April 13th in History

This day in historyApril 13 is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 262 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 945, Hugh of Provence abdicates the throne in favor of his son Lothair II who is acclaimed sole king of Italy.

In 1111,  Henry V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1204,  Constantinople falls to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, temporarily ending the Byzantine Empire.

In 1436, The French drive the English out of Paris (100 Year War)

In 1534, Sir Thomas More refuses to take the oath to the English succession

In 1598,  Henry IV of France issues the Edict of Nantes, allowing freedom of religion to the Huguenots. (Edict repealed in 1685.)

In 1612,  Miyamoto Musashi defeats Sasaki Kojirō at Funajima island.

In 1613,  Samuel Argall captures Native American princess Pocahontas in Passapatanzy, Virginia to ransom her for some English prisoners held by her father. She is brought to Henricus as hostage.

In 1699,  Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Sikh Guru, Created Khalsa on this day at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab.

In 1742,  George Frideric Handel‘s oratorio Messiah makes its world-premiere in Dublin, Ireland.

In 1775, Lord North extends the New England Restraining Act to South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The act forbids trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland.

In 1777,  American Revolutionary War: American forces are ambushed and defeated in the Battle of Bound Brook, New Jersey.

In 1782, Washington, NC was incorporated as the first town to be named for George Washington.

In 1796,  The first elephant ever seen in the United States arrives from India.

In 1829,  The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 gives Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom the right to vote and to sit in Parliament.

In 1849,  Hungary becomes a republic.

In 1861,  American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces.

In 1865,  American Civil War: Raleigh, North Carolina is occupied by Union Forces.

In 1868,  The Abyssinian War ends as British and Indian troops capture Maqdala.

In 1869, the steam power (air) brake was patented by George Westinghouse.

In 1870,  The New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded.

In 1873,  The Colfax massacre, in which more than 60 African Americans are murdered, takes place.

In 1890,  Samuel J. Randall, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 33rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1828) died in Washington, D.C. in 1890 while still in office. He was a Pennsylvania politician, attorney, soldier, and a prominent Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives during the late 19th century. He served as the 33rd Speaker of the House and was a contender for his party’s nomination for the President of the United States in two campaigns. He died poor, leaving behind no real estate and very few personal effects. Funeral expenses and a $300 allotment to his wife exhausted his entire estate.”

In 1895, Start of Sherlock Holmes “Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist” (BG).

In 1902,  James C. Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

In 1909,  The Turkish military reverses the Ottoman countercoup of 1909 to force the overthrow of Sultan Abdul Hamid II.

In 1916, the first hybrid, seed corn was purchased for 15-cents a bushel by Samuel Ramsay of Jacobsburg, OH, today. Think about the profit when he started popping that corn…

In 1919,  The establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.

In 1919,  Jallianwala Bagh massacre: British troops gun down at least 379 unarmed demonstrators in Amritsar, India; at least 1200 are wounded.

In 1919,  Eugene V. Debs is imprisoned at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, for speaking out against the draft during World War I.

In 1920, Helen Hamilton is appointed the first woman U.S. Civil Service Commissioner.

In 1941,  A Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan is signed.

In 1941, German troops capture Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

In 1943,  World War II: The discovery of mass graves of Polish prisoners of war killed by Soviet forces in the Katyń Forest Massacre is announced, causing a diplomatic rift between the Polish government in exile in London from the Soviet Union, which denies responsibility.

In 1943,  The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson‘s birth.

In 1944,  Diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Soviet Union are established.

In 1945,  World War II: German troops kill more than 1,000 political and military prisoners in Gardelegen, Germany.

In 1945 – World War II: Soviet and Bulgarian forces capture Vienna, Austria.

In 1945, Massive firebombing raids by Allied bombers destroyed a large part of Tokyo.

In 1948,  The Hadassah medical convoy massacre: In an ambush, 79 Jewish doctors, nurses and medical students from Hadassah Hospital and a British soldier are massacred by Arabs in Sheikh Jarra near Jerusalem.

In 1953,  CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control program MKULTRA.

In 1957, due to lack of funds, Saturday mail delivery in the U.S. was halted.

In 1958,  Cold War: American Van Cliburn wins the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

In 1960,  The United States launches Transit 1-B, the world’s first satellite navigation system.

In 1960, France becomes the fourth nuclear nation exploding an A-Bomb in Sahara.

In 1961,  John A. Bennett, American soldier (b. 1935) was hanged at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. was a United States Army soldier who was convicted and executed for the rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl.  As of 2013, he is the last person to have been executed by the U.S. military. Bennett was born in Virginia to a family of African American sharecroppers. He was epileptic, but managed to enlist in the U.S. Army when he was 18. Days before Christmas 1954,  a heavily intoxicated Bennett left his base to find a brothel, but chanced upon an 11-year-old Austrian girl. He raped her, and then attempted to drown her in a nearby stream.  He was convicted by a court-martial one month later and sentenced to death. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Bennett’s death warrant. Days before Bennett’s scheduled execution four years later, the girl and her parents wrote to President John F. Kennedy, asking that Bennett’s life be spared. Kennedy took no action on the appeals, letting his predecessor’s death warrant stand.

