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This Day in History - August 13

August 13

1521 – The Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico is set on fire by Hernan Cortes and the Spanish conquistadors, marking the end of the Aztec empire and the birthing of another

1655 – The inventor of the clarinet, Johann Christoph Denner, is born

1680 – War is ignited when the Spanish are forced from Santa Fe, New Mexico by Indians

1704 – The French Army is defeated at the Battle of Blenheim by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Austria

1781 – During the American Revolution, Patriot forces led by Colonel William Harden and Brigadier General Francis Marion aka ‘Swamp Fox,’ ambush Major Thomas Fraser and his Loyalists at Parker’s Ferry

1787 – The Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia

1818 – Founder of Woman’s Journal, Lucy Stone, is born

1860 – Annie Oakley is born in the Old West

1862 – Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats Union army under Thomas Crittenden at Murfreesboro, Tennessee during Civil War

1864 – A failing ‘Deep Bottom Run’ campaign begins when Union General Ulysses S Grant attempts to penetrate Confederate defenses to no avail

1878 – Restaurant owner, Kate Bionda, dies thus becoming the first victim of a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee. Kate contracted the disease from a patron at her restaurant that had escaped from a quarantined steamboat. The disease spread widely, and most people evacuated. For those that remained behind, an average of 200 people per day died through September, including half of the city’s doctors, leaving a ghostly town full of corpses and ringing funeral bells

1881 – The first African-American nursing school opens in Atlanta, Georgia at Spelman College

1889 – William Gray patents the first coin-operated telephone

1898 – Manila, Philippines is besieged by the US Army

1899 – Famous director of films such as Rear Window, Psycho, Rebecca and North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock, is born

1902 – Inventor of the rotary engine, Felix Wankel, is born

1906 – An all-black Army unit was accused of a shootout that killed one civilian at Fort Brown in Brownsville, Texas

1910 – The British nurse who cared for British soldiers during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale, dies

1912 – American golfer, Ben Hogan, is born

1916 – Daniel Schorr, radio and television correspondent, is born

1918 – Crown Council is formed by the Kaiser at Spa, the location of the German High Command’s headquarters, to assess the status of the German war effort during World War I.

1926 – Cuban President, Fidel Castro, is born

1930 – Hawaii’s most famous musician and singer of ‘Tiny Bubbles,’ Don Ho, is born

1931 – Novelist, William Goldman, is born

 1932 – Adolf Hitler denies the vice chancellor position to Franz Von Papen

1933 – First African American US Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders, is born

1940 – Founder of Children’s Hospice International, Ann Armstrong Daily, is born

1940 – German aircraft begin bombing southern England during the Battle of Britain in World War II

1942 – US Army brigadier general and astronaut, Robert Lee Stewart, is born

1942 – Disney’s Bambi opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY

1946 – English author, HG Wells, dies

1948 – It is US pilot coined ‘Black Friday,’ a stormy day in Berlin, German, when the Berlin Airlift consisting of Berlin, British, and US planes have so much trouble delivering a record amount supplies due to bad weather during the Cold War

1951 – Singer and songwriter, Dan Fogelberg, is born

1952 – Fashion photographer who created many iconic photos of celebrities, Herb Ritts, is born

1952 – Big Moma Thornton becomes the first to record “Hound Dog.”

1961 – East German soldiers begin building Berlin Wall

1961 – Cary Stayner, the serial killer known as the ‘Yosemite Killer,’ convicted in the gruesome murders of four women at Yosemite National Park, is born

1963 – A 17-year old Buddhist monk, Thích Qu?ng ??c, burns himself to death in Saigon, South Vietnam in protest of the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô ?ình Di?m. President John F Kennedy claims, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.”

1966 – Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, criticizes the US attack on Flock Track, a Cambodian village near the Vietnamese border during the Vietnam War

1970 – English soccer player Alan Shearer is born

1972 – Demolitions experts aka sappers, destroy thousands of tons of ammunition at an ammunition dump at Long Binh during the Vietnam War

1972 – Ex-US Army Captain J. E. Engstrom complains that a military report he worked on claiming that 25 percent of the lower ranking enlisted men in Vietnam were addicted to heroin was replaced by a “watered down” version that would be more palatable for those in US command

1978 – During Second Lebanese Civil War, more than 150 people are killed in a Beirut bombing

1981 – President Ronald Reagan signs Economic Recovery Tax Act

1982 – Fast Times at Ridgemont High debuts

1989 – Wreckage from a plane crash is found in the mountains of Ethiopia. The plane carried US Congressman Mickey Leland and others who had been traveling on a humanitarian mission. There are no survivors

1993 – Congress must save all emails per a ruling of the US Court of Appeals

1995 – Former New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle dies of liver cancer

2004 – American chef and author Julia Child dies

2008 – US swimmer Michael Phelps becomes the first athlete in Olympic history to win 11 gold medals

2009 – American guitarist, songwriter, and co-designer of the Gibson Guitar, Les Paul, dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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