary of State Baker questions Iraq's seriousness about Middle East peace
  • 1991 Both Koreas sign an accord calling for reconcilliation
  • 1991 NY assembly speaker Mel Miller is convicted of federal mail fraud
  • 1991 Ricky Pierce (Seattle) ends NBA free throw streak of 75 games
  • 1992 "Show Off" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 45 performances
  • 1992 FCC fines Infinity Broadcasting $600,000
  • 1993 Deadline for Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza, they don't
  • 1993 Dow Jones hits record 3764.43
  • 1993 Fire in textile factory in Fuzjou China, 60 killed
  • 1993 Space shuttle STS-61 (Endeavour 5), lands
  • 1993 "I Swear" single released by John Michael Montgomery (Billboard Song of the Year 1994)
  • 1994 American Eagle commuter plane crashes in NC, killing 15

Music releaseAlbum Release

1994 "The Hits" 2nd compilation album by Garth Brooks is released (Billboard Album of the Year 1995)

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Garth Brooks
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Garth Brooks

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1995 Christopher Reeve released from physical rehab center after his fall from his horse in a riding competition

  • 1995 US Federal Court votes that Cable companies must carry local stations

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1996 Free agent Roger Clemens signs with Toronto Blue Jays

MLB Pitching Legend Roger Clemens
MLB Pitching Legend
Roger Clemens

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1996 Kofi Annan is elected Secretary-General of the United Nations

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan
  • 1997 63rd Heisman Trophy Award: Charles Woodson, Michigan (CB)
  • 1999 65th Heisman Trophy Award: Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (RB)
  • 2000 The "Texas 7" escape from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas later going on a crime spree and killing police officer Aubrey Hawkins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2000 American Vice President Al Gore delivers his concession speech effectively ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States.

45th Vice President of the United States Al Gore
45th Vice President of the United States
Al Gore
  • 2001 Indian Parliament Sansad attacked by terrorists. 15 people killed, including all terrorists

Film release premierFilm Premier

2001 "A Beautiful Mind" based on the bio by Sylvia Nasar, directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 2002)

  • 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.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2003 Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit, during Operation Red Dawn by US forces

Iraqi President and Dictator Saddam Hussein
Iraqi President and Dictator
Saddam Hussein
  • 2003 69th Heisman Trophy Award: Jason White, Oklahoma (QB)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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.

General and Dictator Augusto Pinochet
General and Dictator
Augusto Pinochet
  • 2004 Ballon d'Or: Milan's Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko is named best football player in Europe ahead of Deco (Porto/FC Barcelona) and Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho
  • 2006 The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, announced as extinct.
  • 2007 The Mitchell Report is publicly released listing the names of 89 Major League Baseball players that have presumably used anabolic steroids and human growth hormones. Notable players named include Roger Clemens and Miguel Tejada.
  • 2010 76th Heisman Trophy Award: Cam Newton, Auburn (QB)
  • 2012 A car bombing in Qatana, outside Damascus, kills 16 people and injures 12
  • 2012 Japan scrambles fighter jets in response to a Chinese plane in the Senkaku Islands dispute

Music releaseAlbum Release

2013 "Beyoncé" 5th studio album by Beyoncé is released

  • 2014 Divisions emerge between rich and poor nations at the UN climate change talks in Peru
  • 2014 A civil rights protest march in Washington, D.C. takes place, against the police killing of unarmed black men
  • 2014 The British Government announces it will send hundreds of troops to Iraq, to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the conflict with Islamic State
  • 2014 Two US soldiers killed in a Taliban bombing of a NATO convoy in Kabul
  • 2014 Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, criticizes UN Security Council for its lack of action over war crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan
  • 2014 80th Heisman Trophy Award: Marcus Mariota, Oregon (QB)
  • 2015 Irishman Conor McGregor knocks out Brazilian Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to win his 1st featherweight title in Las Vegas
  • 2015 81st Heisman Trophy Award: Derrick Henry, Alabama (RB)
  • 2016 UN claims 82 civilians have been summary executed in Aleppo by pro-government forces
  • 2017 Scientists begin checking interstellar asteroid Oumuamua for signs of alien technology through radio signals
  • 2017 Prehistoric bones of a penguin as tall as a human (1.77m) found on Otago beach, New Zealand, reported in "Nature Communications"

Electoral defeatImportant Vote

2017 Prime Minister Theresa May's UK Conservative government loses key vote in Parliament for an amendment to allow MPs to vote on Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May
British Prime Minister
Theresa May
  • 2017 Democratic Republic of Congo jails for life 11 militiamen for raping 40 children, including a local MP

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2017 Salma Hayek accuses Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and threatening to kill her

Actress Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek
Film Producer Harvey Weinstein
Film Producer
Harvey Weinstein
  • 2017 Online dictionery Merriam-Webster's most searched word of the year is Feminism
  • 2018 Actress Eliza Dushku revealed received $9.5 million settlement from CBS after sexual harassment on set of "Bull" from actor Michael Weatherley
  • 2018 Cease-fire in port city of Hudaydah, Yemen, by Houthi rebels and Saudi-led coalition announced by the UN
  • 2018 Passenger train collides with maintenance locomotive in Ankara, Turkey, killing at least 9 and injuring 47
  • 2018 US Senate passes non-binding "war powers resolution" against long-term ally Saudi Arabia
  • 2018 Apple announces new $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas and expansion in other US cities