In 1964,  At the Academy Awards, Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field.

In 1965, 16-year-old Lawrence Wallace Bradford Jr. was appointed by New York Republican Jacob Javits to be the first black page of the U.S. Senate.

In 1970,  An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 explodes, putting the crew in great danger and causing major damage to the spacecraft while en route to the Moon. “Houston, we’ve got a problem here.”

In 1972,  The Universal Postal Union decides to recognize the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate Chinese representative, effectively expelling the Republic of China administering Taiwan.

In 1972,  Vietnam War: The Battle of An Lộc begins.

In 1974,  Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States’ first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.

In 1975,  Bus massacre in Lebanon: An attack by the Phalangist resistance kills 26 militia members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, marking the start of the 15-year Lebanese Civil War.

In 1976,  The United States Treasury Department reintroduces the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson‘s 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration.

In 1984,  India moves into Siachen Glacier thus annexing more territory from the Line of Control.

Wilder-Wanted-poster.jpgIn 1984, Christopher Wilder, the FBI’s “most wanted man,” accidentally killed himself as police moved in to arrest him in New Hampshire. Wilder was a suspect in the deaths, rapes and disappearances of 11 young women in eight states.

In 1987,  Portugal and the People’s Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999.

In 1989, House Speaker Jim Wright delivered an emotional defense of his conduct against ethics charges, declaring he would “fight to the last ounce conviction and energy” he possessed. He resigned on May 31, 1989.

In 1990, the Soviet Union accepted responsibility and apologized for the World War II murders of thousands of imprisoned Polish officers who were shot in the Katyn Forest during World War II, a massacre the Soviets previously had blamed on the Nazis.

In 1992,  The Great Chicago flood devastates much of central Chicago.

In 1993, Pulitzer Prizes were awarded to David McCullough for his biography “Truman,” to Robert Olen Butler for his collection of short stories “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain” and to Tony Kushner for his drama “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.” The gold medal for public service went to The Miami Herald for its Hurricane Andrew coverage.

In 1995, A federal appeals court opened the way for Shannon Faulkner to become the first woman to take part in military training at The Citadel.

In 1997,  Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament.

In 1998, Dolly, the cloned sheep, gave birth the natural way to Bonnie in a normal delivery.

In 1999, Right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, Michigan, to ten to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig’s disease patient.

In 2007, Memorial services for Joyce Lee Gregory, 54 will be held at 12:00 noon at First Baptist Church in Jackson with Dr. Craig Christina and Rev. Randy Carter officiating.  Lee died Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at Jackson Madison County General Hospital. Lee graduated with me in 1970 from Jackson High School and attended Union University. She worked as legal assistant for the Hill Boren Law firm.

In 2008, In Memphis, Michael Hooks Jr., was sentenced to 30 days in federal prison last Wednesday for his role in a bogus-invoice scam in 2001 in the Juvenile Court Clerk’s Office which was uncovered as a part of Operation TN Waltz. Hooks pleaded guilty in January to accepting $1,500 in fees for consulting work at Juvenile Court for work he did not do. Among the other politicans convicted and serving sentences in TN Waltz are Hook’s father, Michael Hooks, Sr. and former State Sen. John Ford.

In 2014,  A bus traveling from Villahermosa to Mexico City crashes into a tractor-trailer and catches fire, killing at least 36 people.

In 2015,  Gerald Calabrese, American basketball player and politician (b. 1925) dies at the age of 90. He was an American politician who served as Mayor of Cliffside Park, New Jersey continuously for 50 years, from 1965 to 2015. He was a member of the Democratic Party. Earlier in life, Calabrese played in the NBA for two seasons with the Syracuse Nationals.

Calabrese was a graduate of Cliffside Park High School, where he led the school’s team to the state basketball championship. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he attended St. John’s University, where he was chosen for All-American honors. He went on to a professional basketball career with the Syracuse Nationals, predecessor to today’s Philadelphia 76ers.

Calabrese was elected to the Cliffside Park Borough Council in 1955, and then became mayor in 1959. He was re-elected as mayor in 1965 and served continuously as the borough’s chief executive until his death in 2015. He was elected to the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1975, 1978 and 1982, and was Freeholder Director in 1984. From 1960 until January 1991, Calabrese was employed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, retiring as the director of water and sewage. He also served as chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization for multiple years.

As of 2008, Calabrese was the longest serving mayor in the State of New Jersey. He secured hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes millions, every year for the borough of Cliffside Park.

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