On This Day

Events in History on April 13

  • 837 Best view of Halley's Comet in 2,000 years
  • 989 Battle at Abydos: Byzantine emperor Basilius II beats Bardas Phocas
  • 1055 Bishop Gebhard van Eichstattt named Pope Victor II
  • 1059 Papal bull "In nomine Domini" (In the Name of the Lord) issued by Pope Nicholas II establishing popes elected by Bishops and Cardinals not appointed by their predecessor
  • 1111 After months of controversy Pope Paschal II crowns Henry V, the King of Germany and Italy, as the Holy Roman Emperor
  • 1180 Diet of Gelnhausen; Henry the Lion deprived of the Duchy of Saxony
  • 1204 Crusaders occupy Constantinople
  • 1241 Battle of Theiss: Mongols beat Hungarian King Béla IV
  • 1250 The Seventh Crusade is defeated in Egypt, Louis IX of France captured
  • 1256 The Grand Union of the Augustinian order formed when Pope Alexander IV issues papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae
  • 1346 Pope Clemens VI declares German emperor Louis of Bavaria, envoy
  • 1517 Ottoman army occupies Cairo
  • 1520 Raphaels' final influential masterpiece "The Transfiguration" is put on display a week after the artist's death
  • 1556 Portuguese Marranos who revert back to Judaism burned by order of Pope


1560 Giovanni, son of Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano is executed for poisoning his wife, despite his father's efforts to save him

Mathematician Girolamo Cardano
Girolamo Cardano
  • 1598 Edict of Nantes grants political rights to French Huguenots
  • 1640 English Short Parliament forms (- May 5)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1668 John Dryden (36) appointed first English poet laureate by Charles II

King of England Charles II
King of England
Charles II
  • 1741 Dutch people protest poor quality of bread
  • 1741 Royal Military Academy forms at Woolwich, England
  • 1759 French beat European Allies in Battle of Bergen
  • 1796 First elephant arrives in US from India

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1796 Battle of Millesimo, Italy: Napoleon's forces defeat allied armies of Austria and of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont.

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1829 The Roman Catholic Relief Act passed by the British Parliament; it was the culmination of the process of Catholic Emancipation throughout the UK.
  • 1834 HMS Beagle anchors at river mouth of Rio Santa Cruz, Patagonia
  • 1842 Lord Rosse successfully casts 72" (183-cm) mirror for a telescope
  • 1860 1st Pony Express reaches Sacramento, California

Battle of InterestBattle of Fort Sumter

1861 After 34 hours of bombardment, Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederates (US Civil War)

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The Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, the first battle of the American Civil War
The Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, the first battle of the American Civil War
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  • 1863 Battle of Irish Bend, Louisiana (Fort Bisland)
  • 1863 Society for the Relief of the Ruptured and Crippled is incorporated in the State of New York
  • 1865 Raleigh, North Carolina, captured by Union forces

Battle of InterestEthiopian Emperor Commits Suicide

1868 Abyssinian War ends as British and Indian troops capture Magdala and Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II commits suicide

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British soldiers discover the body of Emperor Tewodros II after he committed suicide following the Battle of Magdala
British soldiers discover the body of Emperor Tewodros II after he committed suicide following the Battle of Magdala
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InventionHistoric Invention

1869 Steam power brake patented (George Westinghouse)

Entrepreneur and Engineer George Westinghouse
Entrepreneur and Engineer
George Westinghouse
  • 1870 Metropolitan Museum of Art forms in NYC
  • 1873 Colfax Massacre in Grant Parish, Louisiana (60 blacks killed)
  • 1882 Anti-Semitic League forms in Prussia
  • 1883 US prospector Alfred Packer convicted of manslaughter though accused of cannibalism
  • 1904 Battle of Oviumbo (in modern Namibia): Herero tribesmen rise up against German colonists

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1904 US Congress authorizes Lewis and Clark Expo $1 gold coin

