Today in History: October 13 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: October 13

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


Today in History
October 13

54   Nero succeeds his great uncle Claudius, who was murdered by his wife, as the new emperor of Rome.
1307   Members of the Knights Templar are arrested throughout France, imprisoned and tortured by the order of King Philip the Fair of France.
1399   Henry IV of England is crowned.
1670   Virginia passes a law that blacks arriving in the colonies as Christians cannot be used as slaves.
1775   The Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy). The main goal of the navy is to intercept shipments of British matériel and generally disrupt British maritime commercial operations. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1776   Benedict Arnold is defeated at Lake Champlain.
1792   President George Washington lays the cornerstone for the White House.
1812   At the Battle of Queenston Heights, a Canadian and British army defeats the Americans who have tried to invade Canada.
1849   The California state constitution, which prohibits slavery, is signed in Monterey.
1942   In the first of four attacks, two Japanese battleships sail down the slot and shell Henderson field on Guadalcanal, in an unsuccessful effort to destroy the American Cactus Air Force.
1943   Italy declares war on Germany.
1944   Troops of the advancing Soviet Army occupy Riga, the capital of Latvia.
1946   The Fourth Republic begins in France; it will continue to 1958.
1972   Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes Mountains, near the Argentina-Chile border; only 16 survivors (out of 45 people aboard) are rescued on Dec. 23.
1983   The Space Shuttle Challenger, carrying seven, the largest crew to date, lands safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1990   The Lebanese Civil War ends when a Syrian attack removes Gen. Michel Aoun from power.
Born on October 13
1784   Ferdinand VII, king of Spain.
1817   William Kirby, Canadian writer.
1853   Lillie Langtry, British actress.
1890   Conrad Richter, novelist and short story writer.
1907   Yves Allégret, French film director (Dédée d’Anvers, Une si jolie petite plage).
1909   Herblock (Herbert Lawrence Block), multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist.
1910   Ernest Kellogg Gann, pilot and adventure novelist (Island in the Sky, The High and Mighty).
1910   Art Tatum, American jazz pianist.
1925   Margaret Thatcher, the first female UK prime minister (1979-1990).
1926   Ray Brown, jazz bass player.
1930   Bruce Geller, screenwriter, producer, actor; won two Emmys as the writer, producer and director of the Mission Impossible TV series.
1939   Melinda Dillon, actress, best known for her role as Ralphie’s mother in the TV classic A Christmas Story (1983).
1941   Paul Simon, singer, songwriter, musician, producer; rose to fame as half of the Simon & Garfunkel duo; to date (2013) he has received 12 Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement Award (2001); Time magazine included him in its 2006 special “100 People Who Shaped the World.”
1947   Sammy Hagar, “The Red Rocker,” singer, songwriter, musician; replaced David Lee Roth as lead singer of the band Van Halen.
1959   Marie Osmond, singer (“Paper Roses”), songwriter, actress; co-hosted TV variety show Donny & Marie with her brother Donny (1976-79).
1960   Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary for Pres. George W. Bush (2001-03).
1967   Kate Walsh, actress (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice TV series).
1969   Nancy Kerrigan, figure skater; won Olympic bronze (1992) and silver (1994) medals; US National Champion 1993; on Jan. 6, 1994, she was clubbed on the knee in an attack intended to aid one of her skating rivals.