This Day in History July 13th

July 13 is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 171 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 587 BC,  Babylon’s siege of Jerusalem ends following the destruction of Solomon’s Temple.

In 1174,  William I of Scotland, a key rebel in the Revolt of 1173–1174, is captured at Alnwick by forces loyal to Henry II of England.

In 1249,  Coronation of Alexander III as King of Scots.

In 1260,  The Livonian Order suffers its greatest defeat in the 13th century in the Battle of Durbe against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle, South portal

In 1399,  Peter Parler, German architect, designed St. Vitus Cathedral and Charles Bridge (b. 1330) dies in Prague. He was a GermanCzech architect, best known for building Saint Vitus Cathedral and Charles Bridge in Prague, where he lived from about 1356. He became the master mason of Saint Vitus Cathedral in 1352, after the death of its original architect, Matthias of Arras. Apart from the cathedral, he was the main designer of the New Town of Prague and built Charles Bridge and its towers. In the Royal Palace of Prague Castle, Parler built the All Saints’ Chapel. He was a Master sculptor, he designed the gargoles of St Vitus Cathedral! Giving ornamentation to the original Design by Mathias Arras. He was apparently the architect of the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) built in the market square of Nuremberg, to replace the synagogue torn down in the pogrom of 1349 following the plague. Between 1360-78 Parler built the chancel of the St. Bartholomew church in Kolín.

In 1490,  John of Kastav finishes a cycle of frescoes in the Holy Trinity Church in Hrastovlje (now southwestern Slovenia).

In 1558,  Battle of Gravelines: In France, Spanish forces led by Count Lamoral of Egmont defeat the French forces of Marshal Paul de Thermes at Gravelines.

In 1573,  Eighty Years’ War: The Siege of Haarlem ends after seven months.

In 1643,  English Civil War: Battle of Roundway Down – In England, Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, commanding the Royalist forces, heavily defeats the Parliamentarian forces led by Sir William Waller.

In 1787,  The Continental Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance establishing governing rules for the Northwest Territory. It also establishes procedures for the admission of new states and limits the expansion of slavery.

The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793)

In 1793,  Journalist and French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat is assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a member of the opposing political faction. Marat was stabbed to death in his bath by Corday, who went to the guillotine four days later. (The assassination inspired the famous painting by Jacques Louis David showing Marat’s slumped body, a document clutched in one hand, a pen in the other.).

In 1794,  The Battle of the Vosges is fought between French forces and those of Prussia and Austria.

In 1814,  The Carabinieri, the national gendarmerie of Italy, is established.

In 1830,  The General Assembly’s Institution, now the Scottish Church College, one of the pioneering institutions that ushered the Bengal Renaissance, is founded by Alexander Duff and Raja Ram Mohan Roy, in Calcutta, India.

In 1832, The source of the Mississippi River was found by explorer Henry Schoolcraft.

In 1836, John Ruggles of Thomaston, Maine received patent Number 1 from the U.S. Patent Office, under a new system for numbering patents. Before Mr. Ruggles, there had been 9,957 non-numbered patents issued. Ruggles received his patent for a traction wheel used in locomotive steam engines.

In 1854,  In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General José María Yáñez stops the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset-Boulbon.

In 1859, Mexican revolutionary President Benito Juarez ordered property of the Roman Catholic Church confiscated throughout Mexico.

In 1861, Two senators from West Virginia were sworn in as members of the Congress. West Virginia was part of Virginia until the latter state’s mountain counties broke from the mother commonwealth over the slavery issue.

In 1861, Battle of Corrick’s Ford, VA (Carrick’s Ford) – Union army takes total control of western Virginia CS20 US53.

In 1863,  New York City draft riots: In New York, New York, opponents of conscription begin three days of rioting which will be later regarded as the worst in United States history. The anti-draft riots in New York City include arson and the murder of blacks by poor immigrant whites. At least 120 persons, including children, are killed and $2 million in damage caused, until Union soldiers returning from Gettysburg restore order.

In 1865, Famous publisher and editor Horace Greeley advised his readers to “Go west young man, and grow up with the country.” We think he meant Michigan.

In 1878,  Treaty of Berlin: The European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania become completely independent of the Ottoman Empire.

Johnny Ringo.jpegIn 1882,  Johnny Ringo, American criminal (b. 1850) dies. He was found by a neighboring property owner laying against or in the low-lying fork of the trunk of a large tree in West Turkey Creek Valley, near Chiricahua Peak. The neighbor had heard a single shot late in the evening the day before Ringo was found. Ringo’s feet were wrapped in pieces of his undershirt, possibly to protect his feet against insects or scorpions. His revolver had one round expended and was found hanging by one finger in his hand. His horse was found two weeks later with Ringo’s boots tied to the saddle, a method commonly used in that time period to keep scorpions out of boots. The horse had gotten loose from his picket and wandered off. He was a known associate of the loosely federated group of outlaw Cochise County Cowboys in frontier Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona Territory. He was affiliated with Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan, Ike Clanton, and Frank Stilwell during 1881–1882.

In 1905,  The verdict in the six-month-long Smarthavicharam trial of Kuriyedath Thathri is pronounced, leading to the excommunication of 65 men of various castes.

In 1919,  The British airship R34 lands in Norfolk, England, completing the first airship return journey across the Atlantic in 182 hours of flight.

In 1923,  The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It originally reads “Hollywoodland ” but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.

In 1941,  World War II: Montenegrins begin a popular uprising against the Axis powers (Trinaestojulski ustanak).

In 1943, The greatest tank battle in history ended with Russia’s defeat of Germany at Kursk, south of Moscow. Almost 6,000 tanks took part and 2,900 were lost by Germany. There were at least 230,000 casualties in the battle.