Explorer and Leader of Lewis & Clark Expedition William Clark
Explorer and Leader of Lewis & Clark Expedition
William Clark
Explorer and Leader of Lewis & Clark Expedition Meriwether Lewis
Explorer and Leader of Lewis & Clark Expedition
Meriwether Lewis
  • 1904 A squadron of the Russian fleet is decoyed out of Port Arthur by Japanese maneuvers, when they realize they are sailing into a trap; their battleship Petropavlovsk hits a mine and sinks, with a loss of 700 men
  • 1906 Mutiny on Portuguese battleships Dom Carlos & Vasco da Gama
  • 1909 In Constantinople the primarily Albanian First Army Corps seizes the parliament building and telegraphs offices, forcing the Ottoman statesman Hilmi Pasha to resign
  • 1911 Polo Grounds grandstand & left field bleachers go up in flames in Manhattan, New York City
  • 1911 The US House of Representatives votes to institute direct elections of senators to Congress, a step towards direct democracy
  • 1912 Royal Flying Corps forms (later Royal Air Force)
  • 1914 1st Federal League Game: Baltimore Terrapins beat Buffalo Blues 3-2
  • 1918 Electrical fire kills 38 mental patients at Oklahoma State Hospital
  • 1919 British troops open fire on demonstrators in Amritsar, India, killing 350
  • 1919 Establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea
  • 1920 1st woman US Civil Service Commissioner, Helen Hamilton appointed
  • 1921 Foundation of the Spanish Communist Workers' Party.
  • 1923 US Army wins 1st college three-weapon fencing championships
  • 1924 Greek plebiscite for a republic
  • 1925 Virginia Theater (ANTA, Guild) opens at 245 W 52nd St NYC
  • 1928 1st trans atlantic flight Europe-US (Fitzmaurice-von Hunefeld-Köhl)
  • 1933 1st flight over Mount Everest (Lord Clydesdale)
  • 1934 4.7 million US families report receiving welfare payments
  • 1934 US Congress passes Johnson Debt Default Act
  • 1936 Ioannis Metaxas proclaims himself dictator of Greece
  • 1938 Clifford Goldsmith's play "What a Life" premieres at The Biltmore Theater, NYC
  • 1939 W Saroyan's "My Heart's in the Highlands" premieres in NYC
  • 1939 The Hindustani Lal Sena (Indian Red Army) is formed and vows to engage in armed struggle against the British.
  • 1940 Second battle of Narvik; 3 German destroyers and one U-boat sunk by the Royal Navy, 5 more German destroyers scuttled
  • 1941 Heavy German assault on Tobruk
  • 1941 Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan is signed.
  • 1943 Catholic University Nijegen closes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 FDR dedicates Jefferson Memorial

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1943 Nazis discover mass grave of Polish officers near Katyn
  • 1944 South Carolina rejects black suffrage

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944 Transport #71 departs Drancy (France) internment camp, taking 1,500 French Jews to Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi German occupied Poland; an estimated 91 survived

Nazi Physician Eduard Wirths
Nazi Physician
Eduard Wirths
  • 1944 New Zealand and the Soviet Union establish diplomatic relations
  • 1945 Canadian army liberates Teuge & Assen, Netherlands, from Nazis
  • 1945 Red Army occupies Vienna
  • 1945 US Marines conquer Minna Shima off Okinawa
  • 1945 Canadian soldier Léo Major single-handedly liberates Dutch town of Zwolle by fooling Germans into thinking a raid had begun
  • 1946 Belgian premier Acker proclaims wage & price freeze over
  • 1948 Hadassah Convoy Massacre: Vehicles bringing Jewish staff and medical supplies to Hadassah Hospital and University on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem attacked by Arab forces; 79 killed by bombs, grenades, and sniper fire
  • 1949 Philip S. Hench at Mayo Clinc announces discovery of cortisone to treat rheumatoid arthritis

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1954 Robert Oppenheimer accused of being a communist

Physicist and Father of the Atomic Bomb Robert Oppenheimer
Physicist and Father of the Atomic Bomb
Robert Oppenheimer
  • 1955 20.33" (51.64 cm) of rainfall, Axis, Alabama (state record)
  • 1957 11th Tony Awards: "Long Days Journey into the Night" & "My Fair Lady" win
  • 1957 Saturday postal delivery in US is temporarily halted due to lack of funds
  • 1958 12th Tony Awards: "Sunrise at Campobello" and "Music Man" win
  • 1958 Van Cliburn is the first American to win the Chaikovsky Compettion in Moscow.
  • 1959 USAF launches Discoverer II into polar orbit
  • 1959 Vanguard SLV-5 launched for Earth orbit (failed)
  • 1959 Vatican edict forbids Roman Catholics from voting for communists
  • 1960 US Department of Defense places "Transit 1B", 1st navigational satellite, in orbit around Earth
  • 1961 UN General Assembly condemns South-Africa's apartheid
  • 1962 US steel industry forced to give up price increases
  • 1963 Pirate's Bob Friend balks 4 times in a game
  • 1964 Ian Smith becomes Prime Minister of Rhodesia
  • 1964 New Zealander Colin Bosher shears a record 565 sheep in 1 work day
  • 1965 1st US Senate black page, Lawrence W Bradford Jr, 16, appointed by New York Senator Jacob Javits
  • 1966 Pan Am places $525,000,000 order for 25 Boeing 747s
  • 1969 Closure of the Brisbane tramway network.
  • 1970 Apollo 13 announces "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here", as Beech-built oxygen tank explodes en route to Moon
  • 1970 Oakland uses gold-colored bases during the club's home opener: Rules Committee subsequently bans this innovation
  • 1975 Chad military coup by General Odingar
  • 1975 Christian Falange kills 27 Palestinians, begins Lebanese civil war
  • 1976 US Federal Reserve begins issuing $2 bicentennial notes
  • 1978 Jackson slugs a 3-run HR in the 1st inning, & the field is showered
  • 1979 Christian Turks occupy St Jansbasiliek
  • 1979 Longest doubles ping-pong match ends after 101 hours
  • 1979 Yusuf Lule becomes premier of Uganda
  • 1981 Pulitzer prize awarded to Beth Henley for "Crimes of the Heart"
  • 1981 Wash Post Janet Cooke wins Pulitzer Prize (later admits story a hoax)
  • 1983 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1984 11th Space Shuttle Mission (41C)-Challenger 5-returns to Earth
  • 1985 Space Shuttle Atlantis ferried to Kennedy Space Center via Ellington AFB, Texas

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985 Ramiz Alia succeeds Enver Hoxha as party leader of Albania

Dictator of Albania Enver Hoxha
Dictator of Albania
Enver Hoxha

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1986 Pope John Paul II meets Rome's Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff at Rome synagogue

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1987 Portugal signs agreement to return Macau to China (in 1999)
  • 1988 Italian government of De Mita forms
  • 1991 BPAA US Open by Pete Weber
  • 1992 Magnitude 5.5 earthquake hits Netherlands
  • 1992 American Airlines reduce its 1st-class fares 20%-50%
  • 1992 Crystal Pepsi begins test marketing in Sacramento, Providence, Denver, Dallas, and Grand Rapids
  • 1992 Great Chicago Flood - Chicago's underground tunnels flood

Music releaseTheater Premiere

1993 Tom Stoppard's play "Arcadia" premieres in London directed by Trevor Nunn, starring Rufus Sewell, Felicity Kendal and Bill Nighy

Playwright and Screenwriter Tom Stoppard
Playwright and Screenwriter
Tom Stoppard
  • 1994 Presidential guard at Kigali, Rwanda, chops 1,200 church members to death
  • 1994 Target date for Israeli complete withdrawal, doesn't occur
  • 1994 United Arab Emirates' 1st official ODI, losing to India
  • 2002 Pedro Carmona, interim president of Venezuela, resigns one day after taking office
  • 2006 Powerful tornadoes rip through Iowa City, Iowa.
  • 2012 North Korean long range rocket testing ends in failure after the rocket broke up after launch
  • 2013 8 people are killed after a bomb explodes on a bus in Peshawar, Pakistan
  • 2013 20 civilians are killed by the government bombing of Saraqib, Idlib
  • 2015 Migrant ship carrying around 550 sinks off the Libyan coast, about 400 drown
  • 2019 Body of 38-year-old Filipino woman discovered in abandoned mine starts the hunt for Cyprus's first serial killer, at least 5 other bodies later discovered
  • 2019 Australian super-horse Winx ends extraordinary career with a 3rd Queen Elizabeth Stakes win in Sydney; 33 consecutive race wins, a world record 25 Group One victories and $26.4 million prize money
  • 2019 World's largest plane by wingspan at 117m (385 ft), the Stratolaunch, built as a flying launch pad for satellites, takes its first flight from Mojave, California

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2020 Bernie Sanders endorses former rival Joe Biden for president

US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders
46th US President, Vice President and Senator Joe Biden
46th US President, Vice President and Senator
Joe Biden

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2020 NY Governor Andrew Cuomo says “I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart,” about the COVID-19 pandemic in New York as death toll passes 10,000

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo
NY Governor
Andrew Cuomo
  • 2021 US, South Africa and the EU authorities temporarily stop administrating Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines after six women developed blood clots (out of 6.8 million)