In 1960, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy won the Democratic presidential nomination at his party’s convention in Los Angeles, California.

In 1962,  In an unprecedented action, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismisses seven members of his Cabinet, marking the effective end of the National Liberals as a distinct force within British politics.

In 1967, Race-related rioting broke out in Newark, New Jersey. By the time the violence ended on July 17th, 27 people had been killed.

Leslie Groves.jpgIn 1970,  Leslie Groves, American general and engineer (b. 1896) dies of a heart attack. He was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project, a top secret research project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a number of Army posts during his childhood. He graduated fourth in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1918 and was commissioned into the US Army Corps of Engineers. In 1929, he went to Nicaragua as part of an expedition whose purpose was to conduct a survey for the Inter-Oceanic Nicaragua Canal. Following the 1931 Nicaragua earthquake, Groves took over responsibility for Managua‘s water supply system, for which he was awarded the Nicaraguan Presidential Medal of Merit. He attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1935 and 1936, and the Army War College in 1938 and 1939, after which he was posted to the War Department General Staff.

In 1972, George McGovern was nominated for president on the first ballot at the Democratic national convention in Miami Beach, Fla.

In 1973,  Alexander Butterfield reveals the existence of the “Nixon tapes” to the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate break in.

In 1974, the Senate Watergate Committee proposed sweeping reforms in campaign procedures and other statutes in an effort to prevent another Watergate scandal.

In 1976, Courtmartial begins in USSR for Valery Mikhailovich Sablin (Hunt for Red Oct).

In 1977,  Somalia declares war on Ethiopia, starting the Ethiopian-Somali War.

In 1977 – New York, New York, amidst a period of financial and social turmoil experiences an electrical blackout lasting nearly 24 hours that leads to widespread fires and looting.

In 1978, Lee Iacocca was fired as president of Ford Motor Company by Chairman Henry Ford II.

In 1979, a 45-hour siege began at the Egyptian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, as four Palestinian guerrillas killed two security men and seized 20 hostages.

In 1983, American schoolgirl Samantha Smith, touring the Soviet Union at the invitation of President Yuri V. Andropov, traveled to Leningrad, where she placed flowers on a World War II memorial.

In 1984, Walter F. Mondale, the Democratic presidential nominee-apparent, launched his fall campaign in his boyhood hometown of Elmore, Minnesota, with his newly chosen running mate, Geraldine A. Ferraro.

In 1985,  The Live Aid benefit concert takes place in London, England, United Kingdom and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as other venues such as Sydney, Australia and Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union.

In 1985Vice President George Bush becomes the Acting President for the day when President Ronald Reagan undergoes surgery to remove polyps from his colon.

In 1989, Washington DC attorney Thomas L. Root was rescued after ditching his private plane into the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas; he had suffered a mysterious gunshot wound.

In 1990, the Senate gave final legislative approval to a bill that would forbid discrimination based on disability, including that caused by AIDS or alcoholism. President Bush signed the measure into law July 26.

In 1994, OJ Simpson (charged with murder) gives hair samples for testing.

In 1999, In Tehran, police fired tear gas to disperse ten-thousand demonstrators on the sixth day of protests against Iranian hard-liners.

In 1999, New Hampshire Sen. Robert Smith withdrew from the Republican presidential race and from the party as well, changing his party designation to Independent.

In 2000, Fellow Democrat Bill Bradley endorsed Vice President Al Gore for president, four months after conceding their fight for the White House.

In 2003,  French DGSE personnel abort an operation to rescue Íngrid Betancourt from FARC rebels in Colombia, causing a political scandal when details are leaked to the press.

Red Buttons - 1959.jpgIn 2006,  Red Buttons, American actor (b. 1919) dies of complications from cardiovascular disease on July 13, 2006, at age 87 at his home in Century City, Los Angeles. He had been ill for a while and was with family members when he died. His ashes were given to his family after cremation. He was an American actor and comedian. He won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his supporting role in the 1957 film Sayonara.

In 2008,  Battle of Wanat begins when Taliban & al-Qaeda guerrillas attack US Army & Afghan National Army troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. deaths were, at that time, the most in a single battle since the beginning of operations in 2001.

In 2008, President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore oil drilling put in place by his father, a step that will have no practical effect but which put political pressure on Democrats in Congress to lift an overlapping statutory ban. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino announced the decision at the White House.

George steinbrenner2003.jpgIn 2010,  George Steinbrenner, American businessman (b. 1930) died of a heart attack at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. His death came nine days after his 80th birthday, two days after the death of longtime Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard, and eight days before that of former Yankee manager Ralph Houk. On July 14, the Yankees announced that players and coaches would wear a Steinbrenner commemorative patch on the left breast of their home and road uniforms, and a Bob Sheppard commemorative patch on the left arm. He was an American businessman who was the principal owner and managing partner of Major League Baseball‘s New York Yankees. During Steinbrenner’s 37-year ownership from 1973 to his death in July 2010, the longest in club history, the Yankees earned seven World Series titles and 11 pennants. His outspokenness and role in driving up player salaries made him one of the sport’s most controversial figures. Steinbrenner was also involved in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast shipping industry. Known as a hands-on baseball executive, Steinbrenner earned the nickname “The Boss“. He had a tendency to meddle in daily on-field decisions, and to hire and fire (and sometimes re-hire) managers. Former Yankees manager Dallas Green gave him the derisive nickname “Manager George”.

In 2013,  George Zimmerman is found not guilty in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

In 2013,  Typhoon Soulik kills at least nine people and affects more than 160 million in East China and Taiwan.

In 2016,  Theresa May succeeds David Cameron as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; she is the second woman to do so, after Margaret Thatcher.